Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 68: Whinge Warning

We're nearly three-quarters there and I'm suddenly getting very tired of the challenge. I keep opening the fridge, hoping some magic vegetable will pop up and announce itself as the perfect side dish to supper. As it stands, it's usually one of five things: boiled beets, canned green beans, mashed turnips, carrots of some form or a melody of roasted root vegetables. Muh.

Not to mention grains. I love quinoa, millet, brown rice, Scottish oats, buckwheat and more. Being gluten intolerant with no local source of gluten free stuff is hard. I mostly eat small amounts of wheat, since it looks so tasty, but I long for a day my tummy doesn't hurt and I can return to eating grains that are better for me.

I had my breaking point this evening. I got all the ingredients chopped for an early St. Patrick's Day feast (I had a roast that needed to be used up) and when I went to the pantry for my last jar of tomatoes, it was gone. I used it and forgot. I caved. I fully admit, Jeff made a run to the grocery store for canned tomatoes so I could salvage my stew. I knew that wine and water alone wasn't going to give it the body and depth the stew needed, nor was I willing to sacrifice 3 lbs of meat and hours of prep work on principle.

I have no idea how we're going to manage 32 more days without any tomatoes. This may be another area I fudge. Not fudge exactly, since our boundaries were pretty porous to begin with. We had no idea how much food it would take to sustain us 100 days, nor how much of our preparation work was sufficient (or insufficient as it turns out). Lessons learned.

All whining aside, I made a killer stew and cool accouterments that I'll blog about for St. Patrick's Day. For the last of my frozen tomatoes, look what Jeff made me for International Women's Day!:

Lamb Curry with Whole Wheat Naan

He used every pot in the house and nearly set off the fire alarm, but when he wants to cook, he COOKS! I believed he followed the directions for the Lamb Curry as directed, ditto the Naan. It was so delicious. Like transport-you-to-another-world kind of delicious. 

So, there are lots of delicious things you can make with local food, I just need to remind myself of that and soldier through the remaining days of the challenge. 


  1. Have you thought about trading home canned goods that you have lots of with someone who canned too many tomatos? Not me tho, I only have 3 pints left myself!

  2. Kathi! Great idea. I'll ask around. Definitely canning more tomatoes next year and planting Roma tomatoes so I can make some pastes. I'm really missing tomato paste.

  3. Oh no! Don't lose hope. Here is a copy of the peirogie lasagne recipe early so that you have something different.

    5 potatoes,peeled and cubed
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup butter,melted
    1/2 lb. bacon,diced
    1 onion chopped
    6 cloves garlic,minced
    1/2 lb. lasagna noodles
    2 cups shredded Chedder cheese
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 8 oz. container of sour cream
    3 tbsp. chopped fresh chives

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Place the potatoes in a large pot with water to cover on high heat.

    Bring to a boil.Cook till tender.

    Drain well.Combine cooked potatoes with the milk and 6 tbsp. of butter,mash,set aside.

    Melt remaining 2 tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

    Saute the bacon,onion,and garlic in the butter for 5-10 minutes,until bacon is crispy.

    Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions (I just make sheets of homemade pasta and lay it in uncooked).

    Cool noodles under running water.

    Place half of the mashed potatoes into bottom of a 9X13 inch baking dish.

    Top this with 1/3 of the cheese,followed by the lasagna noodles layer.

    Repeat this with the remaining potatoes,another1/3 of the cheese and a layer of noodles.

    Then arrange the bacon,onion,garlic,over the noodles,then another later of noodles.

    Finally top all with the remaining cheese,season with salt and pepper.

    Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes,until cheese is melted and bubbly.
    Serve with sour cream and chopped fresh chives.

  4. I love, love, love the sound of this recipe. Done! We've been trying to figure out what kind of lasagna to make and now we have it. Thanks for writing it out for me.

  5. No worries. You can even really throw caution to the wind and add some sourcream into the layers.

  6. I just read about your 100-day challenge -- how cool! It sounds like you are doing great :) My husband and I have gotten into gardening the last couple years, and we still thrill ourselves every dinner when we look down at what we're eating and count up how many ingredients were from our very own garden. Last night it was 3: home-made pesto from basil we grew (took it out of the freezer) and served on English muffins with tomato slices and Parmesan; freezer pickles I made last summer from home-grown cukes; and pears I'd canned from the mini-orchard in my parents' yard. Yum. It is so much fun to eat stuff you're making/growing yourselves. Yesterday I also made some strawberry-lemonade concentrate and froze three jars of it, using juice from the Meyer lemon tree we have in our front yard. Best of luck as you continue with the rest of your 100 days.

  7. You are doing fantastic! It's so hard when you realize the things you took for granted before. I was having a huge craving for grapes the other day and they were on sale at the local supermarket. I must have stood in front of those grapes for 5 minutes as I wrestled with my craving vs the "product of chile" label.

  8. one consolation about only eating things on hand or in season is that produce tastes FABULOUS when much anticipated. I can't wait for avocados to come back in season, as I refuse to buy those shipped here from other countries. good luck with your CAN do it, and what a sense of accomplishment you will have!


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