Monday, July 23, 2007

One Local Summer Week Five PREVIEW

NB: this is NOT my meal post. That will come later this week. I will not be eating cat, either.

That said, this IS my planning post. I want tomorrow's dinner to be absolutely fantastic, since I'll be cooking for my buddy Marc. I may have mentioned him before. ;-)

Marc, whose family and friends think the "Stew" that comments on his blog a) is a gay man and b) has a crush on Marc (neither of which is true, though I do love him), is a vegetarian and does not like beets. He has requested something with sweet potatoes, greens, cornmeal mush, and whatever else I want.

I can't find a picture of Marc other than the one I posted the other day, so I've included one of his feline pal, Janet. She's a cutie.

OK, so herein lies the conundrum. Remember, Janet is unrelated to this post, other than being cute and representing Marc. I don't want anyone to even come close to thinking that I want to eat her. Of course, if I were not allergic, I'd "eat her up with a spoon" kind of eat her, but, um, I'm not.

Back to the problem. I don't WANT sweet potatoes and polenta and greens. I want tomatoes and corn and, ok, greens. I have fresh mozz I bought this weekend, and I have some gorgeous tomatoes. And feta. And mint. And beans and, and, and....

So. I throw this question out to you. How do I best satisfy these four constraints:
1) Local
2) Comfort food for Marc
3) Taking advantage of seasonal ingredients.
4) Vegetarian

In addition to what I've already mentioned, I have a stockpile of other local things: milk, flour eggs, butter, onions, garlic, herbs, self-rising cornmeal, chard, sorrel, 'maters, canned peaches, various jams, pickles, dried cherries, cantaloupe, blueberries, and probably more that I'm forgetting. Oh. Red wine. And I made some potato salad with all local ingredients yesterday that I could offer up.

In addition, I can do a quick run to Whole Paycheck and pick up buttermilk, cream, and any other basic ingredient that's in season. I'm assuming any sweet potatoes we have access to are from NC, since it's apparently our largest food crop. I'd not put it over on the grocers to order from elsewhere, but dang. If I lived in California and they shipped in, say, Michigan artichokes, I'd be really annoyed.

I don't know what I'm saying. I guess just help me figure out what to do. I have no time between now and then, either.