For Lent this year, we are giving up eating.
Well almost. We can eat root vegetables, apples, flour, dairy and some meat.
This is because we are experimenting with an exclusively local food diet and these are the foods that are in season within 100 miles of where we live in the English Midlands.
This week we are in training. We have been making a lot of soup, baking bread and even grinding up roast parsnips to make substitute coffee. Our 7 year old daughter has been eating up Christmas chocolate she had saved. We think she is trying to put on fat to get through the month.
The other thing we have been doing is arguing. Eating local is a stressful business. Can we eat this jam? No, we don’t know where the sugar came from. What about this flour? Well, we know it was ground within 100 miles, but we don’t know which farm it came from. What about salt? As we’re in the middle of the country and the furthest point inland, there is no local source of salt. Can we manage without it?
We have also been visiting farmers markets, local shops, mills, orchards and endless farm shops. Out goes our normal diet of lentils, tinned tomatoes and pulses. In comes cream, butter and pigeon. It tastes a bit like liver, if you are wondering.
Mostly we’re on the lookout for things to do with root vegetables. Yesterday we had a potato pizza. Today we’re having potato quiche.
A pattern is beginning to emerge.