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Saturday, January 26, 2008

A good reason to Buy Local

I have a young friend at the church who is allergic to dairy. His name is Patrick and he is in first grade. He is a good kid and a pretty good sport about things. I have started using Earth Balance in some of my baking so he can have something to snack on. (I have also learned what common kid snacks have dairy in them or not. I can report that Nilla wafers are safe for the Sunday school.) I also passed along the Lenten Chocolate Cake recipe to his folks.

When I was chatting with his mom at a Christmas party, I got good news: Patrick is only allergic to *cow* milk.

So he can eat goat cheese and yogurt and other good things like that. They are regular customers at the Redwood Hills Farms booth at the Berkeley Farmer's Market.

Hearing about Redwood Farm's generosity to my friend Patrick inspired me to visit the stall when I was finally well enough to get to the market today. I bought some feta (I'm making pizza for the annual meeting and if Paddy shows up I want him to be able to eat some) and a yogurt, just to try it out.

And you know what? When he heard I was a Friend of Patrick, he gave me an extra goat yogurt ... for Patrick.

Isn't that great!?! Support your local farmer's market!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I'm trying to get back more in the blogging habit in 2008, so expect more regular updates.

I've got the monster sinus thing that seems to be running around, so a lot of my diet recently has been Chicken Soup, Tea, and Toast. After I do some decluttering (I think I'm up for a short round of kitchen clean-up before the next meds-and-nap cycle), I might make my cross between minestrone and Italian wedding soup - chicken broth, meatballs, and lots of chopped chard with traditional minestrone veg. I get the low-sodium broth and the meatballs from Trader Joe's (and sometimes the chopped chard!) so it goes together in a flash. Of course it would be completely sublime if you have real chicken broth, but it's pretty good for Good Dinner Fast.

If I am still feeling good after the soup, I might try baking the spaghetti squash I got from Pedrick Produce in Dixon, where I like to stop for Valley-fresh, Valley-priced produce after visiting my parents. (Winter squash, and how to fix it in ways I like, was my big discovery of the fall of 2007.)

Trader Joe's also gets my gratitude for saving me the effort of putting together my tradtional New Year's Day eats with its Spanish lentil dish pre-made. I had the jambalaya-in-the-pouch with it and it had black-eyed peas, so I'm hoping that's double money ju-ju for 2008. (I need it!)

I have three major food goals for 2008:

- Get my "wasted food" level way the heck down.
- Keep up with "Strive for Five" (servings of produce)
- Eat more beans in an effort to both save money and lose weight. (I lost 20# on a "Bean soup for lunch" diet, and it's high time for me to do it again.)