Organic watermelon radishes from Hairston Creek Farm

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I am not a fan of non-fiction books but I don't think I have ever enjoyed a book more than Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. In this book, the author describes how for one year, her family ate only what grew in their farm or in the farms nearby. We don't live in a farm but after reading this book, I decided our family could at least do its best to buy most raw food we eat from chemical-free local farms. We also made the decision to use these raw foods to prepare any other foods that we were accustomed to consume that are considered 'processed'. I don't pretend we are as ambitious as Barbara Kingsolver and her family, but I think we have made great strides toward making decisions about our food that are better for us and our planet in just a few weeks. So, what exactly are we eating these days? Here are some of the things that we are buying/preparing ourselves:
  1. We are buying as much raw foods as we can eat each Saturday at our farmer's market. In the current season, this includes carrots, salad greens, beets, radishes, squash, brussels sprouts, etc. in addition to some meat and cheese that come from local, grass-fed animals;
  2. We are buying everything else mostly at Whole Foods. For example, organic eggs produced by pasture-raised local chickens, organic (hormone and antibiotic free) local milk, butter, and cheese (more on dairy later), whole flour, rice, other grains, and some additional meat at Whole Foods;
  3. We are making our bread. Have you ever read the ingredient list from the bread you buy at the grocery store? I challenge you to find a brand that has only wheat flour, water, yeast, and salt;
  4. We are making our own chicken stock;
  5. We are making our own crackers;
  6. We are making our own jam;
  7. We are making our own ice cream;
  8. We are making our own cookies;
  9. We make our own pizza; and
  10. I have started drying tomatoes now that they have come into season - they taste just like sun-dried!
As the weeks go by, I will post the challenges we have faced to achieve all of this. We both work and our kids play select sports so there is not much time left in the day to do much baking (challenges abound). However, I will tell you one thing: When we ate dinner last night at a restaurant and our kids let us know that the pizza we make is much better than the one we were served (which was not cheap), it made it all worth it!


  1. Excellent! Congrats on the new blog and good luck! I look forward to reading more on your adventure.

    Have you guys checked out the farmers market up in Cedar park?

  2. I'm reading that book now and LOVE it! I tried to read it in time to go to Book People's book club for it last month, but didn't quite make it.

    Glad to have found your blog; it sounds like you and I share some of the same goals and, if/when I have a family, I will for sure be maknig it a priority to have dinner with them every night. :D

  3. Hi Jack! Yes, I visited the Cedar Park farmer's market this past Saturday and was very impressed. It is so much closer to us. We will probably alternate between Barton Creek, Downtown, and Cedar Park to make sure we don't miss out on anything.

  4. Hi Katherine! I am glad you are enjoying the book. It just gets better and better as you read on. I was very sad to finish it; it was so inspiring! I look forward to reading your comments!