Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

These are real menus from real meals eaten by this family of six in the last little bit. I was going to do a week of meals but we went out for dinner twice last week -- once to town as a gift & treat for the family from a very good friend, and once to a neighbor’s for a dinner discussion of mutual business. So, since I didn’t have a week, I did more.

salt ham steaks
red eye milk gravy
biscuits (whole wheat, butter as the shortening)
spinach sautéed with onions
baked white sweet potatoes
(I hear some soulless people do not know about or love biscuits and gravy, and I feel very sorry for you since it is the very favorite food of the Gods, behind chocolate)

cowboy beans (beans, onions, browned ground meat, BBQ sauce)
corn cakes

veggie soup made on deer broth (lots of collards, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, green garlic)
corn cakes

meatball subs (on home made sub rolls)
dill pickles

salmon cake patty on home made roll with dill sauce and spinach
fried sweet potato rounds w cinnamon honey butter dipping sauce

boiled dinner (road kill deer roast, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions)
green shelly peas
corn gems

baked potatoes

white bean soup made on salt ham broth
corn gems

stir-fry (small amount of chicken, small amount of leftover turkey frozen from xmas, various veggies featuring lots of snap peas this time)

baked chicken & rice
steamed broccoli
lima beans

I am, as always, struck by what isn’t here. We do several Mexican dishes that we haven’t had lately. Often we’ll have more soups than this reflects. Stuff like that.

It is our habit to eat eggs and toast for breakfast most days so long as we have eggs and toast, one depending on the chickens (and kids gathering skills) and one depending on my having made bread the day before. Or we might have grits and eggs, or oatmeal (steel cut), or pancakes or corncakes.

All our grains are whole (or as whole as is practical, as with the oats, hulled barley, etc.) and either grown ourselves (corn mostly) or bought in bulk. All our bread is home made. Most suppers are served with milk to drink. Also because of the milk animals, cheese, sour cream, butter and yogurt are pretty much always available. Between breakfast and supper it is catch as catch can, eat as you are hungry and whatever is available -- leftovers from breakfast or previous suppers and fresh fruit mostly. In summer we are more likely to make a meal mid-afternoon and snack late so that we can work until late (like 10 pm often).

I guess part of this is to say, this is what I think eating healthy looks like. It is varied. Everything is not overcooked (and everything is not raw -- moderation in all things). It is hearty because by gosh, we work hard and burn some calories.

But it is also cheap. Very cheap. If you look at it, even if you bought everything, it is cheap to eat well. It is only expensive to eat if you eat junk, or if you insist on Big Organic.

We don’t try particularly to eat entirely local (the bought salads and citrus, as well as grains, are examples -- but then I bet most people who are doing the 100 mile diet aren't counting where their grains come from -- or the grains to feed their meat) but then again, most of the meat, all of the dairy, a good percentage of veggies and fruit that we’re eating is mostly from 100 yards away, not 100 miles.

Yesterday I made a batch of cheese so that tonight we can have pizzas. Whole wheat crusts. Lots of raw milk cheese. And whatever the creative muses of what’s in the fridge/freezer/cabinets inspire. Time to go throw the crusts in the air.

(there is a practical reason for throwing crusts in the air -- the gluten strands are tight & are relaxed by concussion. Now isn't that fascinating!)


Dramaw said...

I love when you let us peek into your life by showing us the simple things like what you feed your family. I grew up eating biscuits and gravy but won't touch it now unless it comes from Hardees and then only once or twice a year. I like it but it hates me!

I made mozzarella, ricotta and butter this week. I am cool! Not a cool as you but you know what it is a start. Now I need a cowshare since I don't have a cow. Keep up the great blogging. I check your blog every couple of days just waiting for something new. I would love to know about grinding wheat for bread. Another food that hates me. Wheat. Can't tolerate it. Any other ideas for bread? I buy Oatnut from the store and it is great.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Hey dramaw, your making mozzarella, ricotta and butter is COOL!

On the wheat, make sure it is the wheat and not the industrial bread (which it almost surely is). And just about the only way to do that is to . . . do it too. You may be sensitive to various things, among them commercial yeast. Try sourdough . . . which it is unlikely you can buy the real thing which would have no commercial yeast in it. Real sourdough shouldn't have anything except grain, water and starter. I baked and sold whole grain sourdough for awhile . . . .

Anyway . . . hope things are good with you and those grandbabies!

El said...

That all sounds DELICIOUS. And you're quite right: it's healthy, it actually took some effort to make it, it was relatively cheap, and here is the biggest thing: it tasted good.

I don't quite know what it is about people, maybe some effed-up detour provided by some holy text that made gluttony a deadly sin, but it seems to me people don't get much enjoyment out of what they eat. Not in the making, surely, if all you do is put it in the microwave, and certainly not in the eating. And certainly not in the buying.

There's a reason the French say "bon appetit" to you: they are saying "happy hunger," for they understand well the mouth-watering, tummy-rumbling anticipation of waiting for that new hot bread to cool off enough to cut it. And that is what I think is lost in a lot of our idiotic eating in this country.

But not you and yours, certainly: Bon appetit, CG!!

Dan Trabue said...

Where's your salmon from? Just curious (and I love salmon...)

Anonymous said...

Dan:"Where's your salmon from?"
Water, wouldn't you think. Geesh, are people that out of touch about where food comes from??!!

Teri said...

Ah, gluten free baking. I can shed some light here. We use Bob's Red Mill gluten free mix for many things. While at the site, check out the Coconut Country biscuits! They use coconut flour, rice flour and turn out pretty nice. The down side is that most of that stuff is not something you can raise locally. My husband can tolerate small amounts of wheat, but I'm trying to find alternatives.

I heartily second the idea of cheap eats using bulk stuff. I'm amazed it took me so long to learn this stuff. Salmon in my area is easy. I live in the Columbia River Gorge area, so it's even within that 100 mile radius!

.. Dallas Meow >^^ said...

MADE?!?!? ....... cheese?

Joe Tornatore said...

love biscuits, no. love handles, yes.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Hit a busy spell folks.

Dan, the salmon is Alaskan wild caught. Certainly not local (here the equivalent would be trout, brown being native, rainbow being introduced, most now being stocked for fishermen so not exactly sustainable either. The lakes and ponds around me also being man made and originally stocked although now sustaining themselves. Issues issues every issues.)

Teri, my personal opinion is wheat intolerance is trendy. *Very* rarely is it actual celiac. Sometimes folks just don't eat enough of it to make the proper enzymes (just like with beans, or milk -- and besides, farting is not a bad thing). Sometimes the commercial yeast or another industrial ingredient is to blame (in which case, make your own sourdough -- which is a bit of trouble but so mmm-mmm-GOOD). Etc.

meow! Yes, we make cheese! But meepers are mostly welcome in the milking shed to catch a live stream of warm milk straight from the cow.

And Joe, I'm sorry, but you don't know what it good until you have whole wheat biscuits and sawmill gravy. I did see some hot peppers in a seed catalog the other day and thought of your shooters though.

laura said...

i looove this menu list!!! remember all those lists i sent you a long time ago...lovelovelove lists!! i don't make those menu lists anymore. i have worked a lot on my need to control so much stuff. but it does help when you really need it.

we made fried pizzas the past few days. well, scotty and samuel did the hard parts!! we had never done a traditional fried pizza and it was fun. i took some pictures for flickr. they were good and light. we did small ones so there was no throwing. i asked scotty if he knew why pizzas were thrown and of course he did so i was disappointed not to get to tell him what i learned from you. i didn't even know he knew how to throw them!! but he and samuel just rolled them out. we made 12 individual pizzas...everyone got to dress their was fun, and messy and yummy!

the Contrary Goddess said...

ok, sorry, but fried? pizzas?

A long while ago off an unschooling list I had a friend from Australia who when I said I was making fried chicken, fried rice, gonna fry up some cabbage, that sort of thing, she said something like, what is it with you Southerners, is everything FRIED? She evidently didn't know "fry" as a synonym for "saute" (but with a Southern accent of course).

Anyway, is that like a stromboli or whatever they are called? I was just thinking of making more cheese so we could do pizzas again, and individual fried pizzas just might be the trick.

I'm hoping to make biscuits today, and chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, something green thrown in there. But I've been trying to get to that for about three days now! LOL! I keep needing something a little less involved for supper!