House poor but well fed


Owning a house is expensive, especially when you start with no furniture. So we've been keeping ourselves on a tight budget, rarely eating out, and being extra conscientious about how we spend our grocery money. It's turned out to be easier than we would have thought, because our home is near quite a bit of farm land and where there are farms, there are farm stands.

Every Sunday, we pack into the car, find another little road to travel and pick up fresh tomatoes, zucchini, corn, garlic, onions, carrots, apples, eggs and anything else that looks fresh and delicious. During our drives we've even found vineyards and an alpaca farm. All of this and we live just 15 minutes from downtown Portland. We even found a u-pick farm with everything from cantaloupes to brussels sprouts. What a life.

As we adapt to less take-out and more stay-in, I'm trying to flex my rudimentary cooking skills and take full advantage of our stocked veggie drawer.

Things I like to cook and eat
1. Fried Zucchini, 2. Sweet corn is sweet, 3. Blueberry crisp, 4. Slow grilled tomatoes - after, 5. Braised Chicken, 6. Braised Short Ribs with Tomatoes
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Click the individual picture names for the recipes.

I'll be sad when the farm stands close down for the winter, and we have to go back to getting our produce at the grocery store, but in the mean time, we're having a great time finding new farms and coming up with filling and healthy meals to prepare.


Good food is priceless. You can always sit on bean bags made out of yarn!

Fresh local produce is so much tastier.
What you've made looks delicious!

Sounds and looks like you've moved into a wonderful part of the world.

Have you ever thought of getting a big freezer? Then you could freeze the goodies that are in season now and enjoy throughout the winter. Just a thought for next year.

I don't usually think of short ribs in the summer or early fall, but that dish looks great. Portland is an awesome food town!

There is nothing like fresh local produce. Even the organic stuff from Whole Foods is not as good. I have, however, been enjoying some incredibly tasty organic peaches from WF - Michigan grown, I think. I never seem to be able to get out to the Farmer's Market while there is still parking available (Oak Park is a very urban town with the Farmer's Market in an area with very little parking which actually describes most of the town.) You certainly are a very skilled food stylist! Those photos look good enough to eat. The corn pic reminds me of an interview I saw years ago with Katharine Hepburn. She said that the absolute best flavor from corn & peas is when you pick it & eat it immediately (right there next to the plant - no cooking just eat it raw.) I tried it one year with the few peas we managed to grow in our backyard & she was right - they were fantastic. Her explanation was that the natural sugar starts to turn to starch as soon as they are picked. So you only get maximum sweetness (& no starch) if you eat right off the plant.

One's first house is a wonderful experience - sometimes hard but wonderful .... that being said I'm ready for a doggy post ... have they fallen into neglectdom because of the house? I hope not are they ?

That's why you are supposed to buy a little extra and can it! Or buy an extra fridge for the garage and freeze stuff.

oooh, those are some good eats. looks like you are not suffering for staying in. all sorts of perks in home buying.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Marnie published on September 28, 2009 5:08 AM.

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