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judith

One Local Summer challenge

Would anyone be interested in joining me in a One Local Summer challenge?

The basic premise is that you eat at least one meal every week that was grown, produced or foraged entirely within a given radius of home, barring salt. pepper, spices and oil (I am inclined to add yeast to the list as well). By local, I suggest a radius of 50 miles.
You then simply start your own thread in this section and let us know all about your meal each week. If possible, post a mouth-watering picture too. Tell us how you sourced the ingredients, any particular challenges you faced in putting the menu together and any new producers or suppliers you have discovered while taking part.

Thatís all there is to it. It isnít a competition. You wonít be disqualified if you forget one week, and there are no prizes at the end. I suggest we run the challenge for the next 8 weeks, and hope to read some imaginative recipes and ideas that I can introduce into my own menus.

Any takers?
sean

Yep, we're in.
Jonnyboy

us too.
tahir

Wish I was more useful at recording stuff and taking pics, we're coming into the time of year when loads of our meals will be entirely home grown.
judith

Keep your camera in the kitchen.
Or just tell us all about what you had.
Mrs Fiddlesticks

hmm until the spuds are ready that could be a challenge - but yep we'll have a go! (cos I'm guessing rice and pasta are off limits then - Idea oooh not if I make our own with local flour and our eggs Cool cunning...)
Jamanda

Mrs Fiddlesticks wrote:
hmm until the spuds are ready that could be a challenge - but yep we'll have a go! (cos I'm guessing rice and pasta are off limits then - Idea oooh not if I make our own with local flour and our eggs Cool cunning...)


We'd be fine with spuds, but flour might be tricky - hence bread.
judith

Mrs Fiddlesticks wrote:
I'm guessing rice and pasta are off limits then - Idea oooh not if I make our own with local flour and our eggs Cool cunning...)


Exactly! Gets you thinking, doesn't it?

Starches are my main challenge too. I think I can get locally-produced oats and flour - not sure about anything else. I suspect sugar might be out for me though, not that that is such a bad thing. Very Happy
Mrs Fiddlesticks

judith wrote:
I suspect sugar might be out for me though, not that that is such a bad thing. Very Happy


there's local honey though...
tahir

For flour does that mean milled or grown within the area?
judith

Mrs Fiddlesticks wrote:
judith wrote:
I suspect sugar might be out for me though, not that that is such a bad thing. Very Happy


there's local honey though...


And I have a large stash courtesy of Chez, but I will be looking for hints on how to use it other than on toast!
vegplot

Sounds like a good idea to me.
judith

tahir wrote:
For flour does that mean milled or grown within the area?


Dunno. What do you reckon? I'm inclined to let individual participants choose for themselves.
tahir

Milled here is easy (Marriages are just up the road), grown here is harder, althouch Richard's supposed to be getting us some wheat from the college to test in our mill....

Depends how others view it I reckon.
judith

Aren't you within 50 miles of wheat-growing country?
sean

judith wrote:
Aren't you within 50 miles of wheat-growing country?


What, the rolling plains of Hackney?
tahir

judith wrote:
Aren't you within 50 miles of wheat-growing country?


Absolutely, but I don't know of any flour milled locally from local wheat, the nearest we've got is Marriages and they make no origin claims for their flour
tahir

sean wrote:
What, the rolling plains of Hackney?


They're wetlands sunshine, be rice paddies soon....
sean

You could have a meal that didn't involve flour.
judith

tahir wrote:
judith wrote:
Aren't you within 50 miles of wheat-growing country?


Absolutely, but I don't know of any flour milled locally from local wheat, the nearest we've got is Marriages and they make no origin claims for their flour


Well I'm alright, Jack Laughing

Quote:
Our traditional Bacheldre Flour is milled from local wheat grown at Bacheldre Farm, as it would have been done hundreds of years ago. It is a truly local flour and 100% Welsh with minimum of food miles.
tahir

judith wrote:
Well I'm alright, Jack Laughing

Quote:
Our traditional Bacheldre Flour is milled from local wheat grown at Bacheldre Farm, as it would have been done hundreds of years ago. It is a truly local flour and 100% Welsh with minimum of food miles.


Makes quite solid bread doesn't it? Tasty though.
tahir

sean wrote:
You could have a meal that didn't involve flour.


Yeah, just thinking of the meals that'd be excluded on those grounds
judith

tahir wrote:
Makes quite solid bread doesn't it? Tasty though.


Particularly when they put wholemeal flour in an unbleached white package, as happened to me once. Couldn't work out why I kept producing house bricks.
sean

Dunno, we don't eat that much in the way of bread/s. And our local spuds are in the shops.
tahir

Yeah, we'd be banking on spuds as our local carb
cab

Interesting... New thread each week in the seasonal shopping section?
Cathryn

I'm in, especially since Judith reminded me that I have a local vineyard only a few miles away. Smile

And a friend of mine sells veg from her farm one mile away. (The slugs won.) And I live near the sea.

However I will need lots of ideas...
judith

cab wrote:
Interesting... New thread each week in the seasonal shopping section?


Either that or we all start our own thread in that section and update it as the weeks go on. Which do you think will work better?
judith

Cathryn wrote:
I'm in, especially since Judith reminded me that I have a local vineyard only a few miles away. Smile


The Mws Piws brewery is probably within range too.
Not that I haven't started my research already at all.
Mrs Fiddlesticks

judith wrote:




Well I'm alright, Jack Laughing



ditto Wessex Mill based in Wantage
cab

judith wrote:
cab wrote:
Interesting... New thread each week in the seasonal shopping section?


Either that or we all start our own thread in that section and update it as the weeks go on. Which do you think will work better?


I'd go for a single thread per week. Less to click on, and I'm basically lazy.
judith

cab wrote:
I'd go for a single thread per week. Less to click on, and I'm basically lazy.


Fine by me. So, whoever makes the first meal each week should start a new thread.
Jamanda

When are we starting?
judith

I suggest running from Monday to Sunday, but if anyone does their meal this weekend, they can include it in Week 1.
Snowball

We are in, chance to use our imagination a bit more.
Jonnyboy

I'd like to nominate spag bol for the first week. seriously.
tahir

Jonnyboy wrote:
I'd like to nominate spag bol for the first week. seriously.


Really? Local flour?
Jonnyboy

wasn't the mill being local good enough?
tahir

Yeah.
Jonnyboy

There are at least two local flour mills so should be OK there. all the other ingredients should be interesting.

However, I'll go with whatever... Very Happy
Mrs Fiddlesticks

me thinks one of the first things I'll do is get Tim to use some of his mapping technology stuff from work and work out just where is within the 50 mile limit - I'm guessing fish will be off the menu for the duration
Fee

Sounds good, we'll be up for that.

Ohh, Doves Farm are 46.4 miles away from us Laughing Wonder if they have a shop, might be worth a stop at some point on the way past if they do.
wellington womble

A year ago this would have been impossible, without going home-grown, but now I can do it really well - I have a box scheme who sell all the basics (dairy, bread, meat etc) and also do a specifically 'local' box, and a farm shop who specialiese in local stuff (counted as within thirty miles) Not being smug, just trying to illustrate progress.

Sugar is likely to be hardest, I reckon. And cheese, except goats (although I can get local milk, so I could make cheese)

Spuds are out, except new ones, and so is fish realistically (unless we go fishing, of course)

I need to cultivate a taste for beer, or elderflower champagne. This should be fun. What about a prize for the most elaborate meal? Judith can judge, and I'll put up a bottle of something local.
Cathryn

This has got all competitive with the boys debating local flour and the girls getting technical with mileage. Smile

How far's Bacheldre from me do you think Judith?
sean

I'm just planning on not using flour or sugar for my nominated meal. And lying a lot. Wink
Cathryn

You can't, you live with Jamanda (and for that matter the Boy Wonder) you've had it. Smile
sean

Pah, I do all the shopping. I can tell them that a local sturgeon farm has just opened if I need to. Wink
Jonnyboy

sean wrote:
I'm just planning on not using flour or sugar for my nominated meal. And lying a lot. Wink


jamanda & the boy wonder wrote:
Damn, chips again
wellington womble

I want to do some more elaborate stuff. I just told himself about this, and he said it would be easy, just find some local spuds and count Sunday lunch. And new potatotes, 5 mile lamb and veg from the garden is easy, for us (I'm not sure whether the flour for gravy is fifty miles, but it isn't far out) It's when you start making things that's harder. I'm not saying that simple meals aren't a valid local option - of course it's a sensible place to start, but for us a little bit of a challenge to make something more complex would be fun.

It's not meant to be competetive, or one-up-manship, just what's a fun challenge for us.
Jonnyboy

That's why I'm thinking of spag bol. Not hard to make well, everyone likes it. Hopefully pretension free.

But the ingredients would be an interesting challenge. Locally produced eggs, milled flour, (if you are making the pasta yourself)

veg, meat, bacon,

tomatoes.....that could be a tricky one

Red wine.... Shocked
Cathryn

No, I hope to learn something, quite possibly foraging things for this time of year. Spring seemed easy, now to focus on early summer.
sean

I thought that the challenge was just to do a meal, specifying what meal is just going to make it impossible for some people.
lottie

judith wrote:
tahir wrote:
judith wrote:
Aren't you within 50 miles of wheat-growing country?


Absolutely, but I don't know of any flour milled locally from local wheat, the nearest we've got is Marriages and they make no origin claims for their flour


Well I'm alright, Jack Laughing

Quote:
Our traditional Bacheldre Flour is milled from local wheat grown at Bacheldre Farm, as it would have been done hundreds of years ago. It is a truly local flour and 100% Welsh with minimum of food miles.

I don't suppose getting this with my Suma order counts as local does it? Embarassed
Jonnyboy

sean wrote:
I thought that the challenge was just to do a meal, specifying what meal is just going to make it impossible for some people.


I've obviously missed the entire purpose of this challenge. Very Happy
Jamanda

Re: One Local Summer challenge

judith wrote:
Would anyone be interested in joining me in a One Local Summer challenge?

The basic premise is that you eat at least one meal every week that was grown, produced or foraged entirely within a given radius of home, barring salt. pepper, spices and oil (I am inclined to add yeast to the list as well). By local, I suggest a radius of 50 miles.
You then simply start your own thread in this section and let us know all about your meal each week. If possible, post a mouth-watering picture too. Tell us how you sourced the ingredients, any particular challenges you faced in putting the menu together and any new producers or suppliers you have discovered while taking part.

Thatís all there is to it. It isnít a competition. You wonít be disqualified if you forget one week, and there are no prizes at the end. I suggest we run the challenge for the next 8 weeks, and hope to read some imaginative recipes and ideas that I can introduce into my own menus.

Any takers?


Well here it is again Very Happy You can still do spag bol if you want to.
cab

On the subject of flour, and not wanting to sound too smug about Cambridgeshire food suppliers, but we can get this stuff close to home, and it ain't from far away at all:

http://www.glebe-flour.co.uk/
wellington womble

I think being able to specify the meal yourself will make it avaiable to everyone to do at their own pace. Something simple and plain (like steak, salad and potatoes) is going to be vastly easier than something like spag bol, or more processed stuff like pie or bread and stuff. I'm trying to think of something hard, and failing. Obviously I don't cook anything complicated enough!! Laughing
cab

I dunno, I do bolognese sauce with all home grown ingredients (other than the elderberries for wine and shrooms, which were foraged of course) in summer if I have plenty of toms; really just comes down to making pasta.
Jamanda

But what about the parmesan?
Cathryn

Probably could get good local cheeses other than parmesan if you have to have cheese on it.

I like parmesan but why parmesan?
sean

wellington womble wrote:
I think being able to specify the meal yourself will make it avaiable to everyone to do at their own pace. Something simple and plain (like steak, salad and potatoes) is going to be vastly easier than something like spag bol, or more processed stuff like pie or bread and stuff. I'm trying to think of something hard, and failing. Obviously I don't cook anything complicated enough!! Laughing


Lobster?
cab

Jamanda wrote:
But what about the parmesan?


I'd use a different local cheese.
cab

Cathryn wrote:

I like parmesan but why parmesan?


'cos on a spag bol it is rather scrummy. I'll confess to having had a little of it on our wild shroom risotto this evening.
Cathryn

yeah 'spose that's the obvious answer. Smile
wellington womble

sean wrote:
wellington womble wrote:
I think being able to specify the meal yourself will make it avaiable to everyone to do at their own pace. Something simple and plain (like steak, salad and potatoes) is going to be vastly easier than something like spag bol, or more processed stuff like pie or bread and stuff. I'm trying to think of something hard, and failing. Obviously I don't cook anything complicated enough!! Laughing


Lobster?


No, silly, I mean something with lots of ingredients to find. I can't think of anything with more than about three. A local day might be interesting. How do you make local cake? Anyway, I think lobster's hugely overrated!

Clearly I am a simple cook! I should probably be more adventurous.
Grimnir

For the spag bol - where would your extra virgin olive oil come from? Smile What would you use instead? (Says he who can't remember when he last bought it Razz ) A lot of the fancy cooks slather it on just about everything, so if you had to source everything locally what would you be able to get in England?

I know the original instructions said seasonings were not included in this but what native herbs and seasonings are there? Could you do without imported ones if you had to? What about salt, what is the most local source for that?

*edit* must learn to spell...
Jamanda

Oil is included in the list of exceptions. Though I'm sure in many situations you could use butter, which could be local.
cab

Grimnir wrote:
For the spag bol - where would your extra virgin olive oil come from? Smile What would you use instead? (Says he who can't remember when he last bought it Razz ) A lot of the fancy cooks slather it on just about everything, so if you had to source everything locally what would you be able to get in England?


Extra virgin olive oil isn't that important in a dish like spag bol, you only want to add some near the end if you're planning to use it. I experimented with using a virgin rapeseed oil, worked very well.

Quote:
I know the original instructions said seasonings were not included in this but what native herbs and seasonings are there? Could you do without imported ones if you had to? What about salt, what is the most local source for that?


Herbs are easy, both wild and from the garden. There are a lot of spices that would be really hard, but few herbs. Salt is produced in many parts of the UK, but not available locally everywhere.
Stacey

I don't understand anymore Sad
Jonnyboy

Grimnir wrote:
What about salt, what is the most local source for that?

*edit* must learn to spell...


It's an exception. But I was going to use this as an excuse to take my kids to the beach and make our own salt. Very Happy
RichardW

Jamanda wrote:
But what about the parmesan?


Check the label I bet its not Parmesan but Full Fat Hard Cheese in the tub.

Jsutme
Jonnyboy

Tub? Can't see Sean allowing that in the house. Wink
vegplot

Or did he mean tube?
judith

Just to go back to basics for a minute, this doesn't have to be elaborate. Your local meal could be a cheese sarnie or an omelette with salad if that's what you can find. You can do a full three-course meal with wines for each course, if you want, but a simple supper dish is OK too.

Don't get too hung up on the rules- it's supposed to be a bit of fun and the challenge part is to think just that extra bit more about where our food actually comes from.

Sooo. You are allowed salt, pepper, spices (not herbs - anyone with a windowsill can grow herbs), oil and yeast. Anything else must be from within your 50-mile radius.

I'm off shopping now to see if I can find some Shropshire spuds. The rather nice Pembroke potatoes I had last week are outside my zone Sad
wellington womble

Re: One Local Summer challenge

judith wrote:
......within a given radius of home, barring salt. pepper, spices and oil (I am inclined to add yeast to the list as well). By local, I suggest a radius of 50 miles.


I can't imagine cooking without salt. Phew, as Maldon is 80 miles! Not within this challenge, but on the whole, not bad as foodmiles go. And this is someone who lives about as far from the see as it is possible to get (I beleive the furthest point is officially Tring, which about 6 miles from here)

Herbs are one of the easiest things to grow (if perhaps not to source) Nearly anyone could get a few plants and put them in a sunny corner (or even a window box) and keep themselves in their favourites for one meal a week. Lemongrass and coriander are the only ones I ever buy, now. Spices would be hard to cook without, if you are keen on that sort of thing.

I think citrus fruits, oil and sugar are the only things that would be truly unfathomable if push came to shove. And I think sugar may be made in East Anglia somewhere? I know oil can be produced, here, I just don't know if it is. There are plenty of other things I use which are imported (coffee, tea, rice, spices, chocoate, nuts, pulses) but not in large quantities, or as a daily staple.

Oh, and gin. Laughing
Jamanda

I've been thinking about this. If we are to do it for eight weeks, and have a different meal each time, it will get quite challenging towards the end - it's all very well saying a Sunday roast is too easy - it is easy for us too - but the following weeks won't be!
wellington womble

Nah - chicken, lamb, beef, pork, venison, guinea fowl, rabbit, pheasant, goat Wink

I do see what you mean, though. Anyway, part of the fun will be to see what other people cook, and get inspiration from that. I think spag bol will have to wait for later in the summer here - one to aspire to!

I reckon egg on toast I can do!

I'm hoping to start tonight, but I'm not sure about the veg, yet.
judith

Shopping was interesting this morning - much peering at labels.
Dairy is looking OK, although the available sources only just snuck in at under 50 miles. Starches seem to be pretty much limited to flour, spuds and oats, meat isn't a problem and I found out at the fishmonger today that there is a trout farm/smokery about 30 miles away, which offers some possibilities.

One thing that did occur to me that is going to be very hard for me to find - vinegar! I have three lemons on our tree, which I'm going to have to eke out if I want salad dressings. The other alternative is to learn how to make vinegar. A bit drastic, but has anyone done it?

That and only using honey for sweetening are possibly my biggest challenges.
sean

You need to get a vinegar mother I think, wonder if Ascotts sell it?
judith

I do have some unpasteurised cider vinegar with mother in it. If I use that to make my own, do you think that would remain within the spirit?
sean

Yep, and you'd never have to buy vinegar again once you got it going so there might even be bonus points. Very Happy
wellington womble

Yay - I found a local vineyard! Phew!

Found 'em here:

http://www.englishwineproducers.com/index.htm
judith

wellington womble wrote:
Yay - I found a local vineyard! Phew!


That's a relief Laughing
mochyn

OK I'm in.

I bought Shropshire spuds yesterday, and we have at least 2 vineyards within the zone, rape-seed oil in Shropshire, Pimhill & Bacheldre flours. Dairy I'll have to find out about though. So Monday I'll do something with our own pork (although the pigs' feed isn't that local!), the spuds, leeks from the garden... There are plenty of herbs out there too, along with lettuces and I have local rocket in the fridge. And we can have strawberries afterwards.

judith: if you have any luck with doing vinegar I'll buy a bit of mother from you...

I wonder where Rachel's Dairy and Calon Wen are?
sean

Rachel's Dairy is Aberystwyth I think.
mochyn

Rachel's started near Aber but is now too big to be included, I think! And Calon Wen farms are mainly Denbigh/Pembroke so also no go.

Ah well, dairy's out for the cahllenge then for me. Unless I get the old chap to relent on goats...
Cathryn

Rachel's dairy still produces a lot of things in the factory in Aberystwyth. The school does very well at every do with a van load of their products.

Interesting line to draw. The local Co-op has long stocked their (Rachel's Dairy) products but it is only when they got big that the big one here stared to. I think supermarkets should be encouraged to buy locally.
lottie

There's plenty of Welsh dairy stuff about---can't help feeling the "Welsh Tea" they sell doesn't really qualify though. Very Happy
Treacodactyl

Shouldn't special trips in a car to source an ingredient or two also be banned? I expect I could drive out to buy some localish spuds but that'll produce more CO2 than picking up a bag from a local shop.
lottie

The village shop stocks Welsh milk,butter,cheese,cream ,sausage,bacon and the eggs are very local---so the high cholesterol route should be a doddle. Very Happy
Jamanda

Treacodactyl wrote:
Shouldn't special trips in a car to source an ingredient or two also be banned? I expect I could drive out to buy some localish spuds but that'll produce more CO2 than picking up a bag from a local shop.


Not banned - how strict you want to be is down to you.
Jonnyboy

Jamanda wrote:
Treacodactyl wrote:
Shouldn't special trips in a car to source an ingredient or two also be banned? I expect I could drive out to buy some localish spuds but that'll produce more CO2 than picking up a bag from a local shop.


Not banned - how strict you want to be is down to you.


It's an excellent point though. I certainly think it's something we should reflect on when reporting back.
sean

If you've had to change your shopping habits to do it then it's worth mentioning. I think that most people who are likely to do the challenge aren't dim enough to start driving an extra couple of hundred miles per week for it though.
wellington womble

Treacodactyl wrote:
Shouldn't special trips in a car to source an ingredient or two also be banned? I expect I could drive out to buy some localish spuds but that'll produce more CO2 than picking up a bag from a local shop.


This is my problem - it's worth taking a special trip to buy local meat on a monthly basis, but trekking twenty miles every few days for veg is plainly daft - it's got to be better that it's shipped in bulk. Meat is easy, dairy is easy, sundries aren't too bad (and more rarely bought) but veg is hard. I really should be a better kitchen gardener. At least its one thing I can do with an ordinary garden. If it were easy to get veg and beef hard, there would be nothing I could realistically do about it.
Treacodactyl

wellington womble wrote:
Treacodactyl wrote:
Shouldn't special trips in a car to source an ingredient or two also be banned? I expect I could drive out to buy some localish spuds but that'll produce more CO2 than picking up a bag from a local shop.


This is my problem - it's worth taking a special trip to buy local meat on a monthly basis, but trekking twenty miles every few days for veg is plainly daft - it's got to be better that it's shipped in bulk. Meat is easy, dairy is easy, sundries aren't too bad (and more rarely bought) but veg is hard. I really should be a better kitchen gardener. At least its one thing I can do with an ordinary garden. If it were easy to get veg and beef hard, there would be nothing I could realistically do about it.


For us we'll have a problem with dairy and starch, I'm not sure it there are any local producers of, say, spuds and if there are it'll take a special car trip so we'll not do it. On the other hand we'll mostly be eating veg from the garden for all our meals in a few weeks so I'll not worry about buying pasta etc in bulk from Suma.
sean

It's only meant to be one meal/week isn't it?
wellington womble

Yes, but you know, some people always get carried away.. Wink
Cathryn

Fish fingers and oven chips, with Hellman's mayonnaise and Heinz tomato ketchup. Shocked

We'll start next week. Smile
Mrs Fiddlesticks

Just me's sausages for tea as made by Lawrence at the skills weekend so not today here either then
mochyn

Wel, wedi fflabergastio.

I've drawn a 50m radius on a map.

It reaches from Liverpool to Brecon and from well west of Aberystwyth to Cannock! So I can use my beloved Calon Wen milk and butter after all, and maybe Halen Mon salt will be inside, but I suspect it's just outside...

Double fflabergastio! It's just within the circle! So I can have sea salt!

Woohoo!
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