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Six local food things to do to get you through the rest of this tough winter

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/17 at 10:33 AM

Without a doubt, this has been one really rough winter here in Central Pennsylvania. Below-zero temperatures and lots of snow has made this the worst winter we’ve had in this area in 20 years, and right now it seems like spring will never come.

But we all know that soon enough, we will get warmer, and the grass will reappear and turn green, the flowers will pop out, and all of our moods will likely get better. In the meantime, here are six things that involve local food that can make you perhaps feel a bit better about our current weather situation:

- Make snow cream: Snow cream is a unique dessert that can be made in about ten minutes. There are plenty of recipes around the Internet that can be found with an easy search, although I have found that using heavy cream or half and half gives a better result than condensed milk. We have enough local dairy vendors to choose from to get the cream or half and half, and you maybe add some local berries still in your freezer from the summer. One thing…just make sure you use untouched snow (there’s a certain Frank Zappa song that offers sound advice for choosing snow for snow cream).

- Plan your garden: If you haven’t ordered seeds yet, now is the time to do so as many places are extremely busy with seed orders and your order may be delayed. Believe it or not, some seeds like onions and leeks can be planted inside in less than two weeks, and you should plant tomato, pepper, and other seeds around St. Patrick’s Day. This is also a good time to plan out how your garden will be set up and what you will be planting.

- Visit a farmers market: Recently our Local Food Journey intern Jordan Reabold wrote about the Boalsburg Farmers Market’s indoor market, but that’s not the only indoor one. On Fridays you can visit the State College Farmers Market’s indoor version at the State College Borough Building, and the Millheim Farmers Market sets up shop Saturdays in the Old Gregg School. What can you find at a winter’s farmers market? All sorts of things such as winter squash, root veggies, meat, cheeses, eggs, local-raised trout, soaps and other craft products, and more.

- Treat yourself and your loved ones to a great dinner at a local food restaurant: Our intern Jordan found some delicious winter dishes at Harrison’s Wine Grill, always a stellar choice for local food dining anytime of the year. If the weather’s not too bad, a drive out to Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks for a delicious dinner and outstanding live music is a nice weekend evening activity. If you are in downtown State College, The Deli has some local food options, as does The Green Bowl.

- Make soup or stew: Nothing helps to fend off cold like a nice bowl of soup or stew. If you go to Tait Farm, they have a variety of time-saving soup mixes from Cooke Tavern of Spring Mills. They make it easy to whip up a delicious batch of soup.

- Have a local food party: A warm house full of friends to fend off the cold and darkness is something we think about during the holidays but there’s no reason why we can’t have a party in late winter. Host a covered dish local food party, where each person brings a favorite local food recipe to share.

{name} Author: Jamie Oberdick
Bio: Editor, Local Food Journey | Passionate about supporting local food in Central PA

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