Marty Heller and Amanda Kik were asked to talk about local food with Grand Valley State University students at Northwestern Michigan College's University Center. The class was inspired by Marty's keynote at the recent Great Lakes Bioneers Conference.
It was an interesting discussion that ranged from the theoretical to the practical. They will put these ideas into action with a week of local eating.
One of the issues that bubbled up was that eating locally is about more than just food; it is also a meaningful way to connect with people and build community. With this in mind, the students in the class are planning a potluck and a MySpace page.
There were some concerns about eating locally this time of year, which inspired me to put together the following list of recipes for yummy potluck-able dishes.
Borscht: I make this without the beef and beef broth, but if you'd like to include it, find a local source, like Shetler's.
Spanish Tortilla: This is the basic recipe, but you can use any vegetables that are in season, like kale and parsnips.
Roasted Root Vegetables: Throw in any root vegetables you like; this is my favorite dish this time of year.
Baked Acorn Squash: To make this recipe local, leave out the brown sugar and just use maple syrup or honey. And of course, you'll also want to make your own...
Butter: I rarely buy butter these days. Making it at home is so easy (if you have a mixer) and it tastes so good.
Bring along some local wine and fresh cider, and you've got yourself a potluck.