Now that winter is coming to a close tonight, it doesn't seem so long and dark in reflection. But then, my disposition is much rosier once the sun doesn't start setting until after dinner.
At the start of winter, I took on the call to complete the weekly Dark Days of Winter challenge to eat one Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical (SOLE) meal every week and post about it, from mid November until mid April. The best thing about the challenge is that it made me think about the origins of all of my food. Checking to see where my groceries were grown has become habit and I have gained a greater appreciation for eating in season every day of the week.
Limiting myself to what is available locally in the winter has an Iron Chef quality to cooking that I quite like. Rather than deciding what I feel like eating and then buying the ingredients with no attention to season, cooking locally takes what is available and forces some creativity in the kitchen, although I have not been perfect by any measure.
Today was a lovely last day of winter - the sun was out, no coat was necessary, and the family puttered around the garden together all afternoon. Although I will miss the weekly Dark Days challenge, I can't say that I have any problem trading it in for eating from my garden.
On a sad note, I have recently heard that Thundering Hooves family farm has "ceased all operations." They are the meat supplier that Spud uses and I have enjoyed quite a few beef meals in the last few months. By chance, I learned the news while cooking a beef barley soup this week. The beef, of course, was from Thundering Hooves and the black barley was an heirloom grain given to me by Annette from Sustainable Eats. A delicious fair-well anyway.
SOLE Notes: ground beef from Thundering Hooves (WA), onion from Anderson Organics (WA), organic canned tomatoes from Muir Glen (CA), organic chicken broth, organic mushrooms (BC) all from Spud.com