Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Quickies



I've written some about our crazy lifestyle.  The unfortunate fact of my life is that we tend to eat very late, because of our various activities. It would be really easy to rely on fast food, which is cheap and easy, but because I'm me, nothing is ever that simple.  Desiring to consume GMO-free foods that are mostly locally sourced means that fast food is, kind of, not a possibility. 

Add to that, the fact that here at Chez Brown, we no longer eat wheat.  Corn remains a big part of our diet, but other grains are limited.  In the beginning, we made the transition without visiting the gluten-free aisle (that is, we didn't substitute gluten-free bread for regular bread, but just cut out bread altogether) and were flour-free for a long time, too, before re-adding Buckwheat (gluten-free and Maine grown).   We also stayed away from most grains for those first few months, but we've added rice and mixed grain pastas back into our diet as an occasional supplement.

As such most quick and easy meal options aren't an option for us.  Sometimes, on very busy, stressful and energy-zapping days, adhering to our rather rigid dietary choices can be tough. 

The other day I was reading some information about "poor people's diets", and I realized that we, sort of, eat that way - out of necessity.

I don't mean the Spam-on-white-bread kind of meal, because ... well, ewww!  But also because neither Spam nor most white bread is locally sourced. 

What I mean is that a basic meal for us is some meat, some vegetable, and then an assortment of pickled foods.    For dessert, we might have what we call "Half Cake" (which is really a Chocolate Delirium Torte - and it sounds like a decadent dessert, but because we have our own eggs, it's incredibly cheap to make.  It's really rich, and so one only needs a tiny slice to satisfy). 

Or just fruit.

Or we might share a bar of fair-trade, GMO-free dark chocolate.

The point is that having a busy life doesn't mean that one has to sacrifice one's budget and health to the convenience of fast food.  Frying up a hamburger patty seasoned with garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and cumin (from locally sourced beef) and then serving it on a bed of fresh greens and accompanying it with cheese slices, pickled-vegetables, boiled eggs, and olives is just incredibly delicious and super fast.  In fact, it takes longer to drive to the fast food place and pick up a burger and some fries than it does to form the hamburger patties and fry them.  Plus, while the hamburgers are cooking, one can do other things around the house, like put away all of that laundry :). 

I'm a decent enough cook, and I can make some fancy stuff ... but my best work in the kitchen is making the simple things taste better, and that doesn't require a lot of money - but rather just a bit of imagination and the willingness to pair spices. 

For those who are looking at stocking up for hard times, my best advice is to not store up 5 gallon buckets of wheat berries, but rather to stock up on spices (or better, yet, grow them), because with the right spice, even roadkill can taste good.

And if times get truly tough, roadkill might be what's for dinner.


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