Now and then we like to estimate what percentage of a given meal on our table is “local.” This little exercise is inspired by our delight in sourcing our food as close to home as possible and the Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network’s “20 by 20” goal. By the year 2020 our Food & Farming Network envisions that at least 20% of the food consumed by Northern Michigan residents will be locally grown. Possible? As a family challenge we recently made pancakes that were at least 95% local.
In mid-July, Little Bites arrived in the mail . . . just a few days after Christine visited us! Christine spends part of her summers in Northern Michigan and it was such a treat to spend an evening with her and her family. And because local food is a natural part of her beautiful new cookbook, it seemed fitting that I should try a recipe with as many local ingredients as I could find outside my front doors and in my kitchen.
My morning started with the Little Bites recipe for raspberry-lemon whole wheat mini pancakes; a bowl of raspberries freshly picked from the garden; and an egg from the chicken coop. Then I pulled out whole milk from Shetler Family Dairy and flour from Grand Traverse Culinary Flours (relatively new on the local food scene). I was thrilled to find Leelanau-grown flour at our favorite grocery store last fall, and I’ve been buying it ever since. Christine’s recipe called for agave nectar, for which I substituted maple syrup. So the only non-local ingredients I used for these pancakes were baking powder, baking soda, salt, and a lovely little lemon.
The result was a delicious stack of cakes throughly enjoyed by local breakfast taste testers. We’ve since tried other recipes from this cookbook filled with “100 healthy, kid-friendly snacks,” and I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook shelf. Christine’s photographs are vibrant, her descriptions are engaging, and the recipes inside are sure to please the little people (and big people) in your life!