And we ate well too.
Team Cambridge competed in the Locavore Banquet on Sunday September 14th. What is a locavore? One who eats food produced locally. The idea was to see which of the three Energy Smackdown teams (Arlington, Cambridge, and Medford) could put together the best meal for twenty people that resulted in the lowest carbon footprint possible.
Our Mid Eastern themed menu consisted of:
Herb roasted marinated chicken breast.
Felafel with beet raita.
Zucchini(sauteed) stacks layered with roasted red peppers and onion with a roasted red pepper puree.
Baba ganoosh with toasted pita.
Heirloom tomato and Armenian cucumber salad with basil.
Roasted acorn squash soup seasoned with curry and garnished with fried sage and fried garlic slivers using a half squash as the bowl.
Our beverage was chilled cold pressed concord grape juice. Made the day before by my family and me from grapes picked fresh right here in East Cambridge on the street formerly known as Vine.
For dessert we served spiced pears poached in mulled wine drizzled with a sweet red wine reduction and garnished with a torched meringue puff.
And we didn't even win! We was robbed! But who cares. Arlington won by a nose. It was a great meal and a good time was had by all. Everyone got to try everything, great prizes were awarded, (we came in second with our soup, but Arlington's #1 raspberry sorbet was really great) and even a celiac like me was able to enjoy almost every dish.
This exercise allowed us to explore local resources and really think about how to make everyday experiences, (such as eating, one of my favorites) as environmentally friendly as possible. Another benefit is that this way our food dollars help the local economy. Local farms do better, they can pay their mortgages and their banks can make more money available to local businesses and homeowners and others. There is still a month or two left for the farmer's markets, so please go your local one and see what they have to offer. You can find a listing of them at Massachusetts Farmers Markets 2008.
You may want to check into joining a CSA too. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and is a way to buy a share in a local farm's yearly harvest. More info is available at Local Harvest. We have done this for the last decade or more and really like the result. Lots of really good, really fresh, local organic produce every week for the top half of the year. Currently we are members of members of Heirloom Harvest Farm .
A good portion of the food served was grown in our gardens too. These days the savings of growing your own food can really help.