Real Food Challenge aka “Flour Frickin’ Everywhere”

I’m 8 days into the Real Food Challenge.   And what I have to say is this:   my kitchen is a frickin’ disaster.  I have cleaned up more flour, more cornmeal and more dried up messes than ever before in my life.   Unbelievable.  Clearly I am not terribly neat in the kitchen.  I’m tired of washing my Kitchenaid mixer bowls.  Which, by the way, could there be a more ridiculous problem of capitalist class privilege!?!  Geez.

Other than the flour-y muck that is my kitchen, things are going well.  I’d give myself a solid B+.

Real Food Challenge Sins Confessed

  • I went to a Rat City Roller Derby bout and ate fries and chicken tenders.   Definitely not on the challenge plan. But after my 2 local beers this queerlady was hungry and munchy.  Those salty potatoes and faux-meat with corn syrup BBQ sauce were screaming for me!  I obliged.
  • I had jury duty today and didn’t really plan so I purchased a sandwich. To my credit however it was local bread, local meat & local lil mama peppers.  Questionable origin cheese.  Not bad, considering.  As an aside, do you know about lil’ mama peppers? They are out of this world!  On everything. Pizza: fantastic!  Burgers: mouth-watering!
  • A cookie while getting coffee at Bird on a Wire.  But, really….it was small. More importantly, it had a CROW on it! I love the crows!   Don’t get all down on me gardenin’ folk–  I know they can wreck havoc…these smart birds are hard-core.  They are total badasses.  You just gotta respect it.    Since I’m trying to make my sins seem smaller,  it was made by a local bakery.  Ok, the cookie happened on 2 separate occasions.  Cute crows covered in course/sanding sugar….I can’t say no.  And apparently I can’t go back until April.

Discoveries/Lessons

  • Kombucha.  I was going to work. With nothing to eat.  A quick stop at the store to search out something, anything, on the ‘plan.’  I found some local Beecher’s cheese and a local organic pink lady apple  and went searching for something.  I didn’t know what… I just wanted something different than usual.  Then  my eyes stumbled upon this lovely jar.   It was local- bonus!  More importantly, however, was the awesome bottle it came in.  Gorgeous!   After ogling it,  I no longer cared if I liked it or not, I just wanted that bottle!  My prior experience was with some lukewarm kombucha that was, quite frankly, nasty tasting.  And really, with all the awesome tastes in the world, why would I attempt to acquire a taste for something?   Well, I became a bit intrigued by my friend Briggs’ post on kombucha making.     So, here I am, a kombucha-convert.  Bonus weirdness:  the babylady loves it too.  Though, she is a 2-year-old that begs for kale, mint, chives, parsley. rosemary and peas….so you can’t entirely trust her to have an ordinary 2-year-old palate.
  • I should plan ahead.   If I will be gone all day out-of-town I should really bring something to eat unless I know I’ll have access to something.  Seems obvious but  notion of convenience is deeply ingrained.

Enjoyment

  • I am feeling good physically.  I do think the lack of food additives and crap leads to feeling better internally.  I feel oddly good after drinking kombucha too. Weird, but true.
  • I love making bread.  I’m plowing my way through Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and love it.  Favorites so far are the Olive Oil Dough and Deli Rye. Mmm.   Seriously, can anything make you feel more “becky-home-ecy” than baking bread?!  I think not.
  • Planting seeds & gardening plans are in full force!

Coming Up

  • Made large meat order with Thundering Hooves.   We are just finishing up an order placed a year ago and the meat has been phenomenal.
  • Tomorrow will bring another go around with cracker making.
  • Thursday I am making pasta and cheese.

Here’s to real food!

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15 Responses to Real Food Challenge aka “Flour Frickin’ Everywhere”

  1. Nicki says:

    Meg,
    I am in awe at what you are doing! It’s pretty slow on the uptake here in OK for local foods. Such a SMALL offering. Peaches and watermelon in the summer, some squashes in the fall, that’s about it. I try to shop Whole Foods, where at least origins are labeled and I can have some idea about my produce. Starting small.

    I got a pasta press for Christmas and made chicken and noodles Sunday night and spagetti with meat sauce Monday night. Love making them from scratch! Seems more real than the hard sticks from a box. Now, if I could just find the whole wheat flour in bulk!!!

    Keep going, you are an inspiration!

  2. Travel Mommy says:

    We sure hope that the pasta and cheese is for us – save some crackers! We will try to be good and not bug you about going out to eat!!

  3. Elise Self says:

    Meg, I am impressed! And I just love the way you write and describe things. The crackers intrigue me also!

  4. TinTin says:

    Okay, ladyface. What about coffee?? It’s both packaged and processed and we all know that there’s no way it can ever be local. It can be sustainable and fair trade and shade grown and happy happy, but it can’t ever be more local than Hawaii and we certainly can’t make it ourselves. This starts that horrible slippery slopey pick-your-battles-y shades of grey-y debate that we’ve all had a million times. Cumin isn’t ever really going to be local either. Nor are quality vanilla beans or chocolate. And I can’t give those things up! Actually, I could give up vanilla. But not cardamom!
    Anyway, I think you’re doing good work over there. Not least in the sense that you’re raising awareness and starting conversations. And that’s phenomenal on it’s own. Rock on. :)

    • Yep..there are some things that will never be local so I listed the ones I’m allowing for now. Chocolate, coffee, tea, spices, sweeteners, peanut butter & oils. They are staples that I deem necessary. So, I’ll do the best I can there in terms of packaging, fair trade, bulk, etc. Other than that- for this month I’m trying to make my own in terms of things like pasta, bread, crackers, granola and baked goods. Get local other stuff.

      Coffee and spices will never go. Never. =)

  5. ohbriggsy says:

    Great job, Meg! You’ve done awesome with the challenge so far. I don;t want to blow your progress, so you’ll have to look away from the snack table at our party! Also, I’m psyched that the babylady likes kombucha! Let me know if you ever want a baby SCOBY. The fact that you’re making all your own bread is so amazing, and as I said, the olive oil bread from the artisan book is em effin’ awesome! Good luck with the crackers. I made crackers two years ago, raw flax seed ones. I put too much tamari in them and they basically became salt licks. Next time, I won’t make such a hippie cracker. Let me know if you have success!

  6. Beth says:

    I love roller derby! Meg, we really should live near each other.

    You are doing great! Though I am not doing the whole challenge thing, I have been thinking about additives more and you are very inspiring.

  7. Julia says:

    I think you also deserve big kudos for doing this with a 2-year old! That’s some dedication.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I’ve cheated. On Saturday I had been starting to plan our family vacation only for it to be put on hold so I got all grumpy. Grumpy and making an effort are mutually exclusive for me. The laundry has suffered as well. It’s so easy to fall back on stuff in a pinch. I’ve not even updated my blog this week I’ve been in such a rut! >_< Bad time for it to hit. :P

  9. Jennifer- I think it’s all good. We are all real people. People that hit ruts. People that come across sugared crow shortbread cookies. Life is out there. We are on a journey of making changes it is not all or nothing! Hang in there!

  10. Jen, let me know if you want a scoby or dairy or water kefir grains. I can hook you up. ;p

    This rat city derby thing is taking over. I have a friend on the team and so many FB acquaintances who are joining or going. Wish I had time to!

    Have you tried CommuniTea? It’s at the Sat UW market and I love it but it’s the only kind of kombucha I can drink. If you make your own though you can use roobois or other decaf tea so your babylady can drink it too.

    I’m so glad you are having fun with it! It can be totally overwhelming if you try too much at once. Many is the tantrum or complete meltdown I’ve had in the last year and a half, mostly in the first half though.

    My advice is to always have a plan B in case something doesn’t work out right at dinnertime. My plan C is delivery pizza.

    Great job!!

  11. Thanks! I did try CommuniTea last week and it was great (babylady “liked it so much” also!)
    I would love to play derby….I have to see if I can still roller skate. =)

  12. Kate says:

    this post makes me happy on a number of levels:
    I love the breakdown of life categories, love the mini-rumination on notion of convenience.
    Aaaand, love that you said this: “Seriously, can anything make you feel more “becky-home-ecy” than baking bread?! I think not.”
    Good luck with the rest of the challenge (if it’s not over, late blog reader, that I am…)

    Here’s to You!

  13. Carbzilla says:

    Hiya – Found you through Urban Farm Hub through Seattle Urban Farm Co … very exciting! Can’t wait to read more of both your sites. I’m just getting into urban ag and love reading how everyone is approaching eating real food. We have hives from Ballard Bee and our plant starts are HUGE already! It’s going to be a great spring!

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