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Conflicting food philosophy

February 17, 2012

I am a plus size girl and weight has been a constant companion of mine for a long time.  I have had some success in losing it and some times when I am not successful.  My most two recent successes involved weight watchers and working with a trainer/nutritionist.  One thing that dominated those successes was my eating of a) easy frozen meals with a set number of calories or b) high protein/high veggie diets.

I found that these plans didn’t sit right with my soul.  I believe in real whole food made from scratch.  I believe that eating more like my grandparents did is better than eating something that came out of a box.  I think that meat should come from animals you raise or at the very least from a farmer you know and I think more than 5 ingredients in any food you buy is bad.
Those believes don’t work well when your weight watchers diet consists of smart ones or your trainer wants you to eat 9ox of lean protein a day but all you raised was chicken and pigs.  The trainers plan becomes a little unwieldy when you don’t believe in buying chicken breasts from the grocery store.

So my weight is up again and I am not happy, not feeling good about myself.  To be fair to myself (as we all should) I have not been able to exercise for the past three weeks due to some back issue and that is playing on my self-esteem and my weight.  But even with exercise I have to be honest and say I have gained weight.

How did my grandmother do it!  I can recognize that back then my Gramma didn’t have a desk job so she worked her butt off during the day, worked hard enough that counting calories wasn’t an issue.  I have a desk job – 2 in fact – even at the height of my running (oh how I have missed you!) it wouldn’t have matched the work she did.  And they also ate off of 9″ plates, which is an upcoming post.

I can also recognize that society has a different marker for aesthetics and fitness than we did 60 years ago.

And I recognize that healthy can mean something different to everyone.  But even with all of that I am struggling; struggling to figure out how to eat local/seasons/traditional – something that feels so right in my soul while being able to be at a healthier weight.

The “right” plan is the plan that is right for me but I want both.  I want seasonal local eating in a state where 6 months out of the year root vegetables dominate your life and to be a size 10 (dream big people!).
I just haven’t figured out the plan yet.

Summer 2012

February 13, 2012

Matt is finishing up his work at L.L.Bean and this semi-nice weather has me thinking about the upcoming growing season.   What are we going to grow?
Pigs, turkey and chickens are on the list again for this year.  Matt has found them surprisingly easy and for the yield they are a good choice.  The vegetable garden is a different matter.  We struggle with that.  Matt usually is on his own during the summer between my wedding photography business and my web work I don’t have as much time to pitch in.  And it seems that vegetables aren’t quite his thing.  I think we could do better if I got involved but in the summer my priorities are weddings.

We have an abundance of local farms who do a great job with vegetables and a twice weekly farmers market so access to fresh local vegetables in the summer is not an issue.  But there are things I want to grow in bulk for canning purposes (canned tomatoes! pickles!) but I think paring down the list this year will be a good idea – let’s go narrow and deep instead of wide and shallow with our vegetables.

Here is my current short list:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers (trellised to take up less space)
  • Eggplants
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Cantaloupe
  • Summer Squash (only 1)
  • Onions (so easy!)
  • Corn
  • Peas

 

love from the farmette,

audra

Winter Projects

January 6, 2012

Things are SUPER QUIET here on the farm.  No veggies, no animals, no snow…..  This is the time of year we take on some projects that allow us to hibernate a bit and be productive.  For me hibernating means lots of TV shows on DVD and sewing.   Since I am fairly certain my sisters do not read this blog I thought I would post about the quilts I am working on.  I started this project in 2004.  The final quilt is made up of 12 squares that I hand stitch, one for each month of the year and then I quilt them together.  I started it and then moved into a house I spent the next 5 years renovating – crafting as a whole took a back seat so I lost track of this project.  I am pulling it out this winter and starting again, this time with a better plan.  I am working in batches of tasks so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming to be making 4 quilts this winter:)

Stacks of linen and quilt filling ready to be sewn.

I am already into July but when I took this picture a week ago I was working on May.

Happy hibernating!

xo,

audra

Localvore? Vegetarian? I don’t think there is a word for us….

November 21, 2011

Matt and I sent the pigs to the butcher last weekend.  It was a solemn and strange experience for us.  I remember buying local pigs when I was a child but that was years ago and Matt has never been quite this close to his food source.

And that got me thinking… what are we now?

We certainly aren’t vegetarians because we eat meat.

We aren’t omnivores because Matt will only eat the meat that we raise, he won’t even eat the local farmer’s meat. I think that means we aren’t localvores either?

Not herbavores or vegans or ….

I am not saying we have to have a label, but it makes it easier than explaining why Matt is eating a vegetarian entree when just last week he had a B.L.T.

So what are we?

xo,

the farmers wife

One Year Ago….

November 19, 2011

Today is our One Year Anniversary!

Matt and I are away for the weekend enjoying friends company and the sweet amenities at SkiEsta! We spent the three days after our wedding snug in this house with family and friends last year. We had an awesome time, Matt says it was the best weekend of his life:) We have been looking forward to this trip to shut down and enjoy each other as we reflect on our life today and what one year means to us. While I am away I thought I would post the video of Matt and I exchanging our vows! I loved my wedding and secretly (not so secretly) wish I could do it over:)

Our First Year raising pigs

November 17, 2011

This weekend we sent the pigs off to the butcher.  I have mentioned here and in conversations with friends that I don’t post lots of pictures of animals that we raise for meat for the same reason I don’t take pictures of my groceries.  I do it out of reverence for what we are trying to do here at Sinclair Acres.

In direct contrast to that I also think that posts and pictures and discussions opens up the topic for a wider group of people.  Friends and family often make inquires about the “farmette” and the level of discourse about food is heightened in our circle.  Even beyond our typical circle as people at work in quire about the farmette as well.

I am also a storyteller, a personal historian.  It would not be me at all to not document some of Sunday, show in pictures the final work we did on this journey.  So that is what this post is, documentation of a little bit of our life so we can share this with others and keep the conversation about respectful and sustainable living going.

These were the pigs when we got them in May.

These are where they ended up.  They were both between 350 and 375 lbs

 

 

To borrow a phrase from Stacy at Broadturn Farm

Blessings on the meal,

audra

The Cookbooks

November 4, 2011

Matt and I are trying to grow and raise most of our own food.  An expected result of this has been my approach to the age old question “What’s for dinner?”.  Pre-farmette I would think of what I wanted for dinner and then buy the ingrediants for that dish and make it!  Now when I think of what to make for dinner I head to the cupboard and see what I have.  Instead of making what I want I make what I have available to me – I look through the cupboard and put a meal together.

This approach has been a pretty radical change and very different than our culture of having what we want at the moment we want it.

I have found my cookbooks to be invaluable when it comes to this.  Sometimes there are things in the cupboard I have never cooked before and I have no idea where to start.  My go-to’s are Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything cookbooks. I owe some of my greatest meals to him!

Our turn toward simpler food living has also sent me into Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book from the 50’s.  A seminal classic this cookbooks has yielded some of the most delicious cakes I have ever tasted.  And who knew that Ice Coffee was not only a beverage in the 50’s but it was a special drink for certain events!  I love to open this book on a Sunday and make a yummy treat to go with desert that evening.

When I purchased 1/2 a pig this past March from Broadturn Farm I was surprised when I opened the bag and found two pigs feet as part of the package.  I have not yet done anything with them and I knew I was going to need a special cookbook to figure out what to do with ALL of the pig!  This is where Fergus Henderson’s The Whole Beast comes in.  The cookbook ” hark back to a strong rural tradition of delicious thrift” – in other words making use of ALL of the pig.  This cookbook will be my go-to when the pigs come back from the butcher this fall and I have more pig trotters than I know what to do with.

How did I come across that book you ask?  Well it was recommended by Sam Hayward the chef at Fore Street, and if there is anything I love on this earth is Fore Street (and L.L.Bean and Jeep’s:))

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