Thoughts For Jet Lag Thursday

Just arrived home on Tuesday afternoon from a 2.5 week-trip to the States with my family – flew standby on military aircraft. This is free travel, but wildly unpredictable and logistically difficult. Jet lag is heavy upon us.

"Over It"

What am I cooking?

No fancy picture here, but we will be having chicken stir-fry. I love to tap into the Hoisin Sauce in my fridge drawer, and stretch a few chicken breasts with lots of veggies. We will be including a zucchini and some green beans we grew ourselves – so that is exciting.

What am I reading?

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Barbara Kingsolver. This lady got to take her family to a farmhouse and live for a year only on local produce and other fruits of the land. This is my dream.  Also, I devour books of this ilk – a la Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s  Dilemma and Wendell Berry’s The Unsettling of America. I want my children to know where there food comes from and to appreciate high-quality, nutritious ingredients.

What are my weekend plans?

Unpacking, barf.

What are my prayer intentions for the day?

For all the new attendees we had at a monthly meeting of the Catholic Women’s Group I chair at our Army chapel here in Germany. We had ladies from all walks of life and all need prayer for some sincere intentions.

What can my children do instead of watching TV?

I am not going to really stress this one too much until at least a week after being home. Thank you very much.
What is one product that is making my life a little easier?

Baby Food Mill!!!! It was the one thing I failed to pack on the trip and my 10-month old nearly starved as a result.
What am I grateful for?

My health and youth. Being in Europe.
What have I done for my marriage this week?

Woken up at 0800 (0200 for my body) to brew husband coffee and make lunch. Also, cut his hair back to military standards.
What’s challenging me lately?

The prospect of my husband taking a job that will have even more intense hours than those he already puts in.

Something that made me think?

Visiting extended family up and down the Eastern Coast made me appreciate the value of the virtue of hospitality. Furthermore, I was reminded that the size of one’s home and the measure of the inhabitants’ hospitality are not necessarily related.

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  • Mary Alice

    Great stuff, AWOL, thanks for sharing. I have liked some of Kinsolver’s novels, so I am curious about that book, but I have some concerns about thinking too hard about my food right now. My brother told me some really horrible things about chickens and now I am going to probably switch to fairly raised eggs, which will cost a bundle. Is it wrong that I would rather stay ignorant? I’d love to hear more from you on this topic at some point.nnI would also recommend Deep Economy, which makes us think about the sources of all of our stuff and our relationship to retail and community, sort of like Michael Pollan for your life outside the kitchen.

  • KT

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle changed my life. Not only is it a thoughtful reflection on food, where it comes from and its appreciation it is a beautiful narrative. Her reflection on watching her daughter, “how lucky the world to receive this grateful child” brought me to tears.nI HIGHLY recommend the movie Food, Inc. if you haven’t already seen it. I have found that making the switch the farmer’s market produce, eggs and dairy has helped us to shop more frugally and only buy what we truly need. I know it’s much harder with more children but I have been making our purchases last a lot longer because they’re so precious! Also, joining a CSA is a great idea if you have the cash to put up front. It also solves the problem that was previously discussed of having food delivered to your home! I do agree that ignorance is bliss when you know it will cost you more money and time, I just can’t stand how far we have gone in this country to get our food. If we are truly called to be stewards of the earth we have dropped the ball on this one. Food, Inc is a very hopeful and evenly balanced movie. It ends with a simple statement on how you can seek change and it’s not a website you can visit to donate money.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, that picture is hilarious! So great to hear what’s going on in your life AWOL!nnMaryAlice, on the food front, I think it is important not to live in ignorance, but also not to get so crazy about eating a certain way that you separate yourself from your family, friends, and culture. Your brother is single and has way more time and only himself to feed, so it is easier for him to be more vigilant with his food choices. I know many people who are so rabid about their eating that it is hard to feed them, socialize with them, and they make others uncomfortable (I’m not saying your brother is like this, but in most cases these individuals have very little else to do with their time other than worry about their food intake!). I once heard a Michael Pollen talk where a single woman in the audience asked him about how he would handle a dinner invite where the food served didn’t meet his standards! He laughed and let her know that being polite was more important than eating farm fresh eggs. haha!nnI always talk about the 80/20 rule, and I really think that this rule is important with food (unless of course you will go into allergic shock from eating a certain food!) But seriously, maybe start off by replacing one dozen eggs with farm fresh eggs each week, then slowly move toward eating all farm fresh eggs. In my case, I can get farm fresh eggs from a local farm for only $2.50 per dozen (and sometimes $3.00 per dozen), but regular eggs from the supermarket cost $1.99, so the switch only costs me $2.00-$4.00 per week. I do, however, have to make an extra farm co-op pick-up during the week. Of all my food changes, the eggs seem a lower cost switch. With meat, I buy all my ground beef from a local farm at the farmers market, and we rarely eat steaks or more expensive cuts. When we do eat those pricier items, I don’t stress as much about where I buy it, because it isn’t a regular item on my list and I just can’t afford to buy grass fed organic strip steaks! I try to purchase organic or farm fresh when I’m eating higher on the food chain (meat, eggs, dairy), and buy fresh veggies whenever possible, but you do need to be chill about it, and think 80/20, not 95/5.

  • That photo is priceless!

  • Anonymous

    What a good wife you are; that is adorable!nnGlad you’re back in Europe. I knew something was missing for the last 2.5 weeks.

  • Kerry Haslam

    the recipe for pizza dough from that book has been my standard for over a year now!!! 🙂