Eating Local, eating at home

So today, in the midst of snow, I went to the North Market looking for some Ohio deliciousness. And I found it!

Today’s small local haul:

  • Snowville Creamery fat free milk (Athens, OH). Let me tell you about this milk. It is the best milk you will ever have in your life! And you can get it other places, too! Not just Ohio (They send milk to Cincy and Cleveland, as well as Columbus)! (So far—KY and PA, as well as D.C.!) Now, I realize that those places aren’t really “local” for you KY, PA, and D.C. dwellers, but please, if you do not have access to a local dairy, you need to try this milk. I am so serious. The fat free is divine. It is better than any other milk I have tried, and I drink so much milk that I could be a cow. (Which is good, because I read today that low vitamin D levels can lead to increased chance of lung rejection! GO DAIRY! :-D) 
  • Blue Jacket Dairy arrowhead herb chevre  cheese. Pure beautiful deliciousness, with bits of herbs throughout so you really get that great, fresh flavor. YUM!
  • And some Buckeye Brittle (made in Reynoldsburg, so REALLY local for me!). YUM. Just a little bit goes a long way to satisfying my sweet tooth.

And I got all this for $10!!!!! I mean, come on! All this lovely, local goodness, in January!

I also picked up some mesclun (from cold frames), cilantro (I know, totally out of season, but I like it in my salads!) and sun-dried tomatoes (jarred, from CA).

Tonight I also made Jamie Oliver’s bolognese sauce, with Trader Joe’s pasta. I’ll have to post the recipe soon. It was good—meat sauce and me are sort of prickly, because t doesn’t coat the pasta, the way EVOO or other sauces do—but it was perfect for a snowy evening. And since I made it myself, I know exactly what went into it—in this case, TJ’s low-fat beef, carrots, onions, garlic, pancetta, diced tomatoes and their juice, celery, a bit of basil, salt, pepper, grated parm, and water. C’est tout! No scary ingredients. With a bit of simmer time, I had a lovely, easy meal that was perfect for a snowy winter night.

Cooking at home doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take some preparation. Same with eating local. There is so much food in your own backyard—explore it! In Columbus we have the North Market, which is a godsend for local foodies. Besides the stuff I got today, they also have all sorts of meat (turkey, chicken, bison (!), lamb, veal, pork, beef) all raised right here! You can talk to the farmers and know everything you want to know about the food, including how to cook it. They will also cut it up for you (like if you’re getting beef tenderloin for stir-fry—you need it cut), and the taste factor is phenomenal.

In winter, it can be hard to find these things. So you get a slight pass. But really, as it gets warmer, visit the farmers’ market! Or see if they have something like the North Market in your town, where all these great local producers are under one roof. You will like healthy food much better if it tastes good!