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eG Foodblog: phlawless - La Vida Local


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Good Morning, All...

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It's me, phlawless, and I'm here in Durham NC. I haven't been much of a poster on the boards, so this blog is an exercise not only in recording my attempt to eat within 100 miles of my home (more about this in a minute), but also so I can get more comfortable with writing about and documenting my life as it pertains to food.

Now, when I say that, understand that the majority of my waking hours are spent thinking, planning, purchasing, organizing, handling, preparing, and yes, finally eating, food. I have been in the 'business' for a dozen years or more and have recently taken a bit of a sabbatical from restaurant life as I have a 15 month old daughter now, and am only doing a bit of work out of my home. I thought motherhood might distract me from my food obsession, but I find myself with a bit more time and energy to read, experiment and cook than I did before M came along. Plus, the added challenge of feeding a toddler is one that is surprisingly enjoyable.

As for the subject of this blog, a couple of years ago some kids from San Francisco got some press for this, and I thought I might give it a shot. If you go to the link read the details, the national challenge is supposed to happen in May. Well, I had a lot going on then, and also July here in the southeast is brimming with fantastic produce. So you all will witness the first week of feeding myself, my partner, and my daughter for the entire month eating local as possible.

I still am a bit green when it comes to posting photos, so I'll get those up in a bit from this morning.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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What a terrific blog theme, phlawless! I can't wait to hear more. I pass on to you these virtual blogging necessities: a camera battery (fully charged) and an extra dose of energy. :biggrin: Have a great week!

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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This should give you an idea of the area that I will be working with. I plan on getting all my proteins, dairy, and produce within this circle. Spices, and some dry goods will be the only totally non-local things that I'll be using with any regularity. There are some exceptions of course, and whether or not these are 'legal' within the rules of the challenge is debatable. Here is my list of deviations:

-seafood

the NC coast is just beyond the 100 mile radius, and though we don't eat lots of fish, I didn't want

to exclude it

-olive oil

This is that primary fat that I use, and though I love pork fat and butter, which I can get locally, I

have a waist that I'd like to keep

-citrus

no real replacement here, but I plan to buy organic

-coffee

I will be using local roasters for the coffee

-wine, liquor

though I've sampled a few of the local wines, they aren't really all that good...and I can't give up

Campari!

(map illustration courtesy of Chuck)

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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What a terrific blog theme, phlawless!  I can't wait to hear more.  I pass on to you these virtual blogging necessities:  a camera battery (fully charged) and an extra dose of energy.  :biggrin: Have a great week!

thanks Lori...

I have to admit that I am not totally thrilled following such a fantastic blog!

the camera battery has already died...I might have to go pick up a spare

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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when M wakes up, she needs to eat immediately... so she had some canteloupe first thing

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while that kept her busy, Chuck and I started our day with this:

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The beans come from Cup A Joe in Raleigh. When I was in college, I lived right behind the shop and have become addicted to their roasting style. A lot of folks think they take the beans a bit too far, but I love them that way.

The milk is from Maple View Dairy.

M went on to her real breakfast:

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yellow grits from Lindley Mills in Graham, yogurt I made from Maple View milk, blackberries I picked from down the street, and sorghum syrup from Kentucky.

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yummy!

Chuck and I then had our own:

(please excuse the fuzzy photo)

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eggs from Latta's in Hillsborough, a tomato from a neighbor's garden, garlic and russian fingerling potatoes from the Durham Farmer's Market, and Neese's sausage. Neese's isn't a small producer, but they make really fantastic breakfast sausage, and they are based in Greensboro.

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the pepper relish came from the Raleigh FM and Texas Pete is made in Winston Salem.

We were out of town this week end, and will post photos that are food related later today. But I have some serious errands to run today to track down ingredients for the week.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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So no bananas this week?

What a fantastic theme for your food blog!  I am really looking forward to this, phlawless.

tell me about it...there are crazy amounts of berries now, and this seems to work well as a snack. In terms of eating, M is pretty good. But I will need some other snack ideas. Basically whatever I can produce from local ingredients I will, i.e. crackers, chips, etc. But bananas and avocados have been a consistent fall back when we've had a busy day or I am too beat to prepare a 'meal' for her.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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Wow, what a wonderful idea for a blog. So is this the first time you are doing this 100-mile thing? I seem to remember reading something about it here on eGullet.

I am very interested how you will manage this week. I don't think I could do it!

Oh and .... very cute baby girl! (and cute blogger, too :smile: )

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Is Chuck your hubby?

He's a very good illustrator.

(Wilmington, NC, at the east end of I-40, sticks in my head because it figured in an historical essay I read once that argued that the reign of Jim Crow in the South was not inevitable, using Wilmington--whose main institutions and public facilities were thoroughly integrated throughout the post-Civil War 19th century--as a counterexample.)

What sort of seafood do North Carolina fishermen catch?

Good luck with your weeklong effort to eat "close to home."

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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As a Chapel Hillian, I'm excited to read this blog and learn

more about eating locally.

Great pictures of your dd and her breakfast!

I love that map illustrating your 100 mi radius.

Who drew it?

Query: any soybean producers within the 100 mi radius?

What's a tofu lover to do?

:smile:

Milagai

Edited by Milagai (log)
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M went on to her real breakfast:

gallery_8173_3122_68237.jpg

yellow grits from Lindley Mills in Graham, yogurt I made from Maple View milk, blackberries I picked from down the street, and sorghum syrup from Kentucky.

We were out of town this week end, and will post photos that are food related later today. But I have some serious errands to run today to track down ingredients for the week.

Your cute avatar/daughter's breakfast really appeals to me, too! Never had sorghum syrup; it would be honey around here or maple syrup from afar.

Toddler snacks in the US tend to be Cheerios, toasted frozen waffles and bananas--I hadn't thought about this issue!

No rush at all, PLEASE don't try to answer or address these all at once, but here are a few things that your food blog inspires me to ask:

1) Have you had any time to read the thread about Whole Foods & Michael Pollan and think about the issues it raises? Given M's age, I kind of suspect that Pollan's new book is not something you've had time for. However, its subject is very much related to your quest this week. Given the demographics of Research Triangle, I just figure you must have several Whole Foods stores.

2) Was your interest in local foods peaked by your professional experience?

3) I see you were away for the weekend, so didn't have a chance to shop at your town's farmer's market. Are there other options during the week where you can buy food directly from farmers?

4) Given Durham's historical relationship to the tobacco industry, do you know if there are farmers in the area who have switched from tobacco crops to other forms of agriculture? I don't know how close those farms were to the industrial centers, though.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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As a fellow North Carolinian, I am really looking forward to seeing what you are able to source locally. As a fellow mother of a little one, I am curious as to how you manage to get so much cooking done when your hands are so full--mine is far from walking age and I already have a hard time getting things done in the kitchen!

And here I was, about to suggest you get grits from the Old Guilford Mill, whn I see you got yours from Lindley Mills.

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What a wonderful theme for a blog, phlawless! I love the picture of your daughter eating her healthy breakfast. :smile:

Question for the 100-mile theme--this means that you won't be able to use many of the processed products in the grocery store. Does this mean you'll be baking your own bread with locally-milled flour? Or buying from a local bakery? Just wondering how "strict" the rules are...I think the project is very interesting.

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Just got back from an afternoon of getting the local goods...I spent the better part of the afternoon shopping and I only got what I needed for a few days!

Phew. I'm relieved to see that you won't be giving up Campari. I cannot imagine summer in NC (or anywhere, for that matter) without regular, large, cold Campari and sodas.

I think I might start my holiday early with a negroni...

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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What to go, Ph!!!! This should be a great blog, as phlawless is a great cook. I've had the pleasure of shopping, cooking and eating with her, and we're all in for a treat.

Why don't you come over with the family on Saturday, and I'll help you with this little endeavor?

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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The FM in Raleigh is open 7 days a week, so that was our first stop of the day. They have a seafood restaurant on the grounds, pretty much straight up Calabash style, and we needed some lunch:

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chuck and I shared a medium shrimp plate:

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chuck double-dipping:

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we then headed to the actual market:

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I usually shop for food about 3 times a week, but attempting to get as much local goods as possible takes a lot of planning and running around. After the FM, I hit the Raleigh Whole Foods for dairy and cheese, and a couple of non-food items. (No pictures, but if you all insist I can get some at another time).

I wanted to get some butter made in Guilford County but only knew of one shop that carried it, by this time M had had enough errands, so I'll get that later in the week.

Here is a shot of all the local loot:

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now to think about dinner.

I've got some purple hulled peas that I got on Saturday...not sure what else yet.

M will have some butter beans with scrambled eggs and fresh mozzarella from Chapel Hill Creamery that I got at the Durham FM.

Edited by phlawless (log)

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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I've got some purple hulled peas that I got on Saturday...not sure what else yet.

The purple hulled peas from these parts are awesome. We're in pea heaven right now, with butter beans, crowders, purple hulled peas, and others all available at the Raleigh Farmers Market.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I appreciate all of your encouragement and enthusiasm! This is turning out to be more difficult than I originally thought...I'll get to your questions and discuss a bit more about the challenges after M goes to bed.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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This is really interesting. Welcome to eG foodblogging. It's not as easy at it may appear, so we all appreciate your time, especially with a little one. The photos are great. Thanks to you and Chuck!

I had never heard of purple peas before.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Wow, what a wonderful idea for a blog. So is this the first time you are doing this 100-mile thing? I seem to remember reading something about it here on eGullet.

I am very interested how you will manage this week. I don't think I could do it!

Oh and .... very cute baby girl! (and cute blogger, too  :smile: )

thanks chufi...this is the first time I have tried to have the majority of my diet fall within the 100 mile 'radius'. When I was working I got a lot of exposure to local farmer's and producers, and it was much easier for me access those products: they all delivered to the restaurant! Now that I'm out of the commercial kitchen, I have to find these things myself...which is a lot more work.

Is Chuck your hubby?

He's a very good illustrator.

(Wilmington, NC, at the east end of I-40, sticks in my head because it figured in an historical essay I read once that argued that the reign of Jim Crow in the South was not inevitable, using Wilmington--whose main institutions and public facilities were thoroughly integrated throughout the post-Civil War 19th century--as a counterexample.)

What sort of seafood do North Carolina fishermen catch?

Good luck with your weeklong effort to eat "close to home."

Chuck used to draw maps for mountain bike guide books, so he jumped at the chance to help.

As a Chapel Hillian, I'm excited to read this blog and learn

more about eating locally. 

Great pictures of your dd and her breakfast! 

I love that map illustrating your 100 mi radius.

Who drew it?

Query:  any soybean producers within the 100 mi radius?

What's a tofu lover to do?

:smile:

Milagai

this I don't know, Milagai...personally I'm not a fan of tofu or beancurd so I've never tried to source it.

Edited by phlawless (log)

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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Probably too late for tonight's dinner, but I like field peas and aromatics as a bed for grilled fish, or cooked then served chilled with tomatoes, tangy cheese and herbs. YUMMY! Still waiting on our local crowders to show up in the FM here.

I think you might be putting an extra hatchmark in the plus column of our continual debate over leaving Maryland for RTP.

Edited by bavila (log)

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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this I don't know, Milagai...personally I'm not a fan of tofu or beancurd so I've never tried to source it.

that's too bad. i googled from curiosity and

soybeans aplenty grown in nc. not sure about

the journey from the bean to the curd....

any beans / lentils on yr local list?

milagai

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