Organic watermelon radishes from Hairston Creek Farm

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Bounty

Yes, I know it is not quite summer yet. However, zucchini already showed up in my Greenling box and I know from talking to friends that are growing it, that there is plenty more coming my way. So, in order to use up the zucchini I had on hand before I got even more, I went searching for a recipe and found a delicious lasagna recipe through (follow link below).

NOTES: This lasagna might be just as delicious as mine was if you follow the recipe but I should at least mention what changes I made due to what I had on hand:
  • I did not use fat-free cottage cheese. I tend to prefer low-fat products;
  • The instructions say to spread 1/4 cup zucchini mixture in the bottom of the pan and I thought that this was not enough so I used way more than 2 cups of tomato sauce total (I think I used about 4 cups);
  • I did not buy the brand of tomato sauce recommended because I had some plain Muir Organic tomato sauce on hand.
  • I did not have onions left in my pantry to chop, but I had chopped and sauteed some the previous night with bell peppers, olive oil, and oregano for another recipe and had about one cup left. I used it all on this recipe.
The basil was from our garden, the egg was from local pastured chickens, and the mozzarella was from a local farm. Everything else was non-local but organic. It was so good I plan to make this for as long as I have zucchini!:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I guess I knew our family would face challenges when we made the decision to only eat local. It was easy at the beginning but the past couple of months have been especially tough. The reasons are:
  1. Both our kids play select sports and the commitment is monumental. Between the two kids, there are practices every day which are at least 20 minutes away from our home and last about 1.5 hours. That is over 2 hours every afternoon that one or both of us spend away from home;
  2. We both work;
  3. Trying to eat local, organic, and unprocessed foods all the time time consuming. The market we go to is 30 minutes away. These past weekends we just didn't have time to go to the market, take 2 hours to roast the chicken, 4 more to prepare the stock, just so that I could have chicken broth to prepare another meal;
  4. Some local foods by themselves do not make a meal. We always had carrots on hand but carrot soup just does not satisfy two active kids. Besides, I need stock to prepare the soup. Carrot tacos? No, thank you.

As a result we constantly faced ourselves with either not enough food to put together a meal, or completely stressed out trying to cook a complete meal with what we had on hand, even if it was enough because of time. Previously, non-local ingredients might have made the meals easier to prepare but I was not budging. Then I got sick.

See, I know what Barbara Kingsolver would say. I have read her book. When women decided to join the work force, who were we thinking was going to cook our meals? Women's lib was the beginning of the fast food era. Eating out replaced mom's cooking. She is right. So, the past two months or so, as I struggle to juggle both home and work, I have seriously thought about what it would mean to not work:
  1. Staying home would give me 7 hours a day that I could dedicate to the preparation of our food;
  2. Staying home would also mean my kids would not be able to play select sports;
  3. Staying home might also mean that I would not be able to afford organic foods.

This is a decision that is not to be made lightly. Maybe if I owned a 40 acre farm I would be more inclined to take the leap but for today, I still need my job. So for now, I am going to have to be a little more flexible when it comes to preparing our foods. We are still making our bread every week and roasting the chicken and preparing the stock. We just sometimes don't have the energy when we are done with all of this, to then prepare the meal I had in mind with the stock. So if instead, we make tacos with out-of-town avocados and local whole wheat tortillas because it is less stressful and faster (and still home-made and healthy), then so be it.