100 Miles….

There has been a lot of talk lately in the culinary world about the 100 mile diet. For those who don’t know what it is, it is basically only eating food that has been grown or made within 100 miles of where you live. It all started from a book, Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J.B Mackinnon.

Now if someone had asked me a few years ago if I could do this I would have laughed in their face. Arizona is not known for it’s bounty of food. I could never have seafood again and I would be living on citrus. Moving to the Pacific Northwest is a whole other story. My first spring here was overwhelming to me, all this beautiful produce grown right here in my state, nothing I had seen in Arizona. Up until we moved here I had thought little of Pacific Northwest cuisine. I took a one night class on it and that was about it. We made salmon, pasta with Tillamook cheese and hazelnuts and something with Dungeness crab.

The local chef up here are very good about using what is around them and it shows in the freshness of their cuisine. One of my favorite chefs, Kathy Casey, wrote a wonderful cookbook about the flavors of the Northwest. It not only has fantastic recipes but it also has a wealth of information about food in the Pacific Northwest. I chose to make the Cheddar Ale Spread with Overnight Rosemary Flatbread because I was in search of a new party appetizer…I found one. Trying to stay true to the 100 mile rule I used Tillamook cheese, Redhook Ale, hazelnuts my friend gave me from her dad’s tree, and parsley and rosemary from a friends garden.
So could you do it? Could you do the 100 mile diet from where you live?



Overnight Rosemary Semolina Flat Bread
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water(110F), plus more if needed
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 ½ cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup semolina
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for topping

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and the 1 cup of water. Add the oil and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, rosemary, semolina and  a tsp of salt.
Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, stirring with a large spoon to combine. Then, using clean hands and working in the bowl, mix until the dough comes together. If needed, add another 2 TBSP warm water and continue mixing dough into a a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Drizzle the bowl with ½ tsp oil and return the dough ball to the bowl, turning the dough to coat well with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night or for up to 24 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat an oven to 425F. Meanwhile, cut the dough into 8 wedges, then over with a damp towel and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before rolling.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each wedge into a 5 by 10 inch rectangle. Brush or drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. Arrange on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and crispy but not over browned.

Source: Adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table by Kathy Casey, 2006


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  1. I don’t know. Colorado is second to California in the amount of organic foods grown so there’d be lots of choices. I could probably do w/out seafood, even though I love it. I’d just gorge myself when visiting a coast. But, I don’t know how I’d do without sugar, chocolate and coffee.

  2. this looks really good! i think we could do the 100 mile thing here in baltimore, but for things like flour/sugar it would be really hard.

  3. I could try, but it’d get expensive very quickly :/ and I don’t know how well it’d work for those who live in the middle of Australia (extremely arid and almost nothing edible actually grows there). If you live in an area with good access to local produce, it sounds like it’d be doable :)

  4. How delicious!!!

    On the 100-mile diet front, I have to admit, every time I read some “rah-rah” article in a food mag, or in a foodie book, or on a blog, I get this feeling in my tummy that is a mix between fear, jealously and laughter.

    Even if I did eat locally, it would be HARD, expensive and limiting…but that brings to light the very fact that humans were not MEANT to live in every place we now live. Technology has allowed us to have a comfortable and cost-effective quality of life, so what do we do…make all Phoenicians live on the few acres of farmland left in our sprawling metropolis? Does everyone leave? Eek!!

    Anyway, LOVELY recipe and DO tell more about the lovely bounty of your part of the world! :)

  5. That looks like a lovely appetiser. I’m not sure about the 100 mile diet. We’d do well with meat, summer fruit, cheese, tuber veg and whisky (!) but I think I wouldn’t be happy without a wealth of fruit and veg. Although maybe it wouldn’t be as bad ad I think, I’ll have to ponder this one a bit!

  6. Doing a 100 mile diet in Rhode Island would mean giving up some things we truly love, like a range of cheeses (we do have some, but not a large variety) and some baking staples (flour, sugar, butter), and, in the winter, fresh greens and tomatoes — though I’d probably build a small greenhouse to grow my own.

  7. I could probably do it, but like most people I’d have to adjust my diet a little more. Flour and sugar would most likely have to be replaced with something else. At least SoCal gets all sorts of greens, fruits, and produce year round. I could probably even get some seafood if I went to the correct places.

  8. I probably couldn’t do it here. I mean unless i planned on living off goat and rice and grease the rest of my life. (Haiti.)

  9. There’s a whole lot of fresh and delicious here in the Pacific NW, but the 100 mile thing would cut out the European butter I just bought at Trader Joe’s. Your flat bread and cheese spread look perfect for a summer evening out on the deck.

  10. Oh, bread and spread, they rhyme and they are both so fine :)

    It looks amazing.

    I would be fearful of the 100 mile diet for me. Since I live so close to Philly, I would be eating cheesesteaks and hoagies every day.

  11. STILL no sugar?? I’m starting to feel a bit strange :Z

  12. The flat bread looks delicious, Peabody, I love rosemary and I have some semolina in my pantry. ;)

  13. I think it would be hard to eat fresh here (Utah) if I only ate within 100 miles. Because of harsh temperatures, the growing season certainly is not the same as it is in other places. And I don’t think I could live without seafood…..

  14. I think it would be fairly ok to do in the summer but the winter here would suck. Beef with a side order of beef?

  15. Another great book that talks about the whole local issue (making me more of a local believer than an organic one) is The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

    This looks so good!

  16. I could probably do the 100 Mile diet in Boston. Replace sugar with honey from local bee keepers and molasses (local provider of these in N. MA who makes molasses the old New England Pilgrim way), there is a local mill for flour/grains in Westford (20 miles away), so I could still get flour. I can live on seafood and there is a local dairy we get our milk from already. Yes, I’d miss some green veggies during the winter but what isn’t to love about squash? Now where is my flying Pilgrim lady hat….

  17. I don’t know if I could do it. We’d have quite a few options, except citrus..which I’d miss and seafood, which I don’t think I could do without!
    Maybe a challenge to eat like this more often would be something I could do!

  18. I live in MN, and our growing season starts late and is relatively short, plus the vast majority of farmers around here prefer to grow (gov’t subsidized) corn and soybeans. I’ve subscribed to a CSA (20 miles away) and am attempting my very first backyard garden this year, but the 100-mile thing for me would work for a week or maybe a month at the height of summer produce season.

  19. I could probably do it but I would end up broke in the end. I would have to travel right up to the 100 miles mark if I don’t want to live on corn, cabbage, tomatoes and watermelon alone here.
    Love what you made, that spread sounds awesome!

  20. No sugar, no wheat, no hazelnuts and I’d not have Redhook but Lone Star Beer . . . oh goodness, life would lose a lot of luster.

  21. I could do it. I think. Without seafood, of course. We have a fabulous farmer’s market here in the Triad where I can get pretty much everything else. I don’t do it, and I should. Maybe I’ll try. Goodness what a here-and-there comment!

  22. Well, actually, I think I could. I have the Gulf Coast on one side and the Atlantic on the other. That takes care of the fish department. Lots of veggies close by and fruit……maybe I could do it! I would stock up on the cheddar ale spread first!

  23. I could probably do it, but the work involved to make it happen, to say nothing of the cost, is daunting. Rice would probably be out, but there is an operating mill within 100 miles for flour, plenty of fruit, veg, dairy, eggs, meat, fish. Probably no coffee, tea, or chocolate since all local producers have to import the raw materials from further than 100 miles. I could have tisane of peppermint or blackberry leaves with local honey. Perhaps the best bet is to try to switch to locally available stuff when possible.
    Great looking spread and flatbread Peabody. Sure had a great time visiting with you in Seattle!

  24. Oh boy…I don’t know what that would leave me :( I don’t know about a hundred miles…but I’m trying to eat locally more than before…fresher food! :)

    That spread sounds delicious!

  25. Fabulous dip, Gracie. I heart cheddar and beer dips, they’ve got to be in my top 5 favorites.

    As for the 100 mile thing, it’d be pretty easy for me, thanks to so many excellent farmer’s markets. I’ll give this a shot! :D


  26. i’m not sure if i could eat only foods that originated within 100 miles of my home . . .
    but i’m pretty sure i could eat only foods that originated in your kitchen! ha ha

    this looks delicious. i think i’m going to try it (with ingredients from the the safeway or whole foods, though, most likely)!

  27. I’m in Seattle too but I couldn’t do it; most of my Chinese ingredients comes from California or China. :( Moving down to SoCal would make it easier though. :D

  28. I love both the spread and the flat bread. Thanks for telling me about the part of the States where you live. Sounds a fabulous place.

  29. Oh my goodness; I love the spread and the bread recipes. They’re both a must-try-soon.

  30. I made this recently and thought it was really good. I couldn’t really taste the beer, even though I used one with a lot of flavor. I think next time I’ll add the hazelnuts early, so they’re ground into a paste. I didn’t really like the random hazelnut pieces floating in the dip.

  31. You inspired me to make my own spicy cheese spread (more like a dip). Either way, thank you!

  32. TerriSue says:

    I have had your recipe tucked away for a long time. I finally got around to making it tonight. What took me so long? We loved it. Had it with pita chips. Amazing.


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