Sunday, February 28, 2010

Everything in here is Homegrown!


Today was cold drab and dreary and such conditions call for something warm simmering from the crockpot. Though it wasn't ready as fast as it could have been (she who shall remain nameless) neglected to turn the pot on hi (oops). We were able to skim our way around the potaotes and dive in.

There was enough that we were able to dine on this meal a second time (no one complained, they were all starving after basketball practice tonight) it dawned on me that everything, yes EVERYTHING in this pot came from our place. The round steak is homegrown Nebraska beef, raised at the Johnston ranch, the potatoes, onions beans, corn, carrots tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes were harvested from last year's garden as was the super secret ingredient which really gave this one pot meal its "kick".............rosemary! I have to toot my own horn here a little (a feat I generally try to avoid)! Only in the past 5 years have I become more of an experimental cook, venturing into the realm of herbs, spices and other natural sources of taste and flavor. My "weeds", as my famly refers to them are delightful to grow and harvest. There is nothing better for me than plucking and smelling fresh rosemary, mint and basil...........yum. Last fall I harvested and dried several. Even now, months later, in the dead of winter, the smell of summer and all her memories come are here to greet me. Rosemary is summer and all of its abundance to me.

One of the projects that I am working toward is becoming more self-sustaining. I don't alway hit the mark, in fact I have a long way to go. I fall prey to convenience and speed, which often translates to unnecessary waste. For example, the plastic liner on the crock pot, while saving clean up time, is not a healthy or an environmentally friendly choice. Crossing that one off the grocery list for next time.

I have to say that while it is cold outside, my heart is greatly warmed tonight. There's something really satisfying about being able to grow, harvest and create delicious meals at home. I have my sights set on additions to this long term plan. I am hoping that little peeps will arrive soon so we'll have farm fresh eggs and by May, we will be enjoying fresh goat milk (and cheese). I can't tell you how pumped I am for that. Small steps. I am celebrating smalls steps this night. I'll grab my knitting, sip a cup of hot tea and snuggle down with my little furball. Life is good, life is really good when you take the time to savor every bit!

Robyn's Rosemary Veggie Beef Strew:
random cuts of meat, around two pounds cut into bite sized pieces
onions roughly chopped
green beans 2 cups
sweet corn 2 cups
shredded carrots
quart of tomato juice
handful of rosemary
dash of cilantro

Funny, I used to not think I could cook anything if I didn't have exact measurements. Chad and I once visited a friends house and he gave me a bad time about measuring the water for mac n cheese out of a box (true story). I see that I am becoming one of those "old timey cooks" that I used to look up to............or I've gotten more bold and brave in my late 30's!
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