Sunday, January 3, 2010

Food Goals for the Year

Going right along with my garden goals from yesterday are my food goals for the year.  They certainly go hand in hand with the garden goals.  These are things that we've been working on for the past few years and every year I try to expand on things. 

1.  Expand my repertoire of breads.  I can already make a rather nice loaf of bread, so it's time to move on to bigger and better things.  We're talking bagels, pita breads and crackers.  I've been having a great time grinding my own flour recently.  I only grind a small amount (say 3-5 pounds) at a time, so that it can be used up before it loses its freshness.  I would love to not have to buy bread or crackers from the store.  I also need to perfect my tortilla making skills.  When I made them the first time, they were yummy, but a bit thick and oddly shaped. 

2.  Learn to make cheese and butter.  We are fortunate to live near a wonderful dairy farm.  We get raw milk from pasteured cows.  The price is amazing as well.  I guess when you don't pay for feed, you can sell for less.  It's wonderful stuff.  Now to learn to make some other wonderful things from it.  There is a woman in the western part of my state who does classes.  It will entail a weekend away, I guess I'll have to suffer through it. 

3. Learn how to forage for wild edibles in my area.  Again, we are fortunate to have a man nearby who does classes on such things.  I have self identified a few things in my yard, but would like someone who isn't looking at a computer picture to tell me what they are.  I think it would be wonderful to use some of the weeds growing quite plentifully in my yard and garden for something other than compost.  It is really amazing how many weeds one has in their yard when she doesn't use chemicals.  It is also really amazing how many weeds one has in their yard when they just simply don't care.  The neighbor with the perfectly manicured Scotts lawn loves me.

4.  Try my hand at fermentation.  I keep reading all these wonderful tales of fermented foods and the wonderful things they do for our bodies.  Being someone who loves pickles, saurkraut, kefir and kombucha, it would be wonderful to be able to make these things myself.  It should save me quite a bit of money as well.  That is always a great side effect.

5.  Learn to make my own pasta.  I have the machine, I just need to do it. 

Now looking back at this post, I realize that I'm slightly off my rocker.  I think that most of the people that read this blog are slightly off their rocker as well.  So, here's to being off our rockers!  Rock on!!


farmwifetwo said...

Psst... later today we'll have the pasta maker for the kitchen aid mixer I got last Xmas.. I have it, the meat grinder and I think the grain grinder??? There's 3 in the box... dh wanted the meat one. We have a hand crank but boys and toys... half price... WOW!!! So, we'll be making pasta here too.

I could grind my own rye - we don't usually grow wheat - but IMO it's not financially worth it when you can easily buy unbleached and whole wheat flours. I've mastered buns this year and my breads getting better all the time.

My biggest thing is to simply cook differently. Not the same olds. To plan a day or 2 in advance so that those nights something is on, I'm not rushing around. Tonight is lasagna, tomorrow I'm going to try PW's carrot soup.

farmwifetwo said...

PS. Wild foods. Have you ever read "stalking the wild asparagus"??

The Mom said...

Farmwife, I have the meat grinder for the kitchen aid and I love it. I got the Wondermill for the grinder and and Atlas pasta maker. The attachments for the KA are pricey!

I don't grow my own grains for lack of space, but got a whole lot from a friend for a remarkably low price. So it ends up being cheaper than the store.

Planning ahead is always great. I'll have to go check out Ree's soup recipe.

Stalking the wild asparagus is on my increasingly long wish list on paperback swap.

Daphne said...

I should be making my own pasta. I used to do it but gave it up as to time consuming. I really should do it again. Good luck on your goals.

The Mom said...

Daphne, a friend of mine makes her own pasta and tells me that once I make it, my family won't let me stop. That seems to be the way things happen here for everything.

kitsapFG said...

I need to get back to making pasta, tortillas, etc too. I have done them in the past but don't make a regular practice of it. Just a matter of time to devote to it I think.

I grind my own wheat as well and do like you (small batches). I bag up the freshly ground flour into gallon zip lock freezer bags and freeze it - which also keeps it fresher as well.

Used your bread recipe (posted in November) today instead of my usual no knead bread. I did a half batch to make just one loaf and it turned out lovely.

Stacy said...

I don't think you're off your rocker. That's a great set of goals. I have a pasta maker. In a box. In the garage. Need to get it out.

The Mom said...

Kitsap, it amazes me what you do while holding down a full time job. I'm glad you liked the bread!

Stacey, thanks for the encouragement. Now I need to just do it!

Heather said...

I would love to learn to make kimchi...not sure I have the patience for that though :-) I have the pasta attachment for the kitchen aid, and it awesome, although I don't use it nearly as much as I should. Good luck to you!

The Mom said...

Heather, that's one of the things I want to learn to make as well. From what I've seen, it seems like a make it and forget it kind of thing for the most part.

Wendy said...

I have a pasta maker. I love it. But I broke the spaghetti blade, and so we ordered a rolling pin that cuts the pasta noodles. I'm looking forward to trying it out. I love homemade pasta. It's so much better than the dried stuff from the supermarket.

The Mom said...

Wendy, I'm very excited to use it. I hope it works for a long time to come.