Monday, February 11, 2013

Food for Thought... (No really...some thoughts on my food...)

I've come to taking for granted what a  regular dinner with Mingus is considered. 

It's not getting fast food--or even take-out.
Heaven knows nobody delivers to these parts, so it's not delivery.
It's not frozen, pre-prepped meals we bought from Kroger.
It's not an in-home chef or cook.
And it's obviously not gourmet cooking.

But it is home-cooked meals made up of our own hap-hazard recipes composed of non-processed ingredients and primarily food produced right here on our own land.

Sunday evening my parents joined the two of us for a joint-effort dinner. Sitting down, I was sorely disappointed when I began to proudly look upon my plate at everything that had come from our own efforts, then realized the onions--used only for seasoning other dishes, had not been grown by us. 

Dang. Onions next year maybe?

Our meal was:
  • Fried rabbit--from our own bunnies.
  • Steamed beets--dug less than a month ago, fresh from the garden (Yes, in January)
  • Cooked green beans--canned over the summer
  • Mashed potatoes, from potatoes dug in early fall
Tonight, Mingus and I will eat burgers--from ground bunny--and "french fries"; ie: our own potatoes that I sliced, seasoned and baked. (Our pickles on the burgers are cucumbers we pickled over the summer. One day we'll have our own ketchup to use also...maybe?) We're also having rice, which I cannot claim as our own.

Rice is one of the few things we buy regularly that we don't produce ourselves, along with pasta noodles. 

Don't get me wrong--we hit up the grocery often enough. Our seasonings also come from the store, but we try to keep them as organic as possible. I am anxious to grow more of our own herbs. After having incredible basil plants last year that we dried and saved, we have regularly used the leaves to make dipping sauce with spaghetti (made with garden veggies, bunny meat and homemade sauce from garden tomatoes). The difference in our basil and the basil purchased at the store is incredible. 

What it is I've really realized, though, is how natural it is becoming for us to not only cook with our own food, but to actually cook meals and not depend on something from the freezer or something someone else prepped for us with their own special seasonings, preservatives and MSG. We joke that every meal begins with oil, onions and garlic--and it's nearly true. Our garlic press is one of the most used tools in the kitchen. 

We're both glad to be becoming comfortable cooking this way right now (pre-kiddos) so that it's less of an effort when they do come along--it will be second nature to us.

Second, I've realized how much money this must be saving us. Last night's meal, with the exception of onions, garlic cloves and seasonings, and butter and rice milk (for the mashed potatoes) all of the main foods were not purchased in a store. Obviously raising rabbits has costs, as do starting a garden--and time is of value. But to not be spending money on things that are damaging my long-term (and possibly immediate) health is worth the time, no 
doubt.