Monday, August 29, 2011

100 Mile Diet: Installment 6

The Two-Weeks-In/Halfway-Through Meal Report

Hello everyone!

I hope your Monday is going well.

Today I wanted to give everyone a little update on how our 100 Mile Diet is going. At our events, many of you seemed to be interested in exactly what Erik and I were going to be eating, so I thought today I'd give you an account of our meals. You'll probably notice that they increase in complexity and overall ability-to-fill-you-stomach-ness. We're getting better...

You might also notice that I don't record lunches. For lunch, usually Erik will take leftovers (I'll take them too if there's enough), and I bring an assemblage of things to make a lunch (typically a piece of bread, some sticks of cheddar, fruit, sometimes a salad). I'm not going to write all of those out since it would take a while and be rather boring. I have had some amazing fruit salads for lunch, though, featuring peaches, plums, figs, and blackberries (all from within 30 miles).

Also, you'll notice breakfasts get repetitive. I've never been one to branch out a lot with my breakfast, so this is normal. Erik doesn't really eat breakfast. The only notable exceptions will be if we make a big brunch, which is really more lunch, and always delicious.

Okay, enough prelude. Sources are in parentheses!

Week One

...was a little rough. We ate a lot of yogurt and toast and eggs.

Monday August 15
B: yogurt (Nancy's) with berries (u-pick), honey (Heavenly Honey), and hazelnuts (Bernard's Farm)
D: lamb sausage (Yamhill), with sauteed greens and fried eggs (friends, friends, butter from Rose Valley)

Tuesday August 16
B: yogurt
D: fried eggs with green bean & basil salad (beans-Dayton, basil-Red Ridge [perk of working there], olive oil-Oregon Olive Mill, wine-Dundee, salt)

Wednesday August 17
B: yogurt, toast (bread-Nature Bake Oregon Grains)
D: green salad with homemade ranch dressing (greens-Dayton, turnips-Mac, yogurt, chives-my balcony, basil-Red Ridge), grilled cheese sandwich with tomato (bread, cheddar-Tillamook, tomatoes-Yamhill)

Thursday August 18
B: fried eggs on toast
D: big green salad with vinaigrette (greens, olive oil, wine [I've been using a dash of wine instead of vinegar in my salad dressings--works well!], salt), antipasti plate (salami-Olympia [not 100 mile, but close-ish and amazing], cheddar, tomatoes-Yamhill)

Friday August 19
B: yogurt with berries and hazelnuts
L*: smashed potatoes (spuds-our garden, butter-Mac), scrambled eggs, sauteed greens
D**: at work

*Erik came home for lunch that day
**I worked a wedding that night and ate not-100-mile food

Saturday August 20
B: yogurt and honey
D***: cowboy beans (beans-Mac, smoked hamhock-Carlton, tomatoes-Yamhill, honey, salt), green salad, mixed berry cobbler (berries-u-pick, flour-Willamette Seed & Grain, butter, salt)

***the start of our yet-to-end cobbler phase

Sunday August 21
B: yogurt with leftover cobbler
D: green salad, lamb sausage & mushrooms with red wine and butter sauce (sausage & mushrooms-Yamhill, wine-Dundee Hills, butter-Mac), cobbler

Week Two

During this week we started being more intentional about making meals. Our routine now is once we're both home from work, we take a little break, and then from 6 to 8 or so, we're in the kitchen cooking and eating. It's a nice routine, and we've made some really delicious meals!

Monday August 22
B: yogurt with honey and berries, eggs
D: chicken breasts and thighs stuffed with white cheddar and basil (chicken-friend, cheddar-Willamette Cheese Co, basil-Red Ridge), green salad with yogurt dressing

Tuesday August 23
B: yogurt with honey
D: oven-roasted drumsticks and wings with garlic-thyme-sage croutons (chicken-friend, garlic-yamhill, olive oil, butter, bread-Nature Bake, herbs-my balcony), roasted green beans (Dayton)

Wednesday August 24
B: yogurt and berries
D: 7-bone beef roast with onions, home fries, roasted filet beans (beef-Scholls, all produce-Scholls), blueberry bars (not 100 mile but tasty!)--Thanks Mom!

Thursday August 25:
B: yogurt with berries, toast
D: Celebration Dinner at Community Plate-- Gaining Ground Farm Mixed Greens with olive oil, ver jus, and hazelnuts. Worden Hill Farm Pork Loin with braised greens, Oregon grits, and cherry sauce. Wine Poached Munoz Farms Peaches with honey roasted hazelnuts and chevre. YUM!

Friday, August 26:
B: yogurt and berries with honey
D: potato latkes (potatoes-our garden, egg, onion-Yamhill, salt, flour), fried eggs, and roasted green beans (friend), 100 mile bread! (I did use dry yeast and salt in it)

Saturday August 27:
B: yogurt and berries with honey
D: tuna steaks! (Newport, cooked in olive oil with salt), fresh corn fritters (corn-Dayton, flour, salt, cheddar, egg), green salad

Sunday August 28:
B: yogurt and berries
D: lentil stew thing with onions, tomatoes and peppers (lentils-Parkdale, produce-all Yamhill, olive oil, wine) & oven-roasted honey-rosemary chicken legs (chicken-Oregon City, honey, salt, butter, and rosemary-friend), cobbler

One interesting development so far in our diet is how we have started eating a lot more meat. It helps to fill you up in a way that all-vegetable meals can't, and it's so readily available! I have both friends and family who raise chicken and beef, and lamb and chicken are also available from local sources at Roth's (and beef, pork, and fresh fish at the Farmer's Market as well). It has added a lot of dimension to our meals, and is helping fill the gap left by convenient carbs.

Another thing we've noticed is how fast things have gotten easier. We've moved beyond the initial "oh god, what am I going to eat?" phase, and instead are taking time to come up with and execute real meals. We've also gotten better at packing away leftovers the night we cook so our lunches are ready for us in the morning. And we've started making dessert, which just makes everybody happier!

So, that's our halfway update! We're going to be leaving town this weekend to visit friends in Boise, and no, we're not going to be doing the 100 mile diet while we're there. We'll keep you posted on how we're doing once we return!
Feel free to leave us questions or comments here on the blog! We'd love to hear from you!


Friday, August 26, 2011


Happy friday all!

I just wanted to write a quick thank you post, now that Slow Food has finished its series of events for the 100 Mile Diet Challenge. Last night's dinner was a great success, and everyone left full and excited about future Slow Food events!
Now, a thank you to those key folks who helped it all happen:

Thank you, Jenny Berg and the McMinnville Public Library for organizing and hosting the first two events in the series. It was awesome partnering with you guys and getting to reach out to folks who didn't necessarily know about Slow Food.

Thank you, Community Plate Restaurant, and especially Scott, Jesse, and Casey. You fed us amazing food and inspired us with your commitment to local food sourcing and preparation. You rock!

Thank you
, Slow Food board members for all of your brainstorming, flier-distributing, article-writing, snack-bringing, and other random helping. You're amazing and this would never have happened without you!

And lastly, I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to all of the community members who came to these events and shared their interest and excitement about local eating with us all! We've been overwhelmed by the turn out at these events and the depth of participation. You are all amazing, and it was so inspiring to chat with you and hear your opinions. This would not have been as cool if you hadn't come!

We hope you'll keep coming back here in the coming months and reading about Beth and Erik's continuing 100 Mile Diet, as well as new Slow Food events for the fall!

We'll see you soon!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Hi everyone,

The dinner is on! It is TONIGHT AT 7PM. Hopefully you made your reservations and I'll see you there!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Hi everyone,

I was originally planning today to write a big, long, fatty post about Erik and my 100 Mile Diet full of anecdotes and confessions. Instead, I received bad news about our last 100 Mile Diet event... needless to say, that has taken precedence. I'll be back soon with a post about how we're doing. For now, please read on:

I wanted to let you know that the final 100 Mile Diet Challenge event, our Celebration Dinner, is currently in jeopardy. We have not yet met the minimum number of reservations for this event! Without reaching that minimum number, this event will not happen.

Here's a reminder of what you're missing:

A 3 course, gourmet meal prepared by Community Plate Restaurant featuring 100 Mile ingredients at a great price: just $25 per person.

Friendly conversation about eating locally and reflection from individuals who have tried eating a 100 Mile Diet here in McMinnville.

A chance to meet and chat with community members who are as interested in local food and eating as you are!

Reservations are required for this event.
You cannot show up at the door and get in. If you've been putting off making your reservations, please don't delay any longer! We really want to share this amazing meal with you.

To make your reservation, call Community Plate Restaurant at 503.687.1902.

Please spread the word to your friends and coworkers and bring someone along!

See you this Thursday!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Celebration Dinner Details!

Hello all!

We're so close! Hopefully you are all in the midst of or starting your two weeks of 100 Mile eating! We can't wait to hear about your experiences. Feel free to post comments here on the blog or email us and share!

As we are also getting uncomfortably close to the end of August, I realized that I had not yet posted information on how to make reservations for our Celebration Dinner event at Community Plate! So here's the deal:

To make your reservation, call Community Plate at 503.687.1902. Tell them you're reserving your spot for the 100 Mile Dinner with Slow Food Yamhill County. Then you're on the list!

Charges for this event will be collected at Community Plate the night of August 25th. It is $25 per plate, drinks are extra.

There are only 50 seats so make your reservation today!

100 Mile Diet: Installment 5

Day One

So I'm back from vacation, recovering from a crazy weekend of work, and guess what? Today is day one of our 100 mile challenge. Guess what else? There is nothing to eat in our house. Okay, that's not totally true. There are potatoes and beets and honey and bread. Therefore, first 100 mile breakfast is toast (I just wasn't up to beets before 9 am). I did want to impress you all with my 100 mile cooking prowess, but this is the reality of it: I'll probably be eating a lot of toast. (The bread is awesome by the way: Nature Bake Oregon Grains Bread, using grains from the Willamette Valley Seed and Grain Project. I got it at Harvest Fresh!)

Erik and I had once last pint and burger last night, and now we've arrived: one month on 100 mile food. Really, as we discussed over dinner last night, we already do pretty well on this front. The only food in our kitchen that is really illegal for this challenge is our fall-back food: dried pasta, beans of unknown origin, and those meals out when we're too lazy to cook. Mostly we do pretty well. Because of that, I'm not freaking out about this month any more: I'm really pretty excited. I am intrigued to see how I'll do with baking when I only have eggs and sourdough as leavening. I'm curious as to how many salad-and-egg meals we'll have. And how many potatoes we'll eat.

For those of you who have read Plenty, you might remember J.B. and Alisa talking about being hungry for the first few weeks of their 100 mile diet (and about how many potatoes they ate). After all, when you're used to carbo-loading with huge bowls of pasta on a regular basis, salad and other vegetable-based meals will leave you with some pangs. Erik and I are resigned to this fact. The real challenge will be resisting the last remnants of easy food that are in our kitchen or on our fridge shelves. Since we're only doing this for a month, we thought it would be best not to let ourselves have that "anything still in the kitchen is fair game" clause. Especially since I tend to stock up on staples, that would mean this month would be far from a challenge: we'd just coast through and clean out the pantry in the process. Instead, I (the cook), and Erik (the meal police), will do our utmost to remain honest and not sneak mustard or ketchup or secretly boil that last bag of pasta shells because we got home late from work.

Today we're going grocery shopping, and to our sadly neglected garden row, to restock our kitchen for the week. We'll let you know how we do.


Monday, August 1, 2011

100 Mile Diet: Installment 4

Let's Be Reasonable

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the month of the 100 Mile Diet challenge! Somehow it is already August, the kick off event has already happened (thank you to everyone who came!), and it's time to get down to business.

Initially Erik and I had planned to do our 100 Mile Diet for the month of August--the first through the thirty first. Then life got a little wacky, and suddenly there were two family trips taking up the first two weeks of the month. Not that we're complaining--it's time away in the summer, after all--but our 100 Mile Diet plans seemed a little out of touch. Because of that, we've decided to start our 100 Mile Diet in a couple of weeks, after all of the traveling is done. Check back in with us as we start officially on August 14th.

This little scheduling episode is a perfect example of what I have come to call the "let's be reasonable" phenomenon. Packing all 100 Mile backpacking food? Probably not reasonable. Not eating local cheese because the cultures used to make it aren't local? Probably not reasonable. Driving to the Pacific Ocean to lug seawater home and evaporate your own salt? Probably not reasonable.

This 100 Mile thing can get out of hand really quick! I really admire Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon (authors of Plenty), because although they were very strict with their 100 Mile Diet, they managed to avoid being absurd or unreasonable. They used the salt they had in their cupboards. They ate out on occasion. They happily ate out of season, processed, or otherwise off-limits foods when they were prepared by friends and family. They were reasonable. They weren't rude. They didn't preach to other people about their personal eating choices. And this is a hard thing to do when you are passionate about an issue.

Angelina Williamson, who spoke for us at the kick-off event, also touched on this issue of being reasonable in her presentation. Her son, for example, is an extremely picky eater. As she said, "letting my kid starve was not an option." Also, going without coffee was not an option (not worth the migraines). At the opening of her talk she put up a slide with a list of items she allowed herself that did not fit the 100 mile criteria. Among them were: baking soda, salt, spices, coffee, and vinegar. Oh, right. Basic things: leavening, flavor, preservative qualities, sanity-offering qualities. She also mentioned that these are all items that have been traded for a really, really long time now. At some point the argument that these few luxury items, ones that are consumed in relatively small quantity, are destroying our food systems and our planet rings a little hollow. Even folks living in the frontier west would get oranges once a year. (Did you read the Little House on the Prairie series? I did.) They bought salt and probably a few spices. These were things available long before apples were flown in from New Zealand or the Amazon rainforest began to be razed to plant soybeans. Seems reasonable to allow a few of them to squeak through the kitchen hazing process.

At what point does the "let's be reasonable" argument kick in for you? Would you be willing to deny yourself salt or spices in the name of eating a 100% 100 mile diet? Or would you be content to work harder to source staples from within that 100 miles--grains, beans, meat, produce, milk--and to cook more of your food yourself rather than reaching for a box, and let a few favorite spices stay in the cupboard? Would you prep and dry 100 mile backpacking meals to feed five people for four days, or would you go to Winco and buy your once or twice a year packets of Ramen noodles? Let me know what you think in the comments, and share with us what you think is reasonable to do as you plan for or start your 100 Mile Diet.

Talk to you all soon,