Home Stretch

There are 17 days left of The 250.

Yesterday I led a foraging event for Green Edge. I was teaching more than harvesting, but I did snag a bunch of peppergrass (Lepidium).

Lepidium

When I got home and transferred the peppergrass to a paper bag to dry I had a sense of deja vu: this is where The 250 began almost a year ago. Once I decided to do The 250, I knew I would run out of black pepper (which comes from a vine that grows on the Malabar coast–hardly local!, so I stocked up on peppergrass.

I don’t miss black pepper at all. Neither do I miss sugar, two things I’d thought might be tough to do without in the kitchen. So I won’t be reintroducing them into my diet after The 250 is over. Why would I since I don’t miss them anyway?

I do have a short list of things I probably will restock once The 250 is over: baking powder, soy sauce, cinnamon. But other than that I plan to continue my local foods diet, just not quite as strictly as I have been this past year.

During The 250 I’ve spent time figuring out where to get ingredients and substitutions for ingredients that can’t be produced locally. But for the most part, I’ve been eating so well that it’s almost embarrassing. I was a good cook before I started this adventure, but this has forced me to become a really good cook. Interestingly, my kitchen time has also gotten easier. With ingredients this good, my recipes have gotten simpler and simpler. Fancy sauces would just camouflage great tastes and textures, so why bother?

This isn’t new, but I think it’s worth repeating:

WHY EAT LOCAL? BECAUSE SAVING THE PLANET TASTES GOOD.

At the end of yesterday’s foraging event, I served roasted gingko nuts, daylily dip with cucumber slices, and maple-spicebush dessert bread. All of it disappeared quickly, but the daylily dip was an especially big hit. Only one participant missed the nibbles because he was getting comfortable for a nap in a tree.

Here’s the recipe for the daylily dip:

Daylily Dip

1 quart yogurt

1 tablespoon wild or domesticated garlic

1 teaspoon oil

1/4 cup fresh or dried daylily petals, chopped

salt

1. Line a colander with cheesecloth or paper coffee filters. Place over a bowl or pot. Dump in the yogurt. Refrigerate overnight (if you used coffee filters, please remember that they can be composted).

2. Cook the garlic with the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat until just starting to turn golden.

3. Stir together the drained yogurt, sauteed garlic, daylily petals, and salt to taste. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Get the book: Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes by Leda Meredith (Heliotrope Books, July 2008)

Book reading/signing event in NYC Monday, July 21st

Not sure what this is about? Read Getting Ready for the 250-Mile Diet and The Rules

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