Until recently I never thought much about where the food I put on our table comes from. I focused on delicious healthy food, but never the origin of the food. Of course we have all heard over the years that organic is better. Avoid pesticides, herbicides, the over use of hormones and antibiotics, ect in our food. But really, WHERE did it come from? South America? China? California? New Jersey? A CAFO? Where? Was it flown in? Trucked in? We really don't know. All we know is what isle to find it on. So, I've been trying to educate myself on the origin of our food and what I can do to make healthier choices. Healthier for myself, my family, and our environment. We have a long way to go, but it starts somewhere, right? Before you can make a change you have to be aware.
This week I started reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I am only a couple of chapters into it, but I can already tell that it's going to change and inspire my attitudes toward food even further. Sometimes I hesitate to learn more and read books like these. Simply put, ignorance is bliss. If I learn more then it is harder to ignore the truth and if I learn more then I am responsible to be part of the change. It's easier to live in our little grocery store bubbles, isn't it? Just keeping it real.
My kitchen and dinner table is not the picture of sustainable perfection. I still shop at Walmart, Costco, and our local city grocery store. Change like this does not come easy or overnight. I do feel like we are much further along than we used to be. Here are some changes we've made and some we plan to make.
** Paying more attention to what is seasonal and local and what is not. Are bananas grown in Idaho all year long? Somehow I think not.
** While shopping I am looking for produce and groceries produced in ID.
** I buy certified organic when I can, though not as often as I'd like.
** We started buying our eggs from local people with chickens. In the last couple of weeks we have gotten our eggs from the farm where the pig is kept.
** We are raising a pig! We are feeding it and treating it in a way that is fair and healthy and if all goes right then we will have a freezer full of fresh natural pork that we raised.
** Our spring garden is not yet planted, but will be soon. I would love love love to can enough diced tomatoes to last me the year.
** I am taking advantage of our very locally grown asparagus crop. I have froze some and we've been eating it for dinner every night.
** Our town's farmers market will open next weekend. I plan to do as much produce shopping there as I can. Buy what is in season from local farms.
Monday afternoon UPS delivery two boxes to our door. They contained 3 helmets, some gloves and night goggles. Apparently there really are motorcycle helmets that will fit Tim's head. Thanks Mike for saving these safely in your garage for us!! If only you had saved the Harley for us too.....
I think it's safe to assume that he'll grow into it.
The Idaho sun is now hiding behind a layer clouds for awhile. Which is fine with me. Soon the clouds will part and the sun will beat down unmercifully on us. For now I'll enjoy the overcast and sprinkles we are getting.
Except now that we have gotten ourselves somewhat involved in a mini farm operation, weather means 'batten down the hatches'. So we were asked yesterday to run over to the barn to save the turkeys from drowning. It was supposed to rain and turkeys aren't very smart. So Autumn and I went and corralled about 20 young turkeys into their house so they wouldn't stand outside and drown in the rain. It never did rain much, but I guess better safe than sorry - and no turkey dinner.
Surprisingly, Will loves to go there. Soon as you walk up you are greeted by all the chickens running to you for food. He didn't have any, but they must have thought that his little carry along treasures were edible. He likes to pretend that the chickens are wild pokemon and he fights them off. While Autumn and I were chasing turkeys it started to thunder a bit and Will took cover in the barn area.
It's so fun to go there and trade our kitchen scraps for eggs. It's like easter all over again with an egg hunt. This is one of the favorite spots for them to lay. You wouldn't believe how orange and beautiful the eggs are when you crack them open. It's almost like you can see the vitamins and nutrients bursting forth. There's nothing comparable to free range healthy eggs.
He doesn't lay beautiful eggs. He just walks around being serious and doing his rooster cat call to all the chicken ladies. Very serious business.
An eight year old boy getting a haircut is not normally big news. Today's haircut IS big news because today was the first time in years that the clippers were used. The last time clippers touched his head it wasn't a very good experience - for anyone. Today we went to the same lady that he's been to the last few haircuts. We decided to go with a short boys haircut. He did great. The only part that was hard was when she needed to clean up the stray hairs around is neck and ears. She had to resort to scissors for that since he couldn't stand the clippers that close on his neck. But all in all he did amazingly well. And now he has a typical boys haircut! I still loved his longer hair, but it was time for this change.
Well, actually THIS girl is going to middle school next year.
I'm not sure where the first little girl went. Do any of you know?
This photo was taken last night in the band room of the middle school. It was 7th grade orientation. Autumn is already familiar with the school since she's been going there twice a week for band practice.
I remember when Russell went to 7th grade. It was pretty freaky. I'm not as freaked out this time. Autumn will be fine and do so well. She's already pretty excited about it. She's taking 7th grade band as her elective and we're pretty sure that she's also going to join the volleyball team that starts in the fall. Good times!
1/2 cup rolled oats, coarsely ground (I do a few pulses in my food processor)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup almond meal
vanilla protein powder (I used 2 scoops EAS which is 27 grms protein)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt (you could use greek yogurt to bump up protein but I didn't have any. Used regular non fat plain yogurt)
2-3 Tbsp sugar free vanilla torani syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, whole-wheat flour, almond meal, protein powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, syrup, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and whisk together until incorporated.
3. In a large frying pan, add about 1 Tbsp canola oil or use non stick cooking spray. Use a one third measure cup and fill it about 1/2 to 3/4 full and pour on the hot griddle. The batter will be bubbly and light. Cook for a couple of minutes, then flip. Top with sugar free maple syrup.
These were really tasty and good!
*These stats don't include oil or cooking spray, sugar free maple syrup or the fruit.*
74 calories 2.3 grams of fat 8.5 grams of carbs 1.5 grams of fiber 5.6 grams of protein
A couple of weeks ago we visited the farm of a lady who works at the kids school. She has known Autumn for a couple of years because she was the crossing guard. Then this year she also helps Will in his class for part of the day. Turns out that her family rents a small farm space right outside our subdivision. She invited us over to show the kids all her animals which includes pigs, goats, chickens and turkeys. We got to talking about 4H and how we've wanted to get Autumn involved in that and about growing our own food and such. She said that if we wanted to get involved that we could share her space and raise our own pig.
So we went out and found ourselves a pig! Mom and Dad sent us 50 bucks to buy the kids an easter present from them. We couldn't think of anything better than putting it towards the 100 we needed for our pig. Thanks Mom and Dad!!
We don't know much about 4H, but we are going to our first meeting on Monday. Our plan is to have Autumn use the pig as a 4H project, take it to fair, and then piggy is going into our freezer. Should be quite a learning experience for everyone.
Here's Babe - she is about 2 1/2 months old. We brought her home in a plastic tub. Tim cut big holes in it and we had to hold our breath all the way back. yuck.
We then took her to her new home. She shares a pen with two other pigs about the same age. Here she is (on the far left) being checked out by her new pen mates.
piggy patty buns.
The goats had to come check out the newbie too.
This is Bucket. He was happy to get a new pen mate. Like I said, should be an interesting experience, huh?????
Video to follow soon. Um, 'G' rated video that is.