Dark Days: Done!

Posted by Anita on 04.07.08 4:22 PM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**I think it’s safe to say that by any objective measure, Dark Days are well behind us here in San Francisco. Asparagus has been on the farm tables for a month, strawberries made their Ferry Plaza debut this Saturday, and — hooray! — the first pasture-raised chicken of 2008 made its way into our bag (and our bellies) yesterday.

Spring has indeed sprung. And with the dawning of a new season comes the end of the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge.

I know you probably won’t be shocked to hear that April 1 didn’t look a whole lot different in our kitchen than March 31. We’re not going to stop hunting down locally produced foods just because we aren’t documenting every last morsel, after all. Three of the last five dinners we’ve eaten have been made with 100% local ingredients, so I think we’re safely launched down this particular path.

And for that, I owe huge debt to Laura — for dreaming up Dark Days, for hosting the weekly roundups last fall, and for extending the challenge into 2008 when we all clamored for more. I can only imagine how she manages her own blog and handles her roundups of every Dark Days blogger in the country, all while moving onto her new farm, raising a new brood of chicks, and working a full-time job. (Honestly, I’m exhausted just thinking about it…) I know in my heart that we’d never have dug as deep into our food chain if it hadn’t been for the thrill of the challenge, and knowing we had a built-in audience of Dark Days participants who would share our excitement.

Although we’ll stop with our periodic Dark Days wrap-ups, you haven’t heard the last of our locavore ways. In fact, I had high hopes of debuting a new “Bay Area Pantry” page this weekend, showcasing all the products we’ve found that are grown or produced within our foodshed radius. The good news is that it’s 90% ready; the bad news is that time ran out on me, and the final Dark Days roundup must go on, with or without me. I still need to add some links, photos, and section headings, but I’ll let you know when the pantry is fit for public consumption.

In the meantime: Here’s to spring — Let the asparagus-gorging begin!

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

Dark Days Ticker — March 16-31
- Dark Days dinners at home: 9 out of 16
- Locavore dining-out: Mōno, O Izakaya, Marin Sun Farms butcher shop / tour lunch
- New recipes: Reuben sandwiches, feta-stuffed lamb burgers, English muffin bread
- Old faves: Not-Spam and Eggs, choucroute garnie, gumbo, beef stew, Thai beef salad
- Freezer fodder: A16 meatballs, beef stew, Mamster’s carnitas, pasta bolognese

New local items in the pantry:
Middle Eastern Baking lavash (Millbrae)
Hamati pita (San Bruno)
Sconehenge English muffins (Berkeley)
brined goat feta (Petaluma)
Fatted Calf sauerkraut, andouille, bockwurst, pastrami (Napa)
Marin Sun Farms slab bacon (Point Reyes)
Alexander Valley Gourmet sauerkraut

cooking, Dark Days challenge, locavore, other blogs



Comment by Kim

I’ve really enjoyed “getting to know” you and your blog through Dark Days! Your meals and yummy food resources are inspiring.

Posted on 04.07.08 at 4:37PM

Comment by Denise and Lenny

I am bummed we never got a chance to officially par-take in this. Had all intentions but always forgot to blog about it. Like you we will continue our local shopping as much as possible!! Love the asparagus shot!

Posted on 04.07.08 at 4:39PM

Comment by Gillian

I’m trying not to be jealous that you have asparagus and strawberries on your local plate ALREADY! It’s still dark days for us locavores up in Ontario. Don’t worry – there’s still lots of frozen local goods in my freezer, but I can’t wait to taste FRESH again.

love the blog!

Posted on 04.08.08 at 6:26AM

Comment by Tartelette

I can find local strawberries…and a country’s worth..woohoo!!! A “bay Area Pantry” page is a great idea, that way I can make notes of things to get when I come this way (one day!). Re- pancetta Reuben: that was my old chef’s sandwich, without mayo, and it was so good, but yes I agree, an artery killing machine!!
You did fabulous on the Dark Days challenges and I really enjoyed your posts!

Posted on 04.08.08 at 5:14PM

Comment by julia

I discovered your blog over the summer and it’s been really inspiring to read about your locavore adventures. It’s motivated me to think more deeply about where my food comes from.

Posted on 04.10.08 at 11:49PM

Comment by robin

Congratulations on finishing the challenge. I’ve had a lot of fun reading about it—and the fatted calf might just be the reason I move to the west coast!

Posted on 04.12.08 at 6:31AM

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