Our 2012 food goals.
January 23, 2012

Over the past several weeks, Donald and I have had plenty of time to reflect on our food and homestead goals for 2012.  This is what we’ve come up with:
    1.  We want to make time for a few u-picks with Charlotte, particularly cherries in spring, berries in summer, and apples/pears in autumn.
    2.  We are slowly cutting back on meat and replacing what meat we do eat with organic, locally and humanely-produced meats.  We are also hoping to engage Charlotte in this process where it involves poultry we raise.
    3.  We make green smoothies a few times a week (great way to get vegetables Charlotte isn’t crazy about into her diet).  I would really like to streamline this process.
    4.  A few times a year Donald and I buy a bag of chips or chocolate candies and watch a movie.  We don’t really eat processed foods and most of our snacks are things like roasted nuts or home-made fruit leather, so we’re keeping the treats we do have…but we do want them to be fair trade.
    5.  We want to cut back on food waste, so we need to grow more of our own food (we’re making raised beds to span 1/4-acre of our property this year to this end) and to make meal plans we stick to.
    6.  We have two important garden spaces this year.  The first is the herb garden: we want to halve the number of herbs we buy.  And the second is the vertical salad garden: we want to grow enough lettuces and mixed greens to have salads without relying on the grocery.
    7.  Damn it, if it’s the last thing I do I am going to grow enough tomatoes to keep us in sauce, salsa, paste, and fresh eating all year long.
    8.  I might actually try ginger in something outside of a ginger snap this year.  We’ll see.  Don’t hold your breath.  And Donald might actually try a mushroom this year.  Don’t hold your breath for that either.
    9.  We want to have people over for dinner more often.  We say this all the time and it’s high time we made it happen.  Also: cousins.  My goal last year was to get together with my cousins more often and I mega-failed.  I would like to try to redeem myself there.
    10.  Right now I bring glassware filled with healthy food choices for Charlotte to about 90% of gatherings with family or friends.  And although I think that ensuring that she has a diet free of preservatives and pesticides is important for her developing body, I also think it’s important that Charlotte not be isolated from her peers by her psycho mother.  So.  I need to just learn to let go a bit.  A little cake laden with high fructose corn syrup twice a year isn’t going to kill the kid, after all.
    11.  Write about food more frequently here, including recipes and what our meal plans look like and what we do to ensure that Charlotte has a healthy diet and how our veggies are growing.  I wish I’d done this more over the past year because right now this blog is the only garden journal I have and it’s very much lacking.


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  1. By Clare on January 23, 2012

    One of my favorite smoothies is apple juice, cinnamon, banana and fresh ginger.  I mean, if you are sneaking veggies, maybe you can sneak ginger too.

  2. By on January 23, 2012

    Sarah, what do you put in your smoothies?

    Also, do you like Asian food? I’m trying to imagine a stir fry without ginger and I’m failing. I love ginger in stir fry or fried rice.

  3. By missjoules on January 23, 2012

    I also hate ginger. Just sayin’. If you’ve got to hate on something, you’ve made a good choice :)

  4. By Sarah Christensen on January 23, 2012

    Jessica - Anything!

    Usually a banana, a couple cups of water, some berries or another fruit (sometimes a citrus juice), a handful or two of greens (spinach, arugula, kale, whatever), carrots, and whatever else seems like it would taste good.  This week we’re experimenting with brocolli.

    We do it because Charlotte won’t really eat leaves.  When I give her lettuces, she just sucks on them and then spits them out.  Someone suggested smoothies and it turned out to be a really great way to get different veggies and greens into Charlotte without any problems.  I’ve been thinking about adding flax in too but haven’t done it yet.

  5. By Jessika on January 23, 2012

    I love the thought of eating seasonally. We really try, though I must admit that I cannot cut out fresh tomatoes in the winter and spring (even though the storebought ones don’t taste like tomato). Still, there’s something that just is RIGHT about doing it or eating food you’ve put away from earlier in the year. It’s such a deep connection to your world.

  6. By Sara Millet on January 23, 2012

    I’m especially excited about #11!!!  Loved the veggie lasagna link!

  7. By Lindsay on January 23, 2012

    Going to U-Picks is one of my favorite things to do with my son. I absolutely love going to pick the organic fruits and veggies that he eats. We also recently planted our first tomatoes—I’m nervous to see how it goes!

    Also, my son is only 7 months old but re: #10—I’m going to need to learn this, too! Easier said than done, right?

  8. By Sara on January 23, 2012

    Sarah - these sound like many of our food goals for the year! I’m looking forward to u-pick farms, there seem to be a TON near us now! And we love green smoothies - best way to incorporate leafy greens (although, I do feel like I’m cheating a bit!) And I’m looking forward to your #11 - I love your recipes! Can you post some of your bread ones?

  9. By Catherine on January 23, 2012

    These are great goals.  We’re working hard to do a lot more streamlining with our food as well.  Reading other people’s goals keep me inspired!!

  10. By Sarah Christensen on January 23, 2012

    Sara, I’m making rosemary bread in the next couple days so I’ll post that recipe soon.

    Hopefully this weekend we’ll make some sandwich bread too.  Fingers crossed!  That’s Donald’s realm of expertise.

  11. By Sarah Christensen on January 23, 2012

    Also, Sara, I feel like I’m cheating too a little bit - but I figure if the smoothies accustom her to the flavors a bit then maybe she’ll be more willing to eat salad later?

    I can always dream, right?

    We also make green eggs now.  Instead of chopping up the herbs and spinach to mix with the eggs, Donald blends them with water and beats them in so the eggs are actually green.  It tastes fine but is super creepy lol.

  12. By on January 23, 2012

    I used to mix pursed spinach into our Charlotte’s eggs too. I call it eggs florentine. :)

    She recently started eating salad with us. It took her a while to figure out what to do with the leafy stuff. She also eats garlicky sautéed spinach now. I serve it a lot with spaghetti or lemon-caper chicken or pork.

  13. By on January 23, 2012

    Pureed, not pursed. Stupid iPad.

  14. By on January 23, 2012

    Great goals. We had a fabulous herb/ veggie garden at our old house. We are hoping to build some raised beds this year and start planning out some new gardens. We love ginger and always have a nob in the freezer so we can easily zest off a bit into our meals.

  15. By Monica on January 23, 2012

    Love your food goals. I never thought of making goals like that - you’ve inspired me to do so. Thank you!

  16. By on January 23, 2012

    LOVE this! You are such an inspiration. I am a registered dietitian with a 17 month and totally bring her healthy good choices wherever we go too! We have had to go with the flow on some of the things she gets at daycare even though it drives me nuts (cupcakes?!). My daughter is also very picky about most veggies, so maybe someday I can try spinach in smoothies. She doesn’t like liquidy things these days. We have successfully sneaked pureed squash or pumpkin into pancake batter. Just 1/3 to 1/2 cup and they taste exactly the same and just a slight hint of orange.  Do you bake your own bread too? We can’t find a store brand bread we like so have been making bread twice a month. It’s not too bad with my Kitchen Aid mixer.  I am going to LOVE to read about your gardening and cooking adventures!

  17. By Alicia S. on January 24, 2012

    I am doing that green egg trick! Seriously, that is genius. So is the pumpkin pancake batter. :-)

    I USED to feel like smoothies were cheating, but that was before my kid grew into a preschooler who utterly refused to eat any vegetables at all one day, totally out of the blue. I’m talking: AT ALL. It’s not just veggies he refuses either, he’s a picky eater all the way around—even though he ate all that stuff as a toddler *pretty* well. (We used to tell him broccoli florets were trees and that he was a great big herbivorous saurapod, eating them! Doesn’t work any more…)

    I refused to smoothies for a long time because I was so bound and determined to get him accustomed to eating veggies, and enjoying them, whole - so that he’d be able to eat them out at restaurants and things like that too. Total failure.

    It got to the point where he would get himself so worked up over having to take a bite of just a plain vegetable that by the time it reached his lips, he was literally, physically gagging. And I realized that forcing him to eat it that way was only going to turn him off from them even more. So I had to do something.

    I think that whatever way you can accustom kids to the taste of foods to start, the better. I think with Scarlett, (who I already give smoothies to) I’ll really play up the fact that ‘this is what goes into that orange smoothie that you love so much!’ if she starts refusing veggies later on like her brother did.

  18. By on February 04, 2012

    1. We love u-picks around here. There are 3-5 local farms that we can pick from with a variety of berries, pumpkins, apples, peaches, you name it. Jude has come to love it. I always feel guilty at the end and feel like I need to throw them a couple more bucks because my child eats more than half of what he picks.
    2. We did this slowly over the past year to year-and-a-half. After reading ‘eating animals’ I got the drive to go vegetarian, which lasted about 9 months before summer hit and grilling season went full swing… since then, we’ve just been making better decisions about where our meat comes from. If nothing else dabbling in vegetarianism was enough to prove that we could cut back on meat significantly and this afford the transition to better meat.
    6. Every year I have done a garden, I start my seeds in-doors before the warm weather come around… one of the seeds I’m typically most excited to plant is basil. EVERY year it dies shortly after I put it out side (a fluke freeze, hasn’t taken root very well and gets washed out in a heavy rain… whatever). I without a doubt want to have a successful herb garden from seeds this year… more specifically grow fresh basil from seeds.
    7. Don’t get me started on tomatoes

    This year I am determined to have an amazing garden.


    Best of Luck! I look forward to reading more about it.

  19. By Juni on August 11, 2015

    Great goals, inspire me.


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