Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tomato Sweaters & Local Dinners

First the knitting!


That would be the bottom ribbing of Tomato. The sleeves are also done.

I'll start the neckline tonight.

I tried it on after binding off the bottom. It fits like a dream! I'm very proud I was able to follow the destructions well enough to figure out how to place the neck higher so I don't end up flashing everyone when I wear it.

I don't own a "cami" that everyone uses as the universal bandaid to fix too-revealing knitting.

Now on to the non-knitting (feel free to surf away if you come here just for the knitting).

I'm discovering my inner Canadian Potato Farmer in not just growing an out of control Yukon Gold on my balcony, I also joined One Local Summer.

The guidelines are simple. You eat stuff that's "local." Now "local" has many interpretations in this challenge. You can eat stuff that is from your state only, from within a 100 mile radius, within a comfortable day's drive, etc.

This is my first time doing it, so I'm kind of going with the "comfortable days's drive" theory.

I'm also personally trying to do this with minimal trips all over the county divining places that sell local meat, produce, milk, etc.

I'm a busy paper pushing monkey that has to juggle getting her Chunkito to school and her Dr. Mad Scientist to and from the train station every day (although Dr. Mad Scientist has lately been walking home if he works past 10:00 p.m. which has been more often than not lately.)

I don't have much time to shop all over for local food. Besides, if I do make it to say the local farmers market after I've finished up work and picking up Chunky from school, they're closed. But I'm not bitter.

Baby steps. I knew signing up for this, I wouldn't be able to participate with one local meal a week. But like Liz stated when she rolled out this year's challenge, it's all about baby steps.

When has crash dieting every worked? Yeah hardly ever. But if you make small steps, it's easier to incorporate them into daily life and stick to it.

Without further blabbing I give you my first "local" meal:


Ok, it's a little unbalanced. Lots o'starch there!

We've got some Jersey white corn purchased from the farmer's stand across the parkway from my office. Dee-freakin' liscious! Dr. Mad Scientist and I have determined that Colorado has the only other corn that rivals Jersey corn in the states we've lived in.

Texas was awful. Michigan was hit or miss with their corn.

We're corn on the cob snobs after being raised in Alaska where "corn on the cob" meant those nasty little four inch frozen cobs you boil up. Oh god, they make me sick just thinking about them!

Then we've got some cheddarwurst from Black Bear Deli in Philly. I'm lucky in that a comfortable day's drive means I can hit quite a few states coming from Jersey. I don't think I could have done this challenge if we were still in Texas.

I discovered these in the deli section of my Shoprite. They weren't with the rest of the bratwurst with the rest of the meats. There were only five to a pack as opposed to six when you buy Johnsonville Brats. However, they were comparable in price.

The taste however makes up for the fact you're only getting five instead of six.

My father's peeps settled in Wisconsin, so I'd like to think I've got a genetic sense of what makes a good bratwurst--and these local brats were ten times more flavorful than the Johnsonville ones we normally buy. The boys agreed with me on this as well.

Finally, the buns are from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. These are from the farthest away--about three and a half hours.

There you have it!

With the exception of the corn (which I'll be trying to make a point of hitting every Friday at lunch), it was all purchased at Shoprite--no hole in the wall farm stand/market/store that I would probably waste a tank of gas trying to find because New Jersey, me and Mapquest don't mix.

The only challenge in shopping locally at a chain store like Shoprite is that you have to read labels and do your research.

For example, I found that on the package of the brats, they have an address of Moorestown, NJ on there. However, if you go on the internet and do a little digging, you find that they're actually made in Philadelphia. (Never mind that Moorestown is basically a suburb of Philly!)

This is good practice for the day say Jeb Bush is elected into power and I have to take the family and emmigrate to Canada and make that potato farm dream of mine come true.

But for now it's all about baby steps!

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

But where did they grow the flour to make the buns? It can all get mighty complicated in a hurry. As you say, baby steps.

At our local supermarket, we have about 20 lineal feet of sausages. We have about 10 different brands of brats in precooked and maybe 6 brands of raw brats. It really is the bratwurst capital. But, the Italian sausage here sucks. Upstate NY had a lot more Italians settle there, and the store brands of Italian sausages were great.

Every new place you live has its own special foods. The trick is figuring out what they are.

I bought a wonderful bag of mixed salad greens yesterday at the Farmers Market. I had to travel farther to get the goods, but the goods didn't travel nearly as far as the supermarket ones. It's a trade-off.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Poops said...

I know what's on the band! It's kootchies, isn't it?

2:17 PM  
Blogger maryannlucy said...

all that locality AND a local tomato!
A band of kootchies - I cannot wait to see the unveiling - hee hee!

2:42 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Frozen corn? FROZEN corn?!? Blasphemy I tell you!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Calling Kahlo said...

Oh, I keep forgetting about the Farmers Market. If you come to stix on Saturday there is a farmer's market at the train station. That is my goal to hit the farmers market saturday morning.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Knit Mongrel said...

I can't WAIT to see you Tomato knit up, though I must admit I will be very sad about the lack of cleavage. :) Ok, maybe not so sad.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Yay! Good job on your OLS meal. It looks very good, and for us, simple is usually the name of the game as well. I was worried when it first started two weeks ago, because lettuce was about all that was growing, but it's like Liz announced OLS and all of the plants suddenly started producing.

That corn looks really yummy, by the way. I'm looking forward to the day our Maine corn sprouts ;).

4:14 PM  
Blogger Amysatx said...

Wah! I'm bummed I missed the sign ups for OLS although I know I can do it on my own. Guess its time to check out the Farmer's Markets!

4:21 PM  
Blogger Red Dog Knits - Kristi and Otis said...

We would be happy to share the U-Haul fare to Canada if another Bush enters the White House. Can't beat Michigan for the apples though and Blueberries..South Haven. MI...the BEST!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Can't wait to see Tomato, you big tease!! The corn looks awesome! Good luck with the shopping! :)

5:11 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I sure miss the fresh fruits & veggies from NJ. The best beefsteak tomatoes ever! I'd hate to think what we'd wind up locally here blahhhk

7:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yeah, I like the idea, but I agree that it is probably much easier to do it up there than down here in Texas. 'cause, well, a days drive in any direction and you're still in Texas.

But that's why I like it!!

That and the Dallas Farmers Market is quite handy.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

that is one of my fave summer meals, corn and brats! and beer!! i think i might just be close enough to Milwaukie to consider Pabst a local beer! Woo hoo!

10:53 PM  
Blogger Batty said...

The Tomato is looking good, but... frozen corn???

7:45 AM  
Blogger ZantiMissKnit said...

New York State has some mighty good local corn too. When we visit my FIL in the summer, we always make it a point to have some locally grown corn. The guy across the road from him has the ears piled up on his hay cart, with a plastic bag for you to put your $$ in -- honor system! Weird, huh?

8:40 AM  
Blogger Cheesy Knit Wit said...

Oh, that corn on the cob reminds me of my bad corn experience....bleeeh! :)

We have a store called Harter House, and I go there to purchase all my meat. It is more of a butcher shop type of environment, and all the beef of local, and they make their own brats. Wonderful I tell you!

What? You don't want to see another Bush in office? LOL

8:49 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

yeah, I found a website that lists farmers in my province and what they sell and whether it is inseason right now. The problem is that I fail to see how burning up 1/4 tabk of gas to get tot he local garlic farmer (seriously, we have a local garlic farmer) to buy 2 heads of garlic would benefit the environment. Which is what this is about. I like your idea of local at the market. I occasionally can get to the farmers market, but, like you, I work. inconveneient hours for the arket. Sigh.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Larjmarj said...

"We would be happy to share the U-Haul fare to Canada if another Bush enters the White House."

Me, you and Kristi will all bi going north of the border, gives me chills to think about it. I need to call my local farm market today and see if they are up and running, usually they open mid-July. Michigan corn..depends where you find it.
Tomato looks yummy!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Magatha said...

I'll starve to death if I venture to eat only locally grown foods, especially in summer. Unless I go out to the "buffet". This is a food source indigenous to Nevada. It requires some resources and searching to obtain a satisfactory buffet, but it can be done.

More power to ya! You kids have to make the world the way you want it to be. The future is yours. I'll still be gobbling up at the grocery with all the other dinosaurs until my dirt nap.

10:54 AM  
Blogger buttercup said...

I don't remember if my ShopRite does it or not but one of the other markerts near me does buy from local farmers and marks the produce as such. That's a cool idea, and I may try to participate once a week.

Does take out made locally count? heh!

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok! I am glad that you realize that meal is weighing in very heavy on the starches. I would only be able to eat half of what there and stay within my carb count for a meal. Nice band on your Tomato! Can't wait to see it on you. Love, Mom

11:03 AM  
Blogger Sssarahevt said...

okay, a)I love your mom. b)I can't wait to see your intarsia band on tomato, your killing me!! I'm so curious!!!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Mikaela said...

You have to start somewhere, right? :) Next week, I bet you find some awesome green veggies!

1:48 PM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

I had some delicious white corn last week but I'm not sure where it was grown. Interesting challenge! Maybe I'll give it a go....from the sidelines.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Purple E said...

I must weigh in on the corn commenting. I'm an Iowan (though no longer living there) and I've tried corn other places - it just doesn't measure up. Take a trip through IA mid-late July and you'll wind up with The.Best.Corn.Ever. Yes, it's THAT good. I recommend buying it from the back of the oldest, rustiest truck, too :)

Luv the boobie band on the 'mater! (OK, I've been dying to shout: "Ta-Mater") without the "ta" - ha ha :)

7:59 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

That dinner looks so up my alley! That's funny about presidents and moving to Canada. I was talking to my bf about having kids in the future and he said "we'll see who's president". :)

12:58 PM  

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