The Diaper Diaries

but hopefully not full of crap

The Eat Local Challenge September 16, 2007

Filed under: Food,Meme — thediaperdiaries @ 9:52 pm

eat-local.png I have been tagged and fulfilled the challenge. Tonight the Diaper Diary Family ate a meal nearly entirely made from foods made within a 100 mile radius of home. Because I am more of a “follow a recipe exactly with no deviation whatsoever” person and the hubby is more of a “whatever is in the fridge at any given moment would combine perfectly to make a yummy meal” person, I elected that he make the meal. He impressed me with a delicious meal and even threw in some local Michigan wine. So the hubby will be guest blogging today!!! This is good for 2 reasons. 1) The Emmy’s are on and my blog post might accidently start talking about what Sandra Oh is wearing. 2) I have developed a bad cold, took cold medicine and drank some wine so it is even more likely my blog post will make little sense (what else is new you say).

So without futher ado…….The HUBBY!

Thank you, thank you. I’ve finally gotten control of the laptop for an evening, and all it took was an offer to blog on behalf of the Mrs.

This was a fun challenge, to cook a complete meal with little or no (primary) ingredients from beyond 100 miles. Going into this, I decided – either in an effort to keep this realistic, or more possibly due to my own Sunday afternoon inertia – to simply go to one supermarket and not shop at mutiple places for a single meal.

I went to Horrocks here in Grand Rapids, and asked the staff where to find local selections of produce and meat. They told me to look for Michigan items on the signage, and it soon became obvious that I’d have some good produce options and very few meat options. I opted for some chicken from Northern Indiana, which is, as my grandpa used to say, “purt-near” the 100 mile mark. I also opted for the following items from Michigan: squash, fresh oregano, misc. fruit, honey, and some local root beer for fun. I also grabbed a few green peppers from our garden in the backyard (the garden consists of three pepper plants). 

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I chose what I could find and had to figure out from there what I might make. I landed on an Oregano-Pepper Chicken main dish, honey-baked squash, and a fresh fruit salad. Here’s how I made each:

The chicken was marinated for an hour in a combination of fresh chopped oregano (about four tablespoons, but I wish I would have thrown even more in), extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), kosher salt and corsely-ground pepper.

While that was marinating, I chopped up both types of squash – acorn and butternut – into inch cubes. I put them in a large baking dish, again with EVOO, kosher salt and pepper. I also threw in about two tablespoons of dried cranberries from the pantry (not from Michgan – sorry). I popped it into the oven at 350 for an hour.                              

While that baked, I prepared the fruit salad. When it comes to fruit, I’m not a fan of messing with what God made… the art is in finding the right combination. We had Michigan granny smith apples, blueberries and peaches, which are magnificent. On a side note, Michigan is third, only to California and Florida, in agricultural output and second, after California, for diversity of output. I love this state… plus we’ve got the greatest pro-hockey team on earth… but I digress…

For the chicken, I used a cast iron skillet, which is a great thing to have around. I put in a generous tablespoon EVOO, let it get nice and hot, and put in the chicken for 1 minute on each side to get them a little browned. Then I put chopped green peppers underneath the chicken breasts and put the whole thing in the oven next to the squash. Twenty minutes later, everything was ready. 

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I took the squash out, and drizzled a fair amount of honey over the top. I’m guessing I used about three tablespoons, and applied it as one would chocolate syrup on ice cream.

I dished it all up, and poured the wine. Michigan has some outstanding wines. In particular, Michigan has some fantastic reisling and gewurztraminer grapes, as we have a very similar climate to the same regions of Germany where these orginiated. I chose Leelanau Celars Late-Harvest Reisling. Even for a dry-wine fan, it’s a delicious wine that paired very well with this entree.

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I thought it turned out great. I would have liked to put some crushed red pepper into the chicken to accent the green peppers and ground black pepper. The squash, though, was perfect. All in all, I had a lot of fun with this whole thing… back to the Mrs.

Thank you dear hubby. Isn’t he great? He is also about to embark on a blog of his own. More on that in a future edition.

Now, I am to tag 2 more bloggers to attempt to make a meal with the same challenge. I am tagging my friend Anne over at Anne’s Asylum who could probably make a meal from her garden alone. I will also tag SAHMmy Says which my husband has just informed me has the most agricultural outpout in the country. Should be easy for you then. Are you up for the challenge? If so, blog about your results (or pass it off to your hubby) and pass the challenge on.

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4 Responses to “The Eat Local Challenge”

  1. Char Says:

    Our meal is up too. Way to go Hubs though……not much for the chicken being vegetarian, but the squash sounds absolutely delish! And fruit salad to top it off…YUM! How did the kids do with the meal?

  2. bigbinder Says:

    You did an AWESOME job; I am so very impressed and so happy I am about crying. South Haven, Michigan is one of the biggest cranberry producers in the world so I wouldn’t be suprised if they might even be from there and distributed by a company somewhere else.
    Thank you SO MUCH for participating in this, I’m glad you enjoyed yourselves!

  3. Summer Says:

    That meal looks delicious!!

  4. adventuremom Says:

    Wow, someone is lucky to have a hubby that cooks more than hamburger helper 🙂 Nice writing hubby! Good luck with the blog.


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