Archive for the ‘Thinky Thoughts’ Category

Things are a tiny bit crazy around here . . .

I’m getting ready to head out for a convention, and haven’t even BEEN tot the Market, let alone been cooking.  I’ll post as I can, but there might be  short hiatus until early April . . .


Shopping at the Farmers’ Market: Week 7

You know, titling these Monday posts by week seemed like a way better idea back when I didn’t have to go scrolling through old posts to figure out what freakin’ week  I was on.  (I’m not changing it – just complaining.  ;))

I only picked up a couple of things this week because I still had a ton of food left over from last week.  Why, you ask?  Well, mostly because I didn’t feel like cooking. But that led to an interesting discovery/revelation this week, which is: if I don’t cook, I don’t eat.  Now that I’ve cleaned out most of my fridge and some of my cupboards; now that there isn’t anything left in the freezer that’s premade; now that I can’t just open a can of soup and call it a day – if I don’t cook, I DON’T EAT.  And last Saturday and Sunday I ate the last of the frozen diet dinners from the freezer, and I didn’t cook, because I didn’t feel like it.  And Monday I had a bad day, got home, opened the refrigerator and realized that there was really NO FOOD.  There were plenty of INGREDIENTS, but no FOOD, if that makes sense.  So I ate Top Ramen (don’t judge!). 

And over the course of the week, I noticed something else: after eating those diet dinners and after eating the ramen soup, I didn’t WANT real food.  I just wanted to eat cookies and toast and chips and pasta and salt and bacon and chocolate and cake andandand . . . Even when I wasn’t hungry, I just wanted to EAT.   I’d just finished The End of Overeating, by Dr. David Kessler, which talked about the food industry and what gets added to our food in order to activate the right hormones in our brains to encourage us to keep eating (the term is “craveability”), and I had to wonder if that was part of what was going on here.  I hadn’t been feeling that overwhelming impulse to eat when I wasn’t hungry, but after those frozen dinners, I couldn’t think about anything else.  A couple of nights I went to bed without dinner at all, because all I wanted was ramen soup (for the salt) and after 2 nights of that, I frankly didn’t want to keep eating that much junk food. 

So.  All that to say that the list this week was short, short, short:
1 doz eggs: $2.25
1 lb ground beef (for the freezer – I just like to have it on hand): $6.50
2 jars fermented sauerkraut (1 garlic, 1 “regular”): $20

And that was  it for the week.  But I still have some vegetables from last week, and a couple of recipes: one came out pretty good, and one came out AMAZING.  So I’ll post those later this week!

Shopping at the Farmers’ Market – Week 5

Shopping from the Farmers’ Market this week . . . didn’t happen.  Mainly because I spent my entire Saturday morning clearing a virus off of my computer.  Good times.  NOT.  (Man, I just totally dated myself with that “not,” didn’t I?)

But!  It worked out ok, because I still had some broccoli and some fennel that I hadn’t gotten around to fixing, so I’ve still got recipes for the week!  I also have an update on that recipe that I was super-excited about, which . . . did not go so well.  😦  But I think I know how to fix it!  *rubs hands together in excited glee*

I DID go pick up some raw dairy, so I’ve got milk, butter and cheddar cheese now.  MAN, that stuff is expensive!!  I bought 32 oz of milk, 8 oz of cheddar cheese and 1/2 pound of butter for the low, low price of . . . $14 and change.  For serious.  (On the plus side, this means I will probably stop eating so much dang butter.)

Amd since I have no shopping list to share, you’re going to have to put up with some of my thinky thoughts today.  Bummer for you!  😉

I’m currently reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  In a nutshell, it’s about how she and her family picked up and relocated to a farm in southern Appalachia in order to live off the land – literally.  They didn’t buy anything that came from outside the state border, with very few exceptions (each family member got one “luxury” item, like coffee, and they bought olive oil from out of state).  They raised crops and livestock, and what they didn’t produce themselves they bought from local sources (farmers’ markets, neighbors, etc.)  If they couldn’t find it locally, they couldn’t have it.

And I thought *I* was hardcore.

But it got me to thinking.  One of the (many) reasons for this experiment of mine is the idea that trucking food across the country (or countries, plural!) isn’t exactly sustainable in the long-term.  We’re already starting to see the impact of it, andwe’ve only been doing it since about the 1940s.  So I figured that eating from the Market would start to cut down on that.  (Plus, the longer food is off the tree/bush/out of the ground, the more vitamins it loses, so there’s a health component here, too.)  So I started wandering through my kitchen, pulling jars and bottles out to look for “Product of [x].”

MAN.  There is a LOT of stuff in my kitchen, and most of it did not come from the U.S., let alone California!  In my cursory inspection, I came across Morocco, Lebanon, Italy (a couple of times), Mexico and Canada (a couple of times).  My bottle of clam juice came from San Diego, so that’s local, but I don’t know how those clams were raised (humanely or not).  Yikes.  Eighty percent local food might be harder than I anticipated.  (I was relieved to find that my Sriracha chili sauce is made about 20 minutes away from here, though.  I go through that stuff like CRAZY, so WHEW.)

Now, I realize that this experiment did not start out as 80% local food – it started out as 80% Farmers’ Market food.  But do condiments and such count?  Because if I count those, I’m not even CLOSE to 80% Market food.  So I think I might start using things up and not replacing anything that’s not local, just to see what happens.  (Although I might have to carve out some exceptions for coffee and olive oil.  Also chocolate.  PRIORITIES, people.)  And (having said that,) I’m sure I’ll end up replacing some of the stuff I use all the time, but at the same time, there probably isn’t any good reason for me to have 6 different kinds of mustard.  (For real.  SIX.  I like mustard, ok?)

Anyway.  It’s just something I’ve been thinking about since reading that book.  I’m not sure how gung-ho I want to be, but I might start moving slowly more in that direction.