Daily Bread

In my post  last week, I told several stories about the Greenes and food.  All those stories were extraordinary food experiences.  Like in every household the day-to-day and the celebratory aren’t quite the same thing.  We are a household of two and the two of us have such different food requirements that we rarely eat the same food as each other at any given meal.

I am a lifelong, born and raised, lacto-ovo vegetarian.  Lacto = milk and ovo = eggs.  This means I eat animal products including all dairy, eggs, and honey, but I do not eat any actual animals.  I do not eat any poultry, pork, beef, lamb, seafood, or insects.

Chris, on the other hand, is a dedicated carnivore, though he rarely eats any meat other than poultry.  He eats very little dairy and limits (but does not entirely exclude) how much gluten he eats.

Due to our disparate food choices, in the many years we’ve been together, I have rarely cooked dinner for both of us to sit down and eat that meal.  Instead, I tend to cook for the freezer.    I will cook a meal for one or the other of us, package and label it, and put it into the freezer.  I will often spend a day or afternoon cooking multiple meals and filling the freezer.  When we want to eat, we either take one of my homemade dinners out of the freezer and heat it up, or we make ourselves a quick meal, like a sandwich.

This is a fairly empty freezer for us!  The freezer is a 14 cubic foot freestanding model.  Our refrigerator is an 18 cubic foot unit with no built-in freezer.

The combination of our unusual daily needs and our history of regular entertaining impacts the way we approach shopping for food.  Over the years I’ve developed a significant pantry.  I’m usually shopping to replenish the pantry or for fresh foods.  We shop at Costco rather more than might be expected from a two-person household.  We go to the local grocery store only for a very few items, most of which aren’t available at Costco in a quantity that we can reasonably use.  Since we love foods from a wide variety of cuisines, I also visit stores that carry specialty ingredients of those cuisines, as needed.  I order spices online because I can get a wider variety, at a better price, and excellent quality than from any one local source.

I strongly believe that cooking from scratch is the least expensive option overall, that the quality of homemade food is better than prepared foods, that homemade food is more delicious than prepared foods, and that meeting our dietary requirements is easier when cooking at home than when we purchase foods prepared either at a restaurant or at the grocery store.  Due to the craziness of our lives over the last several years, I’ve been cooking less than I’d like.  Getting back to cooking more is one of our highest priorities.

Over the next several weeks, I will be writing a series of posts going into more detail on our approach to food.  I’ll reveal the details of our pantry, share what we’re cooking, and talk about the cost of food.  I plan to publish these posts weekly, on Mondays.  Stay tuned!