by Sarah Andert
Taking stock of my most recent meals, I see both success and near-failure. My local dinner last night was lovely: sautéed okra and squash from the farmers market over rice (seasoned with herbs from the beginning of our container garden) paired with some slices of sizzling andouille loaf by Schexnayders Acadian Foods, also from the market. Pretty light and healthy, very satisfying.
My breakfast this morning, however, was not so good. Im realizing that an entirely local breakfast may be the most challenging meal of the day and will require a well stocked fridge and getting up more than 15 minutes before I have to leave for work.
Yesterday I had a nice tidy breakfast of figs and blueberries, also from the farmers market you really need to get some fresh figs right now but I did polish off my supply, and forgot to go to the market on Broadway in the Riverbend yesterday to stock up for more.
Thinking I could go to Rouses and at least find something local to eat for breakfast, I was very disappointed. Im not sure what the deal is, but the only local produce I could identify were Louisiana creole tomatoes and sweet potatoes, and watermelons from Florida. Needless to say, I wasnt going to buy a watermelon to take to work.
The cherries with an unlabeled-Who-Knows-Where-They-Came-From-USA sticker made me salivate. Im also wondering why were still getting California strawberries from Driscolls is strawberry season officially over here? If CA can grow them year round why cant we?
And another thing its still blueberry season here. So why are Rouses conventional blueberries coming from North Carolina? Hm
So heres what I purchased at Rouses and why:
1. French Market Coffee, 12 oz can for 5.99: they roast their beans locally, I can recycle the can, and at 5.99 Ill get several more cups for the price than the rate I pay at Café Rose, which I believe is now at 2.09 for a medium dark roast.
2. CCs breakfast blend, 12 oz for 6.99: bought this to see which brand I prefer more.
3. Dixie Crystal sugar (a medium-sized bag, Id guess 2lbs) for 2.99: the package said they're from Texas but a cursory google search turned up some bad news (see link) will research more later. Dominos package said New York? Curious to me because having moved here from Minnesota, I always thought it was a Southern Brand
4. Smith Creamery half and half, 2.39: Smith Creamery is a family owned and operated fourth generation dairy farm from Mt. Hermon. They offer whole, fat free and chocolate milk, as well as butter, creole cream cheese, half and half, and more! You can find them at other grocers and the farmers market.
5. Abita Rootbeer, 6 pack, $4.39: To fortify myself against office vending machine cravings and its cheaper than the $6 bucks it would take to purchase cokes from them.
6. Hubigs lemon pie, .99: the only thing I could find I could easily eat for breakfast from Rouses (they didnt have any local yogurt this week, and in fact were in the process of throwing away more than FIFTY containers of expired conventionally processed, big brand name yogurt cups while I was there)
- and even though I dont know where the ingredients in hubigs are coming from, the bakery is a block from my house and they dont use high fructose corn syprup- points for Hubigs!
A pretty hefty grocery bill at 24.08 after tax, but there are some staples in there that will last a few weeks.
Needless to say Im hungry. This is going to take a lot more planning to do it right. I guess thats what Slow Foods all about. If Justin Pitts is at the market this week, Ill be be hunting him down for fresh bacon and eggs.
Oh, and I had a cucumber for lunch.