Wednesday, 10 August 2016

FOOD COMMUNITIES + MEAL PLANS


It's interesting how much our sense of belonging to a place evolves around food. When we were living in the city, we would often see our neighbours at the weekend farmers' markets, which were only a short walk from our house. Or at the local cafes, or on the way there.

Our weekends were often punctuated with visits to local eateries - from the bakery to a Japanese restaurant that we enjoyed dining at as a family. Even buying milk from the grocer.

However, since moving to the country we have yet to forge these same connections. There is a general store in the middle of the valley but it takes an hour each way to walk there. The nearest town is a 10-minute drive - at 80km/h without traffic lights - and while it has a supermarket and other facilities and services, it is less of a destination and more of a convenience.

In short, we hardly see our immediate neighbours. Everyone lives down long driveways and beyond farm gates and cow paddocks. And even though fresh seasonal produce is available to buy on roadside stalls, these set-ups usually operate on a honesty system. We saw more farmers at the markets in the city than here!

However, we have had a couple of Sunday lunches with people in the valley. And these have been long and leisurely affairs - rather than talking over the fence or on the street on the way to the car. And because it is such a long distance to visit, or buy supplies, most of the food we have eaten has been homemade, including the bread.

This has been our experience of preparing meals too. No longer can we walk down the road to get pizza. Or buy ice-creams from the corner store. And no Sunday strolls for croissants either.

Since moving here we have fallen into a rhythm with making meal plans and cooking for every meal, including impromptu sweet treats. However, because we are juggling a new baby and business, we are currently reverting to some of our old favourites. But they are popular with everyone, and easy to prepare.

Here is our current weekly meal plan.

Friday - Fish and chips (sustainably caught snapper and homemade chips)
Saturday - Quesadillas (beef and spinach)
Sunday - Pizza (using the dough from this recipe)
Monday - Corn fritters and salad
Tuesday - Tikka Masala roast chicken from It's All Easy.
Wednesday - Soup (making the stock from the previous night's chicken)
Thursday - Beef stir-fry

image the indigo crew



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