In my book Between a Rock and a Hard Place; Making Choices, I write about the process of making choices. I believe that when we know where we want to go choices become easier to make. The choice we choose doesn’t necessarily become easier, but the decision of choices becomes clearer and thus easier. I chose a few months ago to try out a 50% 100 mile diet. I wanted to eat more locally produced and grown foods and used the 100 mile diet as a road map. And so I planned the menu for a recent get together with my friends around what was available at my local sources.
Starters: Cheese board, artichoke spinach dip, and smoked salmon spread
Dinner: Tandoori beef, tofu and swordfish kebobs, carrot salad, green salad, and naan bread
I was thrilled to find some Willow Marsh cheeses at Four Seasons in Saratoga. Willow Marsh is a Saratoga Country farm that most all the women that weekend know so that was a real local local addition. There is also a Nettle Meadow kunik. I added some cranberry chutney from Dakin Farms and some bourbon barrel aged honey from Pleasant Valley apiary. It was a 100 mile cheese board. The artichoke spinach dip was made with spinach from Fresh Take farm in Granville found at the Glens Falls farm market. That dish is only 25% 100 mile but it does showcase a Spring staple: spinach. I don’t have a picture of the smoked salmon spread unfortunately. Smoked salmon from the fish stand at the Glens Falls farm market and cream cheese, dill and lemon juice came together deliciously. 50% 100 mile and using a favorite from the market. The carrot salad may not look like much but it was a huge hit. Grated locally grown carrots from Glens Falls farm market and a vinaigrette made a tasty and easy 98% 100 mile side dish. The tandoori kebabs were marinated in Green Mountain Creamery yogurt and spices. The tofu and beef were from the supermarket, but the swordfish was purchased from the fish stand at Glens Falls farm market and from the waters off Long Island. The Naan bread was purchased at the grocery store and not local. The green salad was a mixture of salad mix greens and sunflower sprouts from Fresh Take farm purchased at the Glens Falls farm market.
It took me 3 stops over 2 days to shop for everything so the time put in was longer than if I had just gone to the grocery store and gotten everything in one place. But the satisfaction I got over producing a meal for dear friends made from local food was worth the time to me. The choice to plan my time to fit in those 3 stops was an easy one because it matches my desire to be part of growing a larger local food economy. When your Choices = your Values your decisions become easier.