What We Eat: Pancakes and Soup

January 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Rob Gardner

Make that soup and pancakes.  We had the soup and then the pancakes.  I promised the other day that I would chronicle more the Local Family family life.  Last week in discussing the lack of a local eat local system in Illinois, I said that the Local Family, at least, had an eat local system.  Oh really, I was asked.  Show us.  Show us how you do it to help enable others to do it.  So, now the secret is out, eating local means soup and pancakes.

Eating local is kooky.  Not the idea of having your food produced locally.  There is nothing kooky about reducing food miles, buying from farmer’s who care, supporting your community and eating better tasting food.  No, eat local is kooky because it leads to meals of soup and pancakes.  Even when farmer’s markets are at their most bountiful, when CSA boxes come filled to the brim, it requires kooky efforts to eat local.  I mean that flour for the pancakes.  Where did that come from?  You have to track it down somewhere, probably not somewhere close, hardly ever at your closest farmer’s market.  Then, we get to the winter and you want to make parsnip soup.  Whatever winter market you can find, within 100 miles of your home, you won’t find the parsnips.  Hopefully you find some in your root cellar (as is).

The kooky thing about eating local is how little control you can have over your meals.  Sure, we eat with the seasons.  We eat asparagus daily for around that time; rotate our fruit bowl from strawberries to cherries, peaches to pears and finally there are apples.  When it is hot it’s platter salads; when it’s cold, we hunker down with meat.  That’s hardly kooky.  What’s kooky is parsnip soup and pancakes.  Eating what happens to be around.  Not just what is in season but what is unfrozen or easy to prepare.  I mean when it came time for dinner last night were we going to eat any of the beets or winter squash around.  It would have been quite kooky to wait the period for the beets to roast, nor did the Local Mom have the gusto in her to tackle a thick skin squash.  Eating local is a balancing act.

Dinner Tuesday night, we drank bowls of soup made with parsnips purchased last November at the Lincoln Square Farmer’s Market, thickened with beans purchased in their home state of Michigan.  Nichol’s Farm shallots, purchased some time over the summer, added some bite and Herbally Yours hot sauce rounded out the flavor.  Then we had pancakes made with local eggs (Downtown Farmstand) and local milk (Farmer’s All Natural Creamery).  I know the butter, flour and maple syrup were local but I cannot tell you the exact origin–I’ll do better as I continue this post more project.

I’m not quite sure dinner on Wednesday, but I know it will be kooky. 

**Click on “Previous entry in category” to see what the Local Family’s Food System looks like**