A Locavore Returns Back East from Out West

Last week I was in California for my Grandma Nea’s 97th birthday (she was the first one up dancing at her party–I hope it’s genetic). Here’s a pseudo-artsy pic of what I ate almost every day while I was there:

guac

Avocados and citrus are special occasion foods for me usually since they don’t grow in the Northeast where I live. But while I was in California, I think I made guacamole at least three times.Yeah, I’m a little jealous of some of the produce they can grow locally in their climate. On the other hand, although the berries there looked amazing, they didn’t taste nearly as flavorful as the ones I’d been getting back home.

I was a little jealous again when a woman I met up with at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Market quipped, “Of course we can get everything here.”

I thought about that for a second and replied, “Except maple syrup.”

She conceded that was true, and I stood a little taller.

Avocados aside, the Northeast where I live is blessed with an abundance of delicious local produce. There was still one more thing, though, that I found to be jealous of while I was there. This sign was all over the place at the local supermarket:

local-sign

I look forward to seeing the same at my neighborhood Associated Supermarket soon (probably they’ll start advertising what’s local just to get me to stop bugging them).

Meanwhile, back in New York the tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and raspberries are coming in from my garden. And this week’s CSA share included sweet snow peas, blueberries, and an abundance of cucumbers. I turned some of the cukes into Maple Bread-‘n’-Butter Pickles. They are delicious, mostly flavored with local honey but with just a hint of maple flavor that I put in there to celebrate being back east.

I hope your harvests are bountiful and flavorful.

Here is a photo of me and Grandma Nea on her birthday. Note the black and white bag she’s wearing on her shoulder. I crocheted it for her out of plarn, which is yarn made from plastic bags–a nifty way of recycling them.

neas-97th

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Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes by Leda Meredith



5 responses to “A Locavore Returns Back East from Out West”

  1. acmeplant says:

    Nea looks great! And I bet she was SO happy to have you there. I’m envying the CA citrus right now (as I near the end of the preserved lemons I made in San Jose), so thanks for reminding me about the maple syrup!

  2. valiantmar says:

    Wow Leda sounds like you had a wonderful time!!! hey speaking of Pickles! for the past 3 years I’ve been canning every late summer and fall many georgeous veggies from the larger of our many farmers markets here in Milwaukee. A really good friend of mine got me into it and I just love doing it, although when it’s really hot out it’s not the thing to do, we made that mistake 2 years ago. The house got so hot from all the pots of boiling water and brine as well as all the jars on the table radiating a supernova of heat we couldn’t drink cold beer fast enough LOL! A friend of mine gave me an awesome recipe for refrigerator pickles and they rock!!! I love to make those all year’round with the storebought English Cucumbers and they have a wonderful crunch! Anyway I’m jealous of the amazing avocodos you were eating out west! hehehe Hugs 2 U!
    -Valdemar

  3. valiantmar says:

    It’s Soooooo Simple I couldn’t believe it!!! As Follows: 2Quarts of Water, 2 Quarts of White Vinegar, 1 Cup Canning/Pickling Salt, 3/4 cup Sugar, 1 Garlic clove cut in half, a few sprigs of Dill, a Pinch of Red Pepper flakes, and Cucumbers either in Spears or whole. Boil water, vinegar, salt and sugar and pack all other goodies in clean jars and pour over the brine, cover and let sit till cooled then put in fridge for 24 hours and You’ll have some Amazing Pickles!!!!!! I just hate waiting that 24 hours though lol. Oh and I like to gently rock the jars back and forth every once in a while to distribute the brine all around the jar during the 24 hour waiting period. Enjoy! Hugz!
    ~Valdemar

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