Monday, June 6, 2011

Cheater, cheater non-local food eater.

So, I can definitely see weekends posing a problem. When I decided somewhat on a whim that the Eat Local Challenge would be a cool and educational experience, I guess I was just thinking more about what I cook and not really what I eat when I go out. I have a tight group of friends that I consider family and hanging out with them this weekend totally caught me off guard--I just didn't think about how this would affect those situations. The weekend caught me by surprise and I'll have to plan how to better handle them in the next few weeks.

I got to hang out with one of my very cool girlfriends who wanted to go see the Freret Market around the corner and grab some lunch. She wanted to check out this very cool little uptown cafe, Tartine. I was really curious and wondered if  if there was anything I could eat and just either wing it or not eat anything there or whatever. Of course, when I got there everything looked so delicious...and I cheated...and it was mmm mmm good. I'll say this, cooking every meal myself for 30 days with just local products is completely achievable theoretically...but actually keeping up with my friends and living life and eating only local foods? I just don't think its possible for me without serious planning and awkward social situations.

We also had an engagement party for two of our very cool friends getting hitched this November (for which I will be making a super kick ass groom's cake and I'm totally pumped about it). I at least brought a bottle of local wine for myself and even brought some of the pecan macarons I made, but a dinner that does not make. Had I not already cheated for lunch, I would have felt better about picking at food. When all was said and done, I grabbed some cheese and strawberries but it felt weird not partaking in the food.

Even today, my mom and I went to the Oyster Festival and I grabbed some delicious raw oysters, but pretty much everything else was not doable because of all of the extras that went into the dishes. No poboys, no fried oysters, no Drago's char-grilled Parmesan cheesy goodness. 

It all made me go look at the June calendar when I got home today to see how many outings I have this month. One obvious event is just going to have to be an exception. Weddings are a one time thing (usually) so I'm just not committed enough to a voluntary experiment to not eat at someone's wedding. But there are also multiple other birthday and surprise parties that I'm just going to have to plan in advance to either eat before, bring something with me if I can, or just try my best to stay as local as I can. If I can at least just support local businesses and companies, I think that's just going to have to do for me when those social situations just don't work out to stay with completely 100% locally produced and sourced foods.

When I initially saw the post "This is going to be difficult" on the locavore page, I thought yeah, but not impossible. Well, guess what--it is hard. We're just coming up on week one and I already strayed an entire freaking meal and I imagine as the month stretches out it will either get slightly easier because you've adjusted better or its going to get really really hard to do without the things we take for granted. At least now I really know the things that are going to kill me if I ever get trapped on a deserted island!

Anyway, here's the rundown for Saturday and Sunday:

Day 4, Breakfast: Thank god I finally grabbed some yogurt! This was so refreshing to have just some fresh peaches and Ryal's goat yogurt with a little swirl of honey.

Day 4, Lunch: Cheater alert! I didn't want to take a picture because then there would actually be evidence, but if you get a chance in July, go check out Tartine on Perrier, uptown. The sandwiches were great, the specialty drink of the day was amazing (and has inspired a cocktail idea for the Old New Orleans Rum recipe contest), AND the bread was PERFECT! Just the way good bread should be, crusty on the outside but chewy and delicious on the inside.

Day 4, Dinner: I should have planned the night out better. Wine and macarons for dinner was not a good idea, but this baked sweet potato when I got home at one or two-ish in the morning was great. Even during the rest of the year, it is one of my favorite go-to I really don't feel like cooking quick eats. Baked in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and usually I do some Romano cheese, but to keep it local I used some asiago instead.

Day 5, Breakfast: Did I eat breakfast? Oh that's right, I didn't just coffee and a pint of milk. Sometimes I'm just not a breakfast person.

Day 5, Lunch: Oyster Fest! Mmmm... oysters... need I say more?

Day 5, Dinner: Gator nuggets and sweet potato fries!

Hope everyone else is making it alright!

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