Sunday, October 4, 2009

Report from the Scott's

We had friends over for dinner Friday night to celebrate the end of one of two of my huge work projects. My guests had asked if they could bring anything for dinner and I said bring the dessert. My friend replied that they would be sure to bring something sealed in plastic and processed and I said, in that case make sure it has colored sprinkles too. So in all seriousness I was in peals of laughter when they pulled Mini Moon Pies with sprinkles out of the bag!! Luckily they also brought some Ghirardelli brownies doctored with my favorite additions: dried raspberries and white chocolate chunks - YUM!

For those of you not familiar with our Southern Classic Moon Pie - it is basically two round graham crackers with a layer of marshmellow fluff substance in the middle and then the whole thing is dipped in chocolate. They are one of my Dad's favorites of days gone by. Steve leans heavily towards his childhood favorite from the Northeast, something called a TastyKake. My weakness in this "grocery aisle of the past" was Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. Of course, my absolute weakness to this day is doughnuts - I can't even have them in the house. What is your favorite snack from days of old and has it changed since then? (The Moon Pie certainly has!)

We did pull out one of the moon pies because my daughter, Charlotte, has a weakness for sprinkled anything. But generally she pulls the sprinkles off of whatever the product is and just eats those. But my philosophy of eating states that no food is taboo. If I bring it in the house it is fair game that Charlotte can eat it. Hence, I stock the house with fresher foods, only rarely have frozen (though organic) french fries, and no chicken nuggets. If they are not here I can say that's not a choice for a meal or snack - period, end of discussion. We adults must be in charge of the food decisions in our own homes.

But I have always allowed Charlotte to eat what she wants and when and how much. We have had home made organic ice cream for dinner, spaghetti with ketchup for breakfast and a fair amount of peanut butter with dark chocolate chips as a snack favorite, but in general, she is a kid who would rather have organic milk and carrots than cake, cookies or juice. At Halloween and Valentines I let her open every single candy and eat what she wants. Without fail, because her palate is not used to these foods and because a lot of them don't really taste good, she will taste one after another and discard 95% of them. 

Taste re-education is, in my opinion, the slowest part of the process of converting to locavorism. It happens in waves and when you least expect it. Eventually the processed food you've eaten in the past becomes distasteful and you notice more of the chemical nature of ready-made foods. You notice the funky aftertastes that don't happen when you eat whole foods prepared in classic ways.

So dinner last night was a local meatloaf (half beef and half mild pork saugage from Bradds Family Farms) made with our eggs, organic carrots and garlic, Italian Reggiano Parmesan, fresh parsley, Quaker oatmeal, organic local milk and some McComick dried sage - it was a Mark Bittman recipe. I made mashed potatoes from local potatoes and butter and Daisy sour cream (I prefer the organic sour cream but it doesn't last as long as the conventional and between that recent complaint and my forgetting to specifically write organic on the list it was Daisy that Steve bought - see? even we forget sometimes!) The great thing about local organic potatoes is that you can eat the skins without worrying about pesticide residues and this is where some of the best nutirents are found. My other side dish was fried green tomatoes. Outside my building at work there is a volunteer/rogue tomato plant that grew by the loading dock and no one was harvesting any of the tomatoes so I went along and picked the remaining 9 small to medium green tomatoes and fried them up with organic rice flour and my favorite Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Seasoned Salt. These were a tasty dumpster treat!!

Speaking of road food, I was driving through the Starmount neighborhood yesterday and a woman was collecting and giving away black walnuts. They look like giant green tennis balls and smell wonderfully citrusy. They require some special handling to gain the tasty treat inside and I will document this later and give you the scoop on my other free food find!

This weekend we got our first bag of Winter Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) goodies from our buddies at Handance Farm. We recieved arugula, a mixed baby greens assortment, a pint of cherry sized tomatoes, 1 pound of peppers, 1 1/2 pound of eggplant (which I can fry in the leftover fried green tomato olive oil I have left on the stove today!), 3/4 pound of yellow squash and about 4 good sized shitake mushrooms. The winter farm shares is only a 4 week program, but well worth it when you have a severe withdrawl from all the summer harvest glories!

Now, a new work week is to begin and I have another doozy of a week. I have this other big project to finish. I am getting ready to go to Denver for the National American Dietetic Association meeting where I am doing a talk on the Organic Foods article I wrote over the summer. And I have some other big news coming up that I will hold out on for now. It will be my reward for getting through this week! All this work stuff hit at the right time. All of the families, mine included, are crazy busy with other pre-planned October activites. So, everyone is absorbing the impact of what we have learned so far and we will be planning for a much more active November, although October holds some fun stuff yet!

1 comment:

  1. Oh come on!!! If you're going to include discourse on moon-pies, you can include burgers made with fried Krispy Kreme 'buns' too! Fair fat facts for all!! Besides in the land of fried 'okry' and good old greasy fried squash, you gotta give the 'art' some lovin'!! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to have a nice healthy 'English' breakfast with fried 'stuff' (Q: what kind of 'stuff'? A: what do you have?)