I keep getting ads on my Facebook feed for various meal kit delivery services, which ship ingredients for meals right to your door. Aside from the fact that I live on a farm and am working hard on producing much of our own food, these services bother me for a number of reasons.
Buying meal ingredients such as vegetables, meats, and fruits from your local farmers is healthier, and you can source foods which are raised organically, humanely, free from nasties you don't want in your food, and you can bask in the glow of knowing you're supporting your neighbors. We're out there, and you can find us easily on Facebook, other social media, or via the Local Harvest website.
By buying locally you're reducing your carbon footprint, because your food doesn't have to be hauled for hundreds of miles by trucks which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions (don't get me wrong, I love my OTR trucker friends, but every small step can add up in a big way.)
These services really take the creativity out of planning and cooking your own meals. Meal planning can become a family activity, sit down and do it once a week and get your kids involved. Too many people, adults and children, really don't have any idea where their food comes from. Having it magically arrive in a box at your door removes you and your kids even more from the process and your local farmers.
These services are really harming farmers in your areas who do CSAs, Community Supported Agriculture. Your local small farmers need your support, and you need them! Do you really want all your food grown by huge monoculture factory farms, some in other countries? Many CSA's now include recipe suggestions for the food you purchase from them, and allow you to tailor your order to include or exclude things to fit your needs.
There's no way you're saving money with such services. They wouldn't be doing it if they didn't have a huge profit margin. Studies show that spending just $100 a year locally has a measurable benefit to your community.
So while these services sound really cool in theory, the bottom line is, not so much. Support your local small businesses, the farmers, the processors, the feed stores, the garden stores. It really does make a difference. And you'll love the food, I promise.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
Breeding poultry being one of the things we do here, we eat a lot of egg dishes. Heck, some days we have as many as 16 dozen eggs in the fridge! So we've learned to be creative with recipes that use a lot of eggs. Here are two of my favorites. They'll use a total of a dozen eggs; one uses 12 egg yolks, the other 12 egg whites.
Golden Sponge Cake
12 egg yolks
3 cups cake flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp lemon extract
1 cup cold water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift cake flour and sugar (separately) once before measuring.
- Sift together three times: flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In mixing bowl, beat egg yolks on high until very fluffy and thick.
- Gradually beat in sugar.
- Beat 2 more minutes on high and scrape bowl.
- Turn to #2 speed (low) and add vanilla, lemon extract, and cold water.
- Then gradually, but quickly add sifted flour mixture while beating on #2 speed, scrape bowl. Beat only enough to blend, about 2 minutes.
- Pour batter into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan.
- Bake 1 hour or until golden brown.
- Invert cake to cool.
- Loosen sides with spatula or knife and remove from pan.
I make the sponge cake first since the yolks don't have to be room temp.
Angel Food Cake
1 ½ cups egg whites brought to room temp
1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Sift powdered sugar and cake flour separately once, measure for correct amount and sift together four more times.
- Place egg whites in a large bowl, add salt, cream of tartar, vanilla, and almond extract.
- Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar 2 Tbsp at a time.
- Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, but not dry peaks.
- On lowest speed add powdered sugar and flour.
- Take off of mixer and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula folding over easy.
- Pour (spoon) into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan.
- With a knife or spatula, carefully cut through batter in circular motion 6 times to release large air bubbles.
- Bake at, on lowest rack in oven, for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Invert pan until cool. Loosen with spatula and remove from pan.