Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Localvore to a....

Well, I can't say T, but I'm pretty close. I've been even more local than I was in Austin, which is quite shocking, considering all ATX has to offer. (Confession: I spent a lot of time at Whole Foods and Central Market.) But here in North Carolina, I live off of food stands, the garden, and almost all organic staples on a budget no less.
Now I can't say that I've stuck to the budget always. It is really hard when you read Tastespotting and food magazines all the time because most of the stuff isn't local to my area. For example, I haven't bought an avocado in months because they are expensive due to "surging" gas prices. Maybe with this lower gas prices, food prices will go back down with it.
But even if prices do go down, I don't think I'll buy things that have made the trek from South America here. I just can't bring myself to buy those things anymore. Yes, I love asparagus in the winter, but a) it doesn't taste the same and b) I just made a huge carbon footprint. I'm not trying to rant or lecture, just opinionating.
And trust me it is really hard for me to stick to this whole localvore thing come winter. I can only eat cabbage so much. However, this year, I have learned the art of canning, pickling and freezing. Oh and what wonders have they brought me.
I now know how to can tomatoes (not as difficult as it seems), make pickles, and freeze squash. I am becoming Miss Martha Stewart almost. Never in my years would I imagine doing the things I've learned this summer, but it just makes me realize how easy things are to store for later. Yes, its not easy, but invite friends, make a party and can or freeze. Trust me come winter, I'll be having my canned tomatoes in my tomato sauce. Oh and my salsa!
I made and canned tomato salsa! Which is a feat in itself! It taste sooo good and it's spicy. Only one habenero, but my god does it leave the tingly sensation in your mouth. Next on my list is canning barbecue sauce made with garden grown tomatoes! Yum!

Spicy Salsa
1-1.5 pounds of tomatoes
1 habenero
1/2 medium onion
1 medium to large anaheim pepper
2 garlic cloves
salt, pepper, cumin

Blend vegetables together or chop for chunky salsa. Reduce for a hour on the stove to heat it up. Pour into sterilized jar and place in waterbath for 15-20 minutes. Make sure that you hear the pop, which means the jar is sealed. If it is not sealed pour salsa back into sauce pan, sterilize another jar and lid, place in water bath once again.
Seems so hard, but it is super simple!


kat said...

I think its best to do what you can. we joined a csa this year so we can get local vegetables. problem is when you live in a place like MN you have no choice if you want green veggie sin the winter

Esi said...

This salsa sounds great and I fully agree that it is best to eat locally and in season, but if you can't, canning, preserving and pickling on your own is a wonderful alternative!

kelly said...

Yum! I'm always looking for ways to use those beautiful tomatoes at the market. This sounds delicious.

Adventures in MetroLand said...

Asparagus in the winter? Um i do believe someone finished Omnivore's dilemma....:P

Deborah said...

I have a ton of tomatoes from the garden this year, so I was planning on canning a lot. I hear a lot about the risk of salmonella when you can tomatoes, but my mom has been doing it for years and has never had a problem. How much salsa does this one recipe make?

Big Boys Oven said...

I like this as it looks simply and yet will salsa me!

chefectomy said...

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for visiting my blog earlier this month. My first visit to yours and it definitely has soul. I love your clam dish below, that looks amazing.