Not far from where I live, an empty lot is now a shiny new Burger King. It has happy little strings of flags hanging all throughout the parking lot. Happy signs that say “Now Open!” accompany posters of that creepy king guy smiling in his creepy mask. The parking lot has been full each time I have driven by.
There was a time in my life where I would have been tickled pink to see a new fast food restaurant pop up close by. I would probably rub my hands together in anticipation of what it was going to be, and make sure I dropped by as soon as it opened up. But that was when I weighed 35 pounds more than I do now. That’s when I didn’t really care what my food tastes like, just as long as I had it. I was a saturated fat/sodium/sugar addict, just waiting for my next fix.
I have just about given up on fast food altogether. I will NOT buy it when I’m by myself, and usually only get something once every two weeks or so when I’m stuck in the car with the whole family. The last few times have been either Chick-fil-a or Taco Bell. Although I like Chick-fil-a as a whole, I am beginning to taste how much sodium is in the chicken and it’s not as good now that I can taste it. Taco Bell… well, I have no excuses. But I can say that I only eat there once every two months or so, as my girls don’t like eating there.
I think I’m ready to give up fast food. This would be a little harder to do when traveling on vacations, but as far as day to day, it’s totally feasible. Just a little planning is all it takes. This pretty much goes for chain restaurants as well. I read the other day that we are getting a Cheddar’s in town soon. Just another chain restaurant, but I’m sure the parking lot will be packed for quite a while. I don’t really consider chain restaurants anything more than big fast food restaurants, as it is mostly all frozen food that comes out of a box with directions for preparation instead of a recipe. I want something a little more real. We don’t eat out a whole lot nowadays, but when we do, it’s usually a local restaurant for us. Much better food.
So instead of eating out… we eat at home. With just a little preparation and planning, it’s really not that hard to do.
Today, for instance, I made homemade buttermilk biscuits with fig preserves (that I canned), scrambled eggs, and bacon. Abby woke up earlier than her sister, so she got to be my biscuit cutter. We had a great time mixing everything up and talking at the kitchen counter, and as I put the pan in the oven she said “It doesn’t take a whole lot to make biscuits”.
No, baby. It doesn’t take much at all.
Dinner tonight was cheeseburgers, made with our very own venison meat, of course. I minced up 3 slices of this morning’s leftover bacon to put into the patties. Pretty good addition I must say. Baked some sweet potato fries in the oven, and then had this for dessert:
A Peach-Blueberry Cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream. The peaches came from Ruston during last year’s Peachfest. I peeled and sliced them and put them in the freezer, and these are all that I had left and definitely needed to be used up soon.
I had a gallon bag full of peaches that had quite a big of frost on them, but weren’t freezer burned. That frost, however, melted down and created just enough liquid to pull this off without adding any more. I put them on medium heat and let them warm up, sprinkling a 1/2 cup of sugar on top.
Once they got bubbling a little I decided that it would be a good use of some of my blueberries to add them to the peaches. So I did. Two big handfuls in the pot. Then I dissolved a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch in a tablespoon of lemon juice, then dumped that it the pot as well. Stir, stir, stir. By this point, the fruit is nice and limp and the sugar/water/cornstarch has made a nice syrup. Done.
This cobbler is a recipe I pulled out of my Bob’s Red Mill cookbook. I am always looking for ways to add/substitute whole grains into good eats. This was good eats!
The topping is :
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup unbleached white flour (you can use all-purpose, but I like having less bleach in my life so I already had this)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice (or nutmeg would be nice)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/3 cup buttermilk
Mix up the dry ingredients, cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until a crumbly texture forms and butter is well incorporated. Stir in buttermilk until just combined.
Plop the topping on top of the fruit (which you have put into your favorite casserole dish), and bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
The nutritional data on a serving (dividing cobbler by 10) is:
Not too shabby if you ask me 🙂
So there’s the food. Good food. Fun food. And a whole lot better, all the way around, than something I could get through my car window.
There you have it.