Maybe most important, farm food itself is totally different from what most people now think of as food: none of those colorful boxed and bagged products, precut, parboiled, ready to eat, and engineered to appeal to our basic desires. We were selling the opposite: naked, unprocessed food, two steps from the dirt.

Kristin Kimball from The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love

This quote came to mind when I was reading my friend DeeDee’s post over at Not Dabbling earlier this week. She’s just starting her journey away from processed food and was struggling with using a whole chicken to make soup.

One of the easiest ways to get back to eating REAL food over processed is to start buying food in it’s original form. This way you’re getting whole foods, which are healthier and produce less waste; not to mention you get more for your money when buying whole foods. Take a chicken for example: We buy a whole chicken and roast it, which provides us with 2-3 meals of roasted chicken. The leftover bits, bones, wings, and any uneaten chicken, gets thrown into a pot with some vegetables and a bit of vinegar and is simmered for 2 days to make stock. I can then pull out the few remaining bones (some of them will dissolve into the stock) and either freeze it for future meals, or add more vegetables, the leftover deboned chicken and make a big pot of soup. The stock/soup will feed us for 5-8 more meals.

A pastured chicken will cost from $10-$15 depending on it’s size and the market you live in. That’s a great deal for so many meals, only a dollar or so each. It would be far more expensive for us to purchase boneless skinless chicken breasts, and we wouldn’t be getting the bones for nourishing stock or the skin and fat with all the healthy vitamins. Chicken cooked with the bone and skin on is also much tastier than it’s naked counterpart.

What’s your favorite whole food, two steps from dirt, to cook with? Which is your least favorite?

My all time favorite chicken recipe is: Crispy Sticky Chicken Thighs from Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life.

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10 Responses to Quote of the Day: Kristin Kimball

  1. KimH says:

    Hands down, if I have to cut it up, I despise chickens. I dont mind cooking it whole in any way, but if it needs separated.. not happening. I have no idea why it bothers me to such an extent, but it does. I refuse to do it. 🙂

    I think my favorite to cook with is the lovely onion or garlic.. The two are in almost everything I cook and I love them tremendously.

    • Susy says:

      I’m not a big fan of cutting up chickens either, though now that the cats eat only local chickens I cut them up all the time so I’m getting used to it. Though I’m not much of one for eating chicken – I much prefer beef.

  2. Sixsiglers says:

    I’m going to adopt that quote as my new mantra:) Love the “no wasting/multiple meals” concept… I’m doing that as we speak with potatoes! I bought a huge bag of local potatoes a few months ago knowing they would provide many inexpensive meals for our family. At this point I’m beginning to feel like the Forrest Gump of potatoes… baked potatoes, fried potatoes, potato soup, roast with carrots and potatoes, green beans and potatoes, and the list goes on!!!! So I’m taking what’s left before they go bad, making a giant batch of mashed potatoes, putting them in individual containers, and freezing them! Sooo much better and way less $ than the $3/container I would’ve paid for the frozen Bob Evans potatoes:)

    • Susy says:

      So true, we eat tons of potatoes as well since we grow them. I’m the same as you: mashed, fried, soup, roasted, etc. I like to steam up a big batch of cubed potatoes at the beginning of the week and prepare throughout the week as needed. I’ll fry some up one day for breakfast, use them in an omelet the next, then mix them with carrots and onions to go with a steak some other night, fry them up to go with burgers for yet another dinner. Potatoes are such an inexpensive pantry staple and usually so easy to find locally!

  3. Sixsiglers says:

    And potatoes in their whole form are way less disturbing than chickens!!!!!!

  4. We have always cooked “from scratch” and thought that it couldn’t come any closer to the source, until we discovered local food and learned that yes, you can come closer to the source. I love it, and I’m psyched about starting a garden this year, believe it or not. 🙂

  5. Misti says:

    I read Kristin’s book earlier in the Fall and I loved it. It made me want my own farm but also made me not want my own farm at the same time. I wonder if she has written a follow up book?

  6. Andrea Duke says:

    I’m reading We Took the the Woods right now and hoping to start The Dirty Life afterwards. Both Christmas gifts that I had wanted.

    I am the same as some of you. I don’t want to have to cut up a chicken and until just a few years ago, would only buy boneless, skinless meat. That has changed. I don’t mind buying a whole chicken (mine was $15 Saturday), but still don’t want to cut it up for anything! Which is hilarious, since I think I would like to raise a few meat chickens and process them myself 🙂

    • Susy says:

      Perhaps a video on how to quickly portion a chicken would be a good idea. I’ve learned through trial/error and cutting them up for the cats the best way to do it. The more you do it the less it will bother you. It’s also great for kids because you can teach them about muscles, skin, organs, joints, ligaments, etc.

  7. Susan says:

    I like the point you make that with so many meals, $15/chicken is really not expensive. That’s right! My favorite 2-steps-from-the-dirt food is venison. That is not an answer I would have given you a few years ago. But I married a hunter and now I eat it a lot. I LOVE knowing how & where the animal lived, what it ate every day, and how it was harvested. And it is so good and healthy. I can’t imagine not eating it anymore.

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