I’ve been putting off writing this post… Because it makes me feel guilty.
Being a Lenten Locavore was awesome.
Breaking fast was also awesome.
But since breaking, I just don’t feel as good. I’m not sure if this is guilt. Let me explain…
Since breaking my local eating lent commitment, I’ve eaten all my favorit things: sweets, sushi, sandwiches, bread. I went to Trader Joe’s and got tons of boxed goodies. Beer. Cheaper coffee. I went out to eat like a fiend! And it was all delicious. DELICIOUS.
But very quickly, I noticed some things missing from my life:
This is the main thing that I’ve lost, and I lost it quick. It was so easy to tell people that I couldn’t go out, or eat, or drink this or that because of Lent. Everyone gave up something, and this was my fate. An awesome fate really. Now, with no excuse, eating local only makes me a hippy weirdo. While I was eating local, I had a serious routine. of chopping, cooking, planning, learning, and knowing EXACTLY what I needed. It was so short, but I learned so much!
Odd food and veggies:
I went to the farmers market today, and you know what is edible and was being sold? STINGING NETTLES. They are possibly one of the worst plants ever. Farms have been sued over them. But I learned that they make a great pesto (if you cook them first). Maybe I’ll go gather some out in the forest for myself later, but I don’t think I’ll be buying them. It was just a nuisance weed plant in Ireland.
Flavor and color:
I ATE SO GOOD BEING LOCAL! Seriously, everything I had was so good. I wasn’t disappointed in the food I bought ever. Root vegetables ARE BEAUTIFUL! My brain will probably explode with the color, flavor, and beauty that comes from the local food summer scene.
The best MEAT, CHEESE. and HONEY:
Actual human interaction:
You know how people lament how families don’t sit and eat with one another any more? Family dinner doesn’t exist anymore? Well, maybe it’s in part because of our lack of grocery store interaction. It might be kind of entertaining to go into giant grocers and ask the people working in there what they might do with a shitake mushroom, yucca root, or kale. Sure, if you grab a box of rice-a-roni the check-out lady might compliment your choice, but strange and unusual veggies? That’d be weird to ask for advice about. Not so at the Farmer’s Market, and I love that. Just today, I asked one of the venders (Silverbrook Farm) about their honey (because I use a lot). They didn’t have anything bigger than half a honey bear, and the guy said that he’ll harvest more to sell in a couple weeks. Before I left, I asked him, “So you’ll have honey in a couple weeks?”
“Well, how many pounds do you need?”
“Agh. Ah, I don’t know, like a quart?”
“I’ll get you a jar next week.”
That’s how it’s done. It’s crazy. It’s like I’m somehow escaping our sterilized consumer culture. There is just something so real about it.
Maybe I’m fooling myself. But at least I want to and I am trying. Everyone who can, should.