Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fat: They don't call them FAT cats for nothing

Bad times for my (so far) nonexistent budget.

Yesterday, I drove up to Marin Sun Farms, which sells local grass-fed meat in Point Reyes Station, a town "just up the coast" that is actually a far piece up the coast. Based on the web site, I thought MSF would solve all my Fat requisitioning needs, but it was a big, expensive, farflung disappointment. What kind of a butchering operation doesn't sell suet? The only thing I came away with was lard. They offered two options: a tiny, tidy $4 container of rendered lard and then this gnarled shrink-wrapped $25.69 hunk of unrendered leaf lard the size of a Thanksgiving turkey. Of course I had to have that one. Princess. 

Since lard isn't dinner,  I then went to the supermarket (more milk, beef soup bones, salmon, rhubarb, etc.)  and spent $45.07. 

We ate:

-Roasted Atlantic salmon with Jennifer McLagan's red butter sauce, which was in fact maroon, the color of aged $1.99 Charles Shaw cabernet muted by hunk after hunk of butter. This won't become a staple, but it was delicious. Price of dish: 15.09*
-roasted cauliflower from Orangette, using the new bright yellow variety that has, per Mark Bittman, 25 times as much vitamin A as the white kind. Also, more flavor. I'll never buy white cauliflower again, nor will I ever eat it steamed or boiled. This was incredible and easy: $3.

-miner's lettuce salad. Wild miner's lettuce is in season on our hill, and it makes a salad much loved by my uncouth children. Though it had a little dressing, I'm calling this free.

Total price of dinner: $18.09 

*Does this seem low for salmon to generously feed four? When I looked at the receipt just now I noticed that Whole Foods actually charged me for tilapia, which saved roughly $7. No, this doesn't bother me at all.


  1. I hate that good food is so expensive!! I'll have to try the roasted cauliflower. And maybe I'll get over my fear and give the orange one a try...

  2. Whole Foods still made money on your salmon.
    And don't miss the purple cauliflower! That was our Thanksgiving quest last year, where we made a three-color cauliflower gratin. So fun.
    Didn't even know about the vitamin A. But my kids do enjoy the colorful ones more than the regulars. Have to try this recipe next. I can only do cauliflower about once a month before complaints come.

  3. i told you. i cant eat salad with a fork. and minors lettuce is especially thin.

  4. This was a particularly good meal.

  5. Inspired by a meal I had recently at Lupa, a restaurant in NYC, I roasted cauliflower, then tossed it with some capers and lime juice. OMFG. I bet this would be even better with a little Meyer lemon zest.