Home Cooking

Posted by on Dec 26, 2010 in MFW, Teach, Writing

Reverb10: December 26 – Soul Food
What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

This year we joined a food co-op, where we get vegetables, dairy products, and even meat from farmers in the area. Many benefits have come from this, not the least of which is that we don’t go shopping at big grocery stores that much. Most of our food is raw materials that have to be made into something. Less and less of what we buy is pre-packaged and artificial stuff. And we have to be creative: we get what we get, every week, and have to make the best of the food we have, whether it’s kohlrabi or bison meat.

For example, one week I picked up kale, spaghetti squash, yogurt, apples, carrots, and a quarter of a chicken. That week I made kale with tofu and carrots in a stir-fry served with brown rice. I also made spaghetti squash one night with jarred tomato sauce and romano cheese. The chicken was cooked and added to a broth with carrots and matzo balls. And we snacked on yogurt and granola, or apples with peanut butter, all week. The meals themselves were nothing fancy, but the pleasure of cooking from scratch, and eating REAL food that was grown or raised by a farmer who lived nearby, was incredibly satisfying.

Another result of all this cooking is that we began to eat out less. We were once the kind of people who tried hard to cook, but often ran out of time and bought frozen dinners and sandwich shop lunches more often than not. When David was between jobs for several months, we found we had more time together to cook, and HAD to do so, just to be thrifty. It got us out of a pattern of ordering in and eating out, and relying on pre-made, high calorie, salty and fatty foods that were actually not as tasty as what we could make ourselves.

Surprisingly, I also found that cooking our own food is often less time consuming than going out to eat, dispelling one of my long-standing beliefs and excuses. By the time we put on our boots and decided where to go, we could be eating our own food. And if I make several servings in advance, I can put aside some chili or matzo ball soup for later, and warm it up in minutes.

The other thing I discovered this year? I’m actually eating less. When I am in control of the menu and eat more whole, real foods, I am less interested in snacking or eating “bad foods.” I’ve lost a little weight, which is great, but I feel even better.

If there was ONE MEAL that really impressed itself upon me this year, it would be the first omelet David created with our eggs from the food co-op. It was a simple dish, just an omelet with cheddar cheese and some green onions on top, but the eggs were gorgeous – fluffy, bright yellow, and rich, yet light. We cook a lot of eggs, but this was the first time we ever managed to make an omelet that was as fluffy and perfect as you see in cookbooks. We realized then that we were eating REAL food, something that had come from a nearby farm, and that we were part of an important cycle of raising animals for food, managing resources, and running family businesses. But more than anything, we realized it was GOOD.

Reverb10: December 26 – Soul Food
What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie

Collins)

This year we joined a food coop, where we get vegetables, dairy products, and even meat from farmers in the area. Many

benefits have come from this, not the least of which is that we don’t go shopping at big grocery stores that much. Most of

our food is raw materials that have to be made into something. Less and less of what we buy is pre-packaged, and

artificial stuff. And we have to be creative: we get what we get, every week, and have to make the best of the food we

have, whether it’s kohlrabi or bison meat.

For example, one week I picked up kale, spaghetti squash, yogurt, apples, carrots, and a quarter of a chicken. That week I

made kale with tofu and carrots in a stir-fry served with brown rice, which lasted for three meals. I also made spaghetti

squash one night with jarred tomato sauce and romano cheese. The chicken was cooked and added to a broth with carrots and

matzo balls. And we snacked on yogurt and granola, or apples with peanut butter, all week. The meals themselves were

nothing fancy, but the pleasure of cooking from scratch, and eating REAL food that was grown or raised by a farmer who

lived nearby, was incredible satisfying.

Another result of all this cooking is that we began to eat out less. We were once the kind of people who tried hard to

cook, but often ran out of time and bought frozen dinners and cafe lunches more often than not. When David was between

jobs for several months, we found we had more time together to cook, and HAD to do so, just to be thrifty. It got us out

of a pattern of ordering in and eating out, and relying on pre-made, high calorie, salty and fatty foods that were

actually not as tasty as what we could make ourselves.

Surprisingly, I also found that cooking our own food is often less time consuming than going out to eat, dispelling one of

my long-standing beliefs and excuses. By the time we put on our boots and decided where to go, we could be eating our own

food. And if I make several servings in advance, I can put aside some chili or matzo ball soup for later, and warm it up

in minutes.

The other thing I discovered this year? I’m actually eating less. When I am in control of the menu and eat more whole,

real foods, I am less interested in snacking or eating “bad foods.”

If there was ONE MEAL that really impressed itself upon me this year, it would be the first omelet David created with our

eggs from the food co-op. It was a simple dish, just an omelet with cheddar cheese and some green onions on top, but the

eggs were incredible – fluffy, bright yellow, and rich, yet light. We cook a lot of eggs, but this was the first time we

ever managed to make an omelet that was as fluffy and perfect as you see in cookbooks. We realized then that we were

eating REAL food, something that had come from a real farm, and that we were part of an important cycle of raising animals

for food, managing resources, and running family businesses. But more than anything, we realized it was GOOD.

3 Comments

  1. Erin
    December 26, 2010

    Great post. What Coop did you join?

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    December 26, 2010

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  3. Gin
    December 27, 2010

    Erin, we joined the Mill Valley Co-op, which is a collection of local farms, and even the Hamilton Crop Circle at times. Here’s a link to their blog: http://bit.ly/8nITp