Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eating Local in Santa Barbara

Since I began writing for Edible Santa Barbara Magazine, the Starlight mice have quietly been keeping tabs on what I'm doing. You can see them here, checking out the Fall issue, which contains my article on local honeybees. (Although they seemed to be more interested in the glob of honey pictured on the cover than in reading my article.)

They were especially curious about why we hadn't assumed, as they do, that all of Santa Barbara is edible... even magazine pages. I had to explain that not being mice, we don't actually try to eat everything we see.

They shrugged and listened as I described the Eat Local Challenge where during the month of October we try to eat only foods grown or raised within 100 miles of home. For example, I pointed out, they themselves are not made from local flour, their chocolate hearts were made from chocolate beans grown in Africa or South America, and their clove eyes might have come from Indonesia or Madagascar--so while they are edible mice, they are not local.

When they realized how little of what is in our pantry comes from within 100 miles, they looked a little hesitant about joining me in eating local. So I offered to take them to the Saturday Farmer's Market to find out what we could get to combine with the fresh vegetables and fruits growing in our own garden. Here's what we brought home.

This is a jar of cold processed San Marcos Farms honey. As you can see, one taste led to another.

We agreed that we should try this Lemon Quark even though it's stretching the 100 mile limit a bit. I've been making my own yogurt using milk from cows in Downey, CA (about 120 miles away)--delivered to us via Trader Joe's . So if we like this, we can try making our own. We thought it would be good with pomegranate seeds from our tree.

We bought this wheat flour from Creekside Apple Ranch/Solvang Pie Company. We're planning to make a garden pizza with this. They sell pasta made from their flour as well.

We brought home a package of capellini and then went out to the garden to pick green beans, pasilla peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes to fix with pasta for dinner.

Even those hungry little mice were satisfied after this dinner, although I won't be surprised if I find a few nibbles on the edges of of my magazine by the end of the month.


khb said...

Love this! And by the way, the magazine is printed with soy inks, much better than chemical inks for hungry mice...

Nancy Oster said...

Ahh, good point. Thanks.