Thursday, February 22, 2007

What’s for Dinner: A New Experiment

I signed up for weekly delivery from Planet Organics.

I will give you a moment to get over your shock.

Yeah, I know. This is a huge departure for me, not only in terms of ranting and raving about saving money on groceries, but I think my skepticism around ‘organic’ produce is pretty well documented.

But there’s a couple things that have been bothering me lately. First of all, the produce I’ve been getting this year? Yuck. I mean, nasty. I mean, gross. Apples rotting literally overnight in the fruit bowl. Bananas that weren’t even suitable for making bread. Broccoli with no flavor. The list, believe me, goes on.

It got me thinking about what was actually in season around here…and right now? The answer is precious little.

We shouldn’t be having plums right now – and they certainly shouldn’t be on sale! They’re being flown in from Gosh Knows Where and it is scant wonder they’re turning to mush before I can even get them home from the supermarket!!

One of the selling points of Planet Organics for me, therefore, was their emphasis on local things.

They ain’t got no plums right now, which is as it should be.

Also, we have not been eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables around here. I haven’t been buying them, I haven’t been cooking them, and I feel we could all benefit from it. I figure having them just sort of turn up on the doorstep each week will be a huge step forward in the fruit-and-vegetative-process around here.

Another thing is that I’ve never really given organics a real chance to prove themselves to me. I’ve had ‘an’ organic apple and said, “Nope! Doesn’t taste any different to me!” and gone on my way.

But I haven’t deliberately sought them out again and again, in a variety of forms, and eaten them for any period of time.

I’ve heard they taste better. The Organic Faithful insist they do. They will fight to the death over this.

So, OK. I’ll give them a real try. For a few weeks at least, I’ll have regular deliveries of organic produce, try it out, and see if I note a real difference.

And finally…I figure it will be something of an “Iron Chef Light” for me.

For perfect example, our first box arrived today. (The apples are, in fact, delicious; and the carrots? Holy Carp, people, I can’t stay out of them – there will be no carrots for the vegetable soup if I don’t get a little @*^&@ self control, here!) (The bananas are good, too, which is a bit miraculous because the bananas I’ve gotten at the supermarkets around here this year have been UCKY EXTREME.)

In this box, other than the apples, bananas and carrots I have been pigging out on (ahem), were the following gems: Black Spanish radishes, and Rapini

Uuuuuuuuuh, hmm.

Being the 'sharing' type, I thought I'd share the trials and tribulations as they came along.

So. Here it is, my dinner plans through next Thursday (which is ludicrously sparse seeing as how I’m about ONE HOUR from leaving until Sunday night WOO HOO WOO HOO!!!!!):

Tonight: Pork Roast with Brussel ‘I don’t wanna hear anything more outta you about it’ Sprouts (easy-peasy recipe: Take the a lean pork roast, rub it with celery salt, pepper, and ground cumin and put it in the crock pot; drape with bacon; dump in the sprouts and dot with butter if you want, let cook while you do other things and then eat it)

Friday: Pizza (just a guess, as I’m not here)

Saturday: Pizza (see comment for Friday)

Sunday: Piz-Oh, hi, honey, you’re home, heh heh, I was just whumping up a nice healthy dinner for the kids!

Monday: Spicy Stir-Fried Rapini with Lemon-Basil Tofu. Blast from my own (top secret) vegetarian past right here, people. I love this kind of food. (My children will undoubtedly be calling CPS after I’ve gone to bed, however…)

Tuesday: Yet More Torture in the Form of Vegetable Soup. I’ve got some chicken stock I made from chicken bits the other day, and some beautiful broccoli, black Spanish radishes, carrots, onion, garlic and even some beautiful fresh tomatoes which, if they don’t get eaten by my greedy-for-tomatoes husband over the weekend, will need to go into something like a soup to still be edible. It won’t need a whole lot of time to cook, and I’ll probably top it with some fresh chive dumplings.

Wednesday: Thank God For Roast Chicken, Canned Corn and Mashed Potatoes At Last, We Were Afraid We Would Never Get Real Food Again

I'm picking up four gallons of milk, a thing of tofu, some garlic, chose to add some mushrooms for the soup to make ABSOLUTELY SURE the children won't eat any of it, some lunch meats, tortillas and some frozen pizzas because I know full darned well that my husband is going to order it in if I don't, bringing our total outlay for groceries this week to $108.

I already had the pork and chicken on hand, and will be baking all the bread from scratch.

And, I may have to run out for an emergency bunch of carrots if I don't quit freakin' eating these right out of the bag...oooooh, but they are gooooooood...


Anonymous said...

Wow! They sure are expensive, though, aren't they? Most of those things are about 5 times as much as they cost here. I wouldn't mind paying a slight markup from the megamart, say double, but 5X seems a little steep. How are their prices compared to _your_ grocery store?

Mother of Chaos said...

They are about double what I'd pay for non-organic at my local supermarket on most things; roughly the same for the organic selections. There are a few things where I look at their price and go, "HUHN?!" (like, their asparagus - twelve bucks a pound?! C'mon, now, let's not be crazy here...does it come with its own Mercedes or something?!) (and, does *anybody* actually pay $12 a pound for their asparagus?! Because it's usually more like $2-3 a pound around here, with occasional gusts to $4. But TWELVE?!).

However, I have to say...and this is VERY early results...but I do have to say ('admit' is probably the word I'm looking for) that the produce we just got was miles better than what I've been getting at Safeway lately. And Safeway is our "best" local produce supermarket.

RM Kahn said...

Can I come and eat at your house?