Friday, July 4, 2008

I Ask You...Do We Look 'Granola'?

I don't know. Maybe we do. Though we clean up nicely, we do tend to be the non-conforming type. Hubby has only ever cut his hair short during his time in the USMC, and I am letting my hair go gray, much to the consternation of my former stylist. I guess you could say we're a teeny bit 'granola.'

We shop at the local co-op for our produce and meats, and when the budget permits, we do all of our shopping there. Things have gotten quite expensive, though, and as we're also feeding Andre the Giant (I mean - The Boy), we are trying to be budget-conscious. Therefore, I took advantage of a sale on boneless/skinless chicken breasts at our local supermarket. $1.99 a pound, which was really, really good. I bought a huge pack and divided it all up to freeze into meal-sized portions.

Last night I threw a cup of basmati rice, a little olive oil, and two cups of water into a baking dish. I put in two very plump chicken breasts and baked the whole thing at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. There was an extra chicken breast, so I simply baked that in a separate pan. It was that chicken breast that we ate, leaving the rest for The Boy and for leftovers. I used the seasoning sparingly, particularly because we don't care for much (if any) salt in our food. I used some fresh ground pepper, a little garlic powder, and a sprinkle of seasoned salt (just a sprinkle for color and a little taste).

I mean to tell you that the chicken had a very salty flavor and an odd texture. I guess I'm used to the chicken I get from the co-op. No antibiotics, no hormones, no additives. This chicken last night tasted as though it had been pumped up with saline. The texture reminded me a little of veal (which I refuse to eat, now that I'm "grown up"). Something wasn't right with the chicken. Suddenly I felt ill just from having consumed it. I fed most of what was left of my 1/2 chicken breast to the pups. They didn't seem to mind it a bit. The thought of factory chicken got into my head, and I was left feeling pretty gross for the rest of the night. I kept thinking I should have just had a salad and the broccoli. I kept thinking that maybe I should go back to being a vegetarian.

But I'm one of those people who didn't do well on a vegetarian diet. I got fatter and didn't feel well at all, no matter how much protein in the form of tofu and beans I consumed. I could be mostly vegetarian, though. And certainly I won't be buying any more non-organic meat. Despite the high cost of food, I'll be going back to the co-op for my meats. I like for my meat to have the true flavor it should have and the correct texture. Otherwise...well, I might as well give it up.

Hubby talked last night about finally clearing out a spot in the garage for a freezer. That way we can freeze summer fruits and vegetables and can stock up on meat during "owner days" at the co-op and from the local butcher shop. Yay!

So are we granola? I don't think so. We don't have dreads. We bathe regularly. We wear appropriate attire for whatever occasion, even a funeral. We're not yet into "green burials." I suppose we're just a couple who wants what our parents had: good, wholesome food that is unadulterated by modern factory farming practices. Is that too much to ask?

Peace - D


Don Mills Diva said...

Not too much to ask at all. My father is an avid hunter and fisherman and I feel so lucky that we get to eat so much fresh-caught bass all summer and venison all winter...

Daryl said...

I am 99% vegetarian ... I only eat fish .. I cut back on tofu when I heard that soy isnt all its supposed to be .. lots of salads, no nuts .. lots of fruit and green veggies and couscous mixed into the salad .. otherwise I dont eat bread if I can help it .. rice not pasta ..

Anyway .. I understand completely how you felt .. ick .. and you look great both of you .. granola .. too funny ..


Maggie May said...

OOHHH! I'm almost veggie. I don't like to think too much about chickens & unfortunately I don't like it to look too much like chicken! I don't eat any other red meat!

Momma said...

DMD - You are definitely lucky. In the summers when I was a girl, I would go fishing with my brothers on the family farm "back home." They would also bring in at least one deer a summer. Shame that we can't get decent food now.

Daryl - Somehow I knew that about you. I heard the same thing about soy, too, so I cut back. I have rice milk on my cereal, because I'm lactose intolerant. I only have soy milk in my coffee if we get a Starbucks treat. I do like tofu, but I cut back on all soy after I started reading the articles about it. Funny enough, tofu is one of the "okay" soy foods because it is fermented.

Maggie - I think I'd be 100% veggie if I had to kill my own food. I'm too soft-hearted for all the slashing and such. eeeee-yuk!

Peace - D

Jay said...

I am so with you on factory farmed chicken - we call it battery produced. The hens have about ten square inches to live in, with only wire underfoot and no daylight. No kind of life.

I gave up buying battery eggs and battery chicken years ago. Because we couldn't afford free-range or organic, that meant I didn't eat chicken at all for a long while, but now that we can, I buy what my friends teasingly call 'Happy Chicken' exclusively.

While we were away on holiday recently, I ate two meals of chicken, which I'm fairly sure was neither free range nor organic, because I have a number of food allergies and it was all that was on the menu that was 'safe'. It tasted spongey and - as you say - salty, and unhealthy. After one such meal, I was physically sick.

Things are improving, but not fast enough. It's a miserable existence for the birds, and really, really not good for us.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

It drives me nuts that we put so much crap in our food and then wonder why cancer rates are high, why our daughters are having their periods at age 8 and why people are so violent and filled with rage. It's all the friggin' chemicals.

You guys aren't granola... just careful and concerned with your health. Good for you! (And? I like the hair!)

SandyCarlson said...

Granola is a great term, one I will now use to describe what we've become. It's scary what has become acceptable in farming. I'm a vegetarian, but I know that doesn't mean I live free of bizarre farming practices.

Let's be the Granola Generation and give 'em a run for it! Good luck with the freezer.

jenniferw said...

I adore chicken. I buy the 3-lb. bags of flash-frozen skinless tenderloins from Kroger (not $1.99 anymore, but close) and cook them in a heavy skillet with olive oil, butter, and creole seasoning, until they are tender and slightly carmelized. I "chunk" these into my massive colorful crunchy salads and top it all with raspberry vinaigrette! It's sinfully delicious. I love veggies but I'd be a failure at vegetarianism.

You're not granola.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

I laughed at this: "We don't have dreads. We bathe regularly".

I notice the difference in the taste and texture of chicken whenever we go to Cuba. You see chickens running around everywhere in the countryside, getting the sun, pecking away on the the chicken I eat there is thus much more 'natural' tasting. I have never bought organic, due to the high cost, but after reading this post, I am starting to wonder if the chicken I eat and buy is just wrong for me, and my family. It does bother me about how the chickens live. I recently read about the different kinds of eggs, and I am willing to pay a dollar or two more per carton so that the eggs are produced by happy chickens who have room to live and ruffle their feathers. I'm trying to find a nearby place that sells such eggs.

Momma said...

Jay - Yes, things are improving in that as consumers we are driving the market. If we buy organic, we force the farming industry to go that way. If we demand healthier eggs from healthier chickens, they have to provide them (knowing we're willing to pay a little more).

CMGD - So glad you like the hair! To me, most days it just looks like I'm going blond. And yes, people wonder why we are dealing with antibiotic-resistant strains of pneumonia, staph, etc.? It isn't just because people are misusing the products. It's because farmers use the stuff prophylacticcally to make up for their bad practices that result in sick and unusable or dead livestock.

Sandy - Embrace your granola-ism! Good for you for being able to be vegetarian. I gave it a 3 year try and just had to make some changes to get my health back on track. For some reason it didn't work for me.

JenniferW - Thanks for visiting my blog. Your recipe sounds delectable! Hope you'll drop in again soon. We mid-lifers have to stick together.

Lavinia - Find it and find a way to afford it. Cheap isn't the best way to go when it comes to food. I'm sure there are farms nearby where you live. There are a few here where you can go and just buy eggs straight from them (cheaper than "regular" eggs at the grocery). Consider it a scavenger hunt! :-)

Peace - D