When life gives you dandelions, make dandelion-infused vodka.
- Eat real food. Eat food in a variety of colours, use a variety of ingredients, including a wide variety of herbs and spices. Cast your net wide and balanced nutrition will be the default. You won't have to make an extra effort for the newfangled superfood benefits.
- Make it yourself. Seventy-six bazillion studies confirm that the greatest harm to your health is relying on pre-packaged, corn-derivative soaked and encrusted, over-processed, sodium-laden, covert-sugar-delivery-system convenience foods. So cook from scratch, no matter how basic, it will be better for you than the machined stuff.
- Find food. Plant a garden, or herbs on your windowsill. Go for a walk outside and collect edibles from whatever wilds or wild-like area is accessible to you. Learn to hunt and/or fish, or be so charming that your neighbours will give you wild-shot or wild-caught foods. Find some local producers and buy their hand-raised and hand-made products.
- Adapt, adapt, adapt. Use what you have to make what you want. Don't be discouraged by not being able to find the exact ingredients in a recipe; substitute or re-invent. Sometimes it will go horribly wrong, but learn from that and move forward.
- Don't take yourself too seriously. Some things are not actually worth making from scratch more than once (seven tries and three broken thermometers later, turkish delight comes to mind). Sometimes it's impossible to find everything you need in both organic and local (we will never be able to grow coffee or cocoa in Newfoundland). So don't beat yourself up when you compromise, it's okay.
- Recipes come first. We hate scrolling through pages and pages of text to try and find the recipe we're looking for. And yeah, sometimes we go back and read the commentary, but only if the recipe looks good. So this is the promise: we'll give you some commentary, because we have a lot to say about a lot of things, but it will always be after the recipe.
|Yes, actual moose curry... slow-cooked west-indian curry, but with moose |
because, well, we wanted roti and that's what we had.
The climate of Newfoundland, the isolation (and let's face it, the food traditions here) also meant we often couldn't even find the ingredients we needed to cook the way we knew how. Writing a shopping list and finding the things on it in your local store was a luxury of mainlanders. Cumin seeds were a luxury of mainlanders.
So we had to embrace uncertainty, to adapt what was available to our whims and desires. In doing so, we also gained an appreciation of the unique foods of this place: the moose your neighbour gives you after a successful hunt, smoked capelin, salt cod, the abundance of wild berries, turnip greens, peas pudding... (okay, maybe not everyone loves peas pudding)... and we learned to make it up and make it work.
Don't get us wrong. Newfoundland has not escaped the locally-sourced, organically-grown, victory-garden revolutions of the food industry. But it's difficult here. Short growing seasons, limited variety of local products, unreliable delivery of food from away, english cucumbers that cost $3 EACH in the winter, and they're squishy on both ends. So we compromise, we do the best we can.
Most importantly, we enjoy food. We like to eat, we like to cook, we like to talk about what to cook... we like to grocery shop, to garden, to pick berries. And since we ran out of other outlets, now we blog about food.
~ Fefe Noir and caribougrrl
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