“A Bit More Butter, Please…”

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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”!!

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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…

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…and cooked some pancakes with it…

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…a bit more butter, please…

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…I lost count how many times I used that butter today! 🙂 Very happy, I must say!

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