One of my grandfather Rossignol’s and memère Bouchard’s favorite meals was pork, beef, rabbit and sometimes partridge Slow Cooked in a big roaster with potatoes, carrots, turnips and lots of onions. This was simply known as, “un rôti”. This was always served with plenty of sides like, coleslaw, pickled beets/cauliflower, swiss chard and buckwheat ployes/pancakes or freshly baked bread. My mother continued this french-acadian tradition and I vividly remember the sweet aroma emanating from the kitchen as the concoction simmered all day long. As the day progressed, 2-3 homemade apple, raspberry and butterscotch pies along with 2 or more small sugar pies made with left over pie crust dough appeared on the countertop. On several occasions, unable to hold out any longer, I would steal a taste of sugar pie before anyone knew or before dinner was served.
Perhaps part of the reason why this food was so good was because it was so fresh, locally grown produce and native beef and pork from pepère’s friends who raised animals. We most always knew where our food came from and how it was raised, what it ate how it was slaughtered and cut and wrapped.
“Slow Food” teaches us that in this “old” way of living and (eating), with its myriad of rituals and wisdom we can still thrive, be happy (happier) and willing to share the prosperity that transcends material wealth. Slow food seeks to explore how food, beauty and values are intertwined. Culture and cuisine are certainly linked, and I was lucky enough to be born into a community/family in which the production and consumption of clean non GMO food ( hell, we didn’t know that GMO existed) was at the heart of our existence. A place where agricultural and culinary traditions were passed along and practiced.
I believe that the recent slow food movement was born as a reaction to our fast paced world. People are realizing that fast food sucks (the life right out of you), whether it is a quickly cooked and prepared dinner at home or a trip to McDonalds. Hopefully we can come to understand that living slowly, once learned can be worthwhile and be done anywhere by any of us. It is not simply a matter of luck, it is often times a matter of choice. I choose to grow a garden, buy produce at farmers market or co-ops or from friends that farm. I get my coffee and baked goods at Farms Bakery, not at Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons or Starbucks. I have goats and 40 or so chickens, I refuse to buy eggs at the grocery store. I have become somewhat of an egg snob.
We can all begin our own “Slow Food” movement by baking our own bread, visiting and buying from farmers markets, inviting our children into the kitchen to help with meal preparation or by planting a few herbs in a window box. Your life will be richer for it and your food much tastier.