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I challenge you! to e-e-e-e-eat LOCAL!!

I’m HOMEEE!!! Finally, finally, FINALLY back in the little town of Northvale. And let me tell you, it never felt so good to be here in Jersey.

I just finished eating with my family at one of our favorite Korean-sushi restaurants in town, and now I’m sitting in MY room, typing this out. Wow… I love how everything’s stayed almost EXACTLY the same.

Well, I did promise you guys that I’d catch up on all the stuff that’s been backing up in my hard drive, so I thought I might as well get to it. This is something that happened about 2 weeks ago?

I’m sorry.

BUT MOVING ON, Bon Appétit (the food-serving company for Hamilton College) organized a day in late September called the “Eat Local Challenge.”

While I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “challenge,” this is a really cool event organized by the company. For one meal, Bon Appétit closed down the McEwen cafeteria and held an extended lunch outside on the lawn, featuring local ingredients all in-season and within a 150 miles of the school. What a concept, right? This was a fabulous, beautiful even with LOTS of good food and I really think it’s stuff like this that raises student awareness about the things they eat.

I was there since the morning and watched them set up everything. Wow, kudos to these guys because this event took A LOT of work, just for the decor alone.

 

pumpkins... lotsa pumpkins

 

 

deciding how to set up the produce

 

 

pretty corn

 

 

unloading boxes of stuff from a truck sent by the local orchard

 

 

stuff like bunches and bunches of delicious grapes

 

 

and apples

 

 

a LOT of apples

 

All of the decorations celebrated the fall harvest, so there were lots of apples, grapes, winter squash, corn, and mums.

 

the finished walkway

 

 

a cascade of squash!

 

 

the challenge sign. yes, i do feel challenged.

 

 

a scarecrow. it intimidates me.

 

 

pumpkins, mums, and little children.

 

 

tapping into a barrel o' cider

 

 

and setting up the salad bar

 

 

almost done!

 

Then the menus (with the ingredient lists!) were brought out. And that’s when I started salivating.

While taking pictures of all the hard-working people (and drool-inducing signs), I spied something in the distance.

It looked like a train.

 

hahaa, don't you love the guy's pose?

 

WHOA.

 

smokey..

 

The chef operating the massive, black, train-like bit of machinery was a smoker. You know, which would explain the huge amounts of smoke being expelled from the chimney thing.

 

into the belly of the beast

 

And what was he gonna smoke?

Hmm…

Now, what have you got there sir?

Huge hunks of pork, that’s what. Hunks of pork that will be barbecued by getting slowly infused with the sweet smoke of cherry and apple woodchips, turning into…

 

holy.

 

 

moly.

 

 

shagoly.

 

Hey, wipe that drool off your face because let me tell you, this pork tasted as good as it looks. Perfectly smokey, crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside meataliciousness. I somehow limited myself to 2 slices. That’s probably the strongest my willpower’s ever been.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say the pork was probably the most popular dish of the meal. But that doesn’t mean the other food wasn’t good either – in fact, it was all excellent.

 

SQUASH <3

 

 

salad prep

 

 

with 2 types of vinaigrettes

 

 

maple-roasted turkey

 

 

hindside, in all its crispy-skinned glory

 

 

corn griddle cakes

 

 

buttered corn on the cob

 

 

roasted potatoes

 

 

with a huge block of cheese for nomming

 

 

and apple cider to drink

 

 

and regardless of what the barrel says, this is not whiskey. it is cider. CIDER, I TELL YOU.

 

I don’t know how anyone else felt, but I wasn’t expecting such a fabulous spread. Wow, the food was delicious. Not only that, but the atmosphere was great too – it was a time for mingling and feasting, with everyone enjoying the amazing weather with platefuls of amazing food.

 

students standing in line ever so patiently

 

 

good food and good conversation

 

It was a long, leisurely lunchtime with people going and coming as they wished. The “Eat Local Challenge” was all about enjoying the bountiful harvests of fall in our NY region, and really, what else can you ask for? I heard kids saying that this was the best food they’ve eaten on campus, and I can hardly wait to see what it’s going to be like next year.

So that sums up my huge recap of the Eat Local Challenge. Whew, blogging is tough work. And now I’m just pooped enough for bed. MY bed, that is. Because after a month and a half of college, I’m finally home with my family in the tiny little town of Northvale.

Ah.

There really is no place like home.

Good night, all :)

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “I challenge you! to e-e-e-e-eat LOCAL!!

  1. This title is sooo nerdy, hahhaha. Love it.
    Love the butter and the corn on the cob… Looks absolutely deliciousss.

    Posted by Brooke | October 14, 2010, 9:23 am
  2. Fabulous! Great pictures! I did the Eat Local Challenge and am trying to incorporate the concept into my daily life.

    Posted by Lisa Ruminski | October 15, 2010, 2:27 pm

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