Monday, June 25, 2012

Cans, cans, cans!

Look at these beauties!

In the last couple weeks, I have spent some time watching food documentaries and sharing them with my family.  After watching, we are even more open to trying to shop solely from the Farmer's Market.  I hadn't been taking photos of all our shopping days because, how boring to see weekly pick-ups?  However, this Saturday's shopping extravaganza was the largest one yet!  We are trying  to avoid the store (Kroger, Country Mart) at all costs, though with certain things it's pretty impossible.  I don't think I can make rice paper and we aren't in big enough of a town where our market provides cheeses....yet.  I already make bread for Goose each week but wouldn't it be nice to buy local, instead of worrying that there's GMO's or corn by-product in it? Basically, if we can get it at the market or the Nature Girls store, then we are good.  Some of these things this week were purchased with intent to can and start stocking up our pantry.  I made an impulse buy this week and bought a bag of peaches.  I don't even eat peaches!

On this side we have:
green onions, squash, tomatoes, lettuce, purple potatoes and new potatoes, broccoli, sprouts, asparagus,  green peppers, strawberries, peaches, eggs

Okay there's two other things in there that I have to be honest I have NO idea what they are.  There is a very nice Asian woman (who we always end up buying the bulk of the produce and the eggs from)  that has sold us this stuff three weeks in a row and we still don't know what it's called but it's good!  Also this week we picked up the stuff in the box on top of the sprouts, they are tiny leaves and very salty and I like it.  She says it's good for the gut (aka digestion) so I'm all like, okay I want some for my salad topper!

Here's the other side of the table:
ham steaks, bacon and ends/pieces, pork loin roast (cut into 8 steaks), brats, sausage, bones for beans

Of course, the downfall of all this farmer's market shopping is I actually have to make stuff.  With the commitment to not buy boxed foods anymore (I admit I cave and at least 2 meals a week for the kids are still from a box), I spend my Saturdays in the kitchen trying to figure out what I should make and do it ahead of time so it's less work in the week.  Personally I am fine with salad every meal, but no one else is.  A lot of it is washing and cutting up the veggies so it will fit in the fridge better, but whatever.  I also made granola cereal this weekend because I was too lazy to pick up a box of cereal for the kiddos.  So this week we were totally successful at not buying from the store because we used what we had here or from the FM.  Sometimes I actually pre-make things like the summer rolls, but really since I know myself (and I do know myself) I know I will end up having salad, or raw veggies and fruit smoothies during the week. "Prepared" food looks a lot like leftovers in the fridge...  

Pork steak, new taters, asparagus
Farmer's Market Summer Rolls

BLT's....need I say more?  There can never be enough bacon.

After I bought the peaches I wondered why I did such a silly thing.  I had never cut a peach let alone buy a bag of them.  I checked into the canning process.  I started reading up on the different ways all while holding a peach in my hand and sniffing it.  Too late, I had already bought the bag and I can't waste food so I was committed.  I sucked it up and what I thought was going to be time consuming wasn't so bad.  Okay FINE, I skipped some steps.  Like the sugar syrup stuff, I don't want that.  And the peeling of the peaches.  There was no fuzz on them so I thought, why? I got to cutting (which also wasn't as bad as I suspected) and before I knew it I had 7 jars of peaches.  I paid $8 for the bag of peaches at the FM and was able to use only half the bag to can 7 jars of the store they are $1 a jar and filled with HFCS.  I think I win here.  With the other half of the bag I saved some for fresh peaches for Goose, and made a cobbler (with my very own homemade cake mix thankyouverymuch) that was gone in a day.  I guess it was good?
No box cake mix was harmed in this photo.

Pictures of my beautifully canned things:

green onions & mexican stewed tomatoes
peaches, italian stewed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce

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