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Friday, October 3, 2008

Loco


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

8 comments:

susan said...

I like the 'Almost Loco' title. You make me feel ashamed for not growing anything these days.. not even alfalfa sprouts in recent memory. Then again, I have no ground for planting but maybe that will change some day.

clairesgarden said...

freeze your nose off...what a nice place to live!!
love the loco-ness of your food.
loco soup on the go here to ward of the coming chill, not as chilly as yours, nose slightly red is all we get.

gfid said...

su - you're not fooling me.... i have deep suspicions that you eat loco a good deal, even if you didn't grow it yourself.

claire - it's the season for loco soup. i made a pot of Mostly Loco potato soup the other day.... had to buy the cream cheese, but the chicken the stock was made from and the veggies were Completely Loco.

gfid said...

su - you're not fooling me.... i have deep suspicions that you eat loco a good deal, even if you didn't grow it yourself.

claire - it's the season for loco soup. i made a pot of Mostly Loco potato soup the other day.... had to buy the cream cheese, but the chicken the stock was made from and the veggies were Completely Loco.

Zee said...

I have a dehydrating basket thing like yours, haven't used it for a couple of years. I am sort of timid to dust off the spider-webs and use it again. Do you find it practical? Does it make any sense?
Anyhow, your post inspired me to ponder bout these grave questions, and then decisions.

gfid said...

zee- i have a very long list of food sensitivities (gluten, innumerable food additives, milk, chocolate, nitrates, dyes, flavors, msg..... very long, tiresome list) so i have to make a lot of things from scratch. and i'm trying to make use of locally produced foods as much as possible. i find dried fruits are a tasty replacement for the snacks and finger foods readily available, most of which give me a migraine or mess up my digestion, and i also make my own beef jerky on occasion. the commercial stuff nearly poisons me. and, since i live alone, i'm not motivated to cook real meals very often. the dried foods, keep well, taste good, and keeps me from eating junk food that makes me ill. it's practical for here, because there are so few days of the year when it's hot and dry enough to dry food naturally.

lindsaylobe said...

loco magic !! have you formed a cooperaive to market all of the produce -under that brand ?

Best wishes

gfid said...

lindsay - no local cooperative so far. the populace here is mostly addicted to big box stores and glitzy marketing. very hard to get support for something the television hasn't told them to do.