Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 7 – 100 mile diet : Why can't mustard seeds grow in Québec?

So, we are almost at the one week mark and I must admit, a few things are starting to gnaw at me. I guess the novelty wearing off a tiny bit (or maybe it's the chocolate chip cookies they had in a meeting this morning that I didn't touch) and being a few days before we get paid, going out and buying fancy cheeses and such isn’t a possibility right now.

The first thing that set us back a bit is trying our hand at a yeastless bread recipe and having it go bust. We were really hoping to eat a bit more than pitas this week, but we may not have a choice until our sour starter is ready… *fingers crossed*… I will post about that IF and WHEN we get it right!

The second thing would be sweets. Yes, my husband and I are sweet freaks and we have really been missing our after dinner desserts. There is just so much maple syrup and fruit will do and we are itching for an honest to goodness cupcake! We are on a mission to rectify this soon.

The last thing would be condiments and spices. Now, as much as I was never a “salty” person per say, I must admit I did use a lot of spices. I love exotic ethnic cuisine. Curries, salsas, chilis, Moroccan couscous, these were some of our staples and they have all been put on the shelf (or taken OFF the shelf) and we have been left with herbs, garlic and vinegars. I will be a 5 year-old about it and say I want ketchup with my hash browns in the morning!

But that is the point of the whole adventure…


So what to do? Make mayonnaise of course!

Started with the basic ingredients and decided I’ll see how that is and go from there:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of sunflower oil.

In the food processor, beat the egg and vinegar. Drizzle the oil while the processor is beating until it’s fluffy.

Now, the recipe I found also had lemon juice, salt and mustard powder. But they were in such small quantities (1/4 to ½ teaspoon each) I thought “we won’t miss them”! WRONG!

What now? I added basil, a bit more balsamic vinegar and garlic. It should keep for 2 weeks, but I don't trust raw eggs that long so I'll most likely make potato salad or cole slaw soon with it.

Hopefully, the night in the fridge will help out with the flavour kicking in.


Let’s calculate my food mileage using the original recipe:

  • 1 egg: 30 miles – 49 km
  • Balsamic vinegar from Italy: 3800 miles – 6115 km
  • Olive Oil from Italy: 3800 miles – 6115 km
  • Mustard seeds (if I was to buy Canadian grown in Saskatchewan): 2100 miles – 3400 km
  • Sea Salt (We used to use gray salt from the Baltic Sea): About 3500 miles – 5600 km
  • Lemon juice from Florida: 1600 miles – 2600 km

Total for home made mayonnaise: 14830 miles or 23879 km

Now my alternate recipe:

  • 1 egg: 30 miles – 49 km
  • Balsamic vinegar from a local winery: 23 miles – 37 km
  • Sunflower Oil from Les fermes Champy: 98 miles – 158 km (barely but YAY!)
  • Garlic from Montmagny: 45 miles – 72 km
  • Herbs from home: 0 miles – 0 kilometres

Total for 100-mile home made mayonnaise: 196 miles – 316 km

This is NO WAY meant to make anyone feel bad. On the contrary, I do it to remind myself of why I do it, but I will probably buy olive oil again one day. I don't think the diet is meant to make 100% locavores out the participants. I really think it is made to open our eyes to the impact we have in every little thing we do.

Have you tried calculating your food miles?