Making every bite count

15 September 2008

This is what I get for trying to be a locavore.

Thank you, Mother Nature.

I spent every Saturday morning at Findlay Market, where I packed my bag to the brim with local, organic produce. An average of $50 a week, so half could fill the freezer to ensure a bountiful winter. Any salad tomato that was overly ripe went in a bag in the freezer. Romas were halved, doused with olive oil and left in a warm oven overnight. The heirlooms were sliced and diced, mashed and chopped. In sauces and salsas, salads and soups, I lovingly sacrificed the Garden Peaches, the Mortgage Lifters, the Green Zebras, the Chocolate Cherries and the Yellow Romas.
I drove 60 miles with three friends on a muggy and mosquito-filled Saturday, to the largest raspberry farm in the east.
I risked life and limb (OK, so once a car almost hit me while I was on by bike) to transport succulent local plums, a dozen of the season's first red peppers, and some ripe tomatillos home with me.
I froze and canned, refrigerated and stored away.
And then, Hurricane Ike (or his remnants) hit Ohio. Yes. A hurricane hit the Midwest. 75 mile-per-hour winds knocked out power, sent shingles spinning into transformers, starting fires across the city. 
I lost power, but I didn't worry. Surely it would return by the time we returned from a dinner at La Mexicana. But, no, it didn't. Just in case, we stopped to buy a 20-lb bag of ice. The fridge and freezer were on life support and each passing minute meant that my beloved local produce was one degree closer to death (or spoilage). 
Thank goodness for good friends. The power outage lasted another four days, but the contents of my freezer were safely stowed in Sean and Katy's freezer. My bountiful fridge was safe for another day, thanks to that mighty bag of ice and another. I finally took the perishables (eggs from Thistlehair Farms, 2 quarts of organic plain lowfat yogurt, an unopened container of soymilk, some vegan butter and a hunk of parmesan) to work and stashed them in the fridge in my Whole Foods bag for a couple of days. The condiments were left in the fridge with the dwindling ice supply In all, we lost about $30 worth of goods, mostly dried up and unidentifiable condiments. (I don't remember buying blackberry jelly from Trader Joe's, and when was the last time we ate the coriander chutney? It contains cashews!) 
We used the outage as a chance to purge the fridge without guilt of wasting food (the ultimate sin). As Chad had about 100 pounds of apples and pears, the now-empty glass jars were quite useful!
Food was rescued from Sean and Katy's on Friday night, and now all is safe in my freezer (again, purged of unrecognizable leftovers, now mushy frozen veg and bags of scraps for stock). 
What did I do Saturday morning? Went to Findlay Market and restocked, of course!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home