Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 1 Meals and Observations

If you're not sure what this is all about, start here.

Even though Jim desperately wanted me to name this project "The Hunger Games," I'm happy to report that nobody starved to death or even went very hungry. Here's what we ate this week:

Friday November 1:
Breakfast is fried eggs each morning unless otherwise noted
Lunch - steak stir fry with cabbage and carrots (confession: half a leftover ribeye steak was one thing I  didn't want to give to the chickens when I cleaned out the fridge, so even though it's not local, we ate it. But that's it.)
Supper - pork chops with honey apple butter and steamed zucchini with goat butter

Saturday November 2:
Lunch - leftover pork chops and edible pod peas
Supper - sausage and moose chili, cheddar cheese, and barley flatbread with butter

Sunday November 3:
Lunch -  lunch was leftovers from the previous supper for the rest of the week unless otherwise noted
Supper - crock pot moose roast, oven-roasted carrots and potatoes
Dessert - honey ice cream

Monday November 4:
Snack - refrigerator pickles
Supper - moose stew with barley biscuits

Tuesday November 5:
Supper - two types of crustless quiche - Italian sausage and turnip greens, and broccoli cheddar
Dessert - honey ice cream

Wednesday November 6:
Snacks - refrigerator pickles and moose jerky
Supper - pork roast roasted on a bed of sauerkraut, mashed kabocha squash seasoned with ginger cinnamon honey, steamed broccoli
Dessert - honey ice cream

Thursday November 7:
Snack - moose jerky
Supper - chicken soup

Friday November 8:
Breakfast - fried eggs and sausage
Snack - Jim confessed to having a little bit of popcorn at the hardware store (Bad Jim!)
Supper - beef roast and gravy, sauteed zucchini and carrots

And here's where all of that came from:

Apples - Soldotna
Barley flour - Delta Junction
Beef - Homer
Broccoli - Soldotna
Butter - home made from goat milk
Cabbage - grocery store's "Alaska Grown" section
Carrots - MatSu Valley
Cheddar - homemade from goat milk
Chicken - home grown
Cucumbers - Soldotna
Edible pod peas - Soldotna
Eggs - home grown
Garlic - Nikiski
Honey - Kasilof
Kabocha squash - grocery store's "Alaska Grown" section
Lard for frying - home rendered from local pig
Milk - home grown
Moose - outside Fairbanks
Onions - farmer's market
Pork - Funny River
Turnip greens - Nikiski
Zucchini - Soldotna

So... Besides not starving to death, how did it go? Remarkably well, I must say. A few years ago, I had to go on a very restrictive diet for health reasons, and this is not nearly as bad, as far as taboo foods go. While I do miss the ready availability of handy prepackaged snacks, I was able to say goodbye to them fairly easily. I expect I'll eventually figure out some recipes for snacky things but for now, I'm okay with the occasional piece of cheese or jerky. The transition from Diet Coke to kombucha was not difficult at all, which surprised me. What was hard, though, was changing the errand-day habit of going through the drive-through at McD's for a soda and grabbing a sweet at the grocery store checkout. Today was errand day and I can honestly say I didn't really want the drink and sweets... but the habit was there and that was the hard thing.

I've lost four and a half pounds this week, cutting out the junk. Yay, me! I don't know if it will stay off or if I'll lose more, but I hope so!

Time management is an issue for me and scheduling work so that I have dinner planned AND thawed by 4:30 has presented a problem on more than one day, I confess. I'm getting the hang of it, though. I've also discovered that, while I do know barley flour and wheat flour are not at all the same and are generally not interchangeable, I couldn't resist trying some recipes by substituting barley flour. Limited success. Needs more work. And nothing beats butter for frying an egg. Lard is good; lard-fried eggs are mediocre. Next year - stockpile more butter!!!

For the first time in our lives, we can point to nearly every single thing we've put in our mouths and tell you where it came from / who grew it / harvested it / butchered it / caught it / foraged it. I have a better appreciation for the amount of work it took to bring it from field to table, to blanch and freeze it, dehydrate it, can it, culture it, age it, cook it. It's a new feeling, being that connected to my food. I think I like it.

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