ELC Guest Blogger: Kelly from Mass.

Thirty-seven-year-old Kelly Griffin lives in Westborough, Mass., a small town about 30 miles west of Boston. She works in the neighboring town of Malborough as a data administrator for Hologic, a global women's health care company. This week, while her boyfriend is traveling, Griffin is flying solo as an ELCer, but based on her report, below, it looks like she is eating mighty fine in New England.


ELC guest blogger Kelly Griffin. (Family photo)

In light of the recent tomato salmonella scare, it was very easy to commit to the Eat Local Challenge. However, for me, there are two big hurdles to eating locally. The first is that I live in the Northeast and we are not blessed with a year-round growing season. The second is that I am the senior data administrator for a women's healthcare company. The kick off for the ELC was smack in the midst of our database re-launch and I have been working late nights and weekends. Being that busy, it would be easier to just pop over to the chain grocery store one mile from my house and get something quick. Instead I was very excited to head out this weekend to stock up for the week ahead.

The first and easiest local item was eggs. My father and stepmother live about 25 miles from me and have a small flock of chickens which lay great eggs. My other favorite local item is goat cheese. The farm (CrystalBrook Farm in Leominster, Mass.) is one mile from my Dad's house and has a phenomenal lemon and lavender goat cheese. I use that for a quick pasta dinner. I cook rotini pasta until al dente and drain it, reserving some of the cooking liquid. I put the pasta back in the warm pot and add a chunk of the goat cheese. The heat of the pasta melts the goat cheese to coat. If it's too thick, use the pasta water to thin. I throw in a bunch of lemon thyme from my patio and serve.

In addition to eggs and goat cheese, the other items I picked up were honey, lettuce, Swiss chard, milk, beets, tomatoes, zucchini, corn on the cob, herbs, baby spinach, arugula, yellow squash and cucumbers. I got my items for this week from several farm stands near my home so it took a little extra time than my normal shopping but it was much more fun and definitely worth it. I would miss citrus, tea, olive oil, kosher salt, avocados and nectarines if I could only eat locally. I love to bake and would really be stuck without vanilla extract, flour, and sugar.

After this experience I really do see myself continuing to try to incorporate more local items. It was great to know where my food came from and I am excited to go home after work and have items on hand for quick and very healthy meals. I plan to join my local CSA next year and definitely will keep making the effort to support my local farmers.

--Kelly Griffin

Coming up later this week: ELC kitchen adventures from Alison in Dallas, Tex., and Claire from Auburn, Ala.

Today is chat day: Join me and the other ELCers today at noon ET for What's Cooking.

By Kim ODonnel |  July 22, 2008; 7:00 AM ET Eat Local Challenge
Previous: The Eat Local Challenge Has Begun! | Next: Chat Leftovers: Breakfast Tea Party, Snap Bean Nibbling

Comments

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At the mention of flour, I thought of King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont. According to Google Maps, Norwich is 150 miles from Westborough. That's nearly local.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 10:52 AM

Unfortunately, King Arthur flour is not actually grown in Vermont. (I'm in New Hampshire, and I've also been looking for local grains to no avail...)

Posted by: Kat with a K | July 22, 2008 11:28 AM

Kat with a K - true, it may not be a "local" product through and through, but you could count it as a "regional" one. The raw materials are imported, but the final King Arthur product takes less fuel to get to you than, say, to a consumer in California buying KA flour.

"Regional" is another tool that can be used when selecting goods and products. I try to keep my buying of things to those that are manufactured on the east coast if I have a choice.

Posted by: Centre of Nowhere | July 22, 2008 1:17 PM

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