Lannae's Food and Travel

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May 6, 2007

Eat Locally Part 6 - ah, the first bite

I usually eat oatmeal or my homemade granola with soymilk for breakfast, but this week, since I opted to do the Eat Locally Challenge, my breakfast had to change to local ingredients.
I boiled up a bunch of eggs. My breakfast this week will be made of a hard boiled egg, a cup of rice, and a strip or 2 of bacon. What I noticed about my eggs from Avalon Acres is that they have thicker shells than commercial eggs. The eggs are oval without an air sac because they are fresh, and there was no time from next to plate for significant egg white evaporation. Did you know that eggs only come from unstressed and healthy hens? Well, anyone who has ever gone to a 4-H livestock competition would know that. Then, how do commerical eggeries get eggs with stressed out hens? They starve them for 2 weeks, making super stressed hens, and when they start feeding the hens chicken-chow with melamine again, the stressed out chickens think they aren't stressed anymore due to having chicken-chow. Gross huh?

Here is my breakfast, rice, egg and a slice of bacon. Delicious. My locally made bacon has such a lovely REAL Hickory smoked flavor and aroma, I just can only eat one or two pieces. After I am done eating a strip of bacon, I have the hickory smoke aroma in my nose for an hour. I just love that. It is definitely umami, delicious. Commerical bacon with the "hickory smoke flavoring" added could never be like this. I could eat 100 strips of commerical bacon and not be satisfied because there is only fake flavoring and fake aroma made in New Jersey. Now that I have had this bacon, I don't know if I could could back to any commerical brand.

Here are my locally grown strawberries, all about the size of a nickel. They are sweet and juicy. I had about 1 cup of berries today for a snack, and I have about 4 cups left for the rest of the work week. I savored each bite because they are so flavorful. Again, those bulk Florida or California giant berries look pretty, but have terrible texture and no flavor because they were picked green and gased to make them turn pink or red. Again, it is work eating locally and seasonally to get delicous, sweet, tart, and flavorful fruit.

My lunch today was leftover from dinner on Sunday. I usually eat leftovers because, quite frankly, I dislike sandwiches because I dislike bad cheap bread. I do like good bread sandwiches like those you get in Paris with great bread, butter and ham. In the USA, not so much. This is how I made dinner for last night:

Sunday morning, I also broke down my chicken. I think I did fairly well, I got 2 drumsticks, thighs, breasts, and drumettes. I put the thighs up for stir-fry later this week. The rest I baked. I melted 2 tablespoons of bacon lard with a large it of my garden dried oregano and thyme, I added salt and a little crushed red pepper. I smeared on this mixture on the chicken. I poured about 1/2 cup merlot in the pan. I baked the chicken at 350F for 30 minutes. It came out great! The wine herb sauce was a nice addition to the chicken. I also baked my sweet potatoes, cut in half, at the same time. They were eaten plain. It was great meal for the 1st dinner.

The rest of the skin and bones went into the stock pot for my lunch. When Matt finally got up on Sunday, I asked if I should send him to the store to buy celery and carrots for the stock. He looked at me, and said, are you kidding? It is only day 1. He had a good point. I am making an herb, chicken and rice soup/stew. The stock is made with only local ingredients:
filtered water from the tap
chicken bones
1 ounce country ham
3 stalks green onion
2 cloves garlic
my herbs, oregano, thyme
simmer for an hour

I made my soup from my stock. I kind of over did it with the herbs because I did not have local celery or carrots. For the soup, I found myself feeling really selfish with the chicken. I pulled the chicken bones out of the stock, and I picked off ever last morsel of chicken to put in the soup. I stood there, picking and plopping. I was impressed with how much meat came off of the bones. I just had this little gnawing feeling that I must use ever last little bit of the chicken to make my soup. To bolster the soup,
I diced up 3 shitake mushrooms
I slivered 3 strips of bacon
I sliced in the Red Russian Kale, Mizuno greens, turnip greens and mustard greens
I added a few scoops of brown rice

Day 1 Sunday, was a bit nerve racking because it was a transitional day. We made it through with really good food. Even if I am eating eggs, and bacon, I am not eating very much of it, and I feel a bit healthier than if I were eating conventional foods. I have noticed that everything I am eating has great real flavor, so I need much less of it than when eating chain grocery food. I expect to lose some weight this week, and I will keep you posted.

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At 5/8/07, 7:31 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

You're doing so great! The strawberries look out of this world. I plan to go to a u-pick as soon as they're in season here.

At 5/8/07, 10:37 PM, Blogger Lannae said...

Oh Lisa! Thank you so much for your really nice and cheerful support! These strawberries are delicious and sweet. Our u-picks will be ready this weekend. I can't wait!


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