Tuesday, January 27, 2015

a few thoughts on seasonal and local eating

I'm a definite foodie. I love cooking, utilizing new and old recipes, making up delicious dishes, looking at food photos on Instagram, reading any and all kinds of cooking blogs, and just enjoying the experience of eating. I have not found a cuisine I don't like, and I'm willing to try most things once. I have worked on developing my palate as I've gone through life, and it has been a most enriching experience. Sympathizing with picky eaters is not something I'm good at.

Along with all the cooking goes grocery shopping, gardening, and food preservation. I am not a huge fan of the shopping, though the produce section always makes me happy, especially when the selection is good and fresh. I know, I'm weird. I love gardening and food preservation, but I haven't done much of either on my own yet. Goals for the year! ;)

My favorite grocery shopping is when I can go to farmers markets. The photos I see of large markets in other cities gives me a heady feeling. Seasonal and local eating is where it's at, folks, I think as I purchase juicy tomatoes, a braid of onions, and multiple pounds of luscious strawberries. I don't need to eat tomatoes or strawberries in the middle of winter; summer is the time for them.

But the thing is, we have to be careful not to turn seasonal and local eating into a chore or a law. We are fortunate to live in an age where we can enjoy fresh fruits and veggies all year long, no matter what your climate. And let's face it, we might not even know what a kiwi or a coconut is if not for global transit. That's a blessing. I find it odd that so many of the folks who advocate for seasonal and local eating are also those who consume coconut oil almost religiously, not to mention the oodles of grains and superfoods from other continents. Those two things really can't reconcile.

So enjoy eating seasonally and locally, but if you want fresh strawberries when there's two feet of snow on the ground, I say go for it! They may be from California or South America or whatever and you may live in upper Michigan, but really who cares? It's not the end of the world.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy New Year. A bit late.

New year, new goals. Resolutions are made, only to be broken within hours of the turning of the year. Seems like a new year ought to be a good time for a fresh start, no matter what your goals, but it's understandably difficult in the middle of winter, which is where most of us are at this present moment. Nothing says "wrap up in a blanket and watch Netflix" like cold and snow. But I digress.

Have you made a list of goals for 2015? Is it actually doable? Lists are great, but if they aren't actually achievable, then you'd probably be better off without a list. I have generally made a list of goals that ends up being on the unattainable side, so this year I'm taking a bit of a different approach. I do have a few year-long goals, but I also intend to assess separate goals for each month. This breaks the year down, and also I think it'll be easier to have season-specific goals listed during that season. Writing about summer plans and/or goals in the dead of winter is just not how I roll. I appreciate each season for what it is, and besides I actually like winter.

That being said, here are my January goals/plans, in no particular order.

  • Conquer clutter and put away Christmas decorations.
  • Bake a cranberry pie.
  • Learn a new piano piece.
  • Watch all ten seasons of Friends. (I'm on season 4, so this really is plausible haha.)
  • Sew a tree skirt (to use next year and beyond) from leftover wedding dress fabric.


As for my year-long goals, here are a couple.

  • Read at least 25 books. (I know I can read more than that, but more about my reading plans will be on my book blog soon.)
  • Train to be able to run a 5K. (I was doing this last year but stress fractures ruin things.)
  • Sew at least one project a month on my new sewing machine.