Daily Challenge: Grill Local Meats and Veggies
Food of the Day: Watermelon
Day 3 of the NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge coincided with Labor Day: A day that the rich and privileged get to take off while celebrating the rest of us who have to work! I wanted to take the day off, but it wasn’t practical. Neither was the Daily Challenge: Grill local meats and vegetables. Yes, I have access to a grill, a change I sometimes embrace since moving to Brooklyn (I had no outdoor space in Manhattan). I can pull my grill into our overgrown backyard and battle the mosquitoes or I can go across the street and sit in the beautiful community garden and grill there… while battling the mosquitoes. Okay, the mosquitoes are an excuse, but I wasn’t feeling up to grilling yesterday. It’s not the same as having a backyard with a proper patio and grill. It’s often more hassle than the payoff of fresh-grilled food is worth.
I also had an issue with the FotD: Watermelon. I’m not a big fruit person. In part this has to do with my daughter’s allergies and in part because I’m not much for sweets (back in my pre-locavore days, I would choose to eat grapefruit over an orange, for example). If I’m going to go “sweet,” it would be dark chocolate. That said, I’m kinda rocking the fact that my vegetable CSA—also new, having joined it post-move—has been including melon in my weekly share. We had a watermelon roughly four weeks ago, and I’ve had two cantaloupes taking up space in my fridge for the past three to five weeks. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to buy a watermelon when I have two perfectly good cantaloupes in my fridge already.
I attempted to make a cantaloupe soup (in the food processor, blend: 1/2 large cantaloupe, 1 cup yogurt, pinch of salt, T honey, chopped mint + basil to taste). It was okay, but the kids couldn’t/wouldn’t eat it. I put the leftovers in a Bell jar for later. Dinner was local pulled pork (my equivalent of BBQ) plus veggies from my CSA: corn on the cob and braised cabbage (in local butter) with (local) bacon bits.
Where I Soared: Can’t say it was a day of soaring. I could have grilled (I have grilled corn and I had some local sausage that I would have thrown over the charcoal), and I could have bought a watermelon. Not my best effort, all in all, although taking a chance on Cantaloupe Yogurt Soup might earn me a point or two.
Where I Sunk: Pretty much everywhere in tiny ways. I had small substitutes here and there: non-local vinegar on the cabbage, olive oil, resuming my morning cocktail of cranberry juice and flax seed (neither local). Not huge digressions, but nothing was “kosher,” as they say.
My Grade: Gonna go with a B-; I wasn’t “bad” per se, but it was not a particularly strong effort in sticking to the plan.