What Do You Have?

brent's bacon
A friend of ours, let’s call him “Josh,” gave us a cookbook all about cooking pork.  Many, many pages dedicated to cooking everything but the oink.  Sadly he gave us this book at a time when we were experimenting with ways to feed our family.  The pork book arrived at our “vegan phase.”  I doubt this was a cookbook-of-the-month regift opportunity and we thanked him for a thoughtful gift.  After moving through various ways of eating as a family, we settled in on “the way grandma used to eat.”  Which is great because right now, if grandma has a lot of pig, a book like the one “Josh” gave us would be VERY HANDY!  So I made my first ever pâté from this book.  Otto loves pâté de campagne as do I.  Over the few years I’ve lived in France, I’ve tried my share of pâté de campagne.  Only now am I brave enough to try to make my own because I think I know what I like.  Mexican food I’ve got down.  I grew up in San Diego and Mexican food is what I know.  Pâté is a brave new world to me.  Another friend of mine, we’ll call him “Roger,” advised me a long time ago to:  never undergo a project without the purchase of a new power tool.  When you make pâté, you need to grind meat!  Thankfully, we purchased a meat grinder attachment for the giant kitchen-aid.  Said grinder was used once by Brent, then packed away in a little plastic box labeled “kitchen aid attachments” and laid to rest for seven years.  At last it has surfaced.  I see a bright future with my little meat grinder attachment.

meat grinder


The pâté was easy to make and dare I say palatable.  I need a few tweaks on texture.  More importantly, I made it because I asked myself, what do I have?  In the last few weeks, I’ve stopped cooking what I want and started cooking things with what I have.  It opens up a whole new way of cooking for me.  This approach allows us to support our decision to eat the way granny used to eat.  An example, the chickens have been laying eggs in places I cannot find.  I think they’ve surfaced a couple of days ago as fluffy little chicks, but that still leaves us short for breakfast.  I have a little flour, a slab of bacon and piles of lard … sounds like bacon biscuits!  I would like very much to not spend a dime at the store other than sugar, toilet paper, coffee, chocolate and baking soda.  I think I can improvise with the rest.  Or at least trade for goods.

… speaking of chocolate. Chocolate cookies. A magical meeting of brownie meets cookie. I highly recommend them.  I’ve been making cookies almost everyday.  Because really, what’s a cookie but fat, sugar, flour and an egg.  Slap it in a bowl, stick it int he oven and you’ve got a quick snack for the kids.

brownie meets cookie

6 thoughts on “What Do You Have?

  1. ceciliag says:

    I love that: never undergo a new project without a new power tool! I have never made pate, maybe next year when i raise my own pigs for the freezer.. but i LOVE to eat it! we also eat the old fashioned way and still out of the garden even though it is getting covered in falling yellow leaves! c

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