Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meal planning

We’re trying to learn to eat more seasonally as part of transitioning into growing as much of our own food as we can. My gardening skills aren’t very good, to say the least. We generally succeed at a tomatoes, and last year we had a bumper crop of turnips, but everything else we plant usually fails for one reason or another, but it’s spring and there’s always hope. So I’m still thinking that some day we’ll be able to grow more stuff (and even if we don’t we’re trying to buy more from local farmers), and when we do that we’ll need to be used to eating what’s available in the garden.

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There’s a cook book I’d love to get some day: Simply in Season. That website posts a new recipe each week — this week’s is spring greens salad, and the page includes recipes for five different dressings. That’s a site worth bookmarking.

Another helpful site is Eat the Seasons, which lists what’s in season each month and has links to several recipes.

Checking out those lists on occasion gives me fresh ideas for meals. I’ve been in an awful rut lately, owing, I think, to the way we’ve changed what we eat. Up until the last couple of years I always planned meals around a chunk of meat (plus had occasional meatless meals) but with trying to raise our own meat or buy it locally, that just doesn’t work out since we only have meat available a couple times a week.

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Speaking of planning meals around a chunk of meat — a neighbor had more ducks than he wanted so he gave us a couple of young males last month that we’ve been saving for Easter dinner. They’ll be butchered this afternoon and I’m going to marinate them in lemon juice till it’s time to prepare them. I’ll be roasting them, so I can do all the prep on Saturday then turn on the roaster before leaving for church Sunday. For the rest of the meal, I took my cues from the list at Eat the Seasons and checked my cookbooks for recipes.

Here’s the tentative menu:

* Avocado Grapefruit Salad (from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions — sliced avocados and grapefruit sections served on a bed of lettuce, topped with homemade dressing and green onions)
* Roast Duck with bacon-rice stuffing and giblet gravy (from Good Housekeeping’s All-American Cookbook)
* Asparagus with sesame seeds (also from Nourishing Traditions — sauteed in olive oil then baked with shallots, served with a squeeze of lemon juice)

What kind of wine would be best with that?

Elai is going to make a chocolate mousse for dessert.

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What are you eating this month?

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