Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 33, 34 & 35 – 100-mile Diet : Taking the challenge on the road, what a wonderful week-end…

Good morning.

Friday (Day 33) was a pretty relaxed work day. We had a friend over for dinner and made warm yellow and purple beet salad and spaghetti squash. We served it with an apple-strawberry cider from a local orchard. It was quite a lovely night.

We left early Saturday morning for a week-end (Day 34 and 35) in Longueuil (suburb of Montreal) with our niece and god daughter and my sister. We try to go spend a week-end every couple of months and this week-end was perfect. We have been renovating and wanted to hit a couple of stores that we don’t have in Quebec.

The only thing that could have been hard would have been the 100-mile challenge, but NO! Leave it to my sister to be the coolest chica ever and jump on the wagon with us for 36 hours. So first thing we did when we got there was to get the shopping out of the way, sister and niece in tow, and then we were off to discover our new 100-miles.

Our 2 greatest discoveries:

The first thing we found for the first time in over a month was locally made parmesan. A Montreal organic raw milk cheese maker called Bio Bio makes it and it is AWESOME! We had been using sharper cheddars and such for meals, but couldn’t help buying it. We had raviolis on the menu for that night and used some then, but we brought the rest home and will ration it until the end of the diet.
The second discovery was the most wonderful of all for my husband. You can imagine his surprise when we went to a small speciality store at the Atwater market and he came face to face with the first 100% Quebec micro brewed beer and that it was grown and made less than 50 miles away!

La Schoune (this site is only in French unfortunately) is the first of only a few farm/microbrewery concepts in Quebec. A group of local farmers of St-Polycarpe (south of Montreal) got together and decided to transform 32 acres of land into beer producing country. With many varieties of beer, they sell in speciality stores all over the province. Now, a few of their beers (spiced and apricot) couldn’t really be called 100-mile, but they had a lot of others, including a maple beer, that would gladly fit the rules to a T. Needless to say we bought some for the week-end and brought a few home. Again, we will ration it over the next 30 days as little treats.

We also bought everything we needed (veggies, fruits, meats (for my hubby and sister), wine and cheese) for two days worth of 100-mile meals!

When we got home, after cracking open a beer and snacking on our home made sourdough bread and wonderful local soft cheese, we started getting everything ready for a home made ravioli dinner. Tonight was butternut squash, roasted garlic and ricotta raviolis with a sage cream sauce. I unfortunately got wrapped up in the company and fun and didn’t think of taking pictures. We had also bought a great Eastern Township wine called L’Orpailleur.

The next morning was all about pancakes and maple syrup with fresh berry smoothies. Then my sister decided she would treat us to an amazing 100-mile picnic in a regional park close to her home. Here was the menu:

  • Fresh cheeses (raw milk, soft and fresh rosemary goat cheeses)
  • Beet, carrot and caramelized leek salad
  • Roma tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.
  • The left over sourdough bread that we brought with us.

Did I mention was sister used to be a chef?

We had a wonderful picnic and I had my first sandwich (goat cheese and tomato caprese) in 34 days! My niece had a bagel, not 100-mile, but still locally baked! One of the things I realized this week-end was that the flavours in most of our foods were way to complex for a smaller child. If I as to do this with kids, I would have to keep it a lot simpler.

So here is a run down of what we brought back from our week-end :

  • Apples
  • Squashes
  • Leftover Ricotta Cheese
  • Beer
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Leftover fresh rosemary goat cheese
  • Part of my sister's salad from the pic-nic.

All within the rules!

So now it’s back to life as usual...

Thank you again to my sister for a wonderful week-end and for having the open-mind to do this with us for a week-end.