Posts tagged ‘Connecticut’

Today I Lost My Whole Foods Virginity

Oddly enough, I have never been to a Whole Foods store before. I’ve lived in shopping distance from one for a long while, but I guess I just always assumed it was what I call “fake organic” or industrial organic and that everything in the store came from far off places instead of being local. Now there is one in Milford, which is on my way home from work. So tonight I thought I’d check it out. Actually, my main mission was to find some organic whole wheat flour for my ravioli making session this weekend. I entered the store a bit cynical of what I might find. As I walked around the produce section glancing at a plethora of fruit from Central America and vegetables from California I though I had confirmed my preconceived stereotype. I do, however, love that everything was labeled with its origin. I wish every market did this. Just as I was giving up on finding any product that lived up to my standards of local organic I stumbled across some fingerling  potatoes from Kent CT. Then there was lettuce and spinach from Long Island on the opposite wall. Hooray! I’m hoping that during the summer they stock more produce from Connecticut farms. My other purchases included Siggi’s Skyr, local organic chicken sausages, and I of course got some organic whole wheat flour. Overall a successful trip. Then upon leaving the Whole Foods parking lot within the first half mile I drove I passed a Boston Market, Subway, Krispy Kreme, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Panera, Hometown Buffet, Arby’s, and Starbucks. That makes one healthy choice and 13 unhealthy (and might I add cheaper) options. Food for thought.

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January 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm 2 comments

Brussels

This year I (unsuccessfully) tried to grow brussels sprouts. A friend gave me a few starter plants in May and I LOVE brussels so I was excited about the prospect of including them in my fall harvest. They kept growing all through the summer but never got really big. Then over the holiday I was reading one of my mom’s gardening books and discovered what I did wrong. Apparently once the brussels are about pea sized you’re supposed to snip off the top of the plant so the nutrients goes to the sprouts and not the growing stalk of the plant. So today I happen to be cleaning up after a NYE party and noticed that there were a few decent sized sprouts on them. I pulled two of them out of the ground and brought them in. Now normally if you have typical sized brussels sprouts you can just leave the whole plant like this hanging in your root cellar and pick them off as necessary throughout the winter. I, however, grew miniature brussels which only amounted to a few dinners worth so I pulled them all off. Because they’re so small I’m assuming they will be really bitter, but hopefully sauteing them for long enough in some butter and herbs should make them a bit more appetizing. I guess we’ll find out later tonight when I make them for dinner!

If you have any helpful tips for next year let me know!

January 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm 1 comment

Uh Oh…The Ground is Frozen

With tonight’s impending snow storm I thought today would be a good time to harvest the rest of the items in my vegetable garden that are not protected by the cold frame. I ended up with one green bell pepper, 3 lbs of carrots, a bunch of small leeks, and (hopefully) enough onions to survive the winter. Tomorrow I’m going to make some potato leek soup – YUM. I’ll probably cut up and freeze some of the carrots since I doubt we’ll eat them all before bouncing around from parent to parent’s house over the holidays. As for the onions, well first they have to dry and cure. This could take a while. Then I’ll keep them in our uninsulated  mud room which usually stays around 35 degrees F. This and keeping them in a ventilated, but dark bag should help slow the growing process and keep them through the next few months. (more…)

December 19, 2009 at 5:33 pm 3 comments

Miscellaneous Fish

So we went to Stop and Shop tonight for a few items and while looking around the seafood section (if you can even call it that) I found this. Miscellaneous Fish? Umm. Huh? Also note it’s a “Manager’s Special”. I know I talk a lot about knowing where your food comes from, but I never thought to mention it’s important to know what your food is. But hey, for only $2.10 I’m sure it’s a real deal!

December 14, 2009 at 12:57 am 2 comments

Edge of the Woods

So I just spent the last hour grocery shopping at Edge of the Woods in New Haven reading labels and trying to find some good local products. This market has a variety of local, organic, vegetarian, and gluten-free items. In the produce aisle they clearly display which veggies are organic and which are not as well as if they are local, USA grown, or grown in another country. Two Guys from Woodbridge sell some stuff in the organic section such as microgreens, sorrels, watercress, arugula, and my personal favorite red butterhead. One new products I found today is this organic pasta sauce.  I grew extra tomato plants this year thinking I would make and can my own sauce to last through the year, but the blight prevented that from happening. It comes from Rising Moon Organics in Dayville, CT. Their website says they have a corporate office in NJ, but I believe they make and ship the product out from CT. (more…)

December 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

Lets Talk Sugar….

Between all the Stevias, Truvias, Splendas, and Sun Crystals, it’s hard to find a good sugar to use these days. Having tried most of these I was still disappointed. All I wanted was some pure sugar cane! How hard could that be to find?! While I did finally find what I was looking for, first I’d like to explain why I didn’t care for the other products. Stevia, which is basically a plant that grows sweet leaves, seems healthy and organic enough, however most of it comes from South America, Mexico, California, and Florida costing way too much fossil fuel and biodiesel to reach my home. It is possible to grow Stevia in your home, however unless you live in the above mentioned areas you will need grow lights to survive the colder months.  Truvia is a similar product taking its sweetness from the earth, but grown in another country and manufactured and packaged in Minnesota. Additionally, they state on their website that the leaves used in making this product are not organically grown. Remember, “natural” DOES NOT mean “organic”. It’s the marketing executive’s way of manipulating you. (more…)

December 5, 2009 at 8:38 pm Leave a comment

The Perfect Meal – Organic Surf & Turf

An email I wrote to my mother back in September….

“i just got my first delivery from CT Farm Fresh Express today. i think i told you about it…this lady goes to organic farms all over CT and delivers food for you. anyway, i made a great dinner for b****** and i tonight – all organic, all local. a salad of green butterhead lettuce and microgreens (two guys from from woodbridge – hydroponically grown), garbanzo beans (from this cool farm in northern ct run by Buddhist monks, i also got some tofu handmade by them), scallions, sourdough croutons i made myself, and organic salad dressing. ny strip from a grass fed, pasture grazed cow (no hormones/antibiotics) with a fresh herb rub (thyme, oregano, and rosemary from my garden), pan seared sea scallops caught off the cost of stonington (the ones i’m obsessed with…best scallops ever even though i make the stove dirty when i cook them), with a side of smashed parsnips mixed with sauted shallots, garlic, basil from my garden, and pine nuts. everything was 100% organic….even the olive oil i used to cook with. actually, the lemon is the only thing that might not be organic, but i’m looking in to buying a meyer lemon tree to keep inside so maybe soon i will have that too 🙂  i’ve been experimenting all summer cooking small stuff, but it was great to make this whole nice big meal from such healthy, fresh food!”

December 5, 2009 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

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