Friday, February 12, 2010

56 Lbs of Meat & a Food Revolution

So I've been kind of busy as of late, now that I'm well into my second year of my masters program, I've kicked it up a few gears with regards to my work ethic. As a result, I've put a lot of other things on the back burner (pun intended!). Exhibit A: Posting to All Shanadian. Well, in any case, I thought I'd make an attempt at a short post, while I wait for my banana bread to finish baking. It's late, late Friday night and I'm hosting a Blunch here tomorrow - I figured I need a break from the isolation of living in the country and thesis related work. And, yes, I realise banana bread is not Primal. I also realise that attempting to host any sort of food gathering without carbohydrates would require more energy than I have to expend at the moment.

Speaking of Primal, however, it appears that I will be going full throttle on it over the next while as I have 1/4 of a lamb and a bit more than 1/3 of a grass-fed cow in my freezer that need to be eaten, preferably by May, when my freezer space disappears and I move back to shared townhouse, with shared fridge freezer. I managed to source both of these animals via the contacts I've made over the past year here in Kingston's local food scene. The lamb is fron Frank, who I met at a Local Farmer, Local Chef meet and greet in December. We arranged to meet at the Sleepless Goat - a vegetarian friendly co-operatively run cafe in downtown Kingston, and he arrived with two cloth grocery bags full of packaged lamb meat - shanks, legs, ground, stewing, etc. Then he sat down with me and we had a great 20 minute chat about everything food and farming related. And this is precisely why I am becoming even more passionate about local food everyday - it's becoming more and more evident that the real treasures of getting your food locally aren't just at the dinner table, where the food is fresh and far superior taste-wise, but also in the connections you make in your community with other people who care about food, the environment, social justice, etc.

And then today, my friend Crystal picked up a whole cow (after it had been butchered) from Kathy, who runs the CSA I worked on last summer, on Wolfe Island. Her neighbor had raised some grass-fed beef and Kathy took it upon herself to act as the middle woman between the farmer and Crystal & I. Unlike most middle-persons, however, I am 100% sure Kathy did not make any sort of profit for her marketing and delivery services. She met Crystal at the Kingston ferry terminal and this afternoon Crystal came over to my house for the drop off. It was quite the sight, her trunk full of packages of meat wrapped in red paper, the cuts written in black marker on the paper. I grabbed my food scale and body scale and we spent a good half hour out in the dwindling daylight hours trying to divide the beef up evenly - one quarter for Crystal's friend, the remainder split evenly between she & I. It kind of felt a bit like we were doing a drug deal! At one point a neighbour walked by with his dog ..the dog seemed very, very curious about what our packages might contain! Right, so now my freezer is chalk full of local meat, with a piddly amount of room left for my blueberries brought back from PEI, a tourtiere pie I bought at the farmer's market, and some local ground pork and sausages. I have to say, eating local in Kingston is, without a doubt, a much easier endeavour for a carnivorous person than a vegetarian. I reckon, despite my newfound love affair with meat, that I will have to host many dinner parties to get through all the meat I've taken on!

I don't have any television access out here. There's a TV and DVD player, but I disconnected the cable completely. For the most part, I don't have time to watch TV, but every once in awhile I just need to sit back and relax. I discovered the boxed set of Degrassi Junior High DVDs recently in the house and have been rather hooked on those. Over the past few days, however, I've discovered that the Food Network offers full episodes of some of its shows on the Internet. I decided I needed to watch Jamie Oliver's Food Ministry, even though I balk at the use of government terminology in the title. I'm glad I got over that, because the show is fantastic. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, Jamie's School Lunches was also pretty phenomenal. But, oh, what an inspiring person he is! He's only 5 years older than me. He's spent a good chunk of hte last seven years working with disadvantaged youth, giving them the opportunity to become chefs, with schoolchildren, educating them about food and revamping their school lunches, and then, with the Ministry of Food, he spent six months working to get an entire English town to start cooking and 'Pass it On' to their friends, neighbours, coworkers, etc. Earlier this week, Jamie Oliver gave his TED 2010 Wish Speech. Watch it, then do something to help his wish come true, because his wish is a wish we should all embrace.

And that, at 12.46 am is about all I can write at the moment - not especially amazing stuff, I'll try harder next time. It's been a long , long day. On an unrelated note I am out of baking powder - hopefully someone will come through with bringing some to me tomorrow or there'll be no pancakes for brunch and that'd be a shame.


Anonymous said...

YAY!! A post!!

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