Monday, June 28, 2010

One week down, eleven to go...

full week has passed, and I have a sneaking suspicion that although things are not necessarily going to get easier from here on in, at the very least I'm starting to figure this locavore thing out a bit more.

For one thing, I'm learning that I have to plan my meals well in advance so I'm not standing hungrily in front of my fridge and trying to figure out what to throw together that evening. For example, while the barley pseudo-risotto made with sheep's milk feta and topped with a poached egg was lovely, I did not need to have it for dinner three days in a row: I really can't bear the thought of eating that again anytime soon. I am, however, rediscovering how much I love kale -- be it pan fried with just a bit of garlic or added to a potato-onion soup, it's one ingredient I have to explore a bit more, especially since it's so abundant at the farmer's markets around town.

I have to admit that I'm having a bit of difficulty with breakfast-y things, though.
Since I don't usually have much time in the mornings to cook, I've been making do with fruit, yoghurt, a muesli of sorts consisting of a handful of sunflower seeds, dried fruit and nuts, or a hard boiled egg for a bit of a protein bomb. What I'd like to find is a source of Ontario oats so I can either have oatmeal in the morning, or pre-bake some waffles to keep in the freezer. The guy who sells us fresh pasta at the St. Lawrence Market also sells locally-made flour, so I think I'll mix that with some oats, local soy milk, blueberries, and either maple or birch syrup into a rather large batch of waffle mix and make enough that I can freeze several of them for those mornings when I don't get up early enough to cook.

Ideally, the setting for this challenge would be one wherein I had the ability to spend my days tending a large garden and cooking for hours, rather than sitting at my desk and typing all day. It's difficult enough to cook/eat well when one is working full time (and commuting an hour each way!), but trying to do so with added constrictions is certainly proving to be one of the more challenging aspects of this challenge. That, and the chocolate cravings.

I cannot begin to describe the chocolate cravings.
...these too shall pass, right? RIGHT? Good.

There is a collection of recipes slowly growing in my notes, and I'm looking forward to both trying them out and sharing them with all of you. We have a picnic tentatively scheduled for Canada day, so we'll try to come up with some interesting foods to share with you that are picnic-friendly and super-delicious. I'm thinking of perhaps some kind of potato salad with plenty of herbs... maybe some mini sandwiches with cucumbers, mixed sprouts and local cheddar? Hmm.
Sometime this summer I'm going to try a local version of my grandmother's Gazpacho recipe, and I'd like to attempt hand-made herbed gnocchi at some point as well.

It's nice to document our explorations, and we really appreciate your feedback!
Thank you for all of the encouraging emails and texts you've sent so far: we really do enjoy all of your input, and you're being incredibly encouraging. There had been a glitch in our blog that prevented people from commenting, but that's been fixed now and we'd love to hear from you: Have you tried the recipes? Checked out some of the local vendors we've mentioned? Been inspired to eschew local eating entirely and devote yourself to a lifetime of papadums and emu burgers? Let us know!


Diane July 5, 2010 at 12:44 PM  

MMMM Picnic food !!! I have one famous sandwich that even meateaters love...

1)slice mini ciabatta bread in half
2) spread with mixture of mashed cannelli beans garlic and olive oil.
3) top with cucumbers sliced thin on the length
4) top with thinly sliced avocado
5) top that with your favourite sprout of the day and drizzle with a specialty oil (walnut is great so is truffle)
6) and gently squeeze the ciabatta top back on...
7) wrap in kraft paper and tie with chive strands that have been soaked overnite. and ENJOY !

Catherine (Cate) July 15, 2010 at 10:48 AM  

Thank you!! We're definitely going to have to try a version of this for our next picnic. <3