Monday, September 21, 2009

Richey Family Report from Sept 19/20 Weekend.

Wow! These last 3 days has been a whirlwind for me as far as me wrapping my head around some new ideas! There are some things that Anne-Marie has already mentioned, but from Friday evening I came away with the importance of putting some water on to boil (and maybe turning the oven on to 350°, as well) to commit myself to fixing something and eating in. The other thing I came away with is the importance of composting. Prior to my conversation with Anne-Marie, I had a general understanding of composting (or so I thought), but I don’t think I truly realized that you can create your own soil with composting. This is perfect for us! We live in an older home (it first belonged to my husband’s great-grandparents, then his great-aunt, then us) and we know that unsafe lead practices were used to repaint the home after we moved in. This means dry scraping of lead paint that, in some places, fell into the soil, etc. Since Lily’s blood levels of lead were high when she was 1 year of age, we have since been careful of lead exposure. So, realizing that I had the potential to create my own soil and have a healthy garden in my own yard made a light bulb go off! We will see where that takes us….

As for Saturday, going to the Farmer’s Market (FM) w/Anne-Marie was awesome. She’s mentioned a lot of the main points, but I did buy a small basket’s worth ($3) of heirloom yellow cherry tomatoes from Pat & Brian of Handance Farms. They were so sweet! I had NO idea that tomatoes could be so sweet and yummy! My husband & I ate the entire thing in one day. I will need to grow some of those in my garden next year! I did try to convince Lily to take a “no, thank you bite,” but she wouldn’t budge. In fact, in the pictures in the blog, you can see Charlotte (Anne-Marie's blonde, curly-haired daughter) showing Lily something in a brown paper bag. Well, those were the heirloom tomatoes. You can see Lily shaking her head “no” in response. Sweet Charlotte, though, giggled so happily when Pat handed her the bag. Perhaps next year my sweet Lily will come to love them as well.

Well, today is Sunday & I am very proud of myself! I designed an organic (80-90%) locavore lunch for the three of us. We ate flank steak from Bradd’s Family Farm (Mike cooked the meat), green beans from the FM, & red leaf salad greens. With the green beans, we used a garlic-basil dressing (recipe from Moosewood) and for the salad, a simple red wine vinegar-olive oil dressing I made (courtesy of the N&R a few weeks ago). I have to tell you about this flank steak. This was the best DAMN meat I’ve ever had. First of all, you have to understand that I don’t eat a lot of red meat. But, I ate 3 servings. And get this: so did Lily! In fact, she wants me to pack some of the left-overs in her lunch tomorrow! There was a different texture about the meat; it wasn’t so “compacted” (this is a hard concept for me to explain, maybe Anne-Marie can help me with that) and the flavor was so robust. In case you’re interested, Mike marinated it in a very simple combination of soy sauce, ginger, OJ, and garlic.

One thing about the salad greens: I don’t know the name of the farmer, but the man who sells leafy greens, kale, etc. keeps the root systems attached to his salad greens. So, when I bring them home, I fill up a jar of water, put the roots into the jar and the salad greens don’t wilt and last for a good while. It also makes for a good-looking “bouquet”!

So, around 5:30pm today, as I was feeling very proud of myself from my earlier cooking venture, I decided to cook some potatoes & bell peppers that I had bought from the FM. We had just dropped Mike off at PTI airport and I was needing to cook dinner for Lily & me. Well, I found an interesting recipe in my Moosewood cookbook that required a large pot and a broiler pan. To give you an idea of why Anne-Marie may have chosen us for her project, let me tell you why I called my husband while he was waiting for his plane. Call #1: Where is our really big pot? His answer: The same place it’s been for the last 8 months (are you getting an image of how much I cook?) and then Call #2: Honey, I know I’m supposed to know this, but what’s a broiler pan? My husband is the sweetest man on the face of the earth and although some of you may be laughing at my 2nd phone call, he did not laugh! I actually ended up not cooking the potato/bell pepper dish b/c I realized that I was getting hungry and wouldn’t be able to make it through all the prep work without getting irritable. But, that’s OK. We had LOADS of left-overs from today’s lunch, so I ate that instead. Perhaps I will try the potato/bell pepper dish tomorrow…..

Thanks for reading!

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