Nine days in and so far so good. We did end up at one of the locally owned bigger grocery stores in town for a bunch of produce and dairy products. That was not a cheap trip. Cheese is expensive. I don’t begrudge the cost it just hurts the pocket book. We don’t eat as much cheese as some folks but still enough to make it expensive. I’ve decided that this is the one place I just won’t switch to things like goat cheese. I just don’t have a taste for it. I try to buy relatively local or at least organic but seldom make these goals. It just prices me out. I do things like reduce the amount I buy and when I am feeling like spoiling us I buy the organic cheese. Otherwise it is just basic cheese. I do make sure that it is actually cheese though. No fake stuff for us.
Speaking of fake stuff. I decided I wanted ice cream last night because we haven’t had any in a long time. Trying to find some that is basically just frozen cream, sugar, and flavor is pretty tough. Tough enough I thought I might not even manage to get some. I did find some that was expensive and small but at least it was real. I do wish all of our food was actually that. Food.
I don’t know why we have to put all the extra garbage in there. I understand that we all want a long shelf life, things need to be transported, and people seem to like their perfectly shaped produce. I’m even guilty of all of this. But, a simple shift in thinking means that you eat summer foods in the summer and winter foods in the winter. Heavier foods that store well are those winter comfort foods. Summer berries and fruits are the summer treats. Is it hard when we want to serve a salad in January in the North? Of course it is. I do understand the draw of having the food items shipped in, but I don’t want all the fake stuff in my food. For that matter why does it all have to be in a box anyway?
Oh I know, cooking. Cooking time, cooking know-how, it all comes back to cooking. I am as guilty as anyone for disliking to cook. Especially when working full-time (which I don’t now but certainly have and plan on again). The problem is that home-made food doesn’t take that much longer than warming things up in a microwave (in fact sometimes it is faster) and the home-made tastes better and is better for you in that it doesn’t have all the extra garbage in it.
So how does all this come back to my own little challenge? Well, I cook a lot. I don’t really enjoy cooking, but I enjoy eating home-made food so I don’t really have a choice there. We have eaten out a couple of times. We didn’t really make any plans one way or another on that for this challenge. We always try to frequent locally owned restaurants anyway so not too big of a deal. I am struggling with my meal planning but that isn’t any different than normal. I do love being able to do things like last night’s meal of pork roast and fingerling potatoes. The salt wasn’t local and the milk was store bought as we had run out of our local raw milk before my pick-up day. Oh wait! Oops. My bad. The pork was NOT local but it was from the pantry so to speak. It was a roast my mom had brought with her on a visit that was in my freezer. The potatoes and onions were local though.
Breakfast is easy on this. Bacon from our half-hog that was raised locally and butchered locally. Eggs from my chickens. Milk- raw usually from a local farmer. Flour for any pancakes or the like is either from one of the Dakotas (not far from us) or locally grown and milled wheat flour. If we eat the granola instead most of the time it is locally made or made by me. Right now we are using pantry items and we have granola so while it isn’t local it still fits the rules. Bananas are not local but we aren’t giving up fruit. Two little kids need fruit.
From my own garden I have all the onions and garlic and kale we need. Also my oregano, lemon thyme, dried parsley, sage, basil, and chives are from my garden. I might get a couple more tomatoes from my sick plants but only enough for a salad or two. We have all the local pork and chicken we need. Same with ground beef. Our meals aren’t super exciting but they taste good and they fill our middles.