100-mile long weekend

31 08 2009

If you haven’t hosted a 100-Mile get-together yet, then THIS is the season to try one out. And with the long weekend coming up, I know a LOT of you are planning some serious get-togethers. If you’re hosting this weekend, when your guests ask you what they can bring try suggesting some farmstand fare or a local wine or brew. And if you’re guesting this weekend, try surprising your hosts with some local treats that they might not know about. I guarantee it will make for some delicious fare and likely some sparkling conversation about what can be found in our neck of the woods!


attack of the zucchinis

3 08 2009

The zucchinis are coming! The zucchinis are coming! In case you haven’t noticed… the zucchinis are most definitely coming. Have you got your battle plan ready? My plan included this awesomely delicious soup which I adapted from Epicurious. It is easy to make from entirely local ingredients (just omit the salt) or you can substitute the butter with oil for a vegan version if you prefer.

Zucchini Basil Soup

  • 2 lbs zucchini
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 cups of water (See notes)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of fresh basil
  • butter for frying
  • pinch of salt

Chop onions and garlic and cook in a large saucepan until softened. Add roughly chopped zucchini to pan and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add water – I used water that was leftover from boiling potatoes which gave the soup a much richer taste than tap water) and add salt. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Add basil and then puree the soup (be CAREFUL if you’re putting hot liquid in a blender – I prefer an immersion blender). And voila – a surprisingly creamy soup!

free food! free food!

13 05 2009

Have you noticed how GREEN everything is these days? You may be anxious for your garden to start sprouting green goodness as well, but who needs a garden to eat local? Spring foraging is upon us!

Wild leeks (or wild garlic, depending on where you’re from) can be found in wooded areas around this time of year. Use it like a leek and savour its garlicky zing on your tongue.

Fiddleheads OH how I love you fried up in butter. So green and yummy. I’m sure you’re one of the reasons my doctor tells me I’m as fit as a fiddle.

Morels! Unlike a lot of the edible mushrooms, the prized morel is found in the springtime. We like to saute them and add them to a bed of lettuce with some shaved parmesan. Drizzle with warm oil and you’re in heaven.

(And I’m sorry, I am COMPELLED to add this note: it doesn’t matter how many times I post about mushroom foraging, I have to reiterate the same warning: Do NOT forage for mushrooms unless you’re DARN SURE you know what you’re doing. There. Now you can enjoy your mushrooms.)

my month of eating local

11 11 2008

Okay, so I’ve been a little absent from HPD as I mentioned in an earlier post. Umm, what can I say? Work was really… October’s such a busy… I had a huge assignment… blech. Enough with the excuses.

I CAN tell you that I didn’t try to make excuses with my local eating. No matter how crazy things felt, I made time to eat local as much as I could. And it did me well. I felt calm when I took time to prepare food. I felt good when I picked up local eggs and yogurt at the local health food store. I was almost manic at the farmers’ market in its last few weekends of the season. And it felt like Christmas everytime my local food box came in. Sometimes I can get a little LOOPY with my local eating obsession, but local eating helped to keep me sane during the month of October.

And what about my goal? Well, you already know that it was a little difficult to measure. But setting that aside, I think that I came close to my goal of 50% local eating. To be honest, I don’t quite think I made it. The flour situation definitely made it tough. All was not lost though – because of the Eat Local Challenge, I have a few leads on local flour and I’m planning to look into them. I also heard about something called bean flour… still not sure how that works, but like I said this is one of those new leads and I’m going to look into it. That’s something!

October ELC ’08: What Was Local on My Plate?

11 11 2008

I’ll be posting a postmortem on how the Eat Local Challenge went, but for now here is a list of the local food items that I filled up on during October.

Kidney beans
Bok choy
Brussel sprouts
Foraged mushrooms
Green beans
Summer squash
Sweet potatoes
Swiss chard
Apple Cider
Cranberry Juice
Herbal tea
Water (local and from the tap)

local yokel

17 10 2008

All this local eating is not giving me enough time to post on HPD!!! Yes, for now I won’t blame the various assignments I’ve had due for school, or the long days at work – let’s just blame local eating! WHAT exactly was I thinking, signing up for the Eat Local Challenge this month? Usually when I get busy like this, I abandon the kitchen and count on either my beloved or the frozen food aisle at the grocery store to get us through. And since my beloved is in the middle of a fairly extensive renovation at our house this month… well, let’s just say, I didn’t exactly pick the best time to participate in the ELC.

But maybe, just maybe, I really picked a good month… because I still feel committed to the challenge, so I’ve actually been doing more cooking than I normally would if I were busy. Somehow I’m making the time. And if I can eat local this month, well then I should be able to eat local every month! Commitments be DAMNED – you won’t stop me from eating local!

So if I had more time to post, I’d probably tell you about the purple cauliflower soup we supped on, or the good-golly-miss-molly best apple crisp I have ever tasted, or the best autumn sandwich that I made after Aimee posted it on Under the High Chair. Maybe next time… for now I’m busy trying to eat local!

starch me up

7 10 2008


Flour is my #1 enemy in this Eat Local Challenge so far. It seems as though every meal I try to make has a flour-based non-local food item in it… pasta, bread, tortillas… SO WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT MY STARCHES? We’ve already established that the rice from India is a no-no, and really, how many potatoes can one girl eat in a month? A lot apparently.

I want to add flour to my exceptions list, but I’m not sure if I would reach my 50% goal if I did. It would make it tight, that’s for sure. I seem to eat a lot of flour. Sure, I could make my own pasta, my own bread, my own tortillas… if I quit my job, quit school, stopped exercising, and threw all entertainment out of the house. Okay, so I’m being a bit melodramatic. This is what flour does to me!

Thank goodness for Little Stream bread. Unstuffed has been posting about it for months. Little Stream is a bakery located just outside Perth, Ontario, and it offers a beacon of light when I need my quick-starch fix. Not only are their loaves prepared locally, but many of the ingredients are local as well. So I’ve got potatoes and bread on my plate for the challenge…

Now I’m on the hunt for some local pasta.