This month after a Spring in action meal that included raw nettle pesto, local asparagus, home-grown rainbow chard and Hunza apricots, we checked out our several Low Carbon Larders, and conducted our monthly round up of seasonal veg, exchanges of practical tips (wood-fired stoves, how to bottle tomatoes, individual porridge mixes) and big picture thinking.
What has become clear in the last six months is that this is not going to be a cookbook in the usual sense. There will be recipes (dishes you can bring-to-share), but it's focus will not be Cuisine. Instead it will chart a whole new attitude to eating and buying food: cooking from scratch, considering provenance weaning ourselves of a high meat and dairy intake and getting used to eating in community, instead of alone on the fast-track. It's about swapping stuff (Mark and Erik exchanging alexanders for last-of-the season kale), using less energy (pressure cookers, living without a fridge), not wasting anything (freegan food, roadkill, foodcycle Fridays in Norwich). And about creating a culture that is happy to eat simple things.
Food in the last decades has become an obsession with pleasure and convenience- artificial, over-luxurious, over processed, shipped from everywhere in the world. It needs to become practical, deep, connected, nutritious and tied into the local territory. Here's where we start: by paying attention on what is on the table, giving it right value and meaning and asking questions. Civiliations famously arise and fall accordingly to their ability to feed themselves. If we want to evolve into people who are synch with the planet we’re going to have to radically downshift our kitchens. It might be the end of the Magimix, but it won’t be the end of the world. Charlotte Du Cann
Carrying 15 kilos of millet home to the larder; low carbon cookbook crew tuck in!