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.