Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Our Grocery Store Fast and Babyfood

This week we are on a grocery store fast, which means that we are only eating out of our own pantry and freezer, until it's all gone. We make exceptions for a few things like milk and diet coke (of course!). We had a Fourth of July bbq last week so we had a lot of things like hotdogs, various types of starch- and mayonaise- based cold salads, all sitting in the fridge uneaten. We have gotten really creative: one night we had bowtie pasta tossed with frozen peas and sliced hotdogs, sprinkled with Italian seasoning. Tonight I am cooking up Lentil Soup, with tomato and pearl barely. Ryan definitely will not be eating that since he hates soups, but I will really enjoy it especially since its been so rainy all day. We've done this a few times on a smaller scale before, but this is the longest we've gone with no major grocery shopping (ran out of "new food" last Thursday, so its been almost a week of creative mealing). I have to admit we have not broken our eating-out habit, however. A true grocery store fast would mean staying in every night (or day in our case since Logan's bedtime keeps us from going out at night--we only venture out to breakfast or lunch). We took Logan to the Aquarium on Sunday (which he loved) and ate at Hooters at Channelside before. Today we went to Dade City on Ryan's day off and ate at It's a Matter of Taste. Not major expenditures but definitely not "necessities."

Logan is the one member of the household who is not subject to the fast. He is enjoying organic, homemade delights such as greenbeans, dumpling squash, sweet potatoes and apples. I went to Cheyenne's Country Thangs (an organic market in Lutz) this past Saturday and picked up a bunch of produce for him, and then spent his naptime that day steaming, pureeing and freezing. I spoon each type of babyfood into an ice cube tray and cover in seram wrap, and freeze a few hours, transfer to gallon plastic bags, and then pop a few yummy cubes out at each meal.

Just for the fun of it, I taste-tested jarred baby food (Beechnut Organic Sweet Potato) and my homemade sweet potato puree side by side, to see if I could really tell the difference. The jarred baby food was much too liquefied and untextured: the home-processed version leaves subtle variations and little fibers untouched which really enhances the meal. Also, tasting them side by side one after another like that revealed a horrible metallic flavor in the jarred kind. Logan tried the jarred bananas as well: horrible. They are a strange pink color and remind me of the pink slime we've heard so much about in the news lately. And that's one food I really don't understand buying pre-processed: its so easy and delicious to mash half a ripe banana with your fork. You don't even have to steam it! I will still use the jarred baby food when we are on vacation next month, and in a pinch of course, but since I have the time and the desire I see no reason why Logan should not feast primarily on fresh, organic ingredients until he can eat directly from our plates. Then it will be back to fat and preservatives for him because Ryan and I definitely are not healthy eaters (but I am slowly trying to change that too.)