As we embark on the last weekend before school starts, I am filled with sadness. It has really been an awesome summer and I am not ready to release my boys back to their institution of learning. I am also not ready to resume packing 9-10 lunches per week. This will be the real test of my commitment--filling the lunch boxes with nutritious real food that they will actually eat. Pringles and chewy granola bars are being replaced with, well I am not sure exactly what they are being replaced with yet. I have been stocking up on Kashi's bars, natural organic beef jerky and popcorn. It has been difficult to find deli meat free of nitrites, sugars, fillers, etc. Could I possibly be dedicated enough to roast an actual turkey breast to use for sandwiches? We'll see!
I have finally found the best Farmer's Market in Las Vegas and it is also the worst. Every Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the Molto Farmer's Market, located at 7485 Dean Martin Drive Suite 106, is open to the public. It is actually a market for local chefs to purchase items from regional farmers and vendors and has some amazing and unusual items ranging from berries, beans and tomatoes to exotic mushrooms, oils, cheeses and vinegars. So how could it be the worst too? I learned about the market from the Las Vegas Review Journal yesterday and so did a lot of other people. We arrived at 11 and due to the small location, we were crammed in like sardines trying to make our way to each table. As if the oppressive feeling of claustrophobia wasn't enough, we were pushed around by some very angry and irritable senior citizens. They did not understand the kindergarten concept of "wait your turn" and would actually push past us at the tables to buy items even though the vendors were helping others (including us) at the time. In better conditions I would have browsed the tables better and tried some of the beautiful and unusual produce such as the cranberry beans (see photo) or purple cauliflower but my fight or flight response was overwhelming and I wanted to get out of there as quickly as I could. I will attempt to visit it again, but since it is so close to my house I will have no problem turning around and leaving if it is like that next time. In spite of the mayhem, we brought home some wonderful green beans, pluots, golden raspberries, watermelon and corn on the cob.
Our chickens are almost four weeks old and have grown so much already. They are getting out of their brooding box and I had to add netting to the top to keep them in. We have actually came home and found chickens in unauthorized locations around the house. I am thinking it is time to move to the outside coop but I want to wait until the temperatures drop a little first. I don't know if it is in their best interest to go from an 80 degree house to a 107 degree backyard. I also need to secure my garden from them, which is full of sprouting lettuce, beets, carrots, broccoli and brussel sprouts. So far it is off to a good start and it looks like my compost pile is actually working too!
I have been reading a lot of labels lately and thought it might be "fun" to research some of the ingredients that I don't recognize. This week my featured ingredient is propylene glycol. So far I have found it in Kraft light vinaigrettes and popsicles. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for this chemical, users should avoid skin contact and it can cause liver and kidney damage if ingested. Other potential health effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and hemoglobinuric nephrosis. It is also an ingredient in makeup, shampoo, deodorant, styling mousse, baby wipes, after shave, tire sealant, fabric softener, paint, adhesive, aircraft de-icer, artificial smoke and wallpaper stripper. I think I will just use some vinegar and oil on my salad instead...