Saturday, April 25, 2009

Family Food

A couple of things I've wanted to write about and they tie together nicely.

Today we signed up for a farm share from a local Amish Farmer.
200 lbs of veggies from this list of what he's growing...
Lettuce, Radishes, Beets, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Broccoli, Squash, Carrots, Tomatoes, Cukes, Beans, Peppers, Sweet corn, Canning tomatoes, cabbage, pickles, cauliflower and garlic.
Plus strawberries and 15 lbs of chicken.

We stopped by today to pay $250.00 for the season. Mr. Yoder was fairly young, with 4 kids from infant to five years old. They showed Claire the baby chicks that will be food or egg producers in a few weeks. And the greenhouse is full of sets, we may get some tomato or pepper plants for the garden once the frost threat is past. He'll write me when the first produce is ready, maybe some asparagus, and then we'll go by weekly to pick up our share. Find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) near you!

The next trick is actually figuring out how to cook all of it. Because I can't cook, or shop, or plan menus.

The problem is that I'm married to a man who is never home for dinner. I spent years working odd shifts where either I wasn't home for dinner, or dinner was really breakfast. And in the last years before the kids were needing to be cooked for, I had a free lunch at work so I lived on sandwiches at home. But I've had at least four years now where I should have been preparing full meals for me and Nathan, and there's no excuse for the amount of times the meal has been McDonalds, Mac & cheese or a PB&J.

A few weeks ago, I found Menus for Moms, and I've really loving it. I NEED someone to spell out exactly what should be served each day and what groceries I need, and this does it. The kids aren't eating everything on their plate, but just exposing them to the variety is a big deal, and will help in the long run. And a few things that I never would have thought they'd like have been big hits. (Couscous, enchiladas, pesto chicken) Some of the items are on the wrong side of the healthy/fattening scale, but there's always veg and fruit on the side. And a lot of the planning includes bulk cooking and freezing, so that the meal can be pulled together quickly when I get home from work.

I'm hoping that a few months of this will give the skill and confidence to do more on my own. And also help build up the pantry and freezer so when I don't want to go shopping, I'll be able to find something to make instead of calling Dominos.

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