Liz from Pocket Farm has once again decided to host One Local Summer and I've signed up this year. I found the Pocket Farm blog just as it was coming to the end of the OLS challenge last year and thought it was a great idea so was glad to be able to sign up for it this year. The idea is that once a week you cook a meal which is local and then blog about it (and also post in a flickr group - have to figure that one out at the weekend). The first week began last Sunday but as I was away at the weekend and have been erratic at buying and preparing food over the last couple of months I wasn't quite prepared. Still, I'm hoping it'll help to focus my mind again and to get me back in the kitchen cooking proper food again.
So, not wanting the week to run away with me I spent all day Monday trying to figure out what to cook (additionally challenged this week as I don't get paid till Friday and am very, very broke and had basically been planning on living on pasta and porridge all week). Then I remembered that I had some beef pieces in the freezer which had been intended for a dinner which ended up being cancelled a few weeks ago. I also still had a few potatoes left from my visit to Ranelagh market two weeks ago. Stew it was and with the weather the way it is at the moment it didn't feel at all strange to be eating this wintry comfort food at all!
I browned the beef pieces in a little bit of sunflower oil, then added some boiled water, salt and pepper, a dash of worchestershire sauce and some bisto. Meanwhile I boiled the potatoes and a couple of carrots I also found in fridge. As I had been delayed in work yesterday and the traffic was appalling to boot I ended up cooking this much quicker than I wanted to but it still tasted great. And I was particularly proud that I did it even after the day I'd had and even though it was already half-eight by the time I started cooking.
Beef pieces from Coolanowle Farm (according to the AA routeplanner about 57 miles from me)
Potatoes from the Berry Farm, Kiltiernan (about 10 miles from me)
Carrots had been in the fridge for a while but I think they are from McNally's Farm in Naul (which is in north Co. Dublin about 24 miles from me)
Salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce and bisto powder were from the cupboard. Worchestershire sauce and bisto made in England. Salt is, I think, French - the only unrefined salt available. No idea where the peppercorns came from as I bought a huge bag from an oriental shop a few months ago and just have them stored in an airtight container. The sunflower oil was the last dribble from a Lidl bottle purchased last year.
So, a delicious meal, everything for it was already there in my kitchen and it reminded me that the most important ingredient in any meal is a bit of enthusiasm (and lack of laziness!). If I hadn't been participating in this challenge I would have had a very boring dinner - in fact I reminded myself of the moany kid I heard on a reality TV show once complaining that there was no food in the house, only ingredients! And the best part is I had more than enough for three servings so that's lunch sorted for a couple of days too!
I'll post my general guidelines for the OLS challenge soon. Basically I will be aiming for one entirely local meal a week with some exceptions such as oil/condiments/spices.