And how’s that working out for you?


And it won’t make me sick: greenhouse broccoli

You’re supposed to ask the above phrase in a droll, sarcastic manner. And what is it you are asking about? The all-local, mostly-home-raised diet that I have imposed on my family.

And I will say to you: It is going well. It’s when I eat nonlocal that all hell breaks loose.

Frankly, this local grub dealio is going better than I thought, especially since I added meat back into the diet. I had rather forgotten how stupidly easy meat was to cook: there’s no chopping, and hardly any prep at all, really. It’s kind of boring, frankly, to an aspiring alchemist like myself: I had, for so many years, exacted the absolute last drop of flavor out of simple vegetables, beans and grains that meat cooking is…not terribly challenging. (And no, I haven’t done a standing rib roast or fired up a bain marie yet, so I suppose it could be harder if I wasn’t just roasting or stewing things.) But meat aside, my vegetable growing choices for next year’s gardens are becoming terribly clear, especially in the root cellar department. My poor root cellar is being sorely taxed.

More Root Crops, especially Carrots. More Cabbage, More Head Radicchio. More Celeriac. More Winter Squash.

But back to the present. The terrible thing about the end-of-year holidays to me, gastronomically, is the small fact that I will be eating other people’s food (OPF). I here present the unspoken downside to extreme local eating: the intestinal distress one experiences when one eats Off The Reservation. I have been sick for days now, and I blame a slice of Eli’s cheesecake. (Technically, Eli’s is in my 100-mile foodshed range, but dang, let’s just simply say that I don’t normally eat that way: 850 calories for a slice.) But really, both Tom and I have noticed that if we ever go Off Rez (i.e., away from home) for any length of time, we just feel ill! We need to get back home and have some restorative garlic soup and bread.

It could just be the flu. I know that food poisoning, unless you’ve eaten something really disgusting, does not have fever and body aches as attendant symptoms. I have these symptoms. But I would rather blame OPF, in the form of that demon cheesecake, than a simple flu bug. Even a local flu bug.

6 responses to “And how’s that working out for you?

  1. Oh how I relate. My husband bought sugar free fudge as a treat for me. Within minutes of hitting my stomach I can feel the effects starting. My stomach doesn’t like it and isn’t afraid to say so. It will happily accept all the real food I want to eat but I’ve learned my lesson – step away from the imposters and it won’t rumble. How I love my cold cellar.

  2. I love your blog! I’ve always wanted to try that challenge, but have yet to get the guts up to do it! I also have a soda addicted husband. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. New reader here. Hi.

    I can completely relate to the concept of OPF. Every time we go to my ILs, I eat v reluctantly because I know exactly what’s going to happen – bloating, water retention, etc. Tastes good, but all processed and hoo BOY.

    I actually offered to control Thanksgiving because I would know exactly where the food came from and how it was made. It was v successful on all fronts.

  4. Oh, how I can relate. We actually had to have 4 OPF meals this holiday season. UGH! Feeling like we need to detox!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also noticed another side affect, everything “normal” tastes off. The turkey at my MIL’s tasted so salty and…..chemically. I’ve noticed since I’ve gone local, that many of the things I eat at other peoples house taste like chemicals!

  5. (Can I just say I am so loving all these new readers! Oh I love my old ones, too, but it’s just gratifying to meet so many new faces.)

    Robin: I know he loves you, but what in the world is the point of sugarless fudge? You know, my mom is one of those kinds of people who HAS to give lots of presents at Xmas: I am much more of a quality over quantity person, and I have been nudging her in that direction. So this year, she wrapped up things like…boxes of homemade fudge. *yum*

    Misti: (Thanks!) I didn’t do the challenge, either. I had been on my way to homeraised food for a couple of years now, and it really took this last harvest to put us into the eat-all-year-from-home camp. But I will say so many of the the One Local Summer/Dark Days Challenges participants really learned a lot, and I think most considered it more fun than an onerous challenge. And hey, soda-addicted hubby or no, girl, you’re in Florida where stuff, like, grows all year long!

    Lisa B-K: Ditto that. Kinda didn’t have much fun with the MIL’s xmas fare myself. (Thanksgiving is SO my favorite holiday!) What I end up doing is really eating a lot of foods with happy microbes in them, like lots of kefir and yogurt, after these bouts of OPF. It helps. But I must really remember to do it beforehand, too.

  6. Ah, Ang, you snuck in there when I was typing up the other thing. (Here is one of my favorite old readers, folks!) I was thinking of you a lot last week when I read my one post-Christmas indulgence book: Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish. Super fun book. So much moreso for folks like you and me, living lives in old farmhouses and trying so hard to channel these old farmwives! So go get it; you will love it!

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