Plants and People Blog
Entry #10 – My experience cooking my dish
For this week’s blog, I was supposed to be about my experience cooking my local dish and as much of the 100- mile diet as I could finish. However, to be brutally honest with the crazy busy week I have had, I was unable to read any of the 100- mile diet. Which I am so sad about, considering I really enjoyed the first half of the book, but hey that life. However, I have lots to say regarding my experience sourcing and cooking my local dish.
When this project was first introduced, I was pretty terrified especially since it was January and everything was dead and sad. I had no idea what I was going to make or how I would find any of the ingredients. However, after going on the field trip and on the grocery store visit, I realized that there are many local options out there, you just need to know where to look. I finally settled on making wine infused deer and garlic mashed potatoes, and I must say that it went better than I thought. Although, in order to get the deer, I had to barter with my dad because he doesn’t give his wild game out willy nilly. So in order to get the roast I needed to spend the afternoon programming his Ipod, but I would say it was well worth it. Under the watch full eye of my grandmother and mother, both attempts to make my dish went smoothly. Except for making the homemade butter that took a second try, since on my first attempt I purchased heavy cream instead of whipping cream. Which was a huge fail, all it did was create a huge mess and probably run up my electric bill. However once I bought whipping cream, I was amazed at how easy it was and how much it looked like store bought butter. I was especially nervous about using a pressure cooker, since if I do it wrong I could have a possible explosion. Thankfully, nothing exploded and my kitchen stayed in one piece, thank god for instructions. When it was all said and done and I plated my finished dish, I was extremely proud at what I had accomplished. Not only that I made it all by myself but that I was using ingredients grown right here in the community.
My favorite aspect of this project, which I never would have expected, was meeting the Dhaliwal’s and Menno. The Dhaliwal’s own and operate Dhaliwal Green Acres Farm in Kamloops BC, where they grow potatoes and onions. Menno works at Monte Creek Ranch and Winery where he tends to the many varieties of grapes they grow on the property. Meeting them really put things into perspective, seeing the people behind the product made me want to support them as much as I can. Seeing how hard they work and the pride they put into their product was so inspiring. Shopping local is not something that I can financially afford. However, I would go out of my way to buy from them because I know how hard they work to provide that product. Also after reading Pollan, I now realize that farming isn’t very profitable and I want to do as much as I can to make sure that they have food to put onto the table.
Last night, all of my class gathered and had a pot luck dinner comprise entirely of local dishes. It was the most spectacular spread of food I have ever seen. It was amazing to see all of the creative dishes people were able to come up with, my favorite was definitely the pesto gnocchi. Although the 3 different kinds of ice cream was pretty spectacular too and the apple crisp… who am I kidding it was all amazing. It was so nice to sit with the class, and experience this feast together. It has been a long and daunting journey, but I’m so glad that I was a part of it.