Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How We Eat

Dear Barclay Farms,
You talk about farm food, grass-fed, and the importance of eating local, how does that actually look on the plate?
Hypothetical Blog Reader

Dear Hypothetical Reader,

You ask how we eat. As Michael Pollen points out, every meal has a story. Here is one of ours.

I had too many guinea eggs. Like over three dozen. With more pilling up daily. Since (grievously) have to cull dairy from my diet (see Dairy Low-Tolerant Offspring), I try to eat a lot more eggs, hoping that one day my eggs turn into blueberry yogurt. (Sadly, thus far, this has not been the case.) 
Anyway, the challenge is Keeping Eggs Interesting. Because, let’s face it, grass-fed free range homegrown brown local natural wonderful or not, an egg’s a freakin’ egg.

I find that it’s easier (and safer with aforementioned Offspring going through a grabby stage) to bake rather than boil hard boiled eggs. (325 degrees for 30 minutes in a muffin tin or straight on the oven racks, 10 minutes in an ice water bath.) So I had two dozen hard baked guinea eggs and a recipe for Scotch eggs. I’ll spare you the sordid details, but this recipe, in terms of guinea eggs and proportions, requires some tweaking.

So we had eggs wrapped in ground beef and bread crumbs but decided our meal required more. While my Spousal-Type Creature took charge of the Dairy Low-Tolerant Offspring, I added a flannel shirt with sleeves rolled up to my tank top and capri pant ensemble, finishing off the look with chunky cowboy boots sans socks. Looking both ways for the fashion police, I crossed the road and went to the garden for spinach and asparagus.

It was a cool May evening of very pleasant temperature, and the wind was in my hair while I filled my basket with fresh spring veggies. The sky was a mix of blue, setting sun, and huge puffy pastel clouds that looked like rain in the distance. The air smelled of lilacs, with an undertone of grass cattle manure. I strolled back to the house where the STC balance an Offspring on one hip while caramelizing onions for the spinach.

I love a man who can multitask.

He sautéed sweet onions and spinach with a little balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, all in olive oil. He did the same with the fresh asparagus, leaving out the vinegar. He sautéed the spears first on nearly high, then turned it down to medium to cook through.

The meal was superb.

And thankfully, our beautiful little bundle of need waited until mommy and daddy were finished with their meal before he vomited, all over mommy and the chair.

But it really was a wonderful dinner.

Until next time, Gentle Reader, eat well and strive for one true ingredient.

Ax of Barclay Farms

While I realize that it is not possible for everyone to create a meal in which 90% of the ingredients come from within two thousand feet of the stovetop, I encourage knowing where your food comes from. If there is a new cause to believe in in the 21st century, its food. (And crop diversity, but that’s for another day.)

In 1776, Americans fought for freedom from tyranny. In 2013, the new tyranny is that of the Twinkie, so to speak. Processed, pre-prepared, preserved foods have become the norm. When your rice has more ingredients on the label than just rice, that might be considered a problem. What do these additives do to our bodies? To our kids? To our brains and health? Let’s take the fight from the battlefield and down to our plates. Demand to know what is going in your mouth as well as where it’s been, how it’s been handled, what it’s been treated with, and how it’s been prepared. Demand to make yourself informed. If we want better health, we have to work to make ourselves healthy. No one controls what goes into your mouth except you. If you want high quality, nutritious food, vote by what you buy. Don’t dump tea in the river, buy quality meats and eggs from a trusted local source. Pay the farmer not the trucker, the packer, the corporation, the grocery store, and the bank. Vote with your food choices. Eat well, eat local.

Vacating soapbox now. :)

On Crop Diversity