Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Dinner 3

Last night we had our third annual Earth Dinner. These dinners, founded by Organic Valley, are a wonderful way to celebrate local, organic, and sustainable foods. It's always fun to try to plan a local dinner in April here in Wisconsin. Some years I wish Earth Dinner would wait until July when things are in full swing! As I've come to learn though, there's more available than one might think. I started yesterday with a rare solo trip to the Madison Farmer's Market. It was the first day of the open air market this year. What a wonderful thing! It was great to see some of our favorite vendors back, and our winter vendors with a much bigger selection. I got lettuce, spinach, radishes, potatoes, beautiful flowers (hyacinths, daffodils, freesia), honey and grass-fed-goat organic feta.

Our menu: Vegetable Lasanga with Farmer's Market Spinach Organic Valley cottage cheese and eggs, homemade pasta; Tossed Salad (all local); Rolls made with Organic Valley eggs; Roasted Heirloom Baby Potatoes from the Farmer's Market; Pear-Applesauce, brought by our neighbors and made from their own pears; Chocolate Chip Cookies brought by our neighbors made with their own maple syrup; wine brought by our friends, from a local winery; pasta salad brought by our friends. I also made a key-lime cheesecake with Organic Valley cream cheese and eggs. The limes came from my fruit angel, so they were quite local for her. It was a sumptous feast (that somehow managed to get eaten amidst the 6 children under 5 that were chaos personified and a complete joy)!

We celebrated last night with two families new to our lives, one from our church and another from just around the corner. It was great to celebrate this event together. I put out our Earth Day cards (pictured above) but the conversation was so lively, they went untouched. I highly recommend these dinners for a way to bring neighbors or friends together in a celebration of local food.

Our Earth Day celebration continued at church this morning, with a lovely service and the planting of a native garden by the children. What a wonderful way to celebrate the Earth! What's more, it was 80 degrees out! That made it especially nice to be outside enjoying our environment. For my favorite Earth Day tips, check out last year's Earth Day post. Thanks to all of you for the things you do to walk more lightly on our planet. Happy Earth Day!

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