Good Eats

Whew, where did the fall go?  I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is a week from today, and Christmas not far behind.  After a blur of visitors last month, things have quieted down a bit, except that now I’m working 2 part time jobs that eat into my days, nights, and weekends.  We haven’t managed to do much of anything except work, eat good food, knit (me), work out in the basement (Shane), take naps (me), brew beer (Shane), and watch a lot of Fringe for the last two weeks.

But hoo-boy, we have been eating well.  I love fall food as it transitions from the wonderful fresh stuff from the summer into the heartier meals for long, cold winter nights.  I’ve been making our friendly butcher at Plum Market work for his money, asking lots of questions about the provenance of the meats (Niman Ranch and Bell and Evans farms – not local but quite reputable) and having things prepped for me to save time at home.  Hey, it’s what they’re there for, right?  We’d like to transition to buying more local meats, but in the interim, it’s really great to have knowledgeable and helpful butchers about .5 miles from our house!

A sample menu from this week:
Sunday: Balsamic Pork with Shallots, served with Al Dente mushroom fettuccine ($2 at work!)
Monday: Pollo alla Cacciatora
Tuesday: leftovers of the above, served with polenta and Zingerman’s parmesan pepper bread
Wednesday: Pasta e Fagioli soup, served with Zingerman’s parmesan pepper bread
Thursday: family-style dinner at SELMA – we’re bringing an apple cake and Shane’s hard cider
Friday: By the end of the week, I usually want to fall over, and we’ve usually run down the fridge and need to go grocery shopping, so we tend to go out and/or get food from the Plum Market salad/hot bar
Saturday: Braised Chicken Legs with Cider, Apples and Mustard

And in case you’re wondering, we’re sticking to a grocery budget of $100 or less per week, including alcohol.  I’d like for it to be even less, but since we’re spending next to nothing on going out and/or entertainment expenses, this budget seems just fine.

Spotted in Ann Arbor

Two librarians sopping up amazing sauce from Mario Batali’s Brasato di Maiale Nero (Braised Pork in the “Black Rooster”) from the Dutch oven, then making sure that they really, truly, for sure had saved a pint of the sauce for tomorrow’s dinner.

It was THAT good.