Friday, July 4, 2008
Organic by Force!
Some people are born organic. Some people have organic thrust upon them. I am one of those people.
I love the idea of eating mainly organic food, but the sticker price is way too high for me. My black thumb and our no-sun backyard means that growing our own food is out of the question. So, my organic dreams have been just that. Recently, however, that changed when Eric started trading the fish he spears for fresh produce from two of his friends who grow their own organic gardens. Now about twice a week, we get more fruit and veggies than we can consume. I’ve given a lot of it away to neighbors and friends (next time you need a zucchini, call me first before going to the store).
I have to admit, it is fun eating organic. I just feel like I am more healthy. And it has forced me to become quite creative with my cooking. At first it was an educational experience; I didn’t even know what I had in the boxes that Eric brought home. I’ve logged onto Wikipedia a few times. Once I called my friend, Lisa Hester, to help me identify what I had in my fridge. "Okay, it looks like celery but it’s dark pink." "Rhubarb." "It smells like anise but is long and ..." "Fennel." "It has the top of a carrot but it’s short and squatty." "Beets." "So, what can I do with rhubarb, fennel and beets?" Lisa gave me some great ideas and web sites. I ended up cooking the beets and other veggies with chicken and sprinkled fennel on top." I haven’t used the rhubarb yet. The most interesting and very yummy veggies we’ve received are white sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, and orange and brown carrots.
The top three veggies that we’ve been bombarded with are carrots, zucchini and yellow squash. We’ve eaten them raw, oven-cooked, in stir fry and once I made a yummy vegetable soup. Amber has gotten tired of seeing zucchini on her plate every single night! Even so, I still had an over-abundance of zucchini and carrots. I decided to shred them and make zucchini-carrot bread and muffins. I made four batches, two batches with just zucchini because Autumn is allergic to carrots. Still, I had shredded zucchini and carrots left over, so I put them in the freezer to bake another time. Trading food has not only forced me to "go organic," but it has stretched our grocery dollar and added some "spice" to my cooking.