Have you read any of these books by Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, Food Rules? Have you seen the movies Food, Inc, King Corn or Fastfood Nation? If you can answer "yes" to all of these, then you are in the same boat I am! I have read & watched it all. The thing is, living it is very different and difficult. And I promise, I try! I have tried to only buy locally raised, grass fed, organic meat. I have tried to use only real food with little to no processing involved. And what gets me EVERY time is how expensive it is. I don't mind the work. In fact, I love to cook. I love to bake. That is not a deterrent for me, but the cost. Oy! I'll try it for a week or two or even a month and Nate will look at me after working on the budget and say, "um.... do you know that the groceries ran us 200% over budget this month?" And I commit to cutting back and the only way I have found to cut back, is to go back to my ignorant way of preparing food. So, I was excited to come across Lisa Leake from Charlotte, NC . She and her husband committed to eating real food on a budget of $125 for the week for her family of four. I frankly don't know how she did it, but I look forward to delving more into this blog and finding out more! I already found a couple of recipes I want to try out on Nate, so I hope he's ready! I made the cheese crackers that are supposed to taste like Pepperidge Farms Goldfish. This is what they looked like: (as you can see, when you compare it to the original recipe, I did sprinkle with a little sea salt while they baked).
One of the things this blog really excited in me is a desire to have my own garden. Now I know that my parents are shaking their heads and chuckling (more like a maniacal chuckle than a happy chuckle, I'm sure) because they are remembering our gargantuan garden and how I basically had to be threatened with loss of life and/or limb to even go work in the garden. I remember my mom handing me a brown paper bag (one of the big ones from the grocery store) and saying, "go pick green beans." I'd go (um...this would be after whining, possibly kicking, a bit of screaming, as well) and come back with the bag 1/4 full. When I used the word gargantuan earlier to describe the garden? That was NOT hyperbole. You can ask my siblings....you can even ask my parents. The garden was huge. And filling the huge paper bag 1/4 full was a sign that I went and picked the top green bean off of every plant instead of actually lifting the leaves and looking everywhere on the plant for all green beans that could be picked. I would be sent back out to "fill the bag." But what will cause a loud enough groan to be heard from Charlotte, NC all the way to my home in Ann Arbor is the fact that Nate and I are considering also canning and freezing what we grow in our garden to keep us with veggies throughout the winter as well. There's a lifelong learning class being held at our local community college called "Canning Basics." I'm thinking about taking that class! I had always said, while watching my mother can and freeze and garden all summer that I would never do these things. Now, here I am, looking up books, thinking of taking a class, and plotting the best place in my backyard for a garden. This should be an interesting adventure!
Update: Nate didn't like the "cheesy crackers" that looked more like snickerdoodles. Correction.... he HATED them. He took two (being the ever optimistic and hopeful taste tester). He ate one of them and put the other one back and said, "These are kinda gross." I suggested that I make them thinner and less cookie like. He said, "Nope! Wouldn't help!" hmmmm... does that deter the wife? NO! Next recipe here I come! Oh, and mom? Can I have all your old canning stuff?