Friday, October 3, 2008
you are looking at dried strawberries and saskatoons (in the glass apothecary jars... a bit hard to see in the photo) apples (fresh and dried) tomatoes (fresh and salsa'd - i have dried ones too) honey and carrots.... all grown in northern alberta.
i've devised a system of rating how environmentally friendly my food is. i live north of sanity. there are folks further south who think we're a bit unstable up here, just to want to live somewhere that can get cold enough to freeze the hair inside your nose every time you breathe, without actually freezing the nose.
in a particularly bad winter, many of us would agree with those perceptive folks. so i thought i'd use 'Loco' to designate that which is locally produced north of sanity.
so, using this logic, 'Completely Loco' would be anything that was grown here, or made entirely of things that are produced here. the meat of the lamb i bought at the local 4H sale, early in the summer for instance, raised on grain grown on the farm where the lamb lived, is Completely Loco. the strawberries i picked at the local market garden, and froze or dehydrated, are also Completely Loco. the jam i made from those berries, cooked down for hours, with no added sugar or pectin, is also Completely Loco. but it has a kind of pruney taste that i'm not sure i like, so i made another batch of freezer jam with storebought sugar and pectin... it rates as Almost Completely Loco. If i were to buy a flat of those luscious peaches that are trucked in from california or b.c. and have been all over the stores through the summer- Not A Bit Loco - and can them, with the honey produced by my nearby friend's bees, they would then be Just A Little Loco.
i'm trying for at least More Loco Than Not, so i'm doing my best to ignore the luscious peaches. but if i make jam mixing them with local green apples for pectin and my friend's honey, they might be Maybe Half Loco. i made dolmathes (sort of the greek equivalent of cabbage rolls, but no cabbage involved, and i use swiss chard instead of grape leaves) recently, using local ground beef, my own fresh herbs and greens, and canola oil, which is produced here, instead of the required olive oil. i did have to use a little bit of rice, which can't be locally grown, and lemon juice, also impossible, so they'd be Mostly Loco, i guess.... i wonder if pearl barley would work instead of rice - or millet. they grow here.... so does wild rice, if you can find it. and maybe rhubarb juice could be a lemon juice substitute. then they'd be Absolutely Loco.
i'm still working on a name for things locally made, from recycled materials that aren't Loco.... like quilts and rag rugs made from worn out clothes..... maybe Almost Loco