A 2009 Project …

A 2009 Project …

So Bob over at The Hunger Artist has thrown down the gauntlet with his Fanatics Proposal, item number one of which is “Do not buy food.”

I’ve been kicking this around because I have so much food I put up, and so much food in my pantry, and quite a lot of pork and lamb and antelope and elk in the freezer, and yet, I still find myself in the grocery store a couple of times a week. Part of it is habit, part of it is entertainment, but I’d been thinking that this winter in particular, as I work to pay down some bills that have crept up on me, that my grocery bill is one place I can easily cut back. My one exception is wine and nice cheese, in part because my dear friend Debbie runs our local Gourmet Cellar and she’s looking down the barrel of a very tough winter. My goal is to cut down on mindless shopping — the kind you do when it’s just easier to run to the store than to think creatively about what’s in your own house.

So for a while, I’m going to track, on Fridays, what I bought and what I cooked out of the freezer and the pantry.

This week I bought:

  • 3 organic cabbages
  • 1 2-lb bag of organic carrots
  • 1 bag each of store brand organic frozen corn, green beans, peas and spinach
  • 2 bunches scallions
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 1 package whole-wheat tortillas (made in Billings)
  • 1 dozen local ranch eggs
  • 1 gallon organic raw milk
  • 2 baguettes to take to a party
  • 1/2 pound Hirkenkase cheese
  • 1/2 pound Raclette cheese

This week I made (I was on vacation, probably not going to be normative):

  • 4 quarts Ham stock (using a hock from my 1/2 pig)
  • 1 big pot ham and white bean soup (put up in quarts for weekday lunches)
  • 3 quarts escarole and potato soup
  • 1 big “mousakka” of leftover Christmas beef, 1 pint home-canned tomatoes, 1/2 pint sauteed red peppers from the freezer with a “Greek” bechamel from Joy of Cooking (olive oil roux, 2 cups milk, 1 cup yogurt)
  • 1 loaf no-knead sourdough bread
  • started sauerkraut using 2 cabbages
  • 1 batch shredded carrot salad
  • 1 batch “winter salad
  • repurposed some home-made sausages that didn’t have good texture as meatballs — added some fresh bread crumbs with a little cream, and a couple of beaten eggs, and some pine nuts and then froze them.

Dinner tonight is going to be a local pork chop from my Milk Lady, some rice, and sauteed greens from last summer’s garden. Yum.

2 thoughts on “A 2009 Project …

  1. I try and do this too. It works fairly well as I’d rather just stay home. Still, I’ve been buying potatoes & onions along with canned tomatoes. Just means I need to do a better job gardening. My big Achilles Heal is grain. We grind it fresh but don’t grow it. We’re experimenting this year with some winter wheat. I’d like to do hull-less oats and buckwheat too. It’s a challenge.

  2. I find I’m thinking really seriously about “pantry food” – which is to say, keeping the kitchen stocked with basics, planning ahead, using the freezer as my friend. Part of it is being fiscally conservative – not having to run out for stuff, because that’s when I spend too much money impulsively and choose badly. There’s much more I’d like to do, but we don’t have the storage space – e.g., no basement because someone lives in it, so no root cellar or place for stashing crocks or jars of jam. And yeah, wine, beer and cheese are probably our biggest categories of spending also.

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