My co-blogger Stephen and his wife Stephanie were coming to town. How about an all-local meal, he suggested. Super, I wrote back. Define ‘local’.

So we exercised some latitude in meal planning. For starters, there was the salmon pate he was bringing from Alaska, to go with a Port Madison goat cheese and homemade bread. I picked pork belly with lentils as the main event. And not just any local pork belly, of course, but a briny chunk that had marinated in juniper and bay laurel for two weeks, cooked down with a pot of vegetables, and finished in a hot oven. We rounded out the meal with roasted potatoes and a garden salad.

While we ate, we rehashed their visit to Full Circle farms the day before, then discussed local eating on the last frontier — how to cook elk, growing greenhouse tomatoes, how tired they are of chard and kale. Right now carrots and potatoes are the only game in town, Stephanie said, shaking her head. And I thought we’d just finished a record long winter.

Then it was time for dessert, custard with baked rhubarb that I’d recently sampled at my friend Alice’s house, a seasonal dessert that had been otherworldly. Things were on track: the rhubarb came out of the oven mostly sour with a little sweet, and a gorgeous bright magenta. But the custard, which was based on creamy milk from Sea Breeze Farm, wouldn’t thicken for me and in the end we pulled a carton of Double Rainbow ice cream from the freezer. Yeah, that’s Double Rainbow of San Francisco. How to define ‘local’ again?

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