Do I like what’s produced in my area? How do I cook it? At times, it’s too much to do at once to figure out what can be produced locally, find a place to buy it, figure out how to cook it…and then what if you discover you have a basement full of squash that you don’t even like? So, during this phase, it didn’t matter so much if the stuff came from California; if it’s something I could feasibly have on hand from a local source at that time of year, it counted.
I’ve run into this with lots of vegetables and even some cuts of meat. (Whaddya do with a chuck roast? Would we even like that? Answer: heck yeah!) Squash was a big example – they are easy to grow and store here, but I thought I hated squash. So one year, I bought one of every kind of winter squash I could find at the market and tried them all. I found a couple that I like and even a couple ways my sweetie can tolerate. Figuring that out was enough of a challenge in itself, so I thought I’d mark that out as its own phase.