It’s been a little over a decade since the 100-mile diet became a mainstream thing. I make a conscious effort to buy local things: The ketchup in the Casa MacDonald is French’s, since Heinz is no longer Canadian made. We get a bin of fruit and vegetables from Mama Earth Organics delivered to my porch every Wednesday afternoon. All our meat comes from either a local farmer at the Cambridge Market, or on a larger scale, quarter of a cow or half a pig from one of Mike’s cousins. I preserve my tomatoes into chili starter or pasta sauce or salsa (or BBQ sauce or pizza sauce). Sometimes the tomatoes are grown by me, more often they’re purchased at the Kitchener Farmer’s Market or DiPietro’s. I’ve got blueberries for a winter’s worth of oatmeal from a friend’s parents’ farm. A coworker brings me honey from his husband’s apiary. I roast many many many heads of local garlic in the fall to preserve in oil to use over the winter. I’d rather go without than buy garlic from China.
Even the kombucha that I drink comes from Burlington, and I found a source for locally grown birdseed to sustain the garden critters over the winter, and my preferred type of wine (the sublime Baco Noir) is almost exclusively grown in the Southern Ontario.
So imagine my delight when my road trip to Stratford with Mike netted me a local source (Junction 56) for an anisette flavoured libation to replace the imported Sambuca in my bar. And if you’re going buy that, you should totally also buy a bottle of Sugarshack Maple liqueur. Because two gallons of Elmira maple goodness in my house right might not be enough in an emergency. The thing about maple emergencies is you don’t know what they might be until you’re elbow deep into one, so this seems legit.
The story should end there, right? I found a good source for another local product. And we all lived happily ever after. Except everyone who knows me knows I’m a little chronic, and I’m the Queen of the Google Rabbit hole, so it’s kinda spiralling out of control.
I’ve never once made a Kir Royale, but if I had a bottle of Canadian Framboise (Southbrook Vinyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake), I’d really have no excuse not to, right? I already have a bottle of Asti ready to go. Peach Moonshine (Murphy’s Law Distillery, Elmira) would make excellent Bellini’s, or Sangria, or as a flavour boost in peach crumble (made with preserved Niagara peaches, of course) in February. Or Cherry Bombs (also Murphy’s Law) on… uh… things.
Looking at my bar right now, there is a bottle of Crème de Cacao that is missing about half a cup that I needed for 2 batches of Christmas cookies. Since that baking extravaganza ages ago, the bottle has languished sorrowfully on the shelf, waiting to be put in the game. There’s also a bottle of Amaretto that I bought because the bottle is gorgeous. Granted, I do drink that sometimes, but mostly, my bar contributes to hot toddies when I’m sick – the Pine Fireball of Centerbe. Oh, but did I mention that I found a source for local bitters (Dillon’s, Grimsby – available in several flavours, including hot pepper, citrus, and ginger)?
It sounds like I have a problem. But the problem isn’t that I’m a giant lush. It’s that I’m a collector. And that’s totally not the same thing as a hoarder. On the upside, chances are high that the zombie apocalypse is going to be good times at the Casa MacDonald.
2 thoughts on “Locovore gone wild”
Ok so I am super inspired by your local purchases. I’ve been trying to do the same but haven’t hit your level of commitment yet. Any tips / connections you could share would be greatly appreciated 🙂
Hey Annette. Shopping at the farmers market is a good way to start – you’ll get to know what’s in season throughout the year. I’m super fortunate to have the Cambridge, Kitchener, and St. Jacob’s markets relatively close. At my local farmer’s market, there’s a brochure/map by Foodlink (https://www.foodlink.ca/) for local food in Waterloo region. It lists the farmgates, U-Pick, and Local stores. I feel like most regions would have something similar. If there’s something specific you’re looking for (like honey, or eggs, or fresh pasta), a google search can helpmetimes, health food stores have locally sourced things, or can help you with some ideas for local things for you.
You also have to resign yourself that some things are just not ever going to be local – bananas, coffee, citrus, lobster, things like that. You can decide that you’re going to try harder to eat local for things you can (like local apples instead of BC or New Zealand apples, local garlic instead of garlic from China; local hothouse tomatoes instead of tomatoes from California or Florida). Good Luck Annette!