My name is Laurie McLean and I am fortunate to be able to live in a hidden jewel of a town an hour south of San Francisco in the coastal mountains rising up from the Pacific Ocean.
Because of our steep, curvy mountain roads, many travelers take a more direct route from the San Francisco peninsula to the beach, so La Honda has remained relatively undeveloped over the decades. And that suits the folks that live here just fine. Everyone including Silicon Valley execs, teachers, millionaire ranchers, blue-collar workers, doctors, cowboys, hippies and all manner of people call this small community home.
And we know the importance of sustainability. We have a strong emergency services ethic because we know that in a disaster ain’t nobody gonna help us but ourselves. We have a local restaurant, Sullivan’s, that is as much a community center as it is a pub and cafe. The postmistress knows everything going on in town because we don’t have mail delivery in La Honda. You have to go to your post office box to get your mail. We are good neighbors. Our town thrives.
When the dilapidated local market was purchased by neighbors who cared that the town have a great market, they renovated it in body and soul. Not only does it look fantastic with its hammered tin ceiling, oak floors and fireplace, the deli is delish, the beer and wine supply extensive, and the meat and produce locally organic. They stock the shelves with all the staples you’d need to bake an emergency birthday cake or rustle up a last minute Greek salad, sure. But it’s the fascinating little extra items that pique my culinary curiosity.
As I’ve said, most small towns support their own. Or at least they should. But I have run businesses small and large before and I know how important community support is to a small town venture. So instead of crossing my fingers to hope they succeed in this wickedly bad economy, and shopping once a week at the La Honda Country Market, I decided to go one step further.
Captivated by the book/movie Julie and Julia, and thinking about how one person CAN make a difference in this world, I came up with the idea of buying food for one meal a week for my family of four (retired mother, retired stepfather, husband and me) at the local market, then blogging about its preparation and sharing the recipes. I hope to encourage my La Honda neighbors–whether they live here or are just La Hondans in their minds (this is where Ken Kesey wrote Sometimes a Great Notion in the 1960’s)–to frequent their local grocery and keep these folks in business.
Call it an experiment in sustainable community. And it all starts with one meal.