Today when Chris came home for lunch, he looked at the bowl in the kitchen sink and asked me why I was defrosting a package of beef fat, aka tallow. I looked at him with a blank/slightly panicked expression… “that’s beef fat??” (I thought it was ground beef), “… for supper…”, at which point we both dissolved into uncontrollable giggles, causing Isaac to laugh just as hard as us, without even knowing what was funny.
I think you’d really have to be Real Foodie to get why it was funny. Or perhaps you just had to be there. Either way, it was hilarious. We are relative newbies to the Real Food movement, and finally found a source of organic grass-fed beef a few months ago. We ordered a whole bunch of ground beef, and it came in 1 lb frozen packages. Then, the last time he was at the market where we pick it up, hubby asked if they had any beef fat available (Why the heck would he do that? Read about it here). They not only said yes, but they gave him a couple of little packages FOR FREE! Woohoo!!! I guess it’s not their most popular item 🙂
So needless to say, we needed to improvise for supper. Since I don’t have a microwave anymore, I wouldn’t be able to defrost any meat… so meatless it would be. “French toast sounds yummy”, I thought, then I realized we don’t have any bread (a whole other saga, really). And we are out of our homemade pancake mix, and I didn’t feel like making any up (and besides, I knew we’d be having pancakes on Sunday for Father’s Day, as per Honey’s request). I really didn’t feel like curried lentils and rice (my other fallback meatless meal), since it gave me heartburn last time I had it during pregnancy… so…
In a former life (before we moved halfway across the country and became missionaries living on just over half of our target support rate)… we would have probably just ordered in pizza, or even gone out to a restaurant together, all the while feeling slightly guilty about spending the money, but knowing we’d still be able to pay the bills.
We live on much less. It’s stretching us, making us more grateful for what we have, and making us more frugal. We also don’t have many places to eat out here in our tiny town, so that helps too. So, eating out or ordering in didn’t really cross my mind. Instead I improvised. And it felt good. We nourished our bodies with healthy food, didn’t spend money we don’t have, and stretched our imaginations a little.
It felt like a challenge, and I succeeded… something I *love* doing 🙂
(Now we get to look forward to trying to cook with the tallow for the first time… I think we’re going with homemade french fries and chicken wings tomorrow after munchkin is in bed!)