After a marathon cooking sesh last night after coming home, whew, we have lots of food stocked up for our challenge! Soup and more soup, guacamole that doesn’t suck (first time in this house, I can tell you right now), sausage, eggs, it was like the friggin’ line cook area at a Denny’s at 2 AM on a Saturday around here, I’m telling ya! ‘Cept, you know, fewer pancakes.
The whole “no going out to eat” part of this challenge is proving to be the most difficult thing so far, if only due to all the planning it requires. Luckily, because of our chest freezer and other strokes of luck, good, healthful food is never far away in this house.
What strokes of luck, you may ask? Well, one for sure is the Egg Lady, from who most of the gym buys our pasture-eggs via a nice gym middlewoman. $3/doz for backyard eggs? Score! Very sadly, our Egg Lady’s mama passed away recently, so we’re in a bit of an egg drought, and it makes me appreciate it all the more when I finally broke down to buy two dozen at the local Whole Foods for (gulp) $6.69/doz. Yikes! I told Ian not to look as I placed them in the cart…
Another was the cowshare that myself and three other gym families did earlier this fall, also spearheaded by the same chica who is our Egg Lady go-between (hmm, sensing a theme here!). For about $4/lb, we came away with about 125 pounds of ground chuck, steaks, roasts, stew meat, soup bones, and yes, even some liver. The meat is flavorful, wholesome, and well, abundant, shall we say. Most of the other families in this arrangement have, well, other family members. Ahem. At least the meat might last us until next summer! 🙂
We also scored yesterday on a leftover CSA crate, with delicious yummies like teeny tiny orange tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash (both of which I hope will last until the challenge is over!), cukes, and peppers and peppers and peppers, oh my! All colors and shapes you can imagine, each with their own flavor. And best of all, only four white potatoes, so we didn’t have to waste much food in the end, as we won’t be eating those.
The local Sunday farmer’s market is also a great place to get massive quantities of heirloom tomatoes, as well as forest-raised pork products, among other things. While I have to say, no market can beat the Saturday market in Deerings Oaks Park in Portland for sheer amount of farmers, what the Chattanooga one lacks in farm-goods quantity it makes up for in entertainment (think fiddlers and other folk/county music) and crafts. Last time we went, I hesitated in buying a beautiful, hand-made wooden cutting board that I saw, but last night, when Ian asked how he could help me with all of the cookin’ and bookin’, I looked around the kitchen and realized that I only really had one board suitable for serious veggie-choppin’. I’ll have to remedy that next time I’m at the market! 🙂
And then of course, there’s also the time that Ian bought about $500 worth of grass-fed cow from a dude on the street…
…oh. I didn’t tell you that little gem of a story? 😉
So serendipitously, Ian decided one day about a month ago that he was, and I quote, “done with work for the day,” so he left a little early to go relax at home, puttering about and playing a computer game, making wedding cakes, practicing his handstand walk down our hallway, or whatever it is he does when he’s home alone. A few hours later, he drives back into town to pick me up, and as I hop into the car, the first thing he says to me is, “You’re never gonna believe what just happened!”
Now, Boyfriend, being the even-keeled, sort of taciturn fellow that he can be, rarely gets SUPER excited about anything, so I could tell something cool was up. Before I could say anything he launches into his story:
“So I bought a bunch of meat out of the back of this guy’s truck today-”
And yes, here I interrupted him with a totally appropriate, “Um, what? EW!” but he impatiently held up his hand and continued.
“A guy making deliveries for a wholesale meat company that sells good stuff, like Omaha Steaks, came to the door because his freezer truck had broken down. He was selling the stuff out of the back of it door-to-door, super discounted, because it was about to go bad!”
In the end, Ian bought a huge box of prime steaks (including bacon-wrapped filet mignon I KNOW SHUT UP FOR REAL!!!) for about a third of the retail price. I couldn’t believe it!!! Somehow we found room in our freezers, and they’ve been delicious thus far. Actually, interesting to note that while they are also grass-fed, the “Nebraska” cows do taste quite different from our own “Tennessee” cow. Both yummy in slightly different ways, and I’m already learning which steaks are better with certain sides over the other cow. Neat, huh? 🙂
So that, my friends, is the currently state of food affairs in the Box Stitch and Box Jump household. I like to think of all this food gathering and mass-cooking as prep for when our family expands some day down the road. Hopefully cooking for three (four? five?) will be as easy as cooking for two!