Friday, January 30

Money, Honey, and Rutabagas?

So, last week I purchased a "companion" to More-With-Less, Simply in Season. This cookbook promotes environmentalism in the kitchen. The idea is that we can save a lot of energy by eating foods that are locally grown, and grown in environmentally-friendly ways. This means "voting with our dollars" and buying foods that come out of the ground /naturally/ at any given time of the year. The cookbook is divided into five parts - Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and All-Seasons - and gives recipes that focus on produce that is available at that time of year.

I found the recipe I'd try first, and got the veggies during my Win-Co trip this week. I wanted to make "roasted winter veggies," and I bought two small beets, a rutabaga (which my grandmother used to make often, but which I haven't had since), a sweet potato, carrots, and an acorn squash. I also added in a potato, but we had those at home already.

I was shocked to discover that these veggies were 20-30% of what other, "out of season" veggies cost! Now, I haven't been cooking for myself long, but I bet that there are people who have who STILL missed this memo. So, let me say this again: SO CHEAP!

I roasted these lovely winter veggies, and they were SO GOOD. Seriously, they have driven me to use all caps to express my love. I have never eaten beets before, and I was pleasantly surprised. I think that cooking in-season will force me to widen my horizons, as counter-intuitive as that may seem.


I also purchased honey at Win-Co for future breadmaking. I found it amusing because the bulk containers were wooden and said, "Do not lift lid, or bees will escape." Wow.

The honey was quite expensive, but cheap compared to the cutsie teddy bear containers. I think that the extra expense is worth it because it doesn't have processed sugar. I had to put it in a plastic container that they provided, but I will take mine back when I need to refill.


I made chocolate chip cookies yesterday, and they were the best I've ever made (I think). I mixed whole wheat and regular flours, and I actually only used 70% of the sugar that the recipe called for. I am going to continue to reduce the amount of sugar until I find out what the like..."bare minimum" that I can stand is. : P


Also, I have other news. I knew, coming home, that recycling would be harder because we live out in the country and they don't collect recycling this far out. I also didn't know whether Jan would be receptive to me collecting things in our house to recycle.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. I cleaned out the utility room simply because it needed cleaning, but in the process found room to put some boxes for collecting recycling. I called our center to find out what they collect, and once a week I have been taking the stuff down to the "transfer station," from which the City will collect recycling. The transfer station is actually only a couple of miles from my house, and I can take stuff down there on the weekends.

We can "downcycle" all sorts of plastic tubs (butter, sour cream), jars (coffee) and bottles. We can recycle cardboard (corrugated and not), and mixed paper. The transfer station also takes magazines, phonebooks, and glossy paper, but I'm not sure how much of this actually gets recycled. I know that the best way to go is to not buy things in plastic in the first place, but I really appreciate that we can downcycle what we can.

It's kind of nice to have my aunt constantly asking me what can be recycled, because it has been a learning experience for both of us.

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