A letter from the editor.
I had a little breakdown in a La Pine, OR, grocery store this summer. It wasn’t merely the Foodie Snob Sob of someone regularly privileged to buy the best of the season from a farmers’ market—though I was clearly being a jerk. It wasn’t just the neon yellow cake slices stacked in the bakery section, each purporting to be “lemon” and cosseted in its own individual clamshell coffin—though the waft of death permeated the place. It wasn’t even the meat, an indifferent pile of mass-processed woe pinkening under plastic. It was that, while I was surrounded by foodstuffs, there was nothing to actually eat. Having car camped for 10 days—subsisting on only what we’d grown ourselves, purchased at the butcher shop, farmers’ market, and local grocery before we’d left—the coolers were now empty. My infantile tantrum clearing, I began to consider. OK, what’s local? This is Oregon, there must be berries. I found blueberries, raspberries, and even a small box of huckleberries tucked high on shelf, plump and gleaming. The Deschutes River is nearby; perhaps there’s fish. Four river trout, not too glassy-eyed, were jumbled in next to the farmed shrimp from Thailand. Tillamook cheese is made in Oregon! Composure regained, I moved my cart through the store, grateful for what Italy provides when Oregon doesn’t, choosing pasta and canned tomatoes for a quick camp sauce. But moreover, I thought of Sonoma County and the wealth of real, clean, excellent food we—OK, I—sometimes take for granted. This issue, as do all Made Local Magazines, celebrates that good fortune, one for which a La Pine, OR, grocery store made me all the more grateful.
~Gretchen Giles, Editor