The dark days

The dark days of winter are upon us. Oh yes, they really are. Even more so here in Scotland compared to my (only slightly) lower-latitude homeland. But those nine degrees don’t make a difference when you’re in the deep dark of winter.

But this post isn’t about the darkness—it’s about food!

You see, my friend The Improbable Farmer has taken up a challenge. And since I enjoy a bit of a challenge—especially one that fits my views—I decided I’d give it a shot, too. (Yeah, I’m such a copy-cat!)

And so, I will be taking part in the 5th Annual Dark Days Challenge.

So, you may not know this about me, but I’ve long been a bit of a hippy-granola-freak. In fact, Paul and I were avid supporters of our local Co-Op and worked hard to source foods (and other goods) locally. We even grew our own food and made our own cleaning supplies. Oh! And we had a compost heap and everything! (He made me promise not to knit underwear for the kids we were adopting though. And I begrudgingly agreed—with my fingers crossed behind my back.)

But, yes, I am a wanna-be-hippy. And maybe I’ll take some time to talk about my views on sustainable living and the whole reduce-reuse-recycle thing from time-to-time. Oh—Wait!—I’m kinda getting ready to do that right now!

[Sorry, I seem to have digressed, so let me get back on topic …]

The challenge sounds rather simple—but I expect it will be a bit difficult, or it wouldn’t be called a challenge. The idea is that I will cook one meal a week that is made from SOLE foods (sustainable, organic, local, ethical). Local is often described as being within 100 miles, though the challenge allows for 150 miles because of the winter growing seasons. That said, I live on a small (by American standards) island and I don’t really know the geography well enough to know how many miles away something is. So, I will aim for UK-sourced goods, giving priority to Scotland and the regions closest to Stirling.

I hope that this challenge helps me learn more about the foods produced here in the Central Belt, but also that it helps to remind me of the importance of eating local. Not just for the environmental impacts, but for the economical ones, too. Oh! And maybe it will help to wake up my culinary creativity which seems to have taken a bit of a long nap.

I’m jumping on the bandwagon nearly three weeks late, but since it’s really about reminding myself about the importance of eating local, the dates are arbitrary. I’m sure it will be interesting, especially since I don’t really know all of the local farms and brands and shops, but there’s no better way to learn than a challenge!

So I guess that tomorrow I’ll stop by the Stirling Farmers’ Market and the local deli to see what they have on hand to help me succeed. Wish me luck! (And join along if you want!)

[Speaking of ethical, the photo with this story was taken from my sister’s blog without her permission, but with assumed consent.]

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9 thoughts on “The dark days

  1. We’ve been getting a box of local veggies delivered weekly this year ❤ Certainly expands ones culinary horizons!

    Do grocery deliveries still use millions of plastic bags, or do they have some better way of doing it now?

    • I’ve never gotten veggie boxes, but have heard good things about them. I prefer to go to the farmers’ market to hand-select my produce though.

      They bring the groceries in a crate that gets unpacked onto the kitchen counter–so no bags, which is awesome! (You can request bags when ordering if you want, but that seems silly to me.)

  2. Yep. I wondered about that beautiful yellow tomato in the photo. Not very seasonal right now. Good luck in your challenge. Royann loves getting her boxes from her local co-op.

  3. YAY! I’m so glad to have you join the challenge! I’m sure that everyone will be interested to see what your local food is compared to what is available in the US. Obviously many things are similar but I wonder if there is a difference in the varieties you can find.

    And for the record, if I was in the UK doing this challenge I would have to consider chocolate covered Hob Nobs as SOLE. Well, who am I kidding, I would have been inhaling those anyhow.

    • I’m just glad I saw your post! (But I’m a stalker–I see all of your posts!) I found a great link about Scottish foods that lists what foods would be seasonal on a month-to-month basis, so I’ll use that as a bit of a guide, too. It was easy to eat local in the states because I knew what (and where) to buy.

      I’m not a big Hob Nob fan, but lucky me–Scotch (er, whisky as it’s called here) is LOCAL!!

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