What We Eat: November I

11/01/08-11/07/08: I’d like to address one item up front, inspired by a reader’s question: No, I don’t do all the cooking. I just write about it. Both of us love to cook and are equally capable in the kitchen, but we have lived as a single (or as least 1.5) income household for a long time and feel very strongly about having a homemaker who is able to prepare worthwhile meals. Back when we worked for the National Park Service, I was working long days, Joanna was making most of the meals, and I cooked when I had the time and energy. Now we’ve reversed roles. So, yes, I’m making most of the meals you’re reading about, but Joanna is likely to take over on weekends and occasional weekdays, and we work together as often as possible. Perhaps I should do a better job of noting the chef, but cooking is a shared love and practice for us.

On another note, our personal values include the feeling that it’s best to tighten belts elsewhere and spend the time and money it takes to enjoy good food. For example, even the most elaborate meal you read about here takes less time than the statistically average American’s TV-watching. Heck, if we were TV watchers, we could put one in the kitchen and accomplish both. In general, we’re spending less than an hour on almost any meal, and almost always making enough to provide leftovers for lunch the next day. To me, cooking real food is as much a matter of priorities as abilities, though I certainly respect those working very long hours who really don’t have much time at all. All I can say is that we find kitchen time together one of the most worthwhile things we do as a couple and we make the time to cook because it’s so important to us.

Saturday: We attended the Columbia Farmers Market Fall Roundup, an afternoon-evening year-end conference featuring speakers and socializing to recap the end of the market year. A fun event, with dinner catered by Cafe Berlin, a local restaurant with a heavy local-foods focus.

Sunday: Soft tacos – homemade wheat tortillas filled with spiced goat & beans (onion, garlic, meat, shelled beans, cilantro, with bulk spices), chopped tomatoes, peppers, & our cheddar. All produce, meat, and cheese ours. Tortillas homemade from bulk flour, spices purchased in bulk.

Monday: Filipino-style fried rice – onion, garlic, meat, cinnamon, soy sauce sauteed with green beans, tomatoes, purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggs, and rice. All produce, meat, and eggs ours, rice & spices purchased in bulk. This recipe is a great example of adaption to seasonal/local food supplies, with sweet potatoes standing in for plantains, our frozen green beans standing in for peas, and goat standing in for pork.

Tuesday: Vegetarian chili (onions, garlic, beans, tomatoes, spices, rice, cheese) with side of cabbage-pecan-apple salad. All produce ours except beans (bulk organic in this case), spices, and rice. Apples from Fertile Crescent Farms.

Wednesday: Joanna’s homemade biscuits with sorghum syrup, sauteed mixed greens (mustard, collards, kale), sweet potato fries. Greens & sweet potatoes ours, biscuits made from bulk materials, sorghum from Sandhill Farm.

Thursday: Eric away for a meeting (ate at Uprise), Joanna made quinoa salad.

Friday: One of Joanna’s favorite winter meals to make: squash & leek lasagna. Winter squash, leeks, cheese, milk, noodles, herbs, spices, & more combine into a sweet and tasty dish that is unique and memorable. Recipe from Eating Well Magazine, I will post our take on it soon. Squash from Phil’s Garden (ours failed this year), cheese from Goatsbeard Farm, milk from Weiler Dairy, leeks ours, other items purchased.

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