Breaking the Ice

The first words are always the hardest.

I arrive at this blog with more questions than answers. The big question is simple: How should I feed my family? My 9-month old daughter loves meat, my husband is perfectly happy as a vegetarian but willing to eat what the family eats, and my mother who is helping with childcare has Type 1 Diabetes and deserves good breakfasts and lunches. I want to shop and cook for the family in a way that is tasty, meets everyone’s needs, and is environmentally and ethically sustainable, yet doesn’t break the bank or become a full-time job.

The road to learning to cook in the first place was long and torturous. My Chinese grandmother cooked delicious meals for my entire family while I was growing up. I spent my twenties and half my thirties subsisting on takeout, restaurant food, and packaged, processed, junk. Respiratory allergies eventually¬†caught up with me, and I was forced to learn how to cook in order to take charge of my health. In 2011, I met my now-husband Jeremy, and a vegetarian lifestyle became a big part of our shared lives. We cooked our way through a CSA box, shopped at farmer’s markets, and started a sourdough culture that’s been alive for four years and counting.

When I became pregnant, I started eating fish and meat again, but in fairly modest quantities, usually in restaurants where the vegetarian options seemed too cheese-laden to be particularly healthy. I considered this a temporary measure, as it went against my ethics of avoiding factory-farmed meat. What I wanted to do was buy humanely raised, grass-finished and pastured meat and prepare it myself, but that felt daunting at the time. So I did what I could, but didn’t aim for perfection.

Now that my daughter Nora is nine months old, I’m a bit less overwhelmed and a bit more willing to invest in shopping for high-quality fish and meat and preparing it myself. I’m also reading up a storm. This blog will chronicle both my findings, and my family’s meals.

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