Thursday, August 19, 2010

Local Food Challenge

JOIN US for the month of September as we move forward into a local food challenge! Visit our shiny new blog at
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Turtle Proposes a New Challenge

Hi Everyone! A few of us have been munching on the idea of a new month long challenge. I am proposing a challenge during the month of September. I'd like some feedback, suggestions and a "show of hands" for participation in this event. Here are some of the thoughts I've gathered thus far:

Challenge for September, 2010:

All foods to be grown, foraged or purchased from local farmers/growers
Exceptions would be olive oil and salt
Four "vacation days" to be used for special events, restaurant visits or out-of -town visits.
(Side note: there are restaurants that would be challenge acceptable and have "slow" and local dining)

Since my name isn't Mark and Dethereseracy (our last challenge was termed a "DeMarkracy")doesn't really sound quite right, I am open to suggestions and guidelines from participants.

Thanks for playin'.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Post-Challenge Thoughts

First I would like to say that I did enjoy the challenge. It was extra difficult to adhere to it as strictly as I did. I felt this was a genuine life experience and I am glad I proposed it.

Would I do this challenge again? No way. I still enjoy all the food collecting activities this included. My garden continues to produce food, and I am excited for the early hunting season starting September 1st.

There are 2 reasons I wouldn't do this again. The first is time dedication. I really felt that all I did the whole week was cook food, photograph food, eat food, and then post to the blog. If I got 2 hours of productive work done, that was a good day. For the self-employed, a 10 hour work week is beyond inadequate.

The second reason - acute loss of muscle power. Though I felt the food I ate was very healthful, I did not consume enough calories to maintain my energy levels. It was a good 4 or 5 days after the challenge before I could put in a good days work.

This challenge has inspired me to follow through with some of the other ideas I have though - and you'll find the next one here at the tool challenge. I invite you all to join, wherever you are in the world!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lessons learned

I was really amazed at how much food was available to us so early in the season! The appearance of apricots was completely unexpected, and some of the veggies that popped up during the week were a surprise as well.
What I did well: I planted some early varieties of veggies like tomatoes and carrots; this was a big plus because they were ready in time for the challenge, whereas no one else had any ready. I also think that having gardens both at home and at mom's house was a plus; this helped to provide for both houses (the lettuce and tomatoes). I think getting the chickens was a great idea; in addition to them providing eggs for three households for challenge week, they are a joy to me, and make me smile every day with their personalities and quirkiness. I was a constant forager, going out almost every-other-day for blackberries; Todd and I collected 19lbs of blueberries, and I collected massive amounts of wild garlic, apples (with mom and grandma) and apricots (with everyone), and plums (with mom, grandma, and Todd). I also think my overall design plan was excellent, and whimsical looking as they may have been, the output on my gardens has been phenomenal.
What I need to work on for next time: I need to get rid of all non-challenge food in the house. I was really depending on the quinoa to grow as a major source of my protein and grains, but not a speck of it came up in either location. I would like to find things to grow that are a source of higher fat and calorie content, as I think that both would help all of us to feel less hungry. I would also like to find new ways to cook the food; most of my meals were incredibly simple because I just did not know what to do with only the food at hand besides stir frys and salads.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. I would like the rules to be a little different; for instance allowing for trade outside of the group (as long as the items traded for and with are challenge legal items); I would also like to see items such as cooking oil and salt allowed; I drink a LOT of water (about 80 oz a day), and proper water/salt balance is necessary; I also think that the bear had a little advantage because he doesn't have to cook.... so since we do, cooking oil should be okay! :o)

What now?
Well, this morning, I went blackberry and wild garlic collecting with mom. Seriously. We're still foraging. :o)
I'm working on preserving some of the mass quantities of foods that I have left over/ am foraging for. I will write a post with pictures... I've already given away bunches, and you still won't believe what I have left! I'm looking forward to my roma tomatoes being done so I can make and preserve some pasta sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, and other tomato creations for the winter. I'm also hosting a couple of canning workshops to teach others... so if you're in town (Cleveland )and want to learn, let me know!
I'm drying my first sunflower ever, and am planning on putting the next rotation of late crops in the ground within the next week. I'm also looking at putting a greenhouse with hoop tunnels over a part of the back yard garden to provide at least some of our food through the winter.

I'm really glad we did this... I have a sense of accomplishment and direction... thanks, brother!!! Oh, and a BIG hug and thanks to Sarah too!!!!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Post Challenge Update

Just an update - My post challenge comments mentioned what I had gained. I also want to let everyone know what I lost during challenge week -

8 1/2 pounds!!!!!!

I'm very excited and so glad I participated.

Bring on the month long challenge - I'm ready!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

Here is a useful link for harvesting sunflower seeds:

There was one ready in Kathy's section of the garden that I cut off and hung in cheesecloth to dry. It should take a couple of weeks. We'll see how it works :)!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Post Challenge Comments

The challenge flipped a switch for me.

History - Even though I like eating a variety of fruits, veggies and grains, pre-challenge I had fallen into some pretty unhealthy eating habits. I was drinking a lot of coffee and using artificial sweeteners quite a bit. During the home buying process, fixing up the house, during the move and even after moving, I got into the habit of buying fast food on the run and got away from eating healthy. I often skipped supper at night and always made certain I had a couple dollars to get snack food from the vending machines at work - along with sweetened tea. I started noticing that my feet were really quite swollen by the end of the day. For several weeks I've had a constant very noticeable pain in the cartilage of my right ear. I notice that my clothes were getting snug and I lacked my usual "Sneelock" energy.

The day after the challenge I know that this challenge was a life saver for me. The pain in my ear is gone, my feet are actually slipping out of my shoes and my ring keeps falling off of my finger. I know it will take time to get the clothes to fit but it looks like I am going to have very slender extremeties in no time at all.

My taste buds have changed! Pre-challenge nothing was ever quite sweet enough. I salted the heck out of everything. Even though I had many herbs available during the challenge, I didn't use them as much as I should have. I think the challenge readjusted my taste buds. I ate a nectarine this afternoon. It tasted so wonderfully sweet and delicious. I thought I was in heaven! I plan on making much healthier choices when selecting foods to nourish my body.

Working on the little herb village project in my front flower bed started my creative juices again! I got some garden planning books and I am thinking of all kinds of projects for the yard. Next year I would like to plant an herbal medicine wheel in the front yard and am even considering a small greenhouse in the area next to the garage.

I've started reading more about composting, edible wild plants, and organic gardening.

My children have inspired me to eat healthier, be creative in the kitchen, and notice the gifts and abundant blessings that are available (We got the apples from a posting on Craig's List). I am truly blessed and very appreciative of my family, their loving support and for the opportunity to participate and share this experience with them - and you! I second Sharon's thanks to Sarah for all of her help and support as well.

Friday, July 30, 2010

This Experience for Me

This was a very rewarding challenge for me.

Here are the highlights:

At first it got me thinking about posibilities of cooking only foods from the garden. I tried new recipes before the challenge to get ideas about what we could/needed to grow in order to duplicate the recipes.

I learned all about sprouts and ordered an assortment to test them out before the challenge. All during challenge week they were sprouting away and were a key ingredient in my recipes. Pre-challenge I wasn't ever into sprouts.

I took a raw food class for 3 days in April and continued preparing and eating raw foods for several days afterward. By the way, the starting from scratch challenge was much harder than eating only raw foods (which was the strictest eating regimen that I was on before the actual challenge week). The biggest reason being convenience. Almost every other diet/eating regimen, including a raw diet, you can find something in the grocery store that you can eat.

I also learned and cared about gardening more than ever before. I even had an intelligent conversation with an employee and customer at Home Depot about companion planting! My garden supplied turnips, corn, herbs (chives were my #1 seasoning), lettuce, potatoes, pea pods and cucumbers for the challenge. And there will be lots of goodies post challenge!

Pre-challenge I would have never gone up to a stranger to ask him if I could pick some apricots off his tree. I did for the challenge prep though!

I started putting together a cookbook with recipes I had collected. However, my computer blew up (not literally) from a virus so I couldn't access the files. I think that was actually good because I got to be creative with what I had to work with. The recipes may have caused frustration because they were based on ingredients that I anticipated would be available during challenge week (and many of them weren't).

I feel a great sense of accomplishment. Challenge week entailed a lot of hard work, preparation and willpower (there were lots of temptations all around). We had limited ingredients to work with and things that were collected had to be processed right away or they would go bad. It has given me a greater appreciation of all that I have, including such a wonderful family. Love you guys (Sarah, you too and thanks for all of your support!)!

The Last Challenge Supper-The Turtle Finally Crosses the Finish Line

The last challenge meal is finally here - WooooHOOOOOO!!!! I made another stir fry with lots of the leftovers from yesterday's challenge feast to which I added chicken. The polenta and apricot dressing are also from yesterday. I added some applesauce and lettuce and that's that!!!! I also had some corn on the cob for a snack this afternoon. I'll post more final thoughts over the weekend. Thanks for playin'.

Day 7 Lunch

Day 7 lunch consisted of a stir fry with yellow squash left from yesterday's salad, pea pods and tomatoes from the garden with chicken (cheat item) in the apricot dressing, also left from last night's dinner. The stir fry is on a bed of lettuce from Sneelock's (that's Kathleen's alias) garden. On the side is the flat bread from last night's dinner topped with the remains of the blackberry and apple dressing. One more meal to go!!!!!

Day 7 Breakfast

My final day of challenge eating is finally here. I'm almost at the finish line. For breakfast today I had one hard boiled egg with the lettuce from challenge day, the polenta that Mark made last evening (one covered with apricot & apple dressing and the other with blackberry, apple & stevia dressing - also from last night), and the mulberry cobbler from last evening with a few fresh blackberries. I also enjoyed a cup of the chicory coffee.

Post Game Wrap Up

This challenge made me realize I am more of a picky eater than I thought. Everything except the eggs and raw veggies ranged from barely tolerable to outright gross. I also realized that I am weaker and more selfish than I thought. I couldn't even suck it up for the sake of my husband for one lousy week. Blurg. I guess next year I will have to arrange a vacation to escape my guilt at being totally unwilling to participate.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Feast and Celebration

This is our feast dinner. We were all a little silly tonight. We had a nice time taste testing each other's creations. Everyone agreed that they were happy the challenge week was over. I still have one day to go!!!!!!!

Breakfast and Lunch Day 7

For breakfast I just had a bit of sauteed cabbage (leftovers from what I shredded yesterday)

I was busy this morning preparing my wonderful lunch.

I made pizza with a sprouted wheatberry crust. I just processed the wheatberries in the food processor. I spread it out on a cookie sheet and baked it at 255 degrees flipped it over then moved the temp up to 270 because I had finish up to make it to work on time. I topped it with olive oil, tomatoes, wild garlic, chives and spinach (I sauteed them all in a pan on the stove).

I also made some more roasted soybeans but I burned them (Mark, you are right, they do taste awful burned). I snacked on them anyway in the morning.

Just before the pizza was delivered to work for lunch, I had black raspberries as a little snack (I forgot that I had them in the freezer until yesterday). They were so delicious and sweet, I was very satisfied so the pizza did not bother me. Besides, I heated up my own pizza in the toaster over and it was fabulous! I also had a little side salad with lettuces, cherry tomatoes and olive oil.

Then, shortly before everyone ate the DQ Reeses cake, I had the dried blueberries - they were awesome.

I made it through the day!!

Food for The Feast!

Here are my contributions to the feast - bean cakes, polenta with mulberry syrup, and spicy cabbage stir-fry with goose.

The stir-fry was just like the one last night, only I added kohlrabi this time. I used the rest of my garlic and goose in this recipe.

The polenta set up into a nice pudding-like form; it tastes like, well not much like anything, so I figure some mulberry syrup will give it a good flavor.

The bean cakes, we talked about those at lunch. Go look back at it.

I'll be taking a few other raw ingredients along with me, and leaving my corona mill behind for others to use. I cannot describe to you the excitement over this project's conclusion, and my anticipated immersion back into the food mainstream!

The Turtle's Salad and Dressings for Challenge Feast

Sarah - I got the idea that you like a nice presentation. In honor of your support - my contribution for the feast tonight is a flower salad and two types of dressings. To my surprise, when I pulled the image of the salad into my post, I could see the image of a turtle (totally unplanned). I think it was challenge magic. Or maybe it was Markgic. Do you see it? (I guess it isn't too easy to see - so I'll help. The turtle's head is at the left of the picture. It is a lettuce leaf and it looks like the mouth is open. The rest of the salad is a shell and the tail is sticking out at the right hand side.) I laughed really hard! In my first post to the blog, I called myself a turtle. What an appropriate image for the celebration tonight.
The salad contains greens and yellow squash from Mark-it day, tomatoes, cucumbers and marigolds. The dressings are apricot & apple and blackberry, apple & stevia.

Day 7 Breakfast

I had a simple breakfast of blueberries and hard boiled eggs. I'm so glad to have had the eggs-- they were a major staple in my breakfast pickings!
Also, I'm happy to see the blueberries in so many pictures. We all enjoyed them :o)

More foraging . . .

Today I went foraging for more clover flowers. I found plenty of them. Plus, I found bonuses. The field also has a large mint plant, some chicory, dandelions and a lot of bird's foot trefoil. I stuck with the mint, chicory and clover. I'm going to dry these for use as flour because I am hearing mumblings and musings about another challenge. Heaven help us!!!

Lunch, Day 7

Lunch today - polenta, roasted bean cake, goose with lambs quarter, mulberry cobbler, cucumber slices, applesauce, and blueberries.

For the bean cake I took the cooked soybeans and smashed them up real good with a kitchen hammer. I added some basil, sage, and garlic, and then put them in the oven for 20 mins @ 350. Pretty good, egg would have held them together better, but I don't have any more egg. I made this because I wanted to use up the rest of the cooked soybeans. I really didn't expect it to taste good. I'll have a few to bring with me to the feast tonight

Goose and lambs quarter was just that, I put both ingredients in a saucepan with a little water and covered it with a lid to cook.

The polenta was Sarah's idea - I didn't have any salt but I did use the last of the goose oil that I had. I used a 4:1 water/cornmeal ratio. It had the consistency of grits when I ate it; it has since solidified in the pan. I'll have some of this for the feast as well.

The cobbler was another taste given to me by Sharon a few days ago - she said it was bitter but I thought it was pretty good. This was the last of the applesauce I traded for too.

Day 6 Lunch

I think that this was the best tasting meal I've had this week! I chipped a small amount of the frozen apricots off and heated it with the chicken to make an apricot glaze (well sort of anyway). Served over the lettuce exchanged on Mark-it day with two cherry tomatoes from Kathleen's garden. Sharon made the veggie pizza this morning and shared with me. Plus, I hard boiled one lovely egg from the "girls." I had another cup of chicory coffee. I stretched the chicory Mark gave me by putting it in a teaball and letting it steep for a long time. At the beginning of the week everything was tasting really bland. Now, I'm really starting to notice the flavors in the food.

Day 6 Breakfast

This morning I'm having a large bowl of applesauce with blueberries. The blueberries really helped sweeten the applesauce. Or, it could be that this is the container of applesauce from the golden delicious apples. Anyway, spearmint is the garnish and I am having a wonderful cup of the chicory coffee. Thanks again Mark!!!

Breakfast, Day 7

Breakfast today consists of 2 eggs, hashbrowns, apocalypse bacon, an apple, blueberries, zucchini cake, and chicory coffee.

I fried the goose skin again, along with some other fatty bits I saved from the bird in order to have oil to cook the eggs and potatoes. I used up the last eggs, chicory coffee, goose skin, potato, and the last bit of zucchini bread Sharon gave me.

I feel that breakfast was consistently the easiest meal to adjust to this week. Before the challenge I wasn't much of a breakfast eater. I would have a cup of coffee and an early lunch but never such a structured meal. The food for the most part was pretty standard fare with a sufficient supply of potatoes and eggs to accommodate most mornings. 2 meals to go, you cannot imagine my excitement in anticipation of the conclusion!

Day 5 Dinner

Please notice the tomato in the upper right hand corner of my dinner. After I took the picture I noticed it looked like a smiley face. Probably we are all happy that challenge week is progressing smoothly (kind of) and that it is almost over.

My dinner consisted of a chicken salad made with swiss chard, chicken (which I heated in the roast chicken drippings), roma tomato, pea pods, cucumber, and leaf lettuce. I also had some mulberry cobbler and zucchini cake along with mint tea.

On a side note - this was supposed to be my lunch. I got a visual migraine while I was preparing so I put the food in a container and took it to work for supper. The visual migraine was spectacular! I took two aspirins and rested with a pillow over my eyes. The colors and patterns were very vivid and beautiful. I enjoyed the slide show and it went away pretty quickly. If you've never had one, it is like a flashing lights in a zig-zag, it could be a line or in this case it was a large C shape that took up most of my line of vision. I guess sometimes they are just gray or like a shadow. Mine had wonderful orange, turquoise and some other vivid colors. I haven't had one for 30 years. I used to panic about them and it would last a long time. This time I just loved it away. This challenge has been such an extreme diet change for me that I think my body is really making some adjustments. When I'm not having these mini-healing crisis situations I feel really great!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Meals for the Finale

Cabbage Casserole:
(I started making the Japanese Pizza from but did not have enough eggs, so I put it in a casserole dish)
Shredded Cabbage
Pea Pods
2 Eggs
Bean Sprouts

Bake in 350 degree oven until slightly browned (well, actually until I was ready to put the next dish in the oven)

Plum Stuffed Apples with Mullberry Wine Sauce

I cut the apples in half and removed the seeds.
I took the frozen plum pieces, boiled them and removed the skins.
Then, I put the plum pieces in the crevices of the apple halves.

For the sauce, I boiled mulberry wine with stevia and added mulberry juice from the frozen mulberries. I put the sauce over the apples and am currently baking it in a 350 degree oven.
It is taking forever for the apples to soften - I probably should have boiled them first.

Berry Cobbler

Same recipe as before but I added blueberries and blackberries (and sifted the cornmeal). I also didn't put black walnuts in the topping.

Meals Day 6

Potato pancakes that mom made
Apple sauce with an itty bitty plum cut up in it
Roasted Chicken

Black walnuts
2 Apples

Sprouted Lentil Chili
Roasted Chicken

Boiled Chicken Breast
Zucchini Cake

Tortuous Tempting Thursday

I work for a small company and we celebrate employees' birthdays (with cake) and anniversaries (with lunch). So tomorrow we are celebrating a birthday (with a DQ Reese's Peanut Butter Blizzard Cake) and an anniversary (pizza).

Luckily, I stopped at the Jackson's to borrow their food processor and Kathy gave me these delicious sweet dried blueberries. I was also going to try to make "pizza" because I have some sprouted wheatberries. Hopefully, I'll have enough time in the morning to prepare it.

Less than 24 hours to the finale - I can do it!!

Day 6

Today's breakfast wasn't until after noon, so it was sort of a brunch. I had two hard boiled eggs, some fresh corn from Sharon's garden (which was so sweet! it didn't even need butter, which was great since I don't have a cow) :o) and a nice bowl of blueberries.
Dinner was lovely-- I made a salad with some of my fresh lettuce, pea and alfalfa sprouts, some of the hummus Sharon made the other day, cucumber slices, and tomatoes. Because of all the nice protein, I feel quite satisfied.
One more day! And there is still PLENTY of food. I've been busy all week preserving the extras for winter consumption.

Dinner, Day 6

Today's dinner - spicy cabbage stir-fry, goose spinach omelet, cucumbers, and blueberries.

Spicy Cabbage Stir-Fry

1/4 head cabbage
15 green beans
2 cloves garlic
1 dried cayenne pepper

Its just a stir-fry, throw everything in the pan and cook it. Pretty good, this was the first spicy thing I've had this week.

The omelet was just what was in its name - goose, spinach, and egg. I should have just made it part of the stir-fry, it wasn't good by itself and I just ended up mixing it in anyways.

I was still hungry when I finished, I ate a small dish of soybeans. I'm still hungry so I'm going back to make more stir-fry.

Day 5 Breakfast

I'm eating breakfast a little later today because it's difficult to get throught the evening at work without eating a snack. Last night a co-worker offered me a big piece of cherry pie with a crumb topping. He's been telling me about this pie for months and promised to bring a sample. Well - I did it!!!! I was able to pass it up! Today is our ice cream social at work. You know how much I like ice cream???? Yesterday, the ice cream truck was passing when I went outside. The temptations are everywhere.

Anyway, back to breakfast. I had scrambled eggs with tomatoes and chives, applesauce and blueberries along with a nice glass of Sharon's mint iced tea. I'm saving my chicory coffee for tomorrow's breakfast. Thanks again Mark for the chicory!

Lunch, Day 6

For lunch today, pan cooked vegetables with goose, and a cabbage salad.

Pan Cooked Vegetables with Goose:
summer squash

I have a lot of work to get done today, and I didn't want to spend much time making this lunch. I threw all my ingredients in the skillet with 2 cups of water. I put a lid on it for about 10 mins, then took the lid off and cooked all the water off of it.

The cabbage salad included bell pepper and cucumbers. I want more to be full than to enjoy flavor right now, this is a simple and filling lunch.


I wrote this as a comment, but I thought I'd post it. Polenta was a life saver for me when i did the Tenement Diet; and I still eat it and love it. It's the cheapest food you can make, and it's a filling carb to mix in with veggies. When Italy was in a great depression around the turn of the century, everyone survived on polenta and fresh veg from the garden.

Here's a complicated recipe:

You can add veggies to the polenta itself.

But, I usually make it very, very simply:

You can scale down this recipe and leave out the butter.

This is good with cooked veggies served on top for dinner (I made some with cooked chard and onions, so good!), or sliced and fried for breakfast.  After you make it, put it in a pan or casserole and stick it in the fridge.  It becomes dense and sliceable.

Breakfast, Day 6

Breakfast this morning consists of basted eggs, home fries, apocalypse bacon (fried goose skin,) blueberries, preserved apricots, black walnuts, an apple, chicory coffee, and tea.

Frying the goose skin produced enough oil to cook the home fries and eggs in. To make basted eggs, make sunny side up eggs, and once they are done you pour a little water in the pan and cover the eggs with a lid for a minute.

The apricots are tart, the walnuts are a little bitter. The goose skin tastes a lot like pig skins, less all the extra salt. I have a lot of heavy lifting to do today so I loaded my plate up this morning.

Lunch and Dinner, day 5

I have been very busy all day preserving the blueberries we picked the other day! I made jams, blueberry butter, syrup, and frozen blueberries. Whew. I am going to enjoy their sweetness all winter long!
Needless to say, I was snacking on blueberries as I went, but also enjoyed the chili Sharon made, 1/2 at lunch time and 1/2 at dinner.

I've finished preserving the blueberries... now tomorrow I've got to work on those apples! And tomorrow evening I'm going blackberry picking again. I'm the berry queen. :o)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 5 & Only 2 More To Go!

I finished up the rest of the goose broth veggie soup between breakfast and lunch. It was very bland so I had enough of it!

For breakfast I also had 2 mini pieces of zucchini cake.

For lunch I made chicken wraps similar to mom's. I mixed the chicken with mulberry juice, chives, olive oil, sunflower sprouts and 1 diced golden delicious apple. I put that on top of swiss chard and rolled it up. Yummy!

For snacks I had blueberries, blackberries and roasted soybeans.

For dinner Mark shared some of his roasted goose & stuffing - it was absolutely delicious!

Now I am enjoying a glass of mint iced tea slightly sweetened with stevia (I put the choco-mint leaves and the stevia in the tea ball in a big pot of water on the stove).

Dinner, Day 5

Tonight for dinner there is shredded goose with au jus, pan fried summer squash, roasted garlic, and a small salad. Oh, and iced tea.

The au jus was made by saving the pan drippings from yesterday in the fridge. The fat collects on the top when it is cold, and you can carefully pour the juice out from underneath it. It was not only good, it was decadent.

The summer squash was pan fried with a dusting of cornmeal. I used the fat left over from the au jus as described above.

The roasted garlic was a complete disappointment. The bad recipe I used told me to cook it covered in a muffin pan for 35-40 mins on 400 degrees. This burnt it and it all tasted terrible. BOOOO. There goes a good chunk of my garlic reserves, fortunately I still have enough for the next 2 days.

The salad was just a bunch green salad with cucumbers and the last of my uncooked apricots. I'm still a little hungry, I have some snack mix (dried mulberries, walnuts, dried apricots, soynuts) that I am going to nurse for the rest of the evening.

Day 4 - Dinner

My day four dinner consists of:
*Roast chicken
*Sliced cucumbers
*Salad (Lettuce we traded for with Mark on Mark-it day, tomatoes, and a dressing made of the leftover humous and roast chicken drippings)
*Potato pancakes (One egg, some small potatoes from the garden and a couple of chives)
*Applesauce with a sprig of spearmint (Which I chopped up and added to the applesauce before I ate it.)

It was very delicious!

Lunch - Day 4 (I'm half way there!)

I had a lovely lunch today consisting of:

Chicken Salad on Lettuce Leaves
Dressing made of humous and drippings from the roasted chicken
The last of the Stuffing with some of the chicken drippings
Minty Iced Tea (Sharon made hers stronger than mine and I love it!)

Lunch, Day 5

Todays lunch - former soups revisited, cabbage salad, and blackberries.

I had a bit of broth left from the squirrel stew I made day 1 and some corn chowder from yesterday. I combined them with a bit of goose meat, some garlic and basil, and some soybeans I cooked yesterday.

I need to learn that just because I have a lot of oregano doesn't mean I should use a lot of oregano. the soup is not bad though, and it is quote hearty.

This is the last of the blackberries I have.

Breakfast - Day 4

For breakfast this morning I had some of Sharon's flatbread, humous and a tomato slice and a small piece of chicken. I followed that with 1/2 cup blackberries and some mint tea. That chickory coffee sounds so good right now. Wish I had some!!!

Breakfast, Day 5

For breakfast today I have a Swiss Chard and Tomato Frittata, the last potato pancake, the last veggie patty, 1/2 cup of blueberries, and a cup of chicory coffee.

Swiss Chard & Tomato Frittata

1 cup swiss chard
1 egg
1 small tomato
1 clove garlic
a bit of green onion
goose oil

Chop chard and sauté with onion, basil, and garlic for a few minutes. Add scrambled egg. Top with tomato, then flip.

The tomatoes stuck to the pan, other than that this came out very well. Tasted great. Used up the last of my chicory, I'll have to pick and roast some more today if I have time, or else I'll have to go without :(

I am also out of onions. I have 1 small potato left. 8 meals to go!

Healing Crisis, Withdrawal Symptoms and New Resolve

I normally drink lots of coffee, eat dairy and like a bowl of ice cream on a hot summer afternoon. It's been really hot this summer! That being said, my body was used to it's daily injection of caffeine, carbs and sugar. The night before last it was evident that something was missing from my diet. I woke up at about 2:00 a.m. and for the next two hours went through what I can only call a healing crisis. I had a horrible headache, aches and pains and my stomach felt queasy (which was probably from the headache). I prayed and worked through it. Yesterday, when I woke up, I didn't even feel like eating anything. So, I took my bottle of mint tea, some water and my aching self and went berry picking for most of the day.

I ate my breakfast (consisting of berries and tea) after the first round of berry picking and then I took a short nap. I picked some more berries and then came home to get ready for work. I didn't eat anything substantial until 3:45 p.m. After that meal I broke into a sweat like you would when a fever breaks. I had to train a new person at work last night so the first 1/2 hour was a little tricky. After the new hire left, someone offered me some Godiva chocolates. I didn't even have to think twice about turning it down. My pre-challenge self would have gobbled up the chocolate. I went back to my desk and ate blueberries for a snack. They were delicious!!!

I'm feeling MUCH better today with just a slight headache.

All that negative stuff being said. I think that this challenge has probably been a life saver for me. The hardest thing to eating healthy is getting started. Now that I've gone through my detox, I plan on a much healthier diet.

Thanks to my family for getting me on the right track!

Breakfast, day 5

I was working on making masa harina (basically, tortilla flour) this morning, and came across a website that talked about all kinds of different uses for corn and how to process it. One of the suggestions was grits made from ground corn. Since I already had ground corn from market day, I decided to try some (I ordinarily eat grits, just the instant kind with LOTS of butter). I boiled some water, and threw in some corn meal (both of unknown quantities... I'm not really a measuring kind of cook) and boiled it like oatmeal until the water was pretty much gone.
It had a kind of sour taste, which adding salt helped with... but definately could have used some butter. Also the taste was no where near the instant grits I normally choose...
And I probably wouldn't make this again, but it was pretty filling.
I also enjoyed a cup of chicory "coffee," which I've been having daily but keep forgetting to write about.

All Three Meals - Day 3

Since I was foraging for wild blackberries most of the day yesterday and had to work last evening, I didn't get a chance to post blogs for meals. Here they are:

3/4 cup of blackberries

Flat bread
1/2 tomato
Mulberry Cobbler

1/2 cucumber
2 small plums
1/2 cup of blueberries
2 small apples

I'm REALLY hungry today!!! Please say a prayer for me - I have to go to the grocery store to buy cat food.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dinner, Day 4

I had two eggs (one was a twin though, so really more like 3 eggs) scrambled with fresh tomatoes... I'm also going to eat some fruit in a bit because I'm still hungry :o/ but at least I got my protein in!

Day 4 Meals

Omlet made the same way as the last 2 days

Morning Snack:
Sprouted Bread
Sprouted Chic-Pea Hummus

Goose broth/veggie soup

Afternoon Snack:
Roasted soybeans
2 plums
1 apple

Roasted chicken
Sprouted grain/corn meal stuffing

Sprouting Queen

The sprouts are plentiful! Here are some recipes where I was able to use them:

Sprouted grain flat bread (can also be used as a pizza crust):

Sprouted wheat berries
Broccoli sprouts
Red clover sprouts

I put the sprouts and chives in the food processor then sifted a little cornmeal into the mixture. I made round pressed circular shapes on a cookie sheet with olive oil and cornmeal (for Mark's I just used cornmeal on a separate baking sheet). I baked at 255 degrees then flipped them over after a while and cooked on the other side.

It was very crunchy right when it came out of the oven and tasted like grape nuts. Today it was much softer.

Sprouted Chic-Pea Humus:

Sprouted Garbanzo Beans
Sprouted Sunflower Seeds
Wood Sorrel
Wild Garlic
Olive Oil
A Little Water

Processed all ingredients in a food processor.

Sprouted Lentil Chili
I made this tonight. I offered Kathy a trade for all the ripe tomatoes in her garden for a couple ears of corn and some of the chili.

Sprouted Lentils
Wild Garlic

I cooked all the above on the stove on low heat, adding the lentils and corn last.

Dinner, Day 4

Beautiful, isn't she? This was the half-goose I have been saving, all roasted up nice.

Sharon left a sprout bread for me at Kathy's along with a few samples of the deserts she made - as a result I was able to make stuffing for the bird as well. Why do some people call it 'dressing'?

Half Roast Goose with Apple Stuffing
1/2 goose (approximately 3 lbs uncooked)

sprout bread
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1/8 summer squash
goose oil
1 egg
1/2 small apple

finely chop garlic, onion, and squash, then sautee in oil. add to mixing bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes (dont' want to cook the egg.) Add egg, mix. Add sprout bread and chopped apple. Mix well, stuff in bird (which is why it is called stuffing. You don't make a dress for the bird, you stuff it.) Cook bird for 20 mins per pound of meat at 350 degrees.

I actually cooked it for about 70 minutes to be extra safe. It smelled fantastic when it came out of the oven. The texture of the stuffing was a bit different but the taste was spot on.

I made a gravy using the goose blood. It came out well but didn't have the best flavor - but it did give me a solid bit of insight as to how to use this meal corn to thicken sauces, soups, etc. The first day I made a stew and just dumped the cornmeal right in, which worked somewhat but I had all those mealy bits of corn floating around in the stew. Tonight I took some sifted cornmeal and poured water into it. I then stirred it vigorously to dissolve all the starch into the water, then carefully poured the water into the gravy pan. All the heavy bits of corn stayed in the bottom of the cup.

I spent some time after dinner stripping the carcass of all its meat. I saved pretty much everything, I figure if I get desperate by the end of the week I can use the bones and whatnot in a hearty soup.

Lunch, Day 4

Half-way meal! Lunch today is corn chowder, an apple, and the last stuffed cabbage.

Corn Chowder:
1 cup dried meal corn
1/2 cup hominy
4 cups water
2 small carrots
1 small onion
1/4 summer squash
1 /2 cup sifted cornmeal
1 oz mulberry syrup

Put ingredients in pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 90 mins. The original recipe calls for fresh sweet corn, but I have what I have. It also called for maple syrup which I used mulberry instead, and for celery which I substituted summer squash. I added the rest of the hominy I had made along with the salty water it was preserved in. The meal corn gives your chewers a good work-out. Good taste to it though.

Day 4 Breakfast & Lunch

I wanted to tackle Katelynn and steal her french fries. But I didn't. Not even one. :o)
Breakfast today was a big bowl of sweet black- and blue- berries.
Lunch, brought to me by Sharon, was a sprouted sort of bread and hummus. Super yummy.

On a side note, for those out there watching... there is, in fact, plenty of food in my opinion. You just have to eat a lot of it to feel full (or eat often) because it's all so low-cal. I, personally, eat a LOT of breads, pastas and potatoes in my normal diet, so having these sort of filling foods mostly out of the picture is the bigger challenge for me.

Plus, I love sweets, so now having nice sweet berries is filling that void.

Also, to anyone out there who's ever been on a diet... I am so sorry. I'm having some small taste of what that must be like this week...

Spottie Joins In

Here is our fat cat Spot. He loves eating leaves, and can be seen here chomping on some of the chicory plants I brought in to make coffee with. Welcome to the challenge, Spottie!

Breakfast, Day 4

One egg and hash browns, cooked in goose oil. 1 leftover stuffed cabbage, applesauce, and blackberries.

I had a 3 mile skate this morning and then came back and made this breakfast. I think breakfast is the closest meal to normal fare, even though I rarely eat a morning meal. This week though, I have hunger!

My wife has pretty much tapped out of the competition, I'll still try to make her food she'll like.

Today's meals and events

We actually skipped lunch today... we were out in Ashland picking blueberries for several hours. We picked 19 pounds of blueberries... and they are beautiful! I'm sharing with the rest of SFS participants tomorrow.
We came back home and made veggie soup, using turnips, kohlrabi, beets, a couple of small leeks I had growing in the garden, a little chives, some carrots, green beans, a healthy handful of garlic, and some sea salt. It was actually quite good.
After dinner, we went back to the park and picked about a quart of good, sweet blackberries. I'm also going blackberry picking in the morning with mom (Therese) and my grandmother.
I spent the remainder of the evening working on preserving some of the harvest for post-challenge consumption. I put some blueberries in the dehydrator and canned the sour blackberries with honey. I'm looking forward to these sweet treats later in the year!
I have a TON more preservation to do, but I am both out of day and out of sugar, so tomorrow I will work on some more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Zucchini "Cake"

I also made zucchini cake.

Here are the ingredients:

Sprouted wheat berries (processed in food processor)

Zucchini (grated)

Apricots (blanched and peeled)


1 Egg


Corn meal (sifted)

I mixed everything together and baked in 325 degree oven until it was firm (it took a while since there were so many wet ingredients).


I made a roast chicken that I bought from the westside market yesterday.

I also made delicious stuffing (separate from the chicken)

Here are the ingredients:

Sprouted wheat berries

Cornmeal (sifted)




Wild Garlic

1 Egg

I processed the wheat berries in a food processor and added it to chopped herbs, egg and cornmeal. I mixed it all up and put in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees. I baked it a bit too long and it hardened to the bottom of the pan. It was still very delicious.

Day 3 Meals



For breakfast I had a 1 egg omlet the made same way as yesterday.

I spent most of the afternoon preparing meals and wasn't very hungry so I snacked on mulberry cobbler, roasted soy beans & applesauce.
For dinner I had roasted chicken, stuffing and lettuce/tomato salad with olive oil.
For an evening snack I had zucchini "cake" and chocolate mint tea with stevia (although not much of the chocolate flavor came through).

Trade Agreement

Kathy and I have arranged for a trade tomorrow - I am giving her 1 dried pepper, 1 head of cabbage, and some new chicory root I've made, and she is giving me 2 tomatoes, 2 large eggs, and some blueberries she picked today.

Mulberry Cobbler

Yesterday evening I made mulberry cobbler:


defrosted frozen mulberries then smashed them with a fork to remove stems and other foreign objects

cooked them with a little bit of cornmeal and stevia for a few minutes (I wish I would have thought to sift the cornmeal)


sprouted oats ground in food processor with black walnuts

dusted bottom of baking dish with corn meal, added mulberries and topped with oat crust

Baked at 350 degrees until top was browned slightly.

Lunch and Supper - day 2 for me - 3 for you

I had to work again this afternoon and evening. For snack this morning I had some peppermint tea, 3 apricots and some applesauce. For lunch I had a salad consisting of leaf lettuce (once again foraged from Kathleen's garden - I owe her big time), a tomato and boiled chicken. More peppermint tea throughout the day. I was very, very hungry when I came home this evening. Luckily, I live with the master chef. I had roast chicken, stuffing, zucchini cake, applesauce and some goose soup with vegetables. It was a rough day at work so I'm too tired to post pictures.

Dinner, Day 3

Dinner couldn't come fast enough - I had a swim after lunch and felt shaky after. I snacked on the leftover spinach salad from last night and some soynuts, along with some dried mulberries (they taste very much like raisins.)
Dinner tonight is stuffed cabbage and green beans.

Stuffed Cabbage:
1/4lb ground meat
1 cup hominy
2 cloves garlic

Tomato Sauce:
2 tomatoes
1/4 summer squash

The ground meat was all the small bits of squirrel and goose that were too small to cook. I ground it up in the corona mill, passing it through 4 times. There were still a few long fatty strings but for the most part it did a decent job. Since I didn't have any rice I substituted chopped-up hominy that I made and jarred in salt weeks ago. Add a little oregano and garlic and mix for the filling. The cabbage leaves are boiled for a few minutes to soften them, and then stuffed with a tablespoon of meat mixture. Then they were returned to the pot to boil for about 40 mins. Normal stuffed cabbage is cooked for much longer in order to cook the rice, so mine has a bit more green left in the leaf.

The tomato sauce was made yesterday morning. All the ingredients went in a pot with an inch or so of water, and cooked for an hour and a half or so until they broke down nicely.

I went a little heavy on the oregano, and I occasionally come across a large bit of meat - other than that these are tip-top.

Lunch, Day 3

Lunch today is vegetable shish kebabs - bell pepper, garlic, potato, turnip, tomato, apple, cucumber, and summer squash out on the grill. This was supposed to be yesterday's dinner, but there wasn't a grill at the party we went to. This vegetarian stuff is for the birds.

Best flavors, garlic and apples. The apples pretty much turned to mush but they taste great. Jessica contends, 'The garlic is nasty! Its too much.' The turnips don't seem to be cooked enough, they were much better in the soup I made yesterday.

Breakfast, Day 3

After a quick breakfast of hardboiled eggs, and tomatoes, Todd and I are on our way to forage for more sweet blackberries and blueberries. For blueberries, we are driving out to Ashland county... hopefully we will find enough to make it worth the trip!
For blackberries, we are coming back to Cleveland to the park where we went fishing with Mark a couple nights ago. The blackberries are yummy!

Day two dinner and a cheat...

I wasn't quite sure what I wanted for dinner last night, so I thought I'd start with a salad. I used some of my buttercrunch lettuce, a small ripe slicing tomato, a couple of small beets, and a handful of fresh pea pods.
Then, the power went out. For blocks around us. After about 1/2 hour, we drove around a bit, and discovered that whole chunks of the neighborhood had no power. Was this like the power outage a few years ago? How long would it be out? Dare we open the refrigerator?
The house quickly heated up, with no air conditioning, only one small window and the front door to offer any hint of a breeze... no lights... hot, sticky, yuck. You get the picture.
The cosmic brownies in the other room were burning their images into our minds. Like the governor of a state, our house governor, Todd, called a state of emergency. So we ate the brownies, and some pringles too.
Fortunately, the power came back on around midnight, so this morning we're back on track. The house is cooler, the fridge is available, and the brownies are mostly gone. :o)

Breakfast Day 3

Good breakfast today - 2 eggs (one with a double yoke,) hash browns with garlic, apple sauce, a few cucumber slices, and a small plum, and a cup of chicory coffee.

Last night I enjoyed a bottle of mulberry wine while watching TV - I would describe it as tart, earthy, and rich.

I'm going to pick some more in the garden today - cabbage, spinach, and beans for the week, plus anything else I can find that is ready.

Day 2 Breakfast

Sharon made the most wonderful mulberry cobbler yesterday. I had some for breakfast this morning. I will probably have a fruit snack and some tea before I go to work today.

Day 1 - Supper and my conspiracy theory

I had to work yesterday evening and we were very busy so there wasn't much time to think about food - that's a good thing. During my break, I ate the rest of the roasted vegetables and the remaining two veggie patties that Sharon made on Thursday. I made two pots of iced tea yesterday. One was spearmint, the other peppermint. I foraged for iced tea bottles in our recycle bag and I took a bottle of minty iced tea with me as well. The funniest thing happened at work. I was thinking that the roasted vegetables really could use a little salt. Our kitchen at work always has salt and pepper shakers so I went looking for them. They had disappeared!!! My little storage baggie of salt, pepper, tea bags, sweetner, etc. in my desk was also lacking salt. I think that the universe and the Demarkracy are conspiring. No snacks - I went right to bed when I got home from work.

Bear Foraged for Peanut Butter Sandwich - Can We?

Okay - so Sharon and I saw a story on the news this morning. The bear in the story entered a car to forage for peanut butter and jelly. Since this whole challenge is based on a bear, we were thinking that since the bear can do it - so can we!!! Please see link below for the full story:

Just sayin' - it seems like any foraging should be "legal."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 2 Meal Summary

I was so hungry this morning and mom suggested that I eat an egg (I was trying to stretch out the food, so I didn't want to eat the eggs). Mom had a valid point in saying that we can't starve ourselves by trying not to run out of food. If we run out of food, then we stop the challenge. At that point, I was ready to polish off all the reserves for breakfast and return to "normal" eating.

1 Egg omlet with
spinach, chicken (cheat item 2), chives & tomato
cooked in olive oil (cheat item 1)

2 plums
roasted soybeans

Swiss chard roll-ups
I put chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, chives and drizzled a little olive oil (I made a mixture yesterday with wild garlic and lemon thyme) in the center of the swiss chard and rolled it up.

Leftover soup from yesterday with chicken added
Dried apricots (I soaked them in water a bit to soften them up)

Dinner, Day 2

I really don't know how you vegetarians do it - I've gone 1 day sans meat and I can feel the effects. I can't wait until tomorrow night for stuffed cabbages!

We went to a birthday party, filled with beer and wings and sandwiches. I had spinach salad and potato pancakes - not quite the same. I'm eating more now, as I feel a bit shaky, and eating the left over soup from lucnch as well.

Potato Pancakes with Clover Flour
5-6 small potatoes
2 eggs
clover flour (to consistency)

No real magic here, shredded the potatoes, added 2 eggs and then dumped clover flour (maybe a cup?) in until it was the right consistency. I milled the flour this morning, from the flower heads I traded for on market day. I fried them in the pan using the rendered goose fat, which looks like a delicious little scoop of butter. I remember when I used to eat dairy, back 2 days ago...oh the good old days... I topped them off with a little applesauce.

The salad had New Zealand spinach, cucumbers, a few small tomato bits, oregano, basil, and apricot syrup (made by tossing a pile of apricots into a crock pot and then taking the clear juice off.) The iced tea I made was probably one of the best culinary creations so far, which is to say I'll probably never make it again after this week. But I've made it through 2 days, no cheating yet and I haven't even picked a cheat item!

Lunch, Day 2

Well, I cheated at lunch by using olive oil to cook with. But with no butter and no other way to ensure a good meal out of it, I felt the olive oil was justified. :o)
I made potato pancakes.
I went to mom (Therese) and Sharon's house and dug up some of my Yukon Gold potatoes, grabed a couple sprigs of chives that are growing in my herb garden, threw in a couple cloves of garlic and an egg, and mixed it all together in the food processor... then fried them up in some olive oil. It was the best meal I've had thus far on the challenge, and I still feel satisfied three hours later. Probably because of all the carbs or something, but whatever.
The Yukon Gold potatoes actually make a phenomenal potato pancake... because they're so naturally butter flavored, they do not lack anything when they are plain!

Lunch, Day 2

For lunch today, vegetable soup and a fresh cucumber. I also had one of the veggie patties Sharon made on Thursday.

The soup had turnips, kohlrabi, carrots, summer squash, a few small beets, a handful of corn, and some frozen spinach. Add garlic and various spices as well. I cooked some salted meat in it but removed them for later consumption. My wife said it needed salt, I didn't eat anything with salt in it yesterday so the salt from the meat is almost too much for me.

I've made a tea with linden flowers, mint, and stevia for the afternoon. I've been snacking on soynuts and apricot leather while watching TV, waiting for a party this afternoon.

On a different note Kathy, Jeff, Todd, and I went fishing in the canal last night - mostly a lot of standing around, but Todd caught a nice little catfish. Maybe he'll post pictures :)


My friend Michelle shared this article on nasturtiums with me. Both the leaves and blossoms can be used in salads as well as for adding a zesty, peppery seasoning. I know that Kathleen has nasturtiums in her garden. Thought you might like to dry some and save it for use as a winter peppery spice. Here is the link:

Thanks for sharing Michelle!!!

Day 1 Lovely Lunch Salad

The variety of flavors in my lunch salad was very lovely. I am going to have to test each ingredient to really catch the individual flavors. Here is the ingredient list:

Leaf Lettuce (foraged from Sneelock's garden patch)
Wood Sorrel from the community garden
Dandelion leaves (I think they were the bitter taste)
Squash blossoms
Curly parsley and basil from the village people herb garden in the front yard
Lamb's quarter leaves
A few pea pods
One Cherry tomato for color
Chicken (My cheat item of choice for the week)

Followed up by a cup of yummy spearmint tea. All in all, it was a very satisfying lunch. I also went to the doctor's office this morning and weighed myself so I can witness the effect of all of this very healthy eating. I'm very thankful to my wonderful family for participating in (and of course the Demarkracy for suggesting) this great challenge and sharing all of their harvests. You are AWESOME!!!!!!!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Grass GardenIf I were a cow, I'd be set for the challenge, my grasses growing well, enough to satiate my hunger for at least a meal or two. I could live off my abundant bent grasses and moo happily.

Despite my size, I am not a cow, and unfortunately, I'm one of the families who won't be participating in the challenge... this year. I'd put a lot of thought into it, and even planned extensively. There would be weekly harvests of radishes, abundant herbs, carrots, lettuces, corn and potatoes.

While the grasses are healthy and beautiful, you can see by the picture on the left, that I simply don't get enough sunlight in my postage stamp of a yard to even justify an attempt of killing a few thousand seeds that simply don't get enough light. Why? Well, see for yourself the view a plant from my garden would, and you'll see why:

Reason for no garden.
There simply isn't enough straight sunlight in my yard, and even with that slight bit of light filtering through, I very likely wouldn't have been able to grow much of anything that would both sustain and maintain us through the challenge. My cheat item would very likely have become pizza or Giant Eagle or Burger King, not something in the spirit of the challenge. I also cannot justify cutting down this magnificent tree, likely a hundred years old, simply so that I could selfishly grow a garden. Without anywhere to plant three trees to replace the one I'd cut down, my options were unfortunately limited... for this year.

Good luck to Mark, Sharon, Kathy, Terese, Todd, Katelynn, Sarah and Jessica. Wish I could be doing it along side you. But, like we say here in Cleveland: There's always next year!

Day 2 Breakfast

I dreamt of food all night. Cookies, potato chips, and chocolate danced in my head.

This morning, after a brief and torturous journey to the West Side Market to buy honey (for use preserving sour blackberries we've gathered... not to be eaten this week) and seeds to sprout, I needed some breakfast. I had three hard boiled eggs, a few slices of cucumber, and three cherry tomatoes, all sprinkled with sea salt, my one luxury. It was very yummy.

I need to figure out a way to up my calorie intake... pretty much everyone else is eating meat... I'm vegetarian, so that's not an option for me. Sharon and I were discussing this on our way back from the Market, and she suggests that I need to find a way to take in some more fat too, since I have no oils to cook with.
See you at lunch!

Breakfast, Day 2

Not the best breakfast I ever had, I'm just going to call it gruel. Gruel with apricot sauce. I'm hoping to preserve some eggs for later in the week so leftovers smashed together in a pan makes breakfast.

The chicory coffee is good, as you see in the picture I've already drank most of it. I had a couple pieces of fruit and some dried apricots too.

I have a lot of meal prep to do today so I'm sure I'll get my fill of tasting and sampling.

Day 1 Breakfast

I didn't start the challenge eating until today because I spent the day out of town with friends for a birthday celebration. It would have been funny to bring my own food to Bob Evans and the buffet lunch. So, I'll make up for it by extending my challenge week into next Friday.

No pictures of breakfast today. I ate a nice fruit salad consisting of 6 small apricots, a golden delicious apple, a small sweet plum and a few wonderfully lucious blackberries. It was very filling. After a cup of spearmint tea, I'll be all set until lunch.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tonight's dinner and snack (day one)

My camera battery was dead at dinner... so no picture of the nice dinner I prepared. I shredded some cabbage and stir fried it with beans, carrots, and walnuts, and had two of the veggie patties Sharon prepared as well.
We went to the park, and when we came home I had apples for a snack. :o)

Dinner is Finally Here - Day 1

Today was very difficult. I was so hungry and close to either getting Starbucks, Panera, Pizza Hut, Burger King or KFC from the turnpike stop during lunch. I consulted with the Demarkcracy and mustered up the additional willpower to make it through the day.

In addition to the lunch I posted previously, I had 2 small apples for snacks. I know that I didn't bring enough food for the day.

When I got home, I had a few slices of cucumber and a couple of cherry tomatoes that I foraged from my sister's garden :)

I then made a salad with greens, more tomatoes, cucumbers, and a few pea pods. I used olive oil (cheat item #1) with garlic and lemon thyme for flavor.

I made soup with some of the broth I made yesterday and added potatoes, zucchini, spinach, parsley and chives.

I also had 1/2 chicken breast (cheater! cheater! - now its out of the way) that I boiled when I got home.

I may have a little sweet treat - a plum or dried apricots when I'm finished with dinner.

Breakfast, Day 2 (Jessica)

Since my wife is going to spend the night at her mom's house, I'm sending breakfast along with her. 2 eggs, 2 potatoes, an apple, some dried apricots, and a few black walnuts.

Dinner, Day 1

I'm taking dinner on the road tonight - Jessica has a family obligation (which will include dinner) and I am meeting the Jacksons for some food fun in the park.

Here is dinner day 1 - squirrel stew, corn cakes, and plums.

Squirrel Stew
Meat from a squirrel (rib section, doesn't include legs)
2 carrots
1 potato
sage leaf
1/4 cup meal corn, cooked
1/4 cup soybeans, cooked
1-1/2 pints water

Put water in pot, add vegetables and meat on medium heat. Cook until the potatoes are soft; mix cornflour in a small cup of water, turn burner up to high and add cup to pot. stir while heating, allowing the stew to thicken.

I always cheat when I make stew and add cornstarch to thicken it, since the starch is some part of the cornmeal I just added it all.

The soybeans and cooked corn were leftover examples from market day last night, I might as well add them to something.

The corn cakes were made using sage and basil and adding an egg to the recipe this morning - I used a lot less water too.

Rendering Fat

I took the piece of goose fat I had and rendered it down this morning; I simply put it in an egg pan with some water, then set the stove burner on its lowest setting and let magic happen. Nearly the entire hunk of fat was converted into a nice oil.