100 Mile Diet – No Way!

I’ve been thinking about the 50 or 100 mile diets a lot lately, as I sit under a blanket, looking outside at the frozen ground covered in snow and ice.  We’ve been frozen over since October/November and there’s no sign that it’ll melt soon.

My problem with the diets is that if you don’t live in a southern state or on a coast, you’re shit-out-of-luck for almost half the year. With the exception of root vegetables, nothing available in the local stores is local.  One can only survive on carrots, onions and potato for so long (even if you add parsnips and turnips, it’s still a tough row to hoe).

So dealing with winter is problem number 1.  Number 2 is that there are so many things that don’t even grow in a lot of the populated areas no matter what time of year it is. Off of the top of my head, here are some things that we’d have to give up because they don’t grow in the upper-center of the continent:

  • coffee
  • cocoa & chocolate
  • pineapple
  • citrus
  • olives
  • olive oil
  • mango
  • artichokes
  • banana
  • coconut and coconut milk

That’s just the start of it.

I get it.  It’s better for local farmers.  It uses less energy. Etc.  The strawberries and grape tomatoes in the grocery stores right now aren’t the best you’ll have all year (though, I have to tell you I had a mini-watermelon last week that was better than any watermelon I had all summer/fall last year) — but you know what?  I know that, and I accept what I’m buying during the winter for what it is.  It’s variety.  It’s keeping things interesting.  And quite honestly, there isn’t a dicernable difference between the grape tomatoes I buy in August and the ones I buy in February. (I’m not going to compare them to the ones I can grow myself which I know have real flavour — but I don’t grow them, so these will do).

I’m going to go cut up that pineapple on the counter and make it into fruit salad with some bananas and mango.  Maybe I’ll make some coconut curry soup and think about how life would be better if I followed a 100 mile diet.  Or maybe I’ll just enjoy it for what it is.



Hmm. Last time I posted it was Hannukah — how is it possible that Passover is already here?

I’m busy baking and cooking for the holiday — nothing outrageous, just the regular, traditional stuff that I do most years. Hope everything is going well for everybody as you do the same.  Have a great Pesach.

Chag sameach,



Chanukah 2007

Chanukah starts on Tuesday night. I’m going between not wanting to make latkes and trying to figure out how many types of latkes I can make in one evening.  I’ll probably stick to basic potato/onion.

What are you doing for Chanukah?  latkes? donuts? fried chicken?


Happy New Year – Shana Tova!

It’s been more than a while since I’ve written and I must apologize.   The funny thing about maintaining a blog is that life tends to get in the way.  Everyday, ‘real’ work keeps you busy.  The evenings are spent working on side projects in attempt to earn a little extra.  If, heaven forbid there’s some free time available, you might grasp at what’s left of your social life — or better yet, catch up on some much needed rest.

At the end of the day, the little blog that you’re playing with is, unfortunately, the last thing that gets your attention.  There’s always something more important that needs taking care of.  A) It doesn’t pay the bills.  B) You don’t really know if people are reading it.  Next thing you know, 9 months have gone by since you last posted.

The one thing I have to remember is that it was fun working on.  And lovely to get feedback.  So as this new year approaches, I’m going to try to get back into things.  Of course, the New Year starts with a bang.  Lots to do.  So I shan’t promise things that I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep, but I will do my best to post more.  I’m always happy to hear from you — so please post.

May this New Year bring you lots of happiness and good health.  Shana Tova!


Slurpee Documentary

Yep, it’s true.  A guy named Alex, from Durham, North Carolina has come up to Winnipeg to make a documentary about the Slurpee capital of the world.  

If you’ve been keeping up, you know that I posted about Winnipeg’s status back in July.  We ‘Peggers have a weird sense of pride related to this title.  I’m not sure if people in other places will be interested in the documentary, but you can be darned sure the locals will.

I haven’t had a slurpee in a couple of months… I think I’ll pick one up tomorrow.  It’s a perfect day for it – the high is supposed to be -4 C.  Just cool enough to enjoy a frosty beverage.


I have a little dreidle…

We’re half-way into Chanukah and I haven’t posted at all this week.  I’ve made heaps of latkes (even took some pictures) – I’ll try to post them before the holiday is up.  I’d also like to get some sufganiyot done later in the week.. mmm.. .sufganiyot.  Pictures if it happens.

 Remember people – this week is about the oil.  Use copious amounts.  Chag sameach.


Italian Stewed Beef

The weather is frightful, and it puts me in the mood for slowly simmered … meat.

I looked around the freezer to see what I had (slim pickings) and found about 1 1/2 lbs. of ‘stewing beef’.  I believe it’s mostly shoulder, cut into 1″ (or so) cubes.  Some onions and mushrooms would cover the veg.  And… what?  Nothing too complicated. 

So I browned the meat in some olive oil and added some chopped onions and let them wilt, and just start to brown.  Then added some fresh (well, frozen) chopped garlic, and then a small can of tomato paste.  After a minute or two of ‘cooking’ the paste, I added some water, salt, dry oregano and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  A few cubes of frozen basil went in, covered and let it simmer very gently for about 2 hours.  Added some sliced mushrooms and cooked another hour or so.

 Finished it off with some more cubes of frozen basil, a pinch of brown sugar (just a tiny pinch!) and served it over rice.  It was delicious, easy and hit to spot.  Will do this again… might have to think of some variations though.

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