Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The potatoes are local, the ones I bought at the Farmer's Market a week ago Sunday last. This dish was inspired by a friend's Mom's Broccoli Cheese Potato Bake. It was made with sliced potatoes and sliced onions, layered with an undiluted can of Campbell's Broccoli Cheese Soup on top and baked. It's been a LONG time since I've seen that Broccoli Cheese Soup anywhere. Since I had a few steamed broccoli spears and asparagus spears left over, I thought I'd improvise. So I peeled and sliced the local potatoes, mixed it up with the leftover vegetables which I chopped into chunks, and sprinkled on a plastic box of diced onion and celery I had in the refrigerator. I had a can of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup. This mixture I cooked about an hour in a 350F oven until the potatoes were tender.
I've been reading a lot of stories about the Great Depression lately (funny how a downturn will turn these up everywhere) and having been a late baby of a couple who lived through that era, I internalized a few things. Such as not wasting things. So although I missed on being completely local, this dish did nicely use up things that needed to be used. I think part of the lesson of the challenge is seeing that eating choices need to be integrated in the pattern of your life. If I had been eating consistently local previous to this special challenge, it would not be such a challenge to have a much higher percentage of the food be truly local. Actually, weaving going to the Farmer's Markets and finding local sources of more exotic ingredients is something that can be a kind of meditation and appreciation experienced with all the four senses. A very positive side benefit!
I think that the frugalities learned through the Depression were in many ways a forerunner of being green -- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle has a lot of similarity to a little ditty my mother used to repeat:
Use it Up
Wear it Out
Make it Do
Or do Without
And the improvised bake tasted quite good!