Now that our local food project appears to be off the ground, I realize that we’re actually cooking the same stuff we always have. Somehow this comes as a surprise. Before the forty pounds of beef arrived, I felt certain we’d need special knowledge to cook with every part of the cow. Maybe that was part of the allure.
But if our cooking hasn’t really changed, what we’re eating has changed, thanks in part to the quality of the raw materials, and because we’re actually taking the time to think about what to cook. Eating local is reordering our lives in other ways, too. We don’t depend on the grocery store quite as much and we aren’t eating out as often, which also means that we’re driving less and spending less. It’s becoming routine to work a little local organic beef, pork or seasonal vegetable matter into our cooking — like with lunch today, which was pintos stewed with chilies and bacon grease, scooped up with tortillas. Or as with dinner the other night, a tasty rice casserole of roasted tomatoes and poblanos, jack cheese, and crumbled Wagyu.
What’s been equally interesting is reading about my fellow Eat Local blogger Stephen’s experience, and discovering that kids eat local, too. Stephen emailed last week to tell me that his girls devour their buffalo steaks. “It’s kinda scary,” he said. When your food news comes from the New York Times, you get the idea that kids these days will eat nothing but breaded foods. It’s time for a new paradigm.