Ok, by now you all know of my love for eating and cooking. But this year I have taken it to a new level in terms of supporting the local and slow food movement. It feels great.
Learning to Can Food
I joined a group of friends to help can peaches for a local neighbor who hosts Friday breakfasts and conversations at their home to promote the slow/local food movement. It was fun and easy, so I got the canning bug. Next week I want to take a whole week off in September to put up food for the winter.
This year I managed to can: raspberries (jam and sauce), peaches, tomato sauce (basil and garlic, four peppers, and stewed tomatoes), and dill pickles.
With the help and encouragement of our Lakeside neighbor and friend Dick Reineke my mom and I made fresh mozzarella. It was so easy. We used raw milk I brought from Ann Arbor and it was fun to cut the curds, separate the whey and then stretch the cheese. It was delicious. Can't wait to make more. Thanks Dick for your inspiration!
What's in your freezer?
Mine has 1/4 of a grass-fed steer, 10lbs of blueberries, 4 quarts of raspberries, 3 bags of raspberry sauce, 20 bags of arugula, spinach, 4 lbs homemade garlic parsley wine sausage, and apple sauce coming tomorrow.
Putting my money where my mouth is
I am trying to shop locally, but am also trying to balance by buying things like olive oil as economically as I can. So my friend Lisa and I went to Dearborn to buy middle eastern foods and spices and shop at this great Italian market where the products are great and the prices even better (once a year it is worth it to make the trip to stock up!). To help me shop locally I joined the food co-op, I try to go to the Farmer's Market every week, I own a share of a farm that sells raw milk (I technically own $25 of a cow), we bought a grass-fed local steer with friends, I'm looking into a meat CSA (pork, bison, chicken, beef, eggs), I have a winter farm share (will get 4 deliveries of veggies and fruit that were flash frozen at the peak of the season), and we get 3 gallons of local (delicious) milk and 1/2 lb of butter delivered to the house each week (LOVE THIS!).
It feels great to be a part of a movement that is healthier for my family, fun to do, good for the Michigan economy, better for the environment, and kinder to animals.