Thursday, July 26, 2007

One Local Summer # 5

Homemade pizza!

Flour - from Oak Manor Farms (Tavistock - 28 km)
I used a mixture of hard unbleached, whole wheat, and a bit of rye flours. I like flavour.
Dry Yeast, salt and sunflower oil (not local)
water - from the shared well in town, the destruction of town to refit the pipes is documented in September 2006's blog entries.

I made up the dough in the bread machine on tuesday night, and used it wednesday night.

Toppings: goat mozzarella (darned, I've thrown out the wrapper already, but it was local), 2 year old cheddar (Millbank - 28 km), tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms (all from Herrles - just down the road, mileage in a previous post - I've forgotten), paprika (not local), basil (from the garden), and oregano (from the garden).

I forgot to add garlic, but it was unbelievably tasty anyway. Can you believe it?


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Blogger 'feature'

Apparently, the fabulous Blogger software has decided that my blog resembles a spam blog and must be reviewed by a human being. In the meantime, I have do that word verification thing that all commentators go through just to post. Colour me less then thrilled.

I wrote a nice long review of Harry Potter this afternoon, and couldn't post it or postpone it. The word verification thing didn't seem to work on IE 6. I'm trying again (just to post).

Please Mr/s Blog Human (when you get here) - tell me what the heck is it about my blog that got caught by your darned stupid software?

Deep breath.....

Remember the pretty.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

One Local Summer #4, and more from the garden

I don't remember which meat this is, but since there's only one piece of non-local meat left in the freezer (and it's not this one), it must be local. We've completely switched over to buying local, in the meat department. Potatoes and peas, also local.

I defined Ontario as my local food shed at the beginning of this project. And it's a pretty big place. But so far, I'm not having too much trouble sticking to within a 100 kilometre (approx. 62 miles) range. Some of the basics - salt, margarine and some spices - are my only exceptions.

Next week, I'm hoping for all local homemade pizza. I discovered a local source for flour and tried it out this week, but it..... needs practice. :)

More from the Garden:

Pretty lavendar....

The last of the lilies....

This picture is a week or so old.... but it's notable, because while all of the other lupins are actually rotting, this one decided to bloom one more time.

One of two feverfews in the garden. Slightly different varieties, this one has cute, tiny little petals surrounding the centre flower. Feverfew tea is reported to be a good cure for headaches.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mostly about the Lilies

One of the garden blogs that I added recently to my "read 'em faithfully" list (off on the sidebar there) is another Karen's 1-2-3 Go Garden! Karen is also in south-western Ontario, and boy, does she really know her lilies!

But I don't. I keep planting the tags next to any new additions, because I know I'm never going to memorize them, but some act of nature keeps squirreling them away. It's always possible that I mean that literally.... but why would the squirrels want bits of plastic?

So the long and short of it is.... I can't tell you any more about these lilies except that this one is yellow.

And this one has spots...

And so does this one...

This one is sort of pink....

This one is sort of a purplish red.

And this yellow one is next to the thyme.

They're all darn pretty 'though.

Feel free to pass on their names, if you recognize them. I'll write up some new labels for the squirrels to steal.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

One Local Summer #3

Last sunday, I still had leftovers from saturday's salad, which made a good side for this not particularly local cheese sandwich. The bread is local, but the sheep's cheese is from Bulgaria! We do keep local cheese in the house, but had bought this cheese for the Viking adventure over the Canada Day weekend (which I still haven't blogged about - maybe someday).

Now, this meal, from this morning, fares somewhat better. I was inspired by Cheryl's OLS #2 meal. One thing about eating local, it's making me search out new ways of making meals and I find that I'm really enjoying stretching my culinary muscles!

The eggs are free-range (inside a barn, according to Avian Flu regulations) and local - Elmira (25 km).
All of the vegetables (peas, onions, sweet peppers, potatoes) come from Herrles - 3km.
The cheese is from Bright's Cheese House - 51 km.
- Oregano - from the garden, 0 km.

The only major ingredient I can't necessarily claim is the milk. It's possible that it's local - Nielson's does have a processing plant in Halton Hills - 83 km - but I can't tell for sure.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

One Local Summer #2

This week I managed a two-fer!

For lunch, I mixed up this salad of all local ingredients from a place down the road called Herrles. It's a seasonal store, open only June - September and sells products from their own farm and others in Ontario. Herrles is sort of the centre of the "Buy Local! Buy Fresh!" folks from FoodLink.

Romaine lettuce, saskatoon berries (local!, not from Saskatoon!), peas, yellow and red sweet peppers, tomatoes, celery, and zucchini. And for the man (who suffered greatly for the cause*) - I added hard-boiled eggs. I love the wild mix of colours!

*Neil believes that salads are the food that food eats. Not intended for eating directly. He did grudgingly admit that, for a salad, this one was quite good.

For supper, Neil barbecued some burgers (local cow from Well Fed Food, in Ayr). Now, he had a commercial bun from the grocery store (which could come from anywhere), but I had two slices of locally made cheese bread (sold at Herrles) as my 'bun'. And more of that wonderful salad on the side.

Oops, I almost forgot - even the raspberry vingarette salad dressing is local! Again, picked up at Herrles, it's made by Goodies Two Shoes in Shelburne, Ontario.


Monday, July 2, 2007

Odds and Sods*, and Canada Day!

*I thought it was one of those odd British sayings that permeated my childhood and stuck with me, but apparently it's the title of a compilation album by The Who.

How odd. Maybe it's both.

In any case.... a post of odds and sods.

Happy Canada Day! I was out in the field, camping with the medieval types - the SCA - so I missed posting on the actual day. No computers in the Viking Age!

Check out my fellow Canadian's blog detailing the ABC's of why Canada is great!

Farmer's Markets are NOT necessarily populated by farmers. A lot of the produce available at the two local farmer's markets nearby are for sale by resellers, who somehow garner foodstuffs cheaply and resell them at market. Often out of season and often driven some godless number of miles to get there. Apparently, this is a really common occurrence in Ontario, and two recently created farmer's markets in Toronto have gone to the trouble of _certifying_ the farmers who want to sell there.

It's a tad annoying for those of us new to Eating Locally, who want to depend on the local farmer's market for food.

Trans Fats: According to Wikipedia, some trans fats occur naturally in ruminants - cows, sheep, etc. And Canada's nutritional labelling laws include the naturally occurring trans fats. So, a product like cheese might reasonably include some natural trans fats. I guess ya just gotta decide on what a reasonable amount is, and how the trans fats most likely got into the product in question.

The Garden: It's a strange year. First, it took longer then usual to clear the last frost date. And then all of a sudden, it's HOT. Freaking HOT, and frequently HOT. The garden has zoomed ahead of all rationality - blooming and dropping flowers at a heartbreaking 'blink and you miss it' speed. I have daises in bloom, and where I am, that's not supposed to happen until August. It's still June!

Playing catch-up then on the pictures: these lovely foxgloves are largely gone now.

Pretty colours.....

And a source of heart-stopping digitalis as well.

Medicinal Herbs: I'm currently growing motherwort, comfrey, sage, echinacea, valerian, catnip, lemon balm, mint, calendula, feverfew and foxglove. While I'm aware that all of these have medicinal uses, I haven't the foggiest on how to actually go about using them. Can anyone recommend some good reading material on growing and using medicinal herbs?

Rest assured, I don't want to be a dabbler. I have no intention of using them until I'm quite certain I know what I'm doing. I've taken valerian as a sedative aid in the past. The vomiting wasn't fun.

Air Conditioning: We caved in to the heat, increased our carbon footprint just a bit, and bought a small room air conditioner. The intention is to run the bedroom temperature down at night to a comfortable sleeping space and shut it off during the day. So far, my sinuses have disagreed with the air it outputs and my ears with the noise. The cooler and dryer air is definitely to the good 'though. I'm hoping that we will all adjust to each other.

One Local Summer: The One Local Summer project has been so successful that Liz has started a new blog to accommodate all of the entries. Check it out here!