Food

salad dressing

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note to self: prior to shaking new jar of salad dressing, ensure that lid is not broken, else risk throwing salad dressing in hair, on face and clothes, and all over kitchen.

beer tasting party

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beer_party_sized.jpg

That photo pretty much sums up Fridays selection of beer. The beer tasting turned out pretty well, in fact, I'd even say it was a success ;). Lots of great beers, some not so great, a couple terrible. And yes, that is a can of budweiser you see there. I think next time we do this we're gonna have to make it a little bit more formal, so that by the end of the night I actually remember which beers I liked, which beers I have to have again, and which I'm never touching again. Thanks to everyone who dropped by, it was rad.

Food, Procrastination, and Driving (or lack thereof)

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I've been procrastinating like crazy lately. It's really bad. In my fit of procrastination, I started thinking about how much harder it is to procrastinate without a TV. Almost so hard it's not even worth it. Sure, Facebook and YouTube help, but you're constantly searching for stuff. I stumbled across this article about active vs. passive procrastination. I'm happy to say most of my procrastination is active, unfortunately, just not today (though blogging probably counts as active :)).

I realized shortly after I starting my psuedo-100-mile-diet that my rule of being able to purchase produced foods as long as it was produced locally would be ok, was a bit of a joke. Why is it any better for me to purchase produced non-local food if I could just buy the non-local food myself and then make it (for example, fresh salsa). So I decided that it's only ok if the raw ingredients can't be purchased locally. So, pretty much all of the ingredients in the Granola King's granola is non-local, regardless of the fact that much of it could be purchased locally, therefore Granola King is out.

With regards to my meals, I've got breakfast and lunch pretty much down. For breakfast I've been eating local yogurt (non-sweetened because all the sugar comes from far away) with honey (I can't stand plain yogurt :)). Usually sandwitches for lunch. But dinner I'm still not too good at, this is probably due to part laziness, part lack of creativity. What I need is a local seasonal recipe book. Has anyone ever heard of something like that? I think it could be a good seller these days.

I finally posted some pics from the Commercial Drive "Drive Fest" from a couple weekends back. Oh yeah, and critical mass is starting in a few minutes, should be a massive turnout this month. I went for my first time last month and it was pretty awesome. I hope you didn't drive into the downtown core for work today :). Aight, I'm off.

EDIT: One last thing... Scott's b-day party is this weekend, and we're starting off tomorrow with a brunch at my place (that's right, waffles, eggs, bacon, cinnamon buns, pancakes, omlettes, vodka, same old stuff), so let me know if wanna drop by (and I might even give you my address).

Farmers Markets

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First off... I had a bit of a mental lapse on my last post, with regards to the Granville Island beer. I had somehow forgot that almost all Granville Island beer is actually brewed in Kelowna... therefore, GIB is out (though I still have to finish the case in my fridge). On the bright side... I tried the Phillips Draft Dogder yesterday, and I'm gonna have to concede that it's my new favorite all around beer. Even more so than New Belgium's Fat Tire.

Anyway, the west end farmer's market started today, so I decided to walk over and see if I could find some good stuff. I ended spending almost $70 on food (a little more than planned, but hey, what can you do?). The west end farmers market is at most 1/2 the size of the trout lake one, but still good variety. I was hoping I'd be able to find some more fruit there, but I guess a lot of it doesn't come out until more mid-summer. I ended up buying salmon (smoked and fresh), cheese, beef, strawberries, raspberries, bread, some veggies, salsa, and a few other things. The cheese was from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks in Parksville. From what I've been able to find so far, they seem like one of the few local cheesemakers that makes both hard and soft cheeses (I'm pretty sure all of the gulf islands ones just do soft cheeses for the most part). The beef and strawberries came from Forstbauer natural foods. They seem pretty cool, all their beef is grass fed and they also sell eggs and a variety of fruits and veggies... they're a "biodynamic" farm just outside of Abbotsford. I'll let you know if I think can taste a difference from the "grain fed" beef I've always eaten.

Random fact #1: 100 mile house is 100 miles from Lillooet.

Random fact #2: Apparently my blog is the 2,261,228th most visited site on the web. w00t!. I think my goal for 2007 is going to be to get it below 1,000,000. Of course, that might mean blogging more frequently, but whatever.

Food.

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I'm currently reading the Omnivores Dilemma, which is a far cry from my standard reading list of reference manuals and api documentation. I use to think I knew a little bit about food, I generally try to buy organic and local foods if I can. If I've learned one thing from this book it's how little I actually know, both about processed and organic foods. If anything, it's solidified my belief that buying local is the way to go, for several reasons. I was briefly chatting with someone about the book the other day and he brought up the 100 mile diet (the 100 mile diet, is a diet that permits eating any food grown [and processed] within 100 miles of where you live). I guess that triggered something for me, because since then I've been all like "dang. i should get on that 100 mile diet bandwagon".

So, to the point of my post... I'm going to try and do a [somewhat half assed] hundred mile diet this summer. I'm not sure of the best approach to get started, but for the sake of my sanity, and health, going cold turkey off non local food might be a bad idea. Some of my thoughts...

  • I'm gonna start with trying to just do 2-4 days of "100 mile" food.
  • As I get into it I'd like to do full weeks, but I still want to be able to eat out occasionally and have dinner at friends' places. So I'll need to make some provisions there... and find some good not-to-crazy-expensive restaurants that serve local food.
  • On the topic of restaurants though... even to start with (on non-100 mile days) I'll be trying to support restaurants with a more local food selection (even if it's just the lettuce, beer, and wine).
  • Foods that I can't "live" without... olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chocolate, etc. I think that perhaps if the food can't be grown in this climate, I can probably make an exception for it :). My only restriction here is that it needs to be (animal and human) cruelty free.
  • Beer, bread, and other locally produced food (yes, beer is food). While it is possible to get wheat and barley within 100 miles of Vancouver... there's not much, and I would imagine that 99.99% of all bread and beer made within 100 miles of Vancouver is using prarie grain. For my sanity... locally made beer and bread are OK. Of course, this means one of my favorite breweries as of late, Nelson, is out. But Russell, R&B, Phillips, Red Truck (i.e. Yaletown), Storm, and of course Granville Island, are all a-ok.
  • Okanagan fruit. I don't know what to do about this one yet. I guess I'll see what's available in the lower mainland first.

So I think that's my plan for now. I'm pretty sure the condiments are gonna get me though. It should be pretty fun though, especially in the summer. Vancouver's hundred miles has a ton of variety.