The Week’s Retrospective Menus

In order to show you how well we are eating only local, seasonal food I hope to post our weekly menu.  I don’t plan enough in advance to do it for the following week so I will look back.

Tonight for dinner we had a wild mushroom soup made from dried porcinis, crimini mushrooms from OR and oyster mushrooms from WA.  This morning I made whole wheat french-style baguettes and we had a creamy blue cheese topping on crostini with a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.

Earlier in the week  we had pastured chicken and whole wheat dumplings made with carrots and parsnips, kale salads with fresh whole wheat bread (the last batch I made with kefir instead of buttermik since I was out of buttermilk), roasted beasts from Sequim, celery root slaw made with Nash’s celery root, brussel sprouts braised in butter and thyme, and a farro, cannelini and andouille sausage soup. 

Our Friday night dessert this week was a chocolate mousse pie my 5 1/2 year old helped me make using whole raw milk, cornstarch, pastured egg yolks, sugar, ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, cocoa powder, Golden Glen cream and pure vanilla.  We crumbled up the last of the Trader Joe’s chocolate kitty cat cookies for a a crust but you could easily substitute these cookies with or without the peppermint coating:   http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001370.html

Tomorrow we are having homemade pappardalle pasta with an alfredo sauce and black winter truffles and a kale caesar salad.

There is something so satisfying in thinking about food – not just what you put on the fork and into your mouth but where the food came from. 

I know who grew the majority of ingredients in my house (minus the kitty cat cookies).  I ground the flour that went into the bread, muffins and pancakes we ate this week and I know who grew the grains.  I know whose cows made my milk, cream and cheese.  From that I made the yogurt and kefir.  I know whose chickens layed my eggs and who grew my vegetables. 

It definitely puts a new level of discipline into my life but I love it.  In the same way seeing a gorgeous fabric excites a seamstress or a fresh journal makes an author itch to write – this food makes me yearn to rise to the challenge of preparing it for my family in a way that honors it’s integrity and purity.

Not all of my meals have turned out.  I am still learning how to work with new-old ingredients and prepare simple, homey fare that I am not accustomed to.  But the challenge excites me in a way not many things can do in the dead of winter.  There is something religous about slow food.  It connects you to the earth and to the loved ones you sustain with it.  It is definitely worth the sacrifice.

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