Imagine if you will an All-American family. Mom, Dad, 2 small children under the age of 5, and a dog. Imagine also that it is New Year's Eve but the parents have made nor accepted any party invitations. They have decided for an alternative, a wholesome, Currier and Ives -esque, alternative way of celebrating the coming of the new year. What, you ask, does this celebration look like? Read on, dear reader, read on.
Setting the scene: Nashville, TN. Snow? No. Rain. A cold rain, definitely cold enough to snow but it isn't because it is Nashville, TN - there will be no snow tonight. The dog is more interested in noises and smells outside until dinner. The youngest, struggling with a cough is still primarily nursing. The oldest, an excitable, intelligent, loud 4-year old has decided to alternate between binge eating and starving. Thankfully what she binges on is healthy. You know, things like three bean chili, goat cheese and pretzels, creamy butternut squash and kale soup, or hummus chips. Dad is in the kitchen trying to make pizza dough for the first time in a very long time because Mom thought it would be a special way to use some of the food from their Avalon Acres CSA box.
The pizza is a disaster. Dad messed up the dough somehow but thankfully Mom bought some naan from Turnip Truck so the family still had some semblance of pizza. Thanks to Wags and Whiskers the dog was eating some grain free dog food and thanks to dad for putting all on the plate. Ending the meal with a toast of vintage sparkling apple juice shared with family across country via Skype.
Now that was the very special (**not**) New Year's Eve dinner. Why wasn't it special you might ask. Well, because this family regularly shops at Turnip Truck and gets produce similar to this from Avalon Acres farm. Usually there is no homemade pizza dough and usually no sparkling juice but fresh veggies combined with grass fed beef is very common. In Nashville families have access to many "farm to table" elements for their meals. In Nashville families have immediate access to locally produced artisanal cheese, meat, milk, beer and liquor. In Nashville, if budgets allow, families have numerous "farm to table", loco-centric restaurants to choose from.
Nashville is a food town. Nashville has its hot chicken, its turnip greens (both of which have a festival), its BBQ. Nashville has is mediterranean and middle eastern restaurants. Nashville has its food trucks and its taco stands.Nashville has its Ethiopian and Cajun restaurants. Nashville has its "meat and three" and soul food restaurants. Nashville has all of that without stepping foot in a chain restaurant.
Do as the All-American family above does eat locally when you are in Nashville. Turn every meal into a special meal by eat special food. Local food is special. The flavors, smells and colors of fresh food turn your house into something festive. Eating at a restaurant that features local food creates an event that cannot be repeated by anyone outside of your immediate area and if that isn't a special event what is? New Year's Eve was an excuse to try a new form of meal for the All-American family herein but what made the meal was the joy of family and food sources nearby.