This year we’re pleased to announce that Not Dabbling in Normal is hosting the 5th Annual Dark Days Challenge along with Laura of (not so) Urban Hennery! What does that mean to you? It means that you’ll be coming here for the recaps and roundups and you’ll have one of the writers here at Not Dabbling as one of your Dark Days Contacts.
We’re going to recruit far and wide and try to make this the biggest and best year of the challenge to date! We’re still finalizing all the details, but there are likely to be THEME WEEKS and PRIZES and a whole lot of other reasons that this will be the best challenge ever.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up! Join in! Cook the winter blahs away with fabulous local food all winter! But seriously, we hope you’ll join us in eating locally, sustainably and fantastically well this year! Sign ups are officially closed to be included in recaps, but we’d love to have you join us in spirit!
The challenge runs from Sunday, November 27th, 2011 to Saturday, March 31st, 2012.
What’s the Challenge?
Cook one meal each week featuring SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients, write about it on your blog and email your happy recapper a link to your post. It’s really that simple, but at the same time, it can really be that hard. Need more details? See the links in the right side bar at (not so) Urban Hennery to the past Challenges.
What does local mean?
Traditionally, local food challenges call for a 100 mile radius. Winter time is more difficult in many climates, especially if you’re new to eating locally, so my default winter definition is 150 miles. You can choose to make your radius smaller or slightly larger as you need. Typical exceptions to the local requirement are oils, coffee, chocolate and spices. If you’re making fewer or more exceptions, please note that on your first post.
What if I can’t find every ingredient locally?
That’s why this is called a challenge! If you can’t find every ingredient, or heck even most ingredients, please still write about your attempts. This is just as much about what we learn, the obstacles we find, and the decisions we make as it is about cooking with SOLE ingredients.
What if I don’t have a ‘good’ camera or I’m not a great photographer?
Take pictures with what you’ve got and do your best – for this challenge, taste and creativity are what counts, not looks. If you don’t have a camera, no worries, just tell us the story and we’ll use our imaginations.
What if I don’t have a blog?
You are still welcome to play along, you just won’t be included in the weekly recaps. Instead, we ask that you come by each week and add your meal/experiences as a comment to one of the recap posts or email your group leader.
When will recaps go up?
We’ll post recaps of the fun stuff that you’ve encountered so you can share your experiences with all of those following along. Recaps will begin on Sunday, December 11th beginning with the “East” participants. The following Sunday we will share highlights of the “West” participants. You should receive an email from your leader by Tuesday, December 6th with all the details of the process.
Stay in touch!
Chat with us via our Facebook page or use the #darkdaysfood tag in Twitter. We’d love to hear your progress or questions! (Just be sure to update your recaps with your leader via email). There is also a Dark Days Googlegroup headed up by the founder of this challenge: Laura of Urban Hennery where you can exchange ideas and discuss your progress.
We promised you some challenges, and here they are. You’re not required to participate in the challenges, but they sure keep things interesting! The dates listed below are the DEADLINES for you to send your post to your leader so that you can be included in the following Sunday’s post here at NDiN (therefore you’ll want to prepare your challenge meal the week prior to these dates). We can’t wait to see what creative meals and courses you come up with!
Soup and One-pot Meals: make a meal entirely in one pot like soup, stews, or a pan-roasted meal. One-pot dishes always make for easy clean-up!
“West” deadline: Wednesday 1/18
“East” deadline: Wednesday 1/25
Valentine’s Day Sweets: Try to use ingredients as local as possible to make some sweet treats leading up to Valentine’s Day. Follow the rules you set for yourself at the beginning of the challenge: will you allow chocolate, leavening agents, or refined sugars?
“West” deadline: Wednesday 2/1
“East” deadline: Wednesday 2/8
Vegetarian Meal: This is a big one for all you carnivores! Can you make a completely vegetarian meal without use of animal meat or fat? Butter, cheese, and milk are acceptable ingredients in this challenge.
“West” deadline: Wednesday 2/29
“East” deadline: Wednesday 3/7
Breakfast: It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Can you locally source grains and seasonal fruit, or will you stick with meat and eggs?
“West” deadline: Wednesday 3/28
“East” deadline: Wednesday 4/4
Don’t forget that we have a few prizes to give away during our Challenge! Be sure to keep involved!!
leader: Susy Morris from Chiot’s Run
life, from the ground up.
The Life of a Novice
Put Em’ Up: A Chronicle of Making Stuff
Bits of my Life
Our Rural Home
SOLE for the Soul
Thrift at Home
C & J Homemade
Martha who’ll be adding her meals in the comments
Lower New England/Mid-Atlantic
leader: Emily Jenkins-Bastian from Tanglewood Farm
Late Bloomers Farm
Bumble Lush Kitchen Garden
Monica Tries to Cook
Prospect the Pantry
A Lighter Footprint
NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge
NY Locavore Challenge
Knit and Be Happy
the suburban road less traveled
Belle Jar Canning
Gardening to Preserve
Barefoot City Girl
Sunny Hill Farm Blog
Cross Creek Farm Family
From Scratch Club
Living my Dreamlife on the Farm
Upper New England
leader: Ryan from Phoenix Hill Farm
The Finicky Farmer
31 and holding
You Got Me Cookin’
Grown Away – Adventures in Food
Nine Lines n More
The Luddite’s Apiary
100 Mile Locavores
Great Faith in a Seed
The Onion Flower
This Little Monkey Went to Market
Adventures of the Kitchen Ninja
Nicole Carey’s Blog
the crowing hen
A Locavore Lost in Urbanity
leader: Emily Sauls from Sincerely, Emily
Southern Fried Goodness
Flight of the Seabirds
Windy City Vegan
Eat. Drink. Nourish.
Keeping Up With K
40 shades of green
Family Foodie Survival Guide
The Farm Fairy
Nancy – maintaining progress via emails and comments
leader: Miranda from An Austin Homestead
round here at chez hates
four four ten
The World In My Eyes
The Improbable Farmer
Nico’s Tiny Kitchen
Save the Rind
Knit & Nosh
Kitsap Farm to Fork
The Reluctant Blogger
(not so) Urban Hennery
Rock Solid, Natural Stone Planters
Christin will be maintaining progress via email and comments
leader: Xan from Malzheit
If Not Here…
a girl named gus
Nordic Walking Queen
Loving Our Guts
Keeping Local with the Joneses
Squash Blossom Farm
The Sanborn Sactuary Farm
Leader: Jennifer Pack from Unearthing this Life
Small Wonder Farm
20 Something Allergies
The Local Cook
Dog Hill Kitchen
The Frugal Homestead
Our Happy Acres
Dee Dee managing via comments and email
leader: Sage from The Flowerweaver
Cortina Creek Farm
The Devine Kitchen
Canning with Kids
Not From a Box
Rosemary and Roux
Handcrafted With Altitude
d.i. wine and dine
Eat Drink Better