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Eat Local: Really Local

Garden Harvest

After enjoying one last Food Preservation class at our local community college, I started to really think about the idea of eating local.  For many of us that is easy to do in the summer. We all know about farmers markets and the like. Even walmart is overflowing with so called local produce.
I am talking about digging a little deeper (no pun intended), and try to eat seasonally all year round.
Despite what you may think, the winter has plenty of variety for cooking. Root vegetables have  been tucked away in the yukky veg category and that’s too bad. They have a natural sweetness that is enhanced after a cold spell. They keep well and are flavorful as well as colorful. I like to use winter squashes as sweet ingredients and all of them pair well with maple syrup-a warming, winter sweet. I also use them as a side dish. Rich in Vitamin A, they can certainly add a nice dose of flavor to a heavier winter meal. I make roasted or even fried winter squash fries and chips. They taste better than white potatoes, and the family asks for them now. Try making homefries with half winter squash and half white potatoes along with your onions. Really delicious!
You can use the things you stored from the summer, combined with winter offerings, and have a full range of foods ready to be eaten. I will never forget the discussion I had with a person in the Ag business who told me he had the right to eat whatever he wanted, wheneverhe wanted. I asked him what made him so special and he replied that it was his right..His Right.
So the people who don’t have the money to eat tomatoes in December, don’t have that right? Ghaaa…some peole need a good smack with a turnip. That’s all I have for tonight. I get too worked up about elitism when there are hungry children in my own town who watch the corn trucks drive by heading to the ethanol plant.
Do you use your local vegetables all year? What do you eat in the winter? Share in the comments!

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