Monday, January 9, 2012

Dark Days Week 6: Ducks and dairy

I'm really getting into this challenge a bit more each week, and I'm finding it both easier and harder to stay within the 'rules' i set myself at the start. I've become more aware of what options are open to me for local goods, and am finding some surprising sources, but I'm also finding it tougher to get clear documentation on some of it. There seems to be a fair amount of 'greenwashing', and just plain ol' lack of information, when it comes to food and food labelling... it's amazingly easy to buy something that seems local and/or organic at first glance but when you dig a bit deeper, find otherwise.

For example, in researching local, organic grains and flours, I found what seems to be an excellent option that is sold at the bakery at the end of our street and a few of the markets in the area. Their website offers flowery declarations of their mission statement and what they're doing to promote organic farming in Quebec, and they are apparently certified by a European company, but I can't find any info on their being certified organic here in Quebec or Canada. Yanno, where we're located!?!? That I find slightly odd... but i'll keep researching. They're the best option I've got for grains and flours at the moment, so I guess it's better than nothing ;)  (*correction: I've found they are also certified organic (and kosher) by the OCIA which is a non-profit organization) 

Anyway! On to the food... this past week we continued to eat leftovers from the holidays, and I am now quite sick of them. ;) I also made a lovely duck ragu, following a recipe over at The Kitchn, that we both enjoyed quite a bit. I used the last of the Quebec wine I'd bought a few weeks back, as well as some local kale and parmesan cheese and of course the Lac Brome duck I boned at Christmas. (I also took the opportunity to dig out the carcasses and make duck stock) The end result was this:


You can make it as thin or as thick as you like... ours came out thick and meaty and delicious. Will definitely have to make that one again sometime! 

When we reached our limit of leftover meals, which happened to be a particularly chilly night this week, we indulged in some comfort food: Cheddar Beer soup. I used a recipe from one of my cookbooks, and it came out *amazingly* well. I bought a bottle of local, organic Quebec beer:




As well as some local, organic aged Quebec cheddar:



Mixed it with some veggies and some of my homemade duck stock, and ended up with this: 



A velvety, fragrant soup, paired with some fresh crusty bread, that tastes like the fondue my mom used to make when I was growing up (she always called it 'rabbit fondue', which is another name for Welsh Rarebit fondue, which confused me to no end as a child ;). I used to love the end of the meal when I could score a piece of the toasty cheese 'puck' at the bottom of the fondue pot. So good! 

I've scored some local (and raw... shhh! Don't tell!) milk, so next week will likely see me making a few dairy based things, though I've not yet decided what. I'll be sure to report back here with the results :) 

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