Go to fullsize image My good buddy over at Big Binder tagged me to take the “Eat Local Challenge” for one meal.  I admit I was a procrastinator.  I thought about it a lot.  Almost obsessively.  Almost to the point of self destruction.  Well, not really that much.  I was simply having a hard time thinking of something to make with lots of fresh veggies and local fare that everybody in my picky pants family would want to eat. 

I had a sudden revelation on Wednesday night about this predicament.  Why does eating local have to be such a big deal?  Why does it have to be a fancy dinner that requires a ton of time and effort?  I don’t think it does.  It didn’t say anything about having to spend hours slaving over the hot stove to prepare a four course flavor explosion of gourmetness (I know.  I just invented that word I think.) for the eat local challenge.  So, I hitched up my pants and headed out to the favorite local store for some local grub.

Here’s my local dish.  It’s nice.  It’s easy.  It’s family friendly.

I made Hamburgers.  That’s right I hopped on over to Heffron Farms where they sell high quality meats that are hormone free.  I grabbed some ground beef and a little cheese to go on those soon to be tasty patties.  Our household loves a great hamburger fresh off the grill.

I then swung by another locally owned business for the fixins, Horrocks.  Tomatos were on sale this week.  Grown in Michigan and tasty fresh.  There was also a great sale on squash.  I grabbed a couple of those to make babyfood with later.  I finished off my produce selection with a bag of Michigan potatos, green beans, and some onions.

I then cruised through the “adult beverages” section and snagged Tomas’ favorite local brew, Bell’s “Oberon”.  You must stop by Bell’s if you ever go to Kalamazoo.  Fun and Yum, wrapped into one.  I was feeling in a wine mood, so I selected a fine white produced by one of my favorite wineries up north, Good Harbor Vineyards in Lake Leelanau, Michigan.  If you ever go there, pick up a few bottles of Harbor Red for me.  I can not find it at any store and it’s one of the best reds I have tasted for the price. 

I couldn’t forget the appeteasers and selected a container of Garden Fresh Gourmet Original Hummus (made in Ferndale, Michigan) and some Pita Chips also made by Garden Fresh.  Those were for my enjoyment.  Nobody else in my humble abode likes hummus.  I know, it’s hard to believe that anyone could not like something so yummy and easy to eat.  I had a container of “Jack’s Special Salsa” by Garden Fresh that I purchased at Costco for cheap ninetynine a couple days before.  Tomas loves this salsa and so do I.  It tastes so fresh and has just the right amount of fire for us (Garden Fresh has won several awards for their great salsas).  Although, Jack’s Salsa does not compete with the salsa that comes out of Big Binder’s kitchen.   The Costco brand tortilla chips are made in Seattle, Washington, so I couldn’t count those as local but close enough (not really close at all).  By the way, if you can picture the Horrock’s store that I shop at you can see how I did one really fast loop and easily grabbed these local products.

Once home, I prepped the burgers and potatos with onions while grazing on the locally made appeteasers and drinking some wine.  Tomas fired up the grill and in twenty minutes we had a great meal for the entire family.  Grilled hamburgers, potatos and onions grilled in foil packets, steamed green beans, and drinks (the boys had milk from Bareman’s Dairy).  We decided that since it was such a special meal, dessert was in order.  I grabbed the big vat of Hudsonville Icecream (made in my hometown of Holland, MI) that Sam’s Club now carries from our freezer and some strawberries that I had picked and frozen at a local farm this past spring.  Whalaa!  Strawberries and icecream!

That’s all it took to make a great family meal from local products.  I will definitely seek out more options for our favorite foods.  I think if I read labels and do a little research, it would be easy to do a local meal regularly.  Sweet and simple that’s how I like it.  “Oh yes, what about Gret’s dinner?”, you may be thinking.  You can’t get anymore local than her.  She drank some delicious milk produced right on site by me, the person who fretted for days about this local challenge for nothing.

If you are interested in eating local, please check out this website.  There are many, many reasons why you and your community would benefit from this very simple act.  Eating local is also a very simple way to incorporate going green into your home and we all know that I am all about that!  Thanks Big Binder for forcing me to broaden my views by making me stay local.

Ooh, Ooh, I also just had the thought that this could be a post for “Feed Me Friday” per my new calendar (it would help if I followed it once in a while) for Tweenie’s Greenies.  Two for the price of one!  Aren’t I a lucky little girl!

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