Wednesday, November 10, 2010

4th Annual Dark Days Challenge

I know I'm skipping the introduction to this blog I should probably provide for you, but I'll have to get to that next time.  Right now, I need to get this down in writing so I don't change my mind. 

I've decided to participate in the "Dark Days Challenge" this winter! 

As if surviving the cold and darkness in central NY isn't going to be enough, I've committed myself to cooking (and documenting!) one SOLE (sustainable, organic, local and ethical) food meal per week.  I'm not too sure how I'll do on the organic part (personally, I'm more concerned about local than organic, but I'll try), but I'm going to shoot high for the rest.  For instance, we sprayed my tomatos this summer to fight the blight and I plan on eating our canned tomatos as part of this project!  At least in terms of this challenge, "local" is defined as 150 miles from your home.  Here's a map of this radius from where we are:

I'll have some searching to do to find a few key items like cheese (though I could make my own using local sourced milk), yeast and flour (does New Hope Mills still actually mill its own grains?), but the Dark Days Challenge also allows us to make a few exceptions, as long as we define them in advance.  I'm thinking:  sugar, coffee, chocolate, olive oil, herbs?  Any suggestions on what others I might consider? 

I'm excited to try this - some things are going to be easy (eggs, frozen and canned veges from the garden, venison from the freezer...), others will take more work but I think we can do (cheese, butter, bread...), and others still we'll have to search for or do without as I don't think we'll find them local (juice, pastas, fresh fruit...), but it will all cause us to think more about what we're eating and where its from!

We start December first, and I'll post descriptions about each week's meal here twice a month, on the 4th and the 19th.  Links to everyone's entries will be summarized by the hosts on their site, so we can get ideas and be inspired by other participants, which come some time in January, I'm sure I'll need! 

Here's the link to the web page of the hosts, where you can read much more about it.  
Note:  I tried to do a fancy link with a little image and everything, but it doesn't seem to work.  I was only successful at making them show up separately!  This is a sure sign of a neophyte blogger!!

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