Posts Tagged With: food

Americans are wasteful even at the Farmers Market

Today was another eye-opening experience at the farmers market. I am lucky to live in a community where we have at least 4 farmers markets within about a 12 mile area. I live in a small town of a zip code population of about 4,000 people and the neighboring town may have a zip code population that is double that. So together we may have about 12,000 with 4 farmers markets. We live in an agriculturally diverse area and many families also grow large gardens to can or freeze their own healthy foods. So farm fresh food is not hard to find here but today I learned that we as Americans are still looking at food in a non-realistic, non-healthy way.

Cody, Christopher and Paige Powers picking tomatoes and peppers in the garden

Cody, Christopher and Paige Powers picking tomatoes and peppers in the garden

I am getting ready to put up about 7 quarts of home-made spaghetti sauce and spent the morning talking to an older woman who worked the farm market stand. We of course talked about what I was making and what was real fresh and what they were short on. So after several minutes she headed out to the cooler to box up my order, as I bagged up the rest of my items. When she returned and I payed for 23 pounds of tomatoes and 5 pounds of peppers. She asked me if I might be  interested in the of tomatoes sitting on the counter. The box was about 5 pounds of over ripe, soft or damaged tomatoes. She said “no one wants these, they are not perfect. If you take them they are free.” Well of course I wanted them, why wouldn’t I, an over ripe tomato is the best tomato of all. I went on to explain that they looked pretty good to me and that I would just juice them when I got home. She felt better and I was over joyed to have another 5 pounds of tomatoes to take home.

Harvest Basket in the garden 2014

Harvest Basket in the garden 2014

Then on my way home it hit me. Why in the world would she say that unless she had thrown out many items from their stand. Tossed away food that was totally edible but not PERFECT. Why in this day and age would some one throw away food that could feed a needy family or a homeless person? Why are Americans so trained to think that a blemish is not normal or common? I felt offended at the thought that we are so wasteful. That we are not able to think about real food in an honest way. Fresh from the garden food is not perfect if you are realistic. It is only a farmer who sprays his crops with pesticides that never gets bug damage. It is only the tomato that is half-ripe and processed with chlorine that looks red but is hard and perfect looking at the Big  Box Store. It is only on a store shelf where food color is added  to tomato juice to make it red. Why are we eating like this?

As I drove, I got madder and madder. I thought about the millions of children who only see their food on the shelf at Fred Myers, King Supers or the Piggly Wiggly.  They will never see  green beans and peas growing on a vine or carrots are dug up from underground. Some will never know that their french fries are under that bushy plant and are dug up before being fried to a crispy treat. We are raising food ignorant children. We are raising people who have no real idea what fresh from the garden food looks like or tastes like. What a shame that our country has the most money and is the most disconnected from our food.

So when I got home I washed the box full of  blemished tomatoes. I cut away a few spots and pulled out a stem or two and did this.

free tomatoes ready to be made into juice

free tomatoes ready for juicing

I juiced the tomatoes and made about 1 gallon of fresh juice that my family can make into chili, a soup stock, a V-8 drink  or a marinade for a tough deer stake. I am sure I will freeze some as soon as I get a couple of freezer containers. I will use most of it fresh with in a couple of days. I am thinking that a deer roast with peppers, onions, tomatoes in the slow cooker sounds good. I am proud that I have used what others would have thrown out. I have saved my family money with free food and I have saved my child from eating processed food once again.

1 gallon fresh tomato juice  for free.

1 gallon fresh tomato juice for free.

When will American’s learn to look at food and its usefulness in less wasteful way? Was my grandmother crazy when she said,” Waste Not, Want Not.” I hope that slowly I am teaching my children that food does not need to look perfect to taste wonderful. That we can still use a deformed carrot in stew and make jam out of over ripe fruit. That we are able to live closer to the land because we understand that nothing in this life is perfect, but what God provides for us is perfectly made for our use. Amen!

Categories: Chili, cooking, country cooking, family health, gardening, health, Homestead, organic foods, regional food, soup, steak with peppers, Tomatoes, Uncategorized, venison | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Five Random In Door Facts Friday

When ever I have time I love blog hopping with Nancy Claeys,

“A Rural Journal”    five facts friday.http://www.nancyclaeys.com/blog

 Today I am a home body with a Virus. Yea, just when the weather is nice I can’t go out side… so here are my                 five indoor facts friday.

1. I love to take photos of old buildings and while my husband is working hard on customers horses, I am always looking around to take photos on their farms or near by property. Today while inside I am going to learn some more creative editing tools from Nancy’s pages.

snowy hunting shack

snowy hunting shack

2.  Another of my favorite  indoor activities is baking.I can cook, but find that making cakes, pies, muffins and cookies is much more satisfying for me.  Today I will be lucky to make toast… but you get the idea.

old fahion stack cake.. appircote and orange

old fashion stack cake.. apricots and orange

3. Another favorite in-door activity is going to my local library for a monthly book club meeting.. I wish I had more to read these days but joining with other people who like to read has kept me  motivated. I also love this building and it is a pleasure to see it all the time.

Louise Bennett Memorial Library

Louise Bennett Memorial Library

4. I also love to have company and visit with friends … we do an open door sunday dinner almost every weekend where any one who is free can stop by and eat. So times that means just a couple and sometimes that means ten… love it!

Grandbaby Paige and I making dinner for the crrew

Grandbaby Paige and I making dinner for the crew

5. But my favorite in-door or out-door activity is spending time with my best friend Natalie…

love spending time with my best friend Natalie

love spending time with my best friend Natalie

 
http://www.nancyclaeys.com/blog

Categories: cakes and family deserts, family fun, Five Facts Friday, Friendship, Louis Bennett Library, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Best Egg Free Cake Ever….Grandma Powers Apple Sauce Cake

   With every passing holiday my family asks me to make the same cake, Apples Sauce Cake. Grandma Powers  received this receipt back in the 70’s from a family friend. Over the years the cakes recipe is one of the few things that passes from generation to generation in our family. The cake will easily feed about 10 in normal slices but when my son and husband get together it disappears in chunks. I recently made the cake for my sons 22 birthday and took it with us to Kentucky. The cake got stored for a couple of days in a hotel refrigerator during our stay and remained  moist and flavorful. This is one of the few cakes that I have ever made from scratch that does not us eggs or oil,so for those with allergies this is a nice desert that is egg free.

Cooling apple sauce cake

Cooling apple sauce cake

The frist thing that you may notice about this cake is that it is very large, it fills an angel food cake pan almost to the top, so keep this in mind. It also fits nicely into two buttered loaf pans. I make this size in the winter and give the other cake away as a gift.

Set oven to 350 degrees and butter what ever pan you are going to use for the cake.

Apple Sauce Cake

3 cups sugar

5 cups flour

2 sticks butter at room temperature for easy melting

24 oz. of cinnamon apple sauce… 1 quart home make sauce is equal to 24 oz.

3 teaspoons fresh baking soda ( added to hot apple sauce)

1 teaspoon all spice, cloves, nutmeg

1 tablespoon cinnamon

12 oz or two cups raisins

1 cup nuts … we use pecans

Mix together flour, sugar, spices, placing butter on top of  other ingredients . This will help the hot apple sauce melt the butter into the cake batter.

room temp butter on top of cake mix

room temp butter on top of cake mix

    In a small sauce pan put 24 oz of apple sauce, heat until sauce begins to bubble at a low simmer, at this point  turn off heat and add all three teaspoons of  backing soda and mix untill foamy.  Pour hot sauce over dry mix and butter and beat until well mixed.

foaming apple sauce

foaming apple sauce

Hot apple sauce with Baking Soda added

Hot apple sauce with Baking Soda added

                      Add nuts and raisins  at this point and mix well again. Pour batter into pan that is on top of a cookie sheet to prevent any spill, as angel food cake pans are two-part pans and sometimes leak batter.

apple sauce cake in pan

apple sauce cake in pan

Be prepared for the cake to take at least two hours to cook and maybe a few more minutes. The first hours bake the cake at 350 degrees and the second hour lowered the temperature to 250 degrees. Always test this cake with a knife or skewer, the outside will appear done while the inside will be raw. I have never seen this cake burn on the outside as the inside continues to cook the crust just gets a deeper dark brown. Cool for a couple of hours with outside ring removed and serve.

http://katherinescorner.com/sharing in Kathrinescorner.coms blog hop every thursday

Categories: apple sauce, cakes and family deserts, Kentucky | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

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