To me it is important to serve healthy homemade meals to my family… I try to avoid as much as possible anything processed when doing my groceries at the regular big markets like “Stop & Shop”, and “Shaws”, and so on. I did buy my produce during the Summer months at my neighborhood’s park Farmer’s Market, but when Summer was over, so was the market, and I went back to do all the shopping at the big commercial markets. But in the back of my mind was always this Murmuration that I could be doing things much better.
What’s in the “fresh” meats, milks and produce we consume? …to whom is my hard-earned money going to? Can I produce less garbage weekly when I shop and cook our foods?
It specially bothers me every time I pan-fry or grill any meats. The way it reacts to the heat is very different from what I remembered when I lived in Portugal… too many juices squirt out of the meat as if it never belonged there.
When I went to visit Azores – Portugal, last month, on our second day at Sao Jorge Island we went groceries shopping, and of course, I bought some meats. When it was time to cook the pork chops… it was wonderful! No squirting! … Just very gently sweating, and slowly caramelizing… just Beautiful, and Yummy, and Perfect as should always be! This was the moment I realized that after living in the United States for about thirteen years I should’ve had figured out this problem a long time ago… and I would do so as soon I returned to the States.
And here I am! I want to be more mindful of these issues and take gradual small steps to their improvement.
Therefor, my post is about a few small steps I took today towards a more honest approach to meal preparation…and garbage “production”.
First, I inquired through facebook’s farmers/homesteaders private groups what products and at what farms were available in my area during the Winter months. The response was outstanding. Many hardworking farmers proudly explained their inventory. I had no clue!! For some reason, I imagined that farmers “hibernate” during New England’s rough Winter’s months. I was so very wrong!
So today, with snow on the ground and winds that felt like sub-zero temperatures, I grabbed my fabric bags and went to two of the closest farms: One is a Dairy Farm, and the other is a Grass-Fed Beef Farm. To avoid a very long post I’ll focus on the dairy farm this time.
Between milk, cheeses and butter, dairy must be one of our most consumed daily foods.
At the Arruda’s Dairy Farm I did my shopping. No receipt and no plastic bags… just the plastic jugs that will be picked up by recycle on Tuesday morning.
I also went to Savers, our local Thrift Store, and found some vintage glass milk bottles…because everything tastes better in glass, and at nighty-nine cents a bottle, you can’t go wrong.
As the girl at the register prepared to wrap individually each bottle and bag it, I said “No wrapping and bagging, please”. And again, no receipt. I left the store just like that, carrying my four glass bottles… no “problemo”!!
Oh, what a delicious milk. And with the heavy cream, took me thirty minutes to whip up some homemade fresh butter.
I use a lot of butter… and this one came wrap-free, and package-free, and BST-free (hormone).
…Tried it on a toast…
…and cooked some pancakes with it…
…a bit more butter, please…
…I lost count how many times I used that butter today! 🙂 Very happy, I must say!