Dark Days - Coda

I've been mulling over the end of the project this week.  It's good to think about what, if any, of my habits have changed in the last 19 (or 20?) weeks.  Here's one of them:

I make my own flour tortillas almost all the time now, and they're even round most of the time!

It's a little thing, but tortillas are one of those convenience items that I find myself debating at the grocery store.  We read the labels and so many of them are loaded with tons of odd ingredients, when really, this simple flatbread should just be flour, water, and some kind of fat (lard, oil).  And truly, fresh homemade tortillas are so much better! Pasta is the same way, we can now crank out (bad pun) a batch of fresh pasta in a half hour or less, and it doesn't seem like a lot more effort than opening a box.

I also think that purchasing more (and often more expensive) local foods has made me better at meal planning and not wasting food.  We now will get a half-chicken from the farmers market, and easily get two meals out of it, plus broth for a third.  This also means I find us eating more beef and pork, as it seems like for the cost per pound I can stretch sausage or bacon as a flavoring a lot farther than I can a chicken breast.

Meals are improvised more often now.  I'm using recipes less, and don't stress over a missing ingredient that I used to think I had to have.  And I don't think I'm missing anything, just simplifying a bit and willing to wait for the right season for the perfect incarnation of a favorite dish.

Mostly, I think I've realized that I'm pretty comfortable with the level of local foods we're eating.  The challenge does have me sourcing a few more foods, and I'm much more in the habit of hitting our winter market on the weekends.  But I know that this is an ongoing process, that I will keep growing more food and trying out new products, and I'm not going to stress about the items I can't find yet.  My goals are eating healthy, and supporting our farmers and food-producers in the area.  For me it's not really about having a certain percentage of my diet originating from a set distance.  And I know that my main goals have a side affect of benefiting the environment and our local economy.

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  1. I've made tortillas, but they are one of those things that I haven't gotten into a habit of yet. I'll make them for a meal, but my little vegetarian eats them daily for snacks, lunches, dinners . . . I'd be making them every day. I'll need to make a giant batch and freeze them so she can grab one when she wants it. Mine are never that round though.

  2. I just clicked through to your blog from Urban Hennery and I'm mighty impressed (not least of all by that amazing looking bread and pizza in your last post)!

    I gather that you're in Wisconsin and I'm hoping that you're in the Madison area, since you mentioned buying lard a couple posts back. I've been looking for good lard since moving back to Madison, and was hoping you would share your source. Thanks!

  3. Thanks and Hello.

    Pecatonica Valley Farm sells lard at the Dane County Market.


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