So this will be a double post as the week-end was filled with good friends, good food, a great fall afternoon hike and great local discoveries. But what a wonderful week-end it was.
Saturday was our day of full on realisation of what the 100-mile diet was. First off, we hadn't really taken the time yet to fully pack away all the non-diet foods that we had in the house so we started with that. Needless to say the pantry was very empty by the time we finished.
Having started on a Tuesday, right after coming back from vacation, the challenge had been a time cruncher. Although we cook mostly for ourselves, we have rarely had to make everything from scratch which meant nights filled with long hours of dinner preparations and planning for the lunches the next day. Finally a week-end where we could cook in huge quantities and have food to carry us through the week and hopefully, having a few minutes to breathe.
Saturday morning was busy making more bread, our first attempt at crackers (not such a success!), making a big quantity of veggie stock in preparation for slow cooker split pea soup which we will be making tonight as we sleep and creating a new recipe for white bean hummus 100-mile style (see recipe further in the post).
Another Grande adventure that day was that last night was our first dinner party with friends at our house since on the challenge so everything had to be perfect! The dinner was not 100% vegetarian since I was the only one at the table, but my husband took care of the meat.
One of the first things that you read about when reading Alisa Smith & J.B. MacKinnon’s book is the fact that, although truly serious about having every ingredient in everything they ate for that year come from within 100 miles, they also knew there would be some times when it was going to be hard for them to do it and still have a social life. So they created the social life amendment and it went a little like this:
“Should friends have us over for dinner, or working life lead us to a business lunch at a Thai restaurant, we would not hesitate. We were off the hook also when we travelled (…) unless we were able to buy our own groceries and prepare our own meals. When travelling, we were also free to bring home products from 100 mile of wherever we were. That being said, we could not plan a trip to Hawaii because of a pineapple craving.”
So when our friends asked what they could bring, they mentioned that during their trip to the Niagara region of Ontario, they had picked up a few bottles of wine at a winery. So we said why not! I know… cheating a bit. But it was in good spirit and my husband and I have decided on a new rule:
Here is the menu we served:
- Moose (roast beef cut) seared in goat milk butter and in which my husband had pushed in cloves of garlic and fresh rosemary leaves. (The moose was a gift from a co-worker and was hunted inside our 100-mile.) The roast was slow cooked for an hour and a half.
- Boiled red potatoes.
- Honey glazed carrots and beets.
- Garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
- Strawberry-Blueberry-Cantaloupe sorbets sweetened with maple syrup for dessert.
- Wines from Niagara and local berry port wine with dessert.
And then of course, we did what we said we would: We put the salt and pepper shakers on the table for our guests... And went through dinner without having one person at the table touch them! we were thrilled!
Today was also a very wonderful day. We decided to go for a hike in a regional park about 1 h 15 minutes away. While driving up, we had seen a little blue sign that read “Fromagerie 4 km”. Huh? A little cheese shop? Wonderful! we thought, we’ll hit it back on the way home.
To our surprise, we found the most adorable little independent goat farm that had, annexed to their home, a little store in which they sold some of the best goat cheese we’ve ever tasted.
Cassis et Mélisse is situated in Saint-Damien-de-Buckland, Quebec Province, and had a wide selection of cheese (fresh, soft and hard) in addition to having sausage, pâté, and ready made meals and desserts such as goat cheese quiches and goat cheese cheesecakes. We left with amazing cheeses for this week and will absolutely be taking a drive in their direction again soon.
Okay… that’s it for my week-end. My husband is busy making a 100-mile version of his cream sauce simmered Brussels sprouts with sharp cheese. Should be a great dinner. I hope all of you had a great week-end.
- 1 cup cooked white beans
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- A few table spoons of both veggie stock and oil (we used sunflower since it’s the only oil we have in our radius)
- 1 big clove of garlic
- Whatever fresh herbs you have. (We put thyme and oregano).
Blend everything in the food processor, transfer to a container and let sit in fridge over night for the flavors to truly sink in. eat with home made yeast-free flat breads!