Monday, December 8, 2014

Ready, Steady, Cook

I go in and out of phases with cooking. When I first became a mom I was constantly trying out new recipes and enjoying having the time to cook. When Sweet B came along I signed up for e-meals because it was a challenge for me to figure out our food budget and get dinner on the table. Once Blue Eyes was born and we got into a rhythm I got all granola and started baking my own bread regularly, making our own yogurt and hitting up the farmers market in the summer. Most recently, after New Kid was born, it was Eggos and frozen pizzas, pure survival mode.

About two months ago I found this gem I've been wanting to read, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, at the thrift store. (A fabulous source of books P.S.) I strongly believe eating homemade is the best way to eat more healthily and cheaply. Hence the chickens, the bread baking, etc. But I've honestly always been skeptical about organic food. We don't regularly buy anything organic. If something happens to be organic and it's a good price, woo hoo. But I don't go out of my way to make it happen.

But Mrs. Kingsolver makes a strong case for organic. And most convincingly for me, for local and seasonal. She brilliantly makes the case that our ability to refrigerate fresh foods and truck them all over the country quickly has spoiled us. We eat strawberries in December, not realizing that they pale in comparison to a just-picked June berry. We eat green salads full of romaine lettuce year-round and broccoli in June and wonder why our kids don't like veggies. If we limited our produce eating to seasonal items, we would be eating things at the peak of their flavor and possibly we would actually ENJOY eating our fruits and veggies!

The past few months I've been trying apples as many different dishes as I can think of. Nowadays dinner has had a lot more squash and kale in it than usual. On Tuesday I found this recipe in a search for something I could make using up a leftover baked sweet potato and kale - it was DELISH. Oh and we added bacon on top. (As people say: because, bacon.) We don't have berries in the fridge now that it's winter, instead we have oranges on the counter.

This book even has me convinced that cheese-making is something I need to start doing. Because I love cheese. I'm a bonafide turophile. Did you know you can make a fresh mozzarella in 30 minutes? Supposedly this is true. Family pizza night might be looking up.

Now I'm debating re-joining the local co-op I was briefly a member of back when money and time were more plentiful. And also looking into buying milk from a north GA farm. Ha! Anyone want to join me for an afternoon of figuring out curds and whey?