Alison the author here! I am going to start with tonight and go from here. There will be jumping back and forth between past and present but this is going to be where I chronicle my adventures with food and my family and the food I feed my family.
Maybe some background on me for a real start. I grew up in home kitchens, both of my Grandmothers were wonderful cooks and knew secrets and tips that one has to pay for these days. My Mom made the best from scratch chicken enchiladas and marinara sauce that a home chef could make. In the days before fancy seasonings and trendy methods I learned the basics of cooking, tomato sauce, beef stroganoff, stir-fry, chicken cordon bleu, basically all those dishes from the 70’s and 80’s cookbooks. My Grandmothers both had cookbook collections but I never once saw them use one, its like they just knew.
Now a days I don’t have any Grandparents left but I do have a mother-in-law who is a caterer, an aunt who loves to cook and access to food network and the cooking channel. I pride myself on being good at making food, there are a few dishes that I can make that rival anything you could get in a fancy restaurant and if I try something out that we like I am fairly capable at recreating it.
Enough about all that, let’s talk about my people. I have a husband and a mostly grown daughter, she is in college and sort of lives with us, as much as any young adult lives with their parents before they move out all the way. I went thru all the little kid eating struggles that every parent goes thru, there was the only sweet potatoes as an infant that turned her orange, there was the corndog only phase, the mac-n-cheese only phase, the I hate peanut butter phase, when we got to the chicken is ok phase I began to lie and tell her all the meat was chicken and this went on for years until she was 9 or 10 and started to notice the differences in the raw meat! Thankfully by that time she was much more open to real food and I could begin to repeal all of the chicken lies. Also around the chicken is ok phase everyone was tired of catering to her kid pallet and started making her try things, especially the previously mentioned MIL. Of course this backfired on us a bit, our 10 year old loved scallops, bleu cheese, crab, prime rib and asparagus. Fancy tastes for a kid. This made meal times easier but more expensive so I decided to figure out how to shop and turn things into more than one meal, I went back to those Grandmothers for tips and tricks that I hadn’t really understood as a kid, I went to my best friend who has 7 kids with questions about what I could freeze and what is better to not, basically I used my resources and now have the ability to feed the 3 of us on about 75 dollars a week. Some weeks are less because of good sales, some weeks are more because we are in the mood for super fancy or the budget allows.
Now it’s time for the super personal bit. I was always thin growing up but it was just genetics and not really a big deal, I loved food and ate just about everything that was put in front of me and then I got pregnant and all things mouth changed. I developed some food issues that I still struggle with 18 years later, these days its called ARFID and I don’t have much control over it. I have developed ways to cope and keep eating all the things I love but sometimes I will make a meal for the peeps and not be able to eat a bite. I also have swallowing issues caused by reflux, an ulcer and fibromyalgia all of which have tolerance issues and “diet plans” for mitigating symptoms but I have found that cutting back on processed things has helped, we don’t eat much that comes from packages or that comes pre-made. I don’t do organic or non gmo, I do get halal meat when I can find it just because I like the idea of it not because I am religious. I don’t buy meat from Mexico or most farm raised fish. I am a fan of the farmers market and the natural grocery store where I work but I’m not extremist about it but I do like to support small farms and local business which is why I hit the farmers market and am going to join the local co-op!
This is going to be my chronicle of food and family. I will talk about shopping on a budget, I will share the tips and tricks I have learned, I will share some of my favorite recipes and some old family recipes and some new recipes, I will talk about my new smoker and the love hate relationship I have with her, I just want to share my journey because I don’t think I am alone in wanting to eat good food that can be cooked with my own hands and wanting to stay on budget and imagining myself being on Chopped.
I welcome you to join us on our adventures!