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Yesterday’s meat-oriented cooking project brought out the crock pot for a simple beef stew.

I generally associate crock pots with our days in Minnesota. We had the best 30th birthday party for Patrick there: a Minnesota-themed bash with games like Name that Fish, State Trivia, and Find the Lake. We had MN food – including 5 or 10 items in crock pots.

Of course, there were a few elements of poor planning like asking all of the guests to wear flannel in a 100 degree un-airconditioned house and serving Jell-o salads, which promptly melted in the heat. Fun times!

This beef stew was very simple – brown the beef (1 and 1/2 pounds of NC stew beef, coated in flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder) in olive oil and place in the crockpot with the veg (one onion, 1 and 1/2 pounds of small red potatoes, and 1 non-local carrot procured for 19 cents), seasoning (thyme both fresh and dried), and some stock (2 cups). Set to low, then wait 7 hours. Just before serving, I thickened the liquid with cornstarch. It was quite agreeable – not overly flavorful, but pleasant.

Note that the quantities of beef and vegetables listed reflected what I had on hand…except for the carrot which I went to the store to buy…

Which brings us to a mid-month financial update:

71% Local

Month-to-date Local food expenses: $191 (below target of $259)

MTD Non-local food expenses: $77 (above target of $65)

Total MTD food/beverage/restaurant expenditures: $268 (below target of $324)

Current status: A bit more econovore than locavore…but not too bad considering the “Oops! I forgot to order local food” incident of Day 10.