Boxes and Crinkly Bags

 

The table we set at our house is undergoing a gradual change.

For one thing, this little guy is joining us now.

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Because of him, some health issues, and a myriad of other reasons, we are changing up our diet.

Small changes, gradual changes, with some compromises here and there, but with a clear goal in mind.

No more processed (factory food) and more real food with real ingredients that we can pronounce.

We’ve made the switch to organic produce and are working towards meat raised humanely on small farms and ranches.

As we eat down our pantry and freezer we aren’t replacing the boxes and crinkly bags that live there now.

There have been some challenges along the way – mainly folks wandering into the kitchen looking for something to eat and finding more ingredients than food.  We’re all on different schedules around here and dinner is the only meal we share.

We’ve been working towards keeping the fridge and freezer stocked with prepared foods that just need to be heated up.  It just tends to get eaten up before we get enough stored back!

I’ve become a master of the frittata which uses up leftover veggies and the abundance of eggs we’ve been getting as the weather warms up and the chickens start laying.

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We’re experimenting with recipes we find on the internet that replicate favorite snacks.  Some are wins, some are not…still looking for a Little Debbie Nutty Buddy substitute.

The pantry and freezer are getting low and that is causing me some anxiety.  Some of these choices aren’t cheap and money is always an issue.  I’m taking some deep breaths and reminding myself that any change in the right direction is better than not trying at all.

Don’t let perfection get in the way of better, right?

And reminding myself of the wins…last night’s dinner –  soup made from leftover chicken (free-range, organic chicken that spent its days roosting in a barn and and exploring the great outdoors)  home-made egg noodles  and lots of organic veggies…

There are no pictures of the soup because it was all eaten.  And every meal won’t be scratch-made like this because I’m just not that together.  But this one was and that’s a step in the right direction.

They are probably going to want to eat again tonight.  I probably should have thawed something.

 

 

Boris the Hog

I know you are all anxiously awaiting an update to yesterday’s post…Be Careful What You Wish For.

Well, Boris the hog has arrived and is presently residing in our hallway packed in ice and awaiting processing.  Why “Boris” you might ask or perhaps why any name at all.  Beats me.  My kids have this weird thing about naming things:  cars, pets, wild animals, furniture, art pieces, pretty much anything at all.  “Boris” was named by my son who is my kid and sometimes child-like although technically an adult in the eyes of the law.

Processing has been delayed somewhat by my husband being moved to the night shift at late notice.  Working days or nights – two totally different worlds and a huge adjustment when change happens.

Anyway Boris is going to be part of our Fourth of July celebration.  A friend is going to allow us the use of his smoker to prep the ham and bacon.  Some parts are going in the freezer and the rest will be a feast for friends and family.

I’ve got to share my second daughter’s reaction via text.  She is living away at college and read my post before I had a chance to talk to her and share the news.  She is my little animal lover and in some ways was born into the wrong time.  She would have fit in very well into the culture of the sixties.  She is all about peace. love and tie-dye shirts.

Here is the text conversation (my words are in italics, hers in bold text):

“A hog?”

“Oink”

“Thank you. From who?”  (This should probably be read with a great deal of sarcasm)

“A friend”

“Well, not to complain or ask for a lot.  But if the pieces that resemble what it originally looked like (nose, ears, eyes, legs, feet, tail, etc) could be gone or “away” when I get there Wednesday that would be sweet.  Otherwise the chances of me eating any of it will go from 60% to 10%.  Again not trying to make anything difficult.”

“Will do.  If it helps it’s a wild hog that is a vicious destructive critter”

“It does, but I will still see Wilbur”

It constantly amazes me how my four children can all be so different and so much the same at the same time.

All in all this has pretty much been a week of amazement so far…

  • Amazement that I’m still walking around and reasonably sane.
  • Amazement about some really good news that I’ll probably share later.
  • Amazement at the fun and sometimes strange (in a good way) folks that I meet through this blog.
  • Amazement that I raised some pretty cool and wonderful children that are growing into amazing people (despite my parenting)
  • Amazement that I have a hog sitting in an ice chest behind me.  Next to the broom because although I found it, I still haven’t used it…

Living with an awareness of the amazing world around us is definitely not a bad thing.

Peace.

Be Careful What You Wish For…

Yesterday in the midst of my Monday, we got a phone call.

My daughter answered (because it was her phone), got a weird expression on her face and said, “I don’t know.  Why don’t you ask my Mom.”  She then preceded to hand the phone to me.

I didn’t take it.  You know why?  Because when the conversation starts like that, I get concerned.  Her phone, her friend, and she wants me to handle it.  What could go wrong?  Remember, this is the Monday I wrote about yesterday where everything seemed to go awry.

Be careful what you wish for…

If you recall, I’ve shared on this blog about my desire to live a simpler, more intentional life.  I’m getting rid of stuff.  Living with less. We’re attempting to leave less of a “footprint” on the planet.  We’re recycling again.  We are transitioning to a more whole food diet that includes less chemicals, additives, processing and packaging.  Getting healthier, losing weight, exercising more.

The whole lifestyle reboot.  Sounds good, right?

Back to the phone call…

“We have a hog.  Do you want it?”

I reply, “Ummmmmm, a hog?”

There is silence.

“A friend of mine shot a wild hog on his property and doesn’t want the meat.  Do you want it?  It weighs about 60 lbs.”

I should note at this point that wild hogs are a big problem in these parts.  They are destructive, dangerous and have no natural predators.  They are overpopulating and just not nice creatures at all.

I ask tentatively, “Has he cleaned it?”

“Oh yea, he skinned it and gutted it.”

Now, I’ll add that my oldest daughter has been to culinary school and studies Food Service Mangement at College.  My husband majored and degreed in Animal Science.  I like pork.  Therefore, our family has the skills it needs to deal with this.

So now, we are off with our giant ice chest to go get a hog.  A whole, uncut, unprocessed hog.

I don’t know about simple, but you can’t get much more natural than that.  From land to table in I don’t even know how many steps…but I’m about to learn.

Addendum:  I’m not really into hunting myself.  I don’t have a problem with it for others as long as you aren’t doing it just for sport.  If you kill it, you better eat it or find someone who will.  We’re not vegetarians, but as a family we don’t eat much meat at all.  It’s too expensive and we have problems with the way animals are treated in today’s food cycle.  I guess this is our next step.