The Year of Food

So, I’m not making any resolutions this year.  I have in the past kept a few resolutions, but inevitably, I can’t make half of them and reassess when the school year begins.  I have four million things going on anyway–a book project, a new class to teach, articles to write, a 60-mile walk to prepare for.  I don’t think I need to set any more goals.

But, I am continuing to think about food.  I watched Food, Inc. over the break, which just added to my frustration about the food industry.  I also read Cleaving by Julie Powell and watched Julie and Julia.  And Mr. Geeky gave me a fondue pot and cooking lessons and I bought myself yet another cookbook with a gift certificate.  So food is on my brain.  I’m continuing to try to buy food responsibly, locally and organically.  But, it is difficult.  The meat producers that come to Farmer’s Market in the spring and summer allow preordering and delivery in the winter.  But, because I wasn’t paying attention, I missed this weekend’s dropoff and will have to wait until the 20th to get more.  I’m paying a visit to a local butcher this week in hopes of finding grass-fed meat.  It would be more convenient than the once or twice a month deliveries.  And, of course, no veggies or fruits are really in season right now, so at least in the winter, I’m probably breaking a few rules.

The cookbook I got is Cooking Light‘s Dinner Tonight collection, which are recipes for complete meals that are generally a bit healthier than what most of us tend to eat.  I used to have a subscription, but let it lapse and have since been visiting their web site regularly.  But I do like having a book to work from as I learn new recipes.  Usually, when I get a new cookbook, I just flip through it and pick out a few things to make.  But I wanted to be more adventurous than that, not shying away from things that I wouldn’t normally be drawn to.  So I went to a random number generator and generated a few numbers that referenced pages in the book and decided to make those recipes for the next couple of days.  Last night’s recipe was Potato, Leek and Corn Chowder, which I served with garlic breadsticks and a salad.  It was quite tasty and perfect for a cold winter’s night.  The recipe calls for fresh corn, which is impossible to find this time of year, so I went with frozen instead.  I suspect fresh corn would make this a super yummy dish, so perhaps I’ll reprieve it in the summer.  On deck for later this week is a couscous meal and stuffed red peppers.  Yes, there will be posts, and maybe even pictures.

I also want to try to eat out more, but that requires more planning and of course, more money, so I’m still thinking about that.  But there will definitely be more writing about food.  I’m nothing if not eccentric in my topics!

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10 Replies to “The Year of Food”

  1. You are brave to cook by random number generator! The “things the kid won’t eat” would probably kill that for me. But I’ll happily follow along on your food adventures.

    I’m confused when you say that eating out more will require more planning. Are you trying to get into really fancy restaurants that require reservations? For us, eating out is the “no plan” solution.

  2. One of the things that I’ve heard recently is how much better for the environment it is to buy quick-frozen fish and fruits and vegetables, rather than out of season or area fresh ones, which have to be air-shipped to the market. So I’ve been buying frozen strawberries and blueberries from Costco.

  3. Indeed Madeleine, I was thinking of going to nice restaurants in the city rather than our usual sandwich shops and pizza joints. Or the same Thai restaurant we always go to. I need a RNG for that, too. And maybe cash.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the kids will react to some things. Geeky Boy will try anything. But Geeky Girl, not so much. I make her make herself a pb sandwich if she won’t eat what I’ve prepared. And every week or so, I make something she won’t eat.

  4. Elizabeth, I’m not sure about whether frozen is better for the environment, but I have heard that when you’re not buying local, fresh produce, frozen is actually healthier because it’s lost fewer nutrients. Most produce brought to your local supermarket is actually harvested about 2 weeks before it’s ripe and then allowed to ripen as it travels to the store. So, it hasn’t completely developed its nutrients in the first place and then it loses nutrients over time.

  5. I’ve been a lurker for awhile. But goodness, I could’ve written this same post. Except not the random number generator part. HA! Which is think is brilliant, btw. I’m still in small child mode here. That’s much too risky for my mental health. 🙂
    The Food, Inc., the Julie and Julia. New cookbooks. A lot of people I know are changing a lot.
    This is a good thing….

  6. OH crud! i just typed a nice comment and as soon as i submitted it it come up blank! Please tell me it worked properly? I do not want to sumit it again if i do not have to! Either the blog bugged out or i am just stuipd :), the latter doesnt surprise me lol.

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