A group of people from Mississippi Market Co-op in St. Paul, MN decided to take the Eat Local America Challenge and this is what happened.
Monday, June 16, 2008
When I began the process of more consciously eating locally, I imagined that there would be several hurdles to overcome. I had considered the potential difficulty & frustration surrounding finding the right ingredients, or their analogues. I had realized that I wouldn't be able to snack much at work (free leftovers make up an alarming ratio of my daily food consumption). As I've mentioned, I prepared to spend more on my food in general. Actually cooking the food wasn't such a big deal; I'd been a long-time professional cook, previous to working at the Market, & I already cooked about 75% of my own meals at home, mostly from scratch.
However, there's a big difference between 75% & 99%. By cutting out prepared items almost entirely, & without the option to just order in when I don't feel like cooking, I found myself face to face with an old enemy...
I really, really get tired of washing dishes. My first serious kitchen job was as a dishwasher at an Irish-themed pub. I'd get into work in the afternoon to find corned beef encrusted hotel pans stacked 6-7 feet high, & keep going until 2 in the morning. When I'd get home, I'd refuse to do my own dirty dishes, on principle. Sometimes, disgusted friends would wash them for me. More often, they'd just sit & fester, smelling increasingly sinisterly sweet as various molds formed & tiny civilizations rose & fell, until I couldn't take it anymore & furiously washed them. Quite regularly, I'd just throw a bunch of them out.
So, here I am years later, staring at piles of bewitched dishes that reappear as soon as I wash them. Breakfast means a pile of dishes. Lunch, an addition to that pile. Dinner means washing the previous dishes & then dirtying at least half of them before they're even dry.
If there is one thing that derails my attempts to eat locally this Summer, it probably won't be the virtual ban on pasta, nor the allure of a late night meximelt (tm). It will be the tedium of washing all these damn dishes.