Homegrown Food Challenge—Day 4

October 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Day 4 … halfway through our week of eating and drinking stuff as homegrown and as local as possible. How’s it going? Great. In fact, we might have too much food. Well, we’ll make it to the end, definitely.

Okay, I had promised some scintillating breakfasts. Not happening on Day 4. The morning meal, to me, is utilitarian. I know, that’s the wrong way to think about it. You’re supposed to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper. Or something like that. I honestly don’t have the stomach for breakfast until, say, 9 am.

Day 4 was a whole two days ago. Let’s see if I can remember what we had.

Breakfast:
Flat Black coffee. Maine’s Own Organic Milk. And honestly, I may have had an apple. I know it wasn’t much. I was kinda busy and on a role with things, work-wise. Sometimes that happens. Kids, eat your breakfast and don’t be like Auntie Dainty.

Lunch:
Lunch … I have to say what I made for lunch was the best thing ever constructed out of two pieces of bread. Seriously. Some cookbook-writing chef is going to see my delicious creation and will put it front and center in his/her lunch options.

Grilled eggplant paninni with tomato and smoky mayo

It’s a grilled eggplant and tomato paninni with smoky mayo. Recall the smoky mayo originally topped the broiled bluefish on Day 2. Imagine that spread not-too-thinly on two slices of homemade sourdoughish bread. And remember the eggplant on the grilled pizza from Day 3? Lay a couple of those grilled eggplant slices down on top. Add some sliced tomato, top with another mayo-slathered slice of bread. Put a bit of olive oil in a hot cast iron pan. Lay down the sammies. And add some wait to make them “pressed sandwiches.” In this case, I used a very heavy Dutch oven. Grill both sides to a nice crispness. Smoky mayo+grilled eggplant=the world’s perfect pairing. I wanted to share it with everyone and no one all at once.

Dinner:
We still had two bluefish fillets in the fridge from our Cape Ann Fresh Catch share on Tuesday. We did another round of Broiled Bluefish with Smoky Mayo since it was so good on Day 2. And we had a small side salad. See those beans on top? Vermont Cranberry Beans – the best homegrown beans. Ever.

 

Broiled bluefish with smoky mayo and a salad

That was it for Day 4. We won’t tell you if we finish the remaining Topsfield Fair-made kettle corn. We’ll let you think on that.

 

 

Vegan-ish

March 10, 2011 § 2 Comments

So, what’s that about?

Beginning March 1, both Jennifer and I have eaten veganishly. Well, two-thirds vegan is a better way to categorize our recent eating habits. And to clarify, that means we have been eating two vegan meals out of three each day. And for those of you who need further clarification, that means – to us – no meat, fish, eggs and dairy products for two of three meals.

Torture? No. Surprisingly. And surprisingly easy, even on vacation.

Your next question: Why? For me, first off, it’s a skepticism around the freshness of the meat, eggs and dairy I purchase and eat, how those animals are raised, and what they’re eating themselves. I know, I could go to Whole Foods or some other high-end grocery and buy their luxury products. I don’t have a whole paycheck to give up for a chicken thigh that’s been gently raised, whispered to that never-ending sleep, and trucked just miles to my local high-end market. Spend your money that way if you can.

I’m all for supporting local ag. And that’s why I do frequent farmers markets when I can. You can find local and small-ag meats in many of them now, and that’s a great way to become exposed to the sources of your meats and dairy. Do it!

But, and this is my second point, I’m already familiar with small farms. I grew up on one. We raised our own beef, pork and chickens. We had milk cows, too. Mom made butter and sometimes cheese. We could call our burgers by name. It wasn’t until college that I ate meat on a regular basis for which I didn’t know its source. And you know? It’s just different. I never really enjoyed it – especially the beef. I had maby five beef dishes within the first couple of years after college, but essentially no beef in 20 years.

Pork. I love pork. LOVE bacon. Oh, man, do I love bacon. Haven’t had it since December 2009. Again, why? Well, it’s my dream – and Jennifer’s too  – to find a little farm somewhere and raise our own stuff. We’ve talked about it for years. A huge garden, a sheep and goat for cheese, a little pig (that would be for me), chickens for the both of us. Omitting from my diet something I love so much was a commitment on my part to making that farm happen. No farm, no pork. It’s quite an incentive.

Chicken. Chicken had always been the fallback meat. I just can’t do it anymore. I remember watching that expose on some chicken farm or processing plant down in the South, about 10 years ago or more. Did you see that? Ugh and yuck!  Americans deserve to be treated better than that by their corporate food providers. Seriously.

This two-thirds vegan thing isn’t an original idea. Jennifer had read Mark Bittman did it to lower some medical numbers and to drop a few pounds. It worked. So, why not give it a try?

I’m playing loose with the rules, too. Such as cookies. Am I not going to eat cookies because they have eggs? Are you kidding? Justine, I know you’re reading this and had concerns over how “veganish” is going to affect my baked goods that find their way into your office. Eggs and dairy will be used aplenty in my baking.

If for some reason we miss a vegan meal, we’ll make up for it the next day with a completely vegan day.

Business trips will be difficult, especially the kind I take. I am traveling up the California coast with my boss for 7 days at the end of the month. He’s a big BBQ meat lover. That should give Dainty plenty of fodder for interesting posts.

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