So, today’s food road trip didn’t take me too far from my home–just a quick minute drive on my way home from work took me to a place I have come to know and love in the few short weeks I’ve been in Denmark, NS, and will really miss when the fall season is over: The Pork Shop! The Pork Shop has been running for over twenty years at their shop in Denmark, Nova Scotia, and have also just recently opened a store in New Glasgow (that’s open all year…I might be taking some food trips in the winter!)
It’s kind of a funny place to find a delicatessen just in the middle of the country like that, but it’s close to cottage country in between Tatamagouche and River John. The staff are super friendly (they will tell you how to get to the nearest beach as well as give you motherly advice about whether you’re crazy to walk that far on a day like today or not, as well as help you figure out which cut of pork you need for whatever kind of dish you’re cooking up) and they give you free tastes of their gluten and MSG free cold cuts if you’re trying to figure out what kind of sandwiches you want that week. And all of their pork products are prepared on site! In addition to all the pork you could want, they sell tons of others speciality products like 100% blueberry juice, local maple syrup, and their BBQ sauce. Also, according to their website you can order from them online and get your order shipped and delivered to anywhere in Nova Scotia!Honestly, how could you go wrong?
(As a head’s up: If you’re going in person, one of the things I’ve found with the location in Denmark is that it’s best to go on a Friday-Sunday in order to get the best selection of products because that’s when all the cottagers are up. When I’ve gone during the week, they still have a good selection of cuts and cold cuts, but it’s not quite as amazing as it is on the weekend.)
Anyway, my local food this week included garden veg from just down the road. One of my neighbours brought me over some fresh new snow peas, peppers and beet greens from his garden, so I thought I’d have a simple stir fry for supper with the garden veg, along with some of produce I’d bought at the Tatamagouche Farmer’s Market last weekend. So I stopped at the Pork Shop for a butterfly chop for my stir fry, some chorizo sausage for a breakfast of chorizo and eggs sometime this weekend, and some cold cuts.
After moving house, (I’m temporarily moving house to Malagash for a month. What a crazy month this has been– starting a new job, moving to a new part of the country, and then moving again three weeks later! Oh well…) I finally got to cook supper around 8.30pm. I was so happy to have the simple flavours of garlic and ginger infusing my supper–but more than that, I seriously think I had the best pork chop in the world! There’s no other way to describe fresh meat than succulent–juicy, melt in my mouth goodness.
While there wasn’t anything fancy to this meal, it just felt good to cook again. I’ve been struggling lately with figuring out how to celebrate my creativity in the kitchen and finding energy to cook after a full day of work, and coming home to an empty house. While I just want to grab the first thing I find in the fridge and just mindlessly eat, I’m trying to really take the time to cook and eat and appreciate the food that’s in front of me, the time I have to cook, and the blessings in my life. I don’t know if I really achieved that level of thankfulness tonight–mostly I was just so hungry, all I could think about was making sure I chewed my food–but at least taking the time to cook and appreciate the colours of my food were steps in the right direction!
On the shopping like I’m eating for two (but cooking for one) front, I still don’t have any easy answers, as well as eating healthy for career folks living on their own. How are other people doing this? It’s never occurred to me just how much I have in common with single/widowed seniors in my congregations until I moved back out on my own–it seems like there’s a longing to share our time and food with others across the board, and across ages, as well as a struggle with eating all the food we buy, or eating right in general. To have a community kitchen or something folks could come to to prepare meals together, eat, and share would be great–but how to make it not seem like just “one more thing I have to do this week” for people is my question. How could that happen?