|Not the prettiest meal I've ever eaten, but it was amazingly delicious.|
And every bite was delicious. It wasn't anything I planned or spent a lot of time prepping. Last week I pulled out half of a patch of onions I planted from seed last year and was too lazy to harvest last fall. They came back this spring, and I kept meaning to clean them out so I could prep the bed for my fall crops (time to start planting them!). They aren't any good for storage onions, and there were far too many to use up before they went bad, so I made a batch of caramelized onion confit (recipe in Put 'Em Up, one of my favorite books on preserving), an easy bulk recipe, and froze it in 4 oz jars. The other day I pulled out two jars and put them in the fridge to eat during the week.
The livers are from the chickens I had processed last week. Last night I divided it all (the livers) into 3-4 oz servings and froze, but I left out about 20 oz to fry, because I love fried chicken liver. I fried it last night while I was waiting for supper to cook, but I only ate about half and, well, the rest of the family isn't as advanced as me:) And the goat cheese I made two weeks ago.
My point is that you could plan this meal. You could make a list and go out and buy all the ingredients at the store. But 1) it would cost a lot, and 2) it would take a lot more brain cells, time, and effort. And 3) you really couldn't make the exact same thing. Have you ever seen pastured chicken liver at the store? I haven't. plus raw soft goat cheese is illegal to sell in the united states.
But I literally opened my fridge and threw these things together. These are the things we (well, in the case of the liver, I) eat now. You could open the fridge and make any number of other meals, all equally as nourishing and most equally as local. Yesterday I made the kids chicken fried rice with leftover fermented brown rice, fresh organic broccoli from the CSA box, leftover chicken, tamari soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil. It took me 5 minutes and (miracle of miracles...) they loved it. And yes, I should have scrambled an egg or two in it, but I caved to my daughter, who despises eggs for some reason.
And my son is, at this moment, bugging me for a glass of apple kefir. Not juice, not a treat, but apple kefir (it's a fermented juice drink, FYI).
I would love to say I'm not bragging, but I kind of am. I've worked really hard for the past four years in order to get here, and specifically to get here without spending half of our paycheck each month or spending half the day in the kitchen, and I feel like I've earned the right to brag a little. I've done it very slowly, because making small changes a little at a time results in more lasting change. So besides bragging, my intention is also to encourage. You, too, can get here... or wherever your ideal daily diet looks like, because I don't believe any one diet is right for everyone. For me it includes lots of pastured meat, bone stock, vegetables paired with healthy fats like butter, olive oil, or bacon fat (mmmmm....), eggs, properly prepared (soaked or fermented) whole grains, and whole milk (preferably raw and/or non-homogenized) and it's products. But for you that may be different, because everyone's chemistry is different. You may not be able to handle the whole grains, or as much meat, or the amount of fat. Or you may have ethical problems with eating meat (because while I don't agree with the nutritional argument against eating meat, I get the ethical argument against it, even though I don't agree with it 100%). Just remember that there are several different elements to adjust to- we have to adjust to the idea that real food is worth spending a little more money. We have to adjust to the fact that preparing real food takes a tad (just a tad!) more time and planning. And we have to adjust to the flavors of real food, which can be hard when you're used to chemically flavored foods. All of these changes take time.
And how and what I eat will probably continue to change as I read and learn. Life is not static, it is fluid, and resisting change is pretty insane.
So make a change right now- just one. Start buying whole meat instead of the "best" bits and pieces (which are arguably NOT the best, but more to come on that later!). Use the bones to make bone stock, and begin to incorporate stocks into your weekly menu. Or just start meal planning. Look into where your food comes from- where do your eggs come from, how are the chickens treated, what do they eat? Once you've made one change and have come to accept it as your every day, move on to the next. Next thing you know, you'll be eating liver and raw goat cheese.
Living the dream, right! :)