After two months of spending nearly a thousand dollars per month on food (including throwing a party and eating out), I think April will be the month where I finally will see a difference in my grocery budget and where I will be able to plan better for the future. For example, we have now run out of the 10 lbs of frozen, wild caught Alaskan salmon fillets that I bought back in February. I am really hoping the prices won’t sky rocket now that the salmon fishing season has been canceled, but it looks like prices are expected to soar to $40/lb!!! I just love seafood and feel really depressed when I think of what is happening to our oceans…
Dairy and eggs are at a consistent $25-30 per week, and fresh produce is $55 every other week from Organics to You with a couple small supplementary trips to Uncle Paul’s Produce and People’s Co-op (= about $210-300/month). Speaking of produce, our produce bin yesterday included:
5-6 Granny Smith Apples – *LOCAL*
3-4 Fuji Apples – *LOCAL*
5 Blood Oranges
1 Strawberry clamshell
4 Asian Pears *LOCAL*
4 D’anjou Pears – *LOCAL*
2.5-3lb. Yukon gold Potatoes – *LOCAL, farm direct*
2-3 Red Onions – *LOCAL*
1-3 Leeks – *LOCAL, farm direct*-mostly farm direct
6oz. Crimini Mushrooms – *LOCAL, farm direct*
1lb. Snap Peas
1 bunch Carrots
1lb. Rutabaga – *LOCAL*-”Last of the year”
4-5oz. Spinach, bulk – *LOCAL*
1 lb Roma Tomatoes
1 yellow cherry tomatoes clamshell
*LOCAL* = Local produce through a local distributors – OGC, Charlie’s
*LOCAL, farm direct* = Local produce, direct from one of the following farms: Mt Hood Organics Farm, Gee Creek Farm, Mustard Seeds Farms, Hood River Organic, NW Organic farm, Flamingo Ridge Og Farm.
I have made a couple of trips to Fred Meyer’s (totaling $50) to get some baking supplies for some amazingly tasty “Everthing Cookies” that Zoe wanted to make, some snacks for a movie night, and ingredients for “Sunny Coleslaw” for tomorrow’s potluck picnic. I tried buying just local products like Bob’s Red Mill flours, and Nancy’s yogurt. Other than that I haven’t been needing anything from the store, and the family has only eaten out once (Hotlips Pizza for about $25), which has been so nice.
The pantry is well stocked with grains and legumes, and I am slowly figuring out which ones we regularly eat and will need to be replenished in a few months’ time, and which ones I can skip in the future. Although locally grown, I probably won’t be buying Chana Dal garbanzos again, for example, because their skin is much too thick for my liking and they are smaller and harder to peel than regular garbanzo beans. On the other hand, whole buckwheat groats (which I had never even had before), are bound to become a yummy favorite. Yesterday I made a quick kasha, potato and carrot casserole for dinner along with a fresh green salad. I am also enjoying cooking with millet, although so far I have only made breakfast cereals and pudding with it. I think part of what I like about these two grains (although buckwheat isn’t technically a grain at all) is that they are gluten free, and do not have to be soaked to be made digestible, which is nice for me since I don’t exactly have the whole planning ahead thing down just yet.
Speaking of planning ahead… last night I did plan ahead and started a slow cooker oatmeal that was supposed to be ready for breakfast this morning. It turned out terribly soupy , however, maybe because I used whole oats instead of rolled oats…?? I also soaked ingredients for raw seed wafers overnight, which are baking in the oven as we speak. Hopefully they will turn out more successfully than my sad sad oatmeal. Here is the recipe:
Ingredients (makes 2 1/2 dozen )
1/3 cup lentils
1/3 cup whole buckwheat groats
1/3 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1. Soak ingredients overnight in 3 1/2 cups water
2. Preheat over to 250F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Drain seeds and place in blender with just enough water to allow mixture to puree. Blend until smooth.
4. Spread mixture on baking sheet about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for an hour or 2. When mixture is stiff enough, remove the wafer with parchment paper from baking sheet and place directly on oven rack.
5. Bake until crispy (4 to 7 more hrs).
6. Break into pieces. Eat plain or with butter, nut butter or cream cheese.
And the result!