Dear Mr. President,
Tonight a few friends hosted a pot-luck dinner to feature local foods. We bought bread from local bakeries, vegetables and fruit from local farmers, chocolate and beer from local companies. The results were beautiful, and delicious.
I brought zucchini-peppermint-fudge brownies. I've made them before, but tonight they came out better than ever, rich and dark and minty. They're even vegan.
Eating locally in Seattle is probably easier than in other parts of the country. We have plenty of farmer's markets and a tremendous amount of community support that make locally-based choices convenient and even trendy. It's sometimes frustrating when our long rainy season makes it hard to find the produce that, imported, is available-year round. I've just gotten used to waiting all year for decent tomatoes, though, because the first time I had a local heirloom, I was pretty much ruined for the tasteless, hyper-red imitations still stocked in December.
Maybe it's pretentious, but eating food that hasn't been bred for durability during shipping, or disguised by shelf-life-lengthening additives, just tastes better. It gives me a greater appreciation for the people who supply our food and for the way our policies affect them, and also a greater concern for those who live in communities without access to local produce. I hope that this trend is more than just the whim of hipster culture and an indication of a growing commitment to local food. I think the First Family has done an impressive job of encouraging this. The First Lady's anti-obesity campaign has certainly made the connection between fresh, locally-grown food and the health of the community; I hope that tonight's dinner would make her proud.
Seattle is a kind and loving city brownies
Adapted from The Veganomicon's Fudgy Wudgy blueberry brownies, (Named the day a stranger gave me grocery money after my wallet was stolen.)
2 med Zucchini, finely shredded
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 Theo dark-chocolate and mint bars, chopped into small pieces.
Preheat oven to 325 and lightly oil a glass, 9 x 13 baking pan.
Melt chocolate chips or chopped bar over a double broiler, set aside. Combine shredded zucchini, sugar, almond milk, oil, and extracts, mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and slowly combine with liquid mixture. fold in melted chocolate and chopped mint-chocolate bars. Spread into pan, and bake 40 minutes.