Eating seriously local! Dinner of home grown BBQ chicken (with homemade BBQ sauce from last year’s tomatoes,etc), home grown kale & chard, home grown potatoes and eggs (with homemade mayo and homemade relish from homegrown onions, cukes and peppers!). The only thing that didn’t come from our little farmstead were the spices and the olive oil/vinegar used for the dressing! I’m taking a Food Systems class as part of my Community Health program online through PCC and it is SO fun. This is part of my “slow food project” that I’m turning in on Monday, where we make a typical meal then put together an analysis of where every single ingredient came from including where it’s sourced, nutritional value, and more. It was pretty fun and kind of amazing to see how far we have come (and for me in particular as I ate a whole lot of Hot Pockets in college even though my mom had the whole garden and healthy lifestyle growing up…).
My roots – this is a photo of my grandmother where she noted on the back that she didn’t like the backdrop (of course it’s priceless now!). I’ve been spending more time on genealogy with the slower pace of life these days, continuing to follow in my father’s footsteps. He compiled two family history books back in the 1990s, which I’ve manually typed into our existing tree on Ancestry.com, as his interviews with the elder members of our family all over the country are priceless. Genealogy pre-internet was really time consuming – he spent a lot of time at the Mormon Church library (they are very much obsessed with genealogy and even Henry Louis Gates spoke of how, even with the Mormon’s history of racism, their impeccable recordkeeping in this area has allowed people of all colors to more easily trace their roots.), compiling everything in a DOS ‘database’. His work went beyond names and dates, and into some interesting little stories about each of my relatives that I didn’t know. I read about how my grandmother felt about her mother who she wasn’t close to, and how my grandfather worked as a butcher to supplement his income when my gram was pregnant (and with that last week I found the son of the butcher shop owner who had a photo of his dad on his company website and very much remember and loved my gram & gramps!). My dad passed away in 2008 and looking at the work, I think he’d be proud of what I’ve done to further his efforts – on both his and my mother’s side.
Home-ground peanut butter! My skinny husband goes through PB by the massive spoonfuls every day, and while we have been buying it in the bulk aisle’s “fresh ground” section, I realized quite by accident that I could simply grind peanuts in the food processor for wayyy cheaper! Literally just toss the peanuts in the mini-prep and start grinding, then add a bit of salt if you prefer. I will usually pour a wee bit of olive oil in near the end to give it a bit more smoothness but this is a pretty rad ‘discovery’ I thought I’d share. I adore my food processor – best item in the kitchen – who knew.
This year, one of my resolutions was to make homemade herbal tea and leave the packaging and bulk aisle’s minimal selections behind. We grow peppermint so that one’s easy. I can squeeze a lemon and slice a bit of ginger. And when I found a new crop of chamomile flowers going NUTS amongst the roses (grrr), uninvited (they must have hopped a ride from P-town when we moved out here and transplanted things from our garden back there…), I figured I’d turn lemons into lemonade and chop off their heads and dry ’em for tea! Super easy – 30 minutes on low in the oven and bam! DIY sleepy-time tea 🙂 PS – Great recipe in Origin Magazine for chamomile cocoa – YUM.
Morning harvests – like today’s! Tons of kale, a nice big bunch of butter lettuce, onions and peppers to make a small batch of sweet relish along with the zucchinis already picked yesterday (our cukes aren’t doing well this year but fortunately zukes sub equally well in relish I’ve learned!), a couple eggs from the ducks (the chooks don’t lay til afternoon), and a carrot to munch on. Also I’ve set aside a few of the biggest heads of garlic to use for planting in the fall (Killarney Red and Mt Hood Porcelain were the biggest winners of the four varietals we grew this year, with Chesnok Reds being a close third).
PS – I’m not sure if I’ll continue with WordPress as they’ve just offically forced bloggers into “Block Editor” which SUCKS. I literally cannot get photos 100% centered anymore and it’s the least intuitive system I’ve seen in 12 years of blogging. If you’re reading this, please comment, otherwise if I don’t hear from anyone I might move this content to my private blog and port everything over to another provider, as WordPress makes blogging – something I’ve loved to do for so long – a nightmare.