Today (Wednesday) was our last chance this week for a dark days meal (a sustainable, organic, local, ethical – SOLE – meal – – click the button in the side bar for more information). I am going to Chicago for a conference tomorrow and won’t be back until the first week will have passed – – we couldn’t mess up on a challenge the very first week.
My husband stopped at the year round farmer’s market (heavy on the organic) on the way home yesterday and got greens (hydroponically grown) and pork chops. He also made baked potatoes with our own potatoes. [I hadn’t eaten the potato yet, just smushed it up with the butter before I remembered I wanted to take pictures.) Our son is not an adventuresome eater (as if pork chops and potatoes require bravery) – he had a salad with the greens and some green onion cheddar from a local cheesemaker. The salad included carrots from our garden.
My husband also brought home a pint of heavy cream from the sustainable, ethical local, natural (nearly organic) dairy – – as close as we can get, so I’m calling it good. This morning I made butter with it. There was a glass of buttermilk left that my husband will use to make some bread this evening for us to eat whenever.
To accompany dinner, my husband and I had wine made by the Benedictine monks at a local Abbey.
But wait – we aren’t done yet. We are celebrating my son’s birthday tonight (once my daughter gets back from dance class). His birthday is Saturday, but I’ll be gone. I had initially thought I’d bake a cake – and I could have at least gotten an organic mix (I am not the bake a cake from scratch kind of woman). But, no, that wouldn’t be SOLE – – what to do what to do.
First I decided on chocolate – an exception to the local part of the SOLE – but organic chocolate is readily available, and my understanding is that if it is organic than it is automatically fair trade and ethical (i.e. all organic chocolate is fair trade, but all fair trade chocolate is not organic – at least that is my understanding, correct me if I’m wrong.)
I spent too much time scanning the Internet and finally decided that I could make something tasty that wouldn’t kill us, would be relatively SOLEful, and would be something my son would like.
I bought some organic chocolate chips at the health food store (I also found local whole wheat flour – that was a great find for my husband to use in bread making). I then bought another pint of heavy cream and a quart of 2% milk from the above mentioned dairy of high morals.
I melted the chocolate and mixed it with a cup of milk (what I’ll do with the rest of the milk I’m not sure – maybe make pudding). Then I put it in a cake pan (9 x 9). Meanwhile, I had whipped the cream and then combined about 1/2 of it with the milk and chocolate in the cake pan. That went in the freezer. I mixed a tiny bit of organic powdered sugar in with the rest of the whipped cream – that’s in the fridge.
When my daughter gets home we’ll have my frozen chocolate yummy (that will now be the official name) with whipped cream and my son will open his computer-oriented presents (he has taken to making stop action films – at least he was doing that last month – – so we bought him a video capture device to turn analog tapes into digital and a computer game – and this weekend the computer will be upgraded with more memory and a graphics card – plus fixed because all of a sudden it is incapable of accessing the internet and the printer spooler has ceased to function… virus perhaps?)
Back to the dark days – so, what were the exceptions? What didn’t quite stack up on the SOLE criteria. Well, I mentioned the chocolate – that was not local. And we did have salad dressings and they were just store bought. I was proud of my son who thought better of mixing blue cheese dressing with green onion cheddar cheese (a pretty strong flavor in its own right). So he was dressing-less. Oh, and the mustard in the honey mustard for the pork chops was just your basic brown mustard – but the honey was local.
We did ok – we’ll see if we can do better in future meals.