Sunday 22 June 2008

One Local Summer week 3

I was really rubbish this week, and couldn't get to a farm shop or even up to the green grocer, thanks to the GCSE marking and the lovely day I spent in London yesterday with some friends from uni, who I haven't seen for about 7 years. I think these excuses are good enough.

I managed to make myself a late night meal of West country chicken, from Sainsbury's - it's very handy that they sell locally produced food, though I have concerns that it is shipped to, hmm, I don't know, Aberdeen for packaging before being put in our local supermarket. I do, however, like the little Freedom Foods sticker on the packet, which assures me that, although the bok-boks are kept indoors, they have lots of room to run around, bales of straw, perches, and brightly coloured objects with which to play. I had a moment as I cooked the chicken, imagining it running around after a beach ball, trying to make it roll with its beak and popping it every time. It made me chuckle.

I combined that with some rocket which had been languishing in the salad drawer since my last farm shop visit, and some bread which was decidedly NOT local but the only thing on hand at 11pm on a Saturday night. At least the meal was slightly more local than the kebab Mr Z picked up for dinner on the way home from the bus station. But still, I think this meal gets a "Could do better" sticker.

Next week I am away from home for meals for 3 nights in a row, but on Tuesday I have a meeting in Devizes all day, which necessitates driving past a whole new range of farm shops - one of which, I noticed last week, sells its milk to Cadbury for use in Dairy Milk. Does this make Dairy Milk local for me? I had to drive around Wiltshire last week to drop off some application forms I'd forgotten to post (not for me...pupils) and was sorry I couldn't stop, thanks to being in such a hurry, at any of the half dozen places I saw advertising their wares. Mostly the signs mentioned free range eggs and potatoes, but I can definitely make a meal out of that. I think I might try making some gnocchi next week. If I am ever at home, anyway.

Also, I drive to work through a very woody bit of road, and the whole place reeks of wild garlic in the summer. I keep meaning to park and go and gather some, but I am afraid I might see an insect of some kind, get scared, run out into the road and be flattened by a tractor. Either that or misidentify the plant I pick and poison myself. I have been looking at wild garlic pictures online to help me, and have found a good recipe for wild garlic pesto. That would make a very local meal, with some gnocchi.

Oh, and just in case it wasn't really obvious - the reason I posted that picture of those cars is because of the number plates. These are a lot more clear if you click on the picture and make it nice and big.

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