Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday total

It's actually Sunday when I'm doing it this week! I feel like a total champion today because I completed another goal this morning: I finished the last assignment for my class. That means that I can relax over the Thanksgiving holiday and not think about how much I have left to do. When I get home, I'll review the material and take the final. Whew!
The last chapter was sort of driving me crazy, though, since it was about food safety and associated illnesses. Instructions for proper handling of food make it seem like we're all going to be imminently poisoned by our food, and unless you read them with a grain of salt (tee-hee!) you'd wonder why we're not all dead. One recommendation is to wash everything between raw foods. As in, if you chop an onion on a cutting board you'd then have to wash your hands, the knife, and the cutting board before then chopping a zucchini. The only safe way to cook is to super-clean everything. And never, ever use wood because it can trap diseases. So alarmist. And no food is safe. Food you cook at home is contaminated by you and your unsafe cooking practices, while food at restaurants is contaminated by the very nature of having so many people around. We're all going to die from food poisoning.
You know what it did make me realize, though? Since Shane and I started eating healthier, organic, and local foods we haven't gotten food poisoning at all. Living on campus I would get mildly ill on a regular basis, and there were two different years when I had to pack up the majority of Shane's stuff to move out of the dorms because he'd gotten severe food poisoning. We just haven't gotten sick off our local/homegrown foods, and we haven't had to worry about nationwide recalls.
Finishing the class also gives me time for actual reading. I've had free time, but instead of reading I've been watching the previous seasons of "Bones" since I've been saving the books I have for after my classwork was finished. When I'm done with this I'm going to pull out "Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women" by Harriet Reisen (a birthday present--my birthday's in the spring, so I've been holding onto this for a while) and I'm ridiculously excited to dig in. I'll probably re-read "Little Women" when I'm done, too. Just for fun.
Our grocery total for this week was $80. I'm impressed with how consistently under-budget we've been getting. Of course, one of my cousins put it all into perspective for me. On Facebook she mentioned being able to get two dozen large sweet potatoes for $3. And here I'd thought I got an amazing deal yesterday by finding them for only $.99/lb. (And I actually got to use a coupon! I had one for $2 off any fresh produce. Usually coupons only work for heavily processed foods so I rarely use them.)
The one thing I'm disappointed by is that all of the food was purchased at either Safeway or Fred Meyer. We didn't really need any meat so I didn't have to go to Homegrown, and the local milk is also sold at Fred Meyer so I didn't go to the AK Feed Co. Honestly, I just wanted to drive as little as possible in this weather. Especially considering what a process it is to start the truck at -30: plug in the block heater for at least three hours before even thinking about turning the ignition. Try the ignition, realize that the steering column is frozen and I'm not strong enough to turn it all the way. Roust Shane out of bed and into the cold to start the truck. Let it idle for about ten minutes so things start to warm up. Pray that I'll be able to start it on my own at the grocery store, and make it a quick trip so it's less likely to freeze solid again. Sounds fun, right? And people wonder why I walk.
Tonight's dinner: pulled pork sandwiches (made in our Crockpot, of course!) and baked sweet potato fries.
Excuse me, I have a book to lose myself in.

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