One of the things I hear most often when I preach, ahem, talk about how I eat, is "oh, I don't have time for that." To which I always want to respond that more accurately, they don't want to devote the time to that.
As an excuse for feeding your family food that is nutritionally suspect if not actively unhealthy, it's a bad one. It's not how much time you have, it's what you do with it. People often use the excuse that cooking "cuts into family time," as though family time must be consumption oriented in the worst sense-- trips to shopping malls, or theme parks, or even cultural activities, where you leave your home and part of the point is to spend money (I believe we're supposed to call it "stimulate the economy). Family time can also be spending the day, like I did today, in the kitchen with your kids, your friends, your siblings, your spouse, prepping food for the week or the season.
And yes, it takes a lot of time. I started this morning at 8 a.m. and I'm not quite done (still have soup to make). I have washed 6 sinkloads of dishes (we don't have a dishwasher). I have washed every pot I own at least twice. I'm exhausted. But my daughter went home with a quart of tomato sauce and a pint of hummos. Last week my son got tomato sauce, pickles, corn relish, and candied winter melon. I prepped 15 pounds of food for the food pantry. I've got three dozen muffins which will last this small family nearly a month (I froze two dozen for later, saving more hours for that elusive "family time").
I've been doing this every Sunday for more than a month. But I have a freezer full of food that looks to get me through the winter. I won't need to cut into "family time" in January to go to the grocery store, and I'll generate almost no trash, meaning less trekking to the alley with garbage when it's 20 below.
So before I share the recipe, here's what I did today:
Cornbread with fruit purees
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
3/4 cup unbleached wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. autumn spice of choice (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, clove, etc.)
3/4 cup maple syrup (for apple) or 3/4 cup honey (for pumpkin or pear)
1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup apple, pear, or pumpkin puree
1/4 cup butter (melted)
Sift together all dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, applesauce and melted margarine. Mix until dry ingredients are well moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Bake in greased 8 inch square pan or muffin tin, in 425 degree F oven 18-23 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 3 dozen muffins.
3 hours ago