Monday, January 01, 2007

Local Winter in Wisconsin

As expected, buying locally has been tougher as Winter has grown in strength. We've slowly used up the last of our local preserves. We're on our last bit of frozen applesauce, the frozen veggies are gone, and we're down to the last of frozen sauce, strawberry preserves, and apple butter. My last batch of jelly turned out not to have jelled properly, despite passing all tests to the contrary. Ah, well. At the markets, we slowly watched our favorites dissapear. One week spinach was gone, then onions. Our local potatoes have gotten smaller and smaller and are now about the size of golf balls. The last time I hit the Farmer's Market, we found some broccoli, and sweet potatoes, but our favorite Feta Artisan was gone, and there were no greens to be found. After finding more local produce at Whole Foods than at that trip to the market, I gave up on the market and have gone to seeking out local exclusively at Whole Foods. So far we've been able to reliably get cabbage and leeks that are local and organic. Last time we were there the produce manager hinted that the bag of local organic potatoes we'd found would be the last, and our local carrots were gone. Local mushrooms are gone from the Farmer's Market, and hit-and-miss at Whole Foods. Still, we've done our best to use what local is available. We still have some squash hanging in from the harvesting season, though I think we all got squashed out during the Late Fall. Leek and Potato soup is a big favorite, and we've been trying to come up with new ways to use cabbage. Tonight I made a red cabbage stir fry, with a good dose of fresh ginger to ward off the coughs that seem to be lingering everywhere. It was a great splash of color and flavor in the midst of Winter. Keep an eye out, you may be able to find some unexpected local produce in your neck of the woods.


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