Quote 1: “I said I’m ready to talk about how many chicken bones you got, not how many bodies are in the fridge.” ~ Me to Gigi
In the last few years, where we get our food from has changed almost as significantly as what we eat. In many cases, we know the farms that raised our meat, milk and eggs. Our fruit and veggies come through a local co-op. We order nuts and seafood once a year through another co-op. Did I mention we have two fridges and a huge freezer? Once a week I trek to Whole Foods Market in Arlington to pick up whatever I can’t get locally, but other than that I never set foot in a grocery store. They’re depressing with their pallid fluorescent lights and fifteen different kinds of tasteless white bread.
Anyway, we’ve learned a lesson or two about buying from local farms. Lesson One: Their products are AMAZING. If you have never tasted handmade cheese made just a few miles from your home . . . well, you have never tasted cheese. When we finally get our new house I will host a cheese tasting session and prove it! Lesson Two: Be friends with your local farmers and cultivate relationships with several of them. Unlike industrial suppliers, local farms provide their offerings on a seasonal basis. When it gets too cold the chickens lay fewer eggs or stop altogether. However, farmers tend to find creative ways to meet the requests of customers that regularly support their livelihood ; – ) This weekend, Gigi tried out a new farm, Rehoboth Ranch. They’re located in Greenville but they sell at several local markets and have additional drop-off locations around the Metroplex. Here’s a quote from their About Us page:
Our family raises beef, lamb, chicken, pork, eggs and Grade A Raw Goat Milk on forages from pastures untainted by pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers. We do not give our animals synthetic hormone and steroid drugs that others use to make them grow unnaturally fast. Our animals eat only their natural diet in their natural environment their entire lives. Cattle and sheep eat ONLY high quality, clean grasses and clovers – NEVER GRAIN. Our chickens, turkeys and pigs live on organically managed pastures, but they also receive a custom mixed ration consisting of NON-GMO GRAINS raised without synthetic fertilizer, herbicides, or pesticides, plus organic vitamins and minerals. We get our feed grains from Amish farmers and have it shipped to Texas a truck load at a time.
While she was there she was able to buy some chicken bones for very cheap. I was very excited, but grossed out that she kept calling them carcasses, not bones. At the dinner table. Only a few years ago I couldn’t even eat chicken wings because I was so grossed out at the sight of bones, but the nutritional benefits and amazing flavor of homemade broths won me over.
If you’re interested in forming your own relationship with a local farm, also check out Paidom Meats and Holy Cow Beef (Holy Cow Beef, 2491 Finis Road, Graham TX 76450. (940) 550-4950. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Quote 2: “I’m just here so you can shoot down my ideas and feel superior to me.” ~ Me to Daniel
I’ve received a lot of compliments on my blog lately that I can’t take credit for. My husband is a social media genius. It’s what he does for a living. He set this blog up for me almost against my will. I told him I didn’t have time. I gave my best pouty face. He set it up anyway and then lovingly took over some of my household responsibilities to give me the time. Pretty nice, huh?
The best part is, Daniel and I are working on a few collaborative projects together. Okay, collaborative might be too strong a word, but we are helping each other out from time to time. Today was my turn. Daniel-the-blogging-genius has been enduring quite a bit of sleep deprivation lately due to Katie and Gigi’s antics, so he wasn’t exactly on top of his game. We had to come up with some catch phrases for four website banners, and I consistently made ridiculously awful suggestions. Want to hear them? Note: I copied some of these from slogans I saw on t-shirts:
• My chiropractor cracks me up
• Relax . . . we’ve got your back!
Category: Cold Laser Therapy
• Give pain the cold shoulder
Category: Nutritional Therapy
• Veggielante (Daniel didn’t get this one, but it’s a veggie vigilante)
• Put the cupcake down and slowly back away
• Nutrition, live . . .
• Live. Laugh. Eat.
• Nutrition is my first love . . . there’s just so much chemistry
• Peace. Love. Watermelon.
• Fruit Salad… $2.99 – Cancer prevention… priceless
• Let food be your medicine
• Food that heals
Quote 3: “If you are what you eat, tonight I’m chopped liver.” ~ Daniel to Heather
One of Gigi’s first purchases from Rehoboth Ranch was 1 lb of chicken livers. As I imagine is the case in most households, serving liver of any kind around here is akin to committing culinary suicide. Still, it is really healthy, as long as the livers are from organic, pasture-raised animals. For some reason not quite understood, liver has powerful anti-fatigue properties.
So what makes liver so wonderful? Quite simply, it contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. In summary, liver provides:
* An excellent source of high-quality protein
* Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
* All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
* One of our best sources of folic acid
* A highly usable form of iron
* Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
* An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
* CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
* A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA
Source: Weston A Price Foundation
If you’re sold on getting all those awesome nutrient but can’t stomach the idea of eating liver, THERE IS ANOTHER WAY. Supplements available through Standard Process provide the same benefits. If you’re local, contact Lifetime Family Wellness Center for a nutritional consult.Their products are not expensive and have taken my health to a new level.
About every six months I forget how bad the last liver recipe was and I try a new one. This time I sauteed the liver with shallots and then simmered in chicken broth and rice. Topped with currants and pine nuts it really wasn’t that bad. Daniel had two serving and Gigi declared it delicious. Personally, I’m in no hurry to make it again, but in a few months or so I probably will.