Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A New Way of Life

As smoke billowed from my oven, I thought back to my post at the beginning of May when I talked about wanting to be one of "those" people.  You know, the folks who are homesteaders, who grow their own vegetables, who sew their own clothes, who make all their own furniture and soap...  Actually, I'd be happy to be able to make my own bread from time to time and have a garden in my backyard.

When I went to the FPEA Homeschooling Convention in Orlando a few weeks ago, I attended a workshop about creating a cancer-free zone in our homes with our nutrition.  It really spoke to me.  After spending a week or so mulling over the information in my head and relating it to John, I decided it was time for a change.  The next time I went to the store I purchased organic fruit and veggies, hormone- and antibiotic-free milk and meat, wheat flour, unbleached white flour, a loaf of whole wheat bread, and some packets of yeast.  Making my own bread with unbleached flour is on the horizon but, for now, I will buy the bread.

Yesterday I went to a Whole Foods grocery store nearby and bought two full chickens for only $12.00.  That seemed like a great price for natural chicken with no antibiotics or hormones.  So, I came home and searched online for a great recipe and found Herb Roasted Whole Chicken on the Pioneer Woman blog.  They were first stuffed with onions and carrots, and then I placed a rub on them that had oil and herbs in it.  While my birds were cooking at 450 degrees F, I could hear popping and sizzling and then the smoke started to come out from behind the door of my oven and then the vents at the top.  I turned my microwave fan on to help, but I ended up having to put the chickens in my portable roaster to finish them.  I'm not sure what I did wrong, but now I need to clean my oven.  They look pretty, though, don't they?

I also purchased a bag of organic golden potatoes.  I waited too long to do anything really creative, so I  peeled and quartered them and then placed them in a pot of water to boil.  Once they were soft, I mashed them and tried to make cheater potato pancakes with them, but I added too much milk.  TIP: Pour just a tiny amount of milk and then mash.  Add more milk as needed.  Don't pour the milk into the potatoes like you might do with your cereal.  :-(

As we sat down to eat, I accounted for the appearance of the potatoes by stating I was experimenting with new foods and my own recipes.  Many blogs I had read recently encouraged trial and error.  I was succeeding in that department last night, although the chicken was very good.

There are five of us in our family, so we did not pick the chickens clean.  After dinner was over, I dug in and pulled all the meat I could find off the bones and placed it in a container for a later use.  It was a strangely satisfying endeavor.  Does that sound weird?

For my meal tonight, I used some of the leftover chicken to make stir fry.  I put some canola oil in a large skillet, threw in some of the shredded chicken, added cut-up broccoli and mushrooms (organic, of course), and some peas (I should have left these out).  Once these ingredients had cooked through, I poured in some Kikkoman Natural Stir Fry Sauce.  This was purchased before I went organic, but I was glad it was at least all natural.  It was delicious!  The only thing it lacked was cashews.

So, I am in a fun place and a better place right now.  I don't want to be one of "those" people.  I want to be me.  I feel like I am doing the right thing for me and my family even though it might come with a very dirty oven and a bit of smoke from time to time.  The fun is in the journey, right?