Dec 1, 2009

Dark Days Challenge

I've accepted the Dark Days Challenge for the first time. Started by Laura at the (not so) urban Hennery website, the goal is to cook one meal each week between mid-November and the end of March (The 'Dark Days of Winter') , of SOLE food (Sustainable - Organic - Local - Ethical), then post about it on one's blog, with photos. I'm afraid I'm going to have to go further than our back garden, since all that's left standing is some frosty kale and chard, and that won't last much longer. But we have sources for good local produce (definition: 100 miles) and I have my closely-guarded wee stash of tomato sauce, potatoes, etc. Here's more info and the web address if anyone of you are interested in signing up. Too bad we already ate these:

3rd Annual Dark Days of Winter Eat Local Challenge. Whew! That’s a mouthful. We just call it Dark Days for short around here.
Hope you’ll join me! Hope you’ll invite all of your friends to join us! Can’t wait to see what we all cook…

Nov 15, 2009 – Mar 31, 2010

What’s the Challenge?
Cook one meal each week focused on SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients and write about it on your blog. It’s really that simple, but at the same time, it can really be that hard.

To keep things interesting we’ll have theme weeks throughout the winter, with polls to choose as we go.

What does local mean?
Traditionally, local food challenges call for a 100 mile radius. Winter time is more difficult in many climates, especially if you’re new to eating locally, so my default definition is 150 miles. You can choose to make your radius smaller or slightly larger as you need. Typical exceptions are oils, coffee, chocolate and spices. If you’re making fewer or more exceptions, please note that on your first post.

What if I can’t find every ingredient locally?
That’s why this is called a challenge! If you can’t find every ingredient, or heck even most ingredients, please still post your meal each week. This is just as much about what we learn, the obstacles we find and the decisions we make as it is about cooking with SOLE ingredients.


  1. Hi;
    Oooh... this is a neat idea. I may have to join in the fun - that is if purchasing locally grown produce counts? My poor little garden is asleep under the snow.

    Saw that you had visited my blog the other day and wanted to stop over and say hello. I just returned from your lovely state of Oregon where we were riding horses out near Tillamook. Beautiful area!

  2. Thanks, Kate, for saying hi. Yes, I visited your blog and saw that you are a Zone 5 gardener wishing for Zone 7. Heck, I'd be glad to be in Zone 6 :) But we're only at 4000 feet, so probably much balmier than you?

    Apparently food is just supposed to be grown locally, but not necessarily by you. Good thing, too, since my garden is about gone now as well. The only thing available here soon (in my garden) will be sagebrush tips and juniper berries. Yuck.

    Next time you come to Oregon, stop by the high desert -- great for riding horses.

  3. cool challenge - this would be really hard! I might give it a shot. Looking forward to what you'll be cooking (Julia style I'm sure!)