Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekly Local Booty 11/9-11/15/08

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekly Local Booty 11/9-11/15/08

The weather certainly is here today in Mid-Missouri. It is a cold, blustery day, and we have now had our first flurries of the season. Thankfully (and thanks again to whoever suggested them, I can't remember who it was and am too lazy to try to go track down the comment), the SmartWool long underwear I ordered came today, along with a nice pair of warm socks, so I am now doing a lot better than I was before. I was also excited to find out that, though the wool comes from Australia, the company is in Kansas City, Missouri, so it is almost a local business (KC is about 125 miles west of us).

Brett and I went downtown today to get our local booty for the week - he had a midterm to take at his university (for a class on international relations - fascinating), so I decided rather than going in the late part of the week (which is what I will do from here on out), I would go grocery shopping today so we could ride the bus home together. I went to three local places downtown, Uprise Bakery, The Root Cellar (a great local grocer that carries mostly Missouri grown/produced products), and The Peace Nook (a great alternative store) - we are going to be eating like kings this week!

Now, I did notice that shopping at the local stores, as opposed to the farmer's market or "regular" grocery store, is a little more expensive, but it isn't unmanageable.

In terms of J&B produced veggie booty, things are going well in some areas, not so well in others. Our One Ball Squash died (more about that in next week's monthly garden update), our tomatillo has been attacked by spider mites (we seem to have gotten rid of them on the plant, but it isn't looking so hot), and otherwise, everything else is doing pretty good, but going slow. Our salad greens are taking off nicely, the basil and spinach are coming along, and it looks like I am going to have to sow some more cilantro, chard, and kale seeds - the kitties got a hold of the nice tender green shoots.

Oh, and we also pulled out our stored mini hubbard squash, a butternut from the community garden plot, an acorn, and a delicata squash for use this week.

Enough yammering, check out our small, but very tasty load of booty from our indoor winter garden (courtesy of our container garden plants brought in for the winter):

Three ripe serrano peppers.

Here is this week's haul from The Root Cellar. This local grub ran us around $60.

I'm going to do the best I can here with this picture. Starting from the bottom right: shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, "b-sized" potatoes, a summer squash (!!!!!), a small eggplant (!!!!!), some long hot peppers, locally produced Sunflower Savannah Hot and Smoky Tomatillo Salsa, Green Hills Harvest local milk for Brett (the jug is returned to the farm to be cleaned and refilled), a large jar of Bonne Femme Honey Farm alfalfa honey, a yellow and two green bell peppers, 2 jars of organic, sea salt added East Wind peanut butter (from an intentional community in southern Missouri), a small head of cabbage, garlic, fresh parsley, carrots, and two habaneros (one yellow!!!!!).

Here is our booty from Uprise Bakery. I don't know how much this was to be honest with you, it was less than $10.

A loaf of ciabatta for our weekly soup and bread night (aka tonight!) and a half pound of "Love Buzz" fair trade organic coffee.

And finally, our haul from The Peace Nook. I don't remember how much this cost either. It might seem odd that we just buy food without really paying a whole lot of attention to the price, and this is because we "sacrifice" in other areas (we don't go out often, don't buy a lot of stuff, or much beyond food and books really - but do not in any way feel like we are living without) and so we spend a larger portion of our income on food than many other people in this country. I feel that making sure that we have high quality, sustainably, and locally produced food is far more important to than video games, nights out, magazines, and all the other stuff there is for people spend their money on. This is our personal preference, and I do not judge others for what they chose to do with their lives or money, I am just explaining why I don't pay much attention to the cost of food. I am not made of money by any stretch of the imagination (thanks student loans!), but not owning a car (using public transportation instead), living in a very affordable neighborhood, and not really buying much are how we are able to make it all work.

Anywho, starting from the back: 2 cartons of plain hempmilk (not local, obviously), a dozen local eggs, incense (the "purple" variety, I really need to start paying more attention to things), The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (I can't believe it has taken me this long to getting around to reading this book!), and Small is Possible: Living in A Local Economy by Lyle Estill. I will post a review of these books when I am done reading them. I have read Voluntary Simplicity and will do a review on that as soon as I can get around it. I also finished World Made By Hand but will not do a review about it. I am very touch and go with fiction, and for most of the book, I thought it was really good, solid characters, easy to read, enough context - a little too detailed in the descriptions of things like buildings, but from Kunstler, that is to be expected. But then towards about the last 50 pages of the book something happened, I don't know if it was Jim trying to wrap up "loose ends" that perhaps would have been better left "unwrapped" or what, but wow, it wasn't that great. Overall, it was a pretty good book, I just wish some of the side story lines would have just been dropped.

Anyways. In fantasy football news - we ended up getting beat bad last week in our game and are now 4-4 and second in our division. When I had looked at the roster match up late last week, things were looking pretty good for our team. Then our opponent made some moves, dropping players and adding some new ones, and a lot of our stars didn't have their best week. This week - at least so far - looks to be better than last. We have to do really well throughout the rest of the season if we hope to make it to the "playoffs", I'm really happy we even got to this point!

In football pick news, nothing has changed. Brett and I split on an even number of games and split the wins and losses. I hold a seven game lead, but we split on a lot of games this weekend - ones that could really go either way, so he may have a chance to catch up a little. Football makes Sundays one of my favorite days of the week in the winter!

Well, I'm going to go bake and start one of the books I have. Now I have to decide where to begin! Eeek!

Have a great weekend everyone!

'Til next time.


Heather @ SGF said...

It all looks good, but that bread? Yummy! Enjoy soup night and stay warm!

Courtney said...

I am the same way about groceries...I don't spend much on other things, never eat out, etc. So like you I probably do spend more on groceries than most people, but I am okay with that. It is important to me! One of my friends recently asked me how much I spend a week on groceries, and I had no idea. I mean, I guess I could make an educated guess, but it does vary from week to week, and, quite honestly, I am happy to support local food growers, so I am okay with spending a bit more. Glad to know I am not the only one!


Heather @ SGF said...

I couldn't exactly estimate my grocery bill either, because it's not like I go to the grocery store in one fell swoop. I visit the farmers market, the grocery for a few things, the natural food store. I'd have to really spend time figuring it all out. Even if I did though, I don't think I'd change what we buy. I'm pretty careful as it is. I just don't mind spending money when your talking about good quality whole foods going in our bodies. There's nothing more I'd rather spend our money on.

Eli said...

this is eli, the chef at cafe berlin...i read your comments on laura's page...i'd be happy to make something special for you, dont be afraid to ask....

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

i just had East Wind pb this morning! It's my favorite. I didn't know about the intentional community - interesting!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Oh, I committed the crime of buying Klein's last book in German (my boyfriend's not friends with the English language...) and now I cannot bring myself to read it. I keep imagining infinite German sentences and just can't do it. And it's a shame because I actually want to read the book!

jessy said...

i hope you guys kicked some butt this week in fantasty football to make up for last week! :) aren't football sundays the best?! i soooo look forward to them, too! oh, and dan & i made your leek & potato soup for dinner this evening - it was soooooo so so so so delicious! thank you for the recipe! :D

that's some glorious local loot! i cannot wait to find out what you cook up this week, Jennifer! the eggplant & summer squash - what a treat! sorry to hear about the tomatillo & squash plant! and bad kitties for eating shoots! ;)

i hear ya on the groceries and prices and such. i don't pay much mind either - as food is one thing we love and we know that sometimes local & sustainable can cost a tiny bit more (well, during the winter months at least), so we don't worry about it much at all. we don't have flatscreen tvs, designer clothes, or obsessions with new technology and such - so we can also afford to spend a little more on the quality things we love to eat! :)

happy baking, enjoy your books, & i hope you both had a fantastic football sunday! superw00t!

shellyfish said...

Oh that ciabatta!! I love making my own, but I'm jonesing for some *now*! Thanks so much for the love about my foot - it really means alot to know the blogland kids care!

DP Nguyen said...

Hey Jennifer- The bread and booty looks great. I love those mushrooms-- so nice and big!! Yum! The peppers look awesome!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Heather - I always like coming home with our weekly local booty and admiring what all we have here in humble 'ol Mid-Missouri. And you are right, that bread, it has to be the best bread I've ever had. I don't know if I'll ever try to make ciabatta at home - how could I top this perfection?

Courtney - I am glad I am not the only one either! I never really noticed the lack of attention I paid to food prices until I started telling folks how much we spent each week for our local grub here on the blog (I'm trying to show how much you can get for your money, and to give people an idea of how much it costs to eat local). You are so right too, it DOES vary week to week, sometimes you have people coming over or a baking project, it just depends! But what we put in our bodies is very important, and since we rarely buy anything else, well, this is where we choose to spend the bulk of our money.

Heather - Exactly! When you go to two or three different stores, it is really hard to know how much you spend. When the farmer's market was still open, it was a little easier to at least know how much I spent on local produce as we took cash and could easily count what was left.

I've paid attention a time or two and did a little internal gasp when I saw how much, say, the local honey was compared to the "regular" stuff, but the quality doesn't even compare (oh the flavor of the local alfalfa honey) and I am supporting businesses and practices that I feel are right. It is all about what your priorities are.

Eli - ::blush:: Thank you so much for your offer! I'm always so shy I would have never asked. I may have to take you up on that next time we are down your way!

Lisa - Yep, I actually met a few "East Winders" a couple of years ago through a friend. They are very nice folks and I admire their alternative way of living.

Alice - Oh wow, I don't know a second language really (though if I did, it would be the sad couple of years that I took German in high school, all I can remember is "kan ich zur toilete gehen?" and I don't even know if I remember that correctly!), but even if I did, I don't know that I could read in it. I bet it would be a lot to parse through trying to figure out your equivalent to what they are saying - it is really hard too, especially when translating colloquialisms or "slang terms" there may not be an equivalent!

Jessy - We did! Football Sundays flippin' rock, especially this year with the league on its head. I love how this year not as many of the "top tier" teams are running away this season. It seems like some pretty surprising teams have a chance this year. Wahoo for parity!

I saw your post on the soup, you guys made it look far better than we did - and the addition of the nooch? I bet that took it to another level, we'll have to try that next time.

I was super excited about the summer squash and eggplant. It is a treat. I am going to be featuring some of these lovelies in new takes on "tried and true" dishes, so I might do a wrap up to let folks know of other ways to enjoy sauces and such posted on the blog before.

You are right, the additional price is really most noticeable during the winter months. Over the summer, we were actually saving money, some weeks quite a bit, from having a CSA and shopping at the farmer's market as opposed to the "regular" grocery store. But you get what you pay for in a lot of ways, and I am one of those who believes that we don't really pay for the true costs of much anything as it is (there are "externalities" that the public at large pays for). And you are also right that if you make due with what you have - aren't always after the "latest and greatest" then there is money left over for other things.

Shellyfish - I KNOW. I drool just thinking about it. I swear, we have soup and bread night so we have some sort of "something" to have that bread with!

Hey no problem, that has to really suck. I hope your spirits stay high and that you start to heal up really soon. It does help to know others care. :-)

DP - Thank you. I know, we had the oyster mushrooms last night and I am still swooning. It was the first time I had had the oyster variety and they are really, really good. They are really tasty!