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May 6, 2010

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Jan

I've saved this recipe, thanks, as I've got everything except the lime leaves and the mung beans... but I don't suppose it'll matter.

Laura

Nope! Just lentils works just fine, or you could use another of the pulses like chickpeas, too. I actually think my lime leaves are getting too old - couldn't taste much of them anyway!

Max

As a curry loving, wannabe self-sufficient type, I have a vested interest in this!

I thought I'd try to compile a list of curry-friendly herbs and spices possible to cultivate in Northern France - so far:

coriander (leaf & seed), cumin (leaf and seed),ginger,nigella,paprika,chilli,fennel,bay,fenugreek, anise. Turmeric? http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/turmeric_grow_it.html... not bad!

I'm sure you could make ghee out of that butter too..

Laura

That's a pretty good list! Quite a relief... :)
I was wondering what you were going to do actually during your year (or more) of self-sufficiency. Are you planning to try to grow some rice (or do you do so already)? Or just perfect your nan/chipati/roti-making skills?

Mary

It seems like there should be some kind of difference made between a spice or commodity that is dried and transported over a "route" allowing for trade of goods BACK to the origination point-- And the fruits and vegetables which are genetically designed for transportation instead of taste and then dispensed in multiple one-way deliveries.
It is hard to look at the two as equally destructive.

Laura

How did you know that was a tangent I started to go on before I reined myself in to prevent 'reflections' from turning into 'rant'? :)

While I was trying to remain within the optic of self-sufficiency and concern over the ability to transport goods from far-away places that are truly not able to be sourced locally, it is true that the current state of modern food distribution is a major concern of mine even before any consideration of its potential break-down.

It is unbelievable to me that in Europe, some green beans for instance, that may have been grown just down the road from me are rounded up to a collection center, trucked to the airport, flown to Kenya to be topped and tailed and packaged (since labor is cheaper there), then flown back to Europe, trucked to a distribution center, then trucked to the supermarket nearest me.

And as you point out, these beans or strawberries or whatever will be in fact utterly tasteless as they've been selected purely for how well they keep and transport.

I'm not sure, however, that I followed your differentiation of spices dried and transported back vs fruits and vegetables being multiple one-way...? I would've thought of spices as one-way, while fruits and vegetables (needlessly) take multiple, multi-directional, often overlapping, journeys.

Mary

If you think of the model of a "peddler" or spice trader. They would deliver spices to you and pick up what was produced in your area to take back to their origination--thereby providing the old fashioned "trade route". But the vegetables grown in California are put in trucks going across country and statistics put the empty returns at 15-30%. So the trucks are not only carrying the produce long distances, but aren't providing a natural "trade". I think for many of us in the colder climates it would be impossible to live without transportation of food. I just wish it could be done more efficiently.

Max

Hi Laura -

I can live without rice. And Emma does a mean naan bread! : )

Laura

Ah, right, I see what you mean. I guess you'd have to hunt bison and moose, etc! But as for vegetables I'm not sure you could grow enough for the year in the like one and a half-month growing season you have (can't believe you had snow today!!!).

Laura

Yum! I actually have never tried making nan myself - I know my mom did a few times and it turned out really nice. Do you mind if I ask for your recipe?

Max

It's easy Laura. But would take me all day to type with my typing non-skills. Will scan & email!

Laura

That would be fantastic, thanks so much! And no rush of course - just whenever you get a chance!

Leesa

WOW!! That looks DELISH!! Just found your blog from Keith's review this morning.. What a lovely blog!! It looks like you like cooking as much as I do...

I'll be back again... Have a great weekend...
Leesa

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