Tuesday, January 29, 2008
My father always had a garden growing - and in Florida, there were about three full seasons for planting - and I love love LOVE fresh fruits and vegetables!!! I'd choose to munch cut-up raw veggies over candy or chips any time! But, who has the time? Ok, I know that you can buy buckets of tasty, ready-to-eat fruits in veggies in US supermarkets - in the produce section or take-away salad bars - more expensive, but very handy... but I don't have that here. Before I quit to stay home, we had time to throw a quick dinner together after work (20 minutes or less please), get the kids homeworked, bathed, etc. then to bed - and then collapse until our bedtime so we could get up and do it all again the next day.
Now, instead of a once weekly shopping trip to the commissary, I can hike over to the local street market and browse the greengrocers, bakers, etc. I hope to find a good butcher too. I also have the time to scrub/soak the veggies, and do all the prep work needed to have dinner ingredients and veggie snacks in the fridge - ready and waiting to be grabbed in an instant.
I am sure I will still need some cooked or canned goods, but the fresh stuff is such a luxury! Honor was able to take carrot sticks as a snack to school today... I never really had time to put such good stuff in the kids' lunches before! (they pack snacks actually, they buy hot lunches). Even Brian, who is meat-and-potatoes like his Dad, had to admit that the fresh stuff tasted and even smelled better than the frozen or canned - and much better than the 'fresh' produce the commissary brings in from overseas - he did add that even though it seemed very nice, I didn't need to serve it all in one meal!
I brought the batch above in yesterday (all for about $10 - no doubt 'foreigner pricing, but cheaper and better than the commissary!) and cooked up a Humble Pie with some of the ingredients. (I substituted croissants for the bisquits; seasoned the beef with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, oregano, and red wine; used mexican cheese blend; and Chicken Corn Chowder) The artichokes went well with that dish.