Somehow my mind has started connecting my sky scarf and the Dark Days challenge. I think because I am knitting with local yarn (mostly!) and there is so much gray right now...
The sky scarf, month number five:
I've been wondering, once the scarf is finished, will someone look at it and think, "Hmm...that reminds me of the sky?" Will they look closer and see the fat white stripe, and wonder if that was our snow storm? Will they see the orange stripe and wonder if that was the morning after the lunar eclipse?
Yesterday as I was knitting, it became very real to me that a story can be told without images or words. That a color could hold a story...
As for food...
I didn't really join the Dark Days Challenge to explore eating locally, I already knew I could. I mostly wanted to check in with myself to see if I was eating as locally as I thought I was. To push myself a little further.
The ingredients that I find myself considering the most as I plan these meals are fats for cooking, sweeteners, salt, baking soda/powder, and spices. This is where I am at currently as I consider these ingredients:
Fats: I am using butter, hazelnut oil (very sparingly as it's expensive), or cooking with water instead of my usual olive oil for the most part. I have also used some bacon fat and might at some point consider rendering fat (don't look if you are vegetarian!). I don't eat much meat though. Today I experimented with making ghee.
Sweeteners: Honey or fruit (apple cider works great for some things). This really changes baking. Found a web site this morning that I want to explore more. But really, the bottom line here is that I need to bake less.
Salt: I am going to try making my own. Found this blog post for a resource. Just have to decide which beach seems best to collect from....
Baking soda/powder: Well, back to that baking issue. Sour dough anyone?
Spices and cultures: Certainly we could adjust to cooking without spices. Many wonderful herbs can be grown locally. I could either give up foods that made with a culture (some of the cheeses I want to make for example) or be really wild and see what cultures are hanging around (that could be dangerous I'm thinking). But that seems to be taking things a bit far. I'm pretty sure the shipping of cinnamon is more sustainable than apples from New Zealand to Washington.
The other thing that I am looking at is that I've given myself a bit of a break by allowing foods that are bulk to be exceptions to the local rule. This is the area that I can get better at. I think I can establish the same rule for bulk that I have for vegetables and fruits. If I can find it or grow it locally, I have to buy it locally first. If it's not available in Washington, then it needs to come from the west coast.
This week's Dark Days meal was an experiment in making pasta with whole wheat flour. This is one of the flour choices that is available to me locally.
I made a topping by sauteing onions in butter, adding a handful of cabbage and then sprinkling in a bit of rosemary. Tasted great, looks... well... And I cheated a bit. Used salt.