Monday, October 24, 2011
A friend of mine asked, after my A Day In The Life post, how many meals I cook per day, and when I find time. I told her she probably didn't really want to know; around here, if you ask for fried chicken, someone will hand you a hatchet.
I thought it may make an interesting post, though. She's not the first one to ask about how we eat.
We don't grow absolutely everything we eat. I like Pop-Tarts, and I can't seem to find seeds for a Pop-Tart bush...or is that a root crop? We do grow as much of our own food as possible, but we also try to enjoy life, and if we want the occasional take out pizza or frozen egg roll, I'm ok with that.
I used to post on a "What's for dinner?" thread on a homesteading forum. Some people took offense when others listed things as homegrown, home canned, fresh picked, etc. They said it sounded "uppity" and a bit like bragging, or some such nonsense. I say if you plant it, grow eat, harvest it, raise it, pluck it, hunt it, gut it, or even just barter for it or buy it locally, then BRAG AWAY!! If you only tossed ingredients into a bread machine, it still deserves kudos, so give yourself a pat on the back. Take pride in what you do, and don't worry about those jealous ninnies that can't do anything without a microwave and a can opener.
Anyway, I've listed our meals for the week. My "uppity" details of how the food was harvested, etc, are for informational purposes only. I certainly would never brag. **clears throat** I GREW THAT!! I CLEANED IT!! I COOKED IT!! WOOT!! GO ME!! I'M AWESOME!! (oh dear, was that out loud?) *snickers*
This will also give you an idea of the way I cook. I rarely measure things; I toss things into a pot and hope for the best, generally making stuff up as I go. If I screw it up, the chickens happily recycle my mess into edible eggs.
Lunch is normally our big meal of the day. We aren't breakfast people, thank goodness. Sometimes, when it's just us girls here at dinner, we eat leftovers from lunch, have sandwiches, or just snack on popcorn.
Brunch: Homemade cinnamon rolls.
Dinner: Veggie soup and homemade rolls. I haven't harvested the carrots and potatoes yet, so I had to go out and dig some up for the soup. I picked some loveage, thyme and basil while I was outside. It took a bit of scrubbing, but the root veggies were finally ready for the pot, along with some homegrown onions that had been stored in the fridge. I added a quart of home canned tomatoes, some water, salt, and a couple of handfuls of brown rice.
Dessert: Pear Crisp Pie. Sort of like Apple Crumb Pie, but made with pears I picked right off our own tree. Finally. The poor tree didn't have any last year, and only three the year before that.
Lunch: Leftover soup and rolls.
Dinner: Burritoes. I was making Tuesday's Mexican Lasagna, so there was a bit of meat/pepper mix leftover. I wanted something quick for Tuesday, so I made the Mexican Lasagna and put it in the fridge; all I had to do on Tuesday was bake it.
Mexican lasagna: Ground beef from my friend's farm, onions, fresh picked cilantro and peppers, a quart of home canned, chili-seasoned crushed tomatoes. I cooked the beef, then stirred together with the rest of the ingredients, then layered with corn tortillas and cheese. Bake at 350 for about an hour. This was lunch and dinner.
Lunch: Leftover mex lasagna again. No one complains about leftovers around here, in case you were wondering. I'm not a food nazi; if someone doesn't like what I cook, there's plenty of peanut butter for sandwiches.
Dinner: Greek pizza tortillas. Garlic crushed in olive oil, brushed on flour tortillas. Tortillas are topped with basil vinegar peppers (yes, I made them), calamata olives, and onion, baked until crispy, and then topped with feta cheese.
Thursday: Texas Italian: Chorizo sausage, browned, then put in the crockpot with onions and lots of fresh picked green peppers. Added one quart of home canned crushed tomatoes, plus two pints of home canned italian crushed tomatoes. Served over Texas toast, made from leftover homemade bread, sliced into thick slabs, coated with a mixture of olive oil, butter, and fresh crushed garlic, then broiled. Eöl calls this dish "spaghetti western". (lunch and dinner)
Lunch: Leftover sauce from Thursday served over spaghetti noodles.
Dinner: Potluck. Which means: raid the fridge for whatever you want.
Cheeseburgers, made from ground beef from my friend's farm. Topped with homegrown veggies and served on homemade buns. Side dish: onion rings...from Aldi. lol We were so stuffed from the late lunch that we really didn't eat much else that day.
I had a chicken soaking in salt water in the fridge overnight. This was our old mean roo, and I knew he'd be pretty tough, so I put him in a pot for stew. After cooking for a few hours, he was still a tough old bird. So...into the crockpot (slow cooker). We ended up having him for lunch on Monday. Anyway, for Sunday, it was sandwiches. We were working outside so I really didn't want to waste a lot of time in the kitchen.
Lunch: The old red roo, now tender as can be from cooking overnight in the crockpot, baked squash and greenbeans (both from the garden).
Lunch: Chicken Stew. I fished all the bones out of the crockpot, and added some veggies, and cooked overnight. There was still some stew leftover, so that went into the freezer to be made into pot pies.
You may read through this and think, "Well, she doesn't even cook every day!" And you'd be right! When you cook slow food, it really is slow. S. L. O. W. Who has time for that every single day? But we still want to eat something healthy, tasty, and filling every single day... preferably without my being stuck in the kitchen when the weather is nice. What's a gal to do? I cook big portions, and find ways to reuse those leftovers in meals the rest of the week.
There are days that I make a huge pot of something, counting on leftovers, only to have every bit eaten that first meal. Well, I'm sure not going to complain about that!! Either it means we were very hungry, or it means I'm a pretty good cook. Probably we were just starved. lol
One thing about homegrown food: it's more filling. We could eat an entire bucket of KFC in one sitting, but a single home grown chicken can make several meals. I'm not sure why that is. It could be that the home raised chicken had access to grass and feed every day, plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and clean water. Basically, there's just more to the meat that way, if you know what I mean. Compare that to chickens raised in overcrowded cages, indoors, the air full of the reek of chicken manure (boy, I can tell ya, that stuff STINKS!!), fluorescent lighting instead of sunshine...you get the idea.
I have several older hens in the freezer. Anyone have any good chicken recipes for a slow cooker?