So I am, once again, reading Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (and her family). I’m reading it while the bread rises and my wife grinds down some shoe leather and I drink tea by the window given that I have the chance.
I could be doing other things but, frankly, it’s Saturday, and I don’t wanna. So there.
My wife said to me, all of about 15 minutes ago, that she wished we had “something fun to eat”. I don’t blame her. Even thought (maybe especially since) the comment is probably brought on by crashing blood sugar, rather than bordom. We spent most of the afternoon chasing down a particular kind of metal rod for a shoe-repair project, and it took three hours and two trips across town, rather than 30 minutes and a walk down the street (as had been originally expected).
But I also don’t blame her because, honestly, the irritating thing about trying to eat Locally and In Season – apart from the cost – is the lack of variety.
I am so bored of hardy greens and tomatoes. And tomatoes aren’t even really In Season, I just mean local hydroponically-grown ones from Suntech.
I like dark leafy greens. I like broccoli and asparagus (I have yet to find local broccoli at my grocery stores or at the (one) farmer’s market I’ve been to since they started opening for the season, and asparagus is never cheap anywhere). I even like hydroponic roma tomatoes. And what I’m day-dreaming about isn’t even out of season (so maybe I’m not actually kvetching about seasonality here?)
Right now, what I want is “summer food”: Barbicued bone-in chicken thighs with Rhubarbicue Sauce and, possibly weirdly, a really huge salad. It’s remarkably close to what I was craving after a month spent in Hungary (where, apparently, cooking directly over fire is, like, so two centuries ago).
Seriously. I’m looking up directions on how to oven-broil a burger due to a lack of BBQ in my life. (On the plus side, it doesn’t look too difficult, so YAY).
This is, I guess, another one of the things that one has to learn if one is going to Eat Local. I learned how to incorporate cabbage and other super-hardy greens into my cooking so that, during the deepest part of winter, I wouldn’t be relying entirely on the frozen-foods section of the grocery store for the veggies portion of my diet. Now it seems that I need to do the same thing with the pre-mid-July fare available in my area.
So. What’s available in my area right now? In theory? Damn near everything. I look at the Foodland Ontario Availability Guide and am mildly amazed, after the relatively limited options of April and May, by the variety available. But what’s available in Ottawa is not going to be nearly the same as what’s available in, say, London (where the growing season kicks off about three weeks earlier than ours does), and I can’t help wondering where all the Ottawa Valley Snap Beans and similar are hiding, if they’re around at all.
With all that in mind – because this is such a wise decision – I’m off to the grocery store (again) to pick up groceries for the week.
Meliad the Birch Maiden
 Which, honestly, probably isn’t that different from the average down-town grocery store price. Of the farmers’ markets I’ve been to, the free-run eggs from Becking Poultry cost *less* than the PC version available at the grocery store (by about $0.25/dozen), the ground cherries cost significantly more (and are under-ripe), and the leafy greens and radishes are… a bit on the pricy side by dollar, but I’m not sure what that works out to per 100 grams since I only *looked* at that market, I didn’t buy anything.
 I went to the Preston Street Farmers’ Market today. Reviews, from previous years, kind of prepared me for what to expect, but I was still surprised at exactly how little actual groceries were available. There was hot sauce, there was jam, that were even jewelry and soap and furniture available. There were a couple of places selling prepared foods (“Farmer’s Breakfast” – rather like a Diner Breakfast, as it happens, though I definitely understand why – and cupcakes and miniature pies), but there was literally only one stall selling produce. Which was really disappointing.
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