Alrighty folks, the “Local Thirty” is T-minus 4 days away. It’s time to sharpen those kitchen knives, clear out the fridge, eat all the non-local things that are taking up space in the cupboards and make room for the local bounty. And heck–if you aren’t participating in this challenge, no worries–the recipes coming your way will still be flavorful and delicious!
I’m still working on my final list of resources and will finalize my 10 “cheats” by the weekend (thanks to a lot of you, I was able to find some local ingredients for some of my cheats!) With all that, I wanted to post where we’re at in preparing for next month with only a few days to go.
As of now, we’re trying to dedicate Sunday afternoons to hitting the road and exploring our region. The goal (for us) is to meet new farmers, producers and folks contributing to our tiny corner of the world. So Taylor, Henry and I hitch up the trailer and head out for scenic drives on the weekend.
Last weekend we headed out to Grass Valley, OR and got to see first hand where the beef (that we’ve been eating for over 6 years now) comes from. On the way to the ranch we swung by the Wasco County Fair. We had a roping lesson, saw some awesome mechanic bull rides, and ate as much caramel corn as we could stomach (when in Rome right?) We eventually made our way to the ranch and got to share a few cold beers and eat some delicious burgers with our favorite local rancher. We even got to drive over to the different pastures and see his operation. It was such a memorable day and we feel so fortunate to live in a place where folks are raising and growing amazing food. Obviously, through this local journey, I know we won’t get to meet every single producer that’s putting food on our table, but I want to meet as many folks as we can.
Sourcing local ingredients (mainly staples) has been a scavenger hunt for sure, but it’s actually turning out to be the best part of this challenge. Thanks to so many friends and strangers alike, we’re finding gems in our neck of the woods that we never knew existed.
A lovely instagram pal led me to a local olive oil company that’s 100 percent from Oregon Olives. I didn’t have time this past week to go down and see the folks who own Calamity Hill but my amazing mom offered to go pick up a few bottles for me. She was able to me the owners–Tom and Marion– and had a great time. This is honestly what I love so much about the local thirty so far. Team work is making this all so much more doable. Thanks Lauren for the tip on the oil and thanks mom for driving out to the orchard and picking it up!
Folks keep asking me what my last day of eating is going to look like before the challenge starts. Ironically, the 31st of August is my birthday so I’m going to indulge in things I know I’ll miss the most. It’ll be a long harvest day at the farm for the farmers market on Saturday but I’m going to start the day off with a cardamom roll from the White Salmon Bakery. (if you live in the area and haven’t had one yet stop what you’re doing right now and head over!) while we’re at the bakery I’m going to pick up bread to make BTL’s for lunch at the farm. Dinner is going to be at Huntington’s Steak House in Klickitat because it’s been a tradition for the past few years and it’s the best. I’ll probably have a little chocolate that day too. But honestly, aside from going 30 days not being able to indulge in a cardamom roll from my favorite bakery, I’m so ready for this 30 day challenge. I think we’re as ready as we can be!
I know meal prep on the weekends will be key. Breakfasts will be simple for the week. Lot’s of veggie scrambles– fruit, yogurt and nut bowls–and fried egg and bacon sourdough toasts. I think lunches will consist of using leftovers from dinner but probably a lot of hearty salads. I want to make big batches of dressings/sauces at the beginning of the week to make lunch as easy as possible. Dinners will be casual too. Grilled steaks, lots of veggies, and big hearty stews. I’ll be posting a lot of our daily meals on Instagram but will continue to post once a week on here with actual recipes.
The heart and soul of this challenge is to get to know a little bit more about where we live, who our neighbors are and of course, to sit around the table with friends and strangers alike and enjoy a simple meal.
So cheers to everyone who is joining us in this challenge. So far we’ve got folks from New York, Montana, California, Michigan, North Carolina, Washington, Idaho, Florida, Texas and even Australia! It’s unbelievable to see so many folks wanting to explore their local food shed.
Also, thank you to everyone who is using the hashtag #LocalThirty on instagram. Some of you have already started the challenge and it’s been fun following along. If you want to follow other folks’ experience you can do so with the #LocalThirty hashtag.
Alrighty folks, I’ll be back on Sunday with a recipe and final list of resources! Have a great week everyone.