Paleo Day 8: Penance

What is the best way to make up for yesterdays minor indiscretion?  How about a ton of non-paleo cooking and not indulging in a single taste or morsel?

Along with a lot of catching up on house work I actually spent a good amount of the day doing kitchen stuff.  That would be cleaning up, cleaning out, cooking up and storing many different things.  These are all tasks that have been building up for some time that I really needed to get taken care of.  There was also some experimentation that I’ve been dying to try for some time.  Many of these things deal with verboten foods, but I kind of liked the idea of barreling through these things and not breaking the parameters of the diet protocol.

I’ll get the non-Paleo stuff out of the way first and then get onto what I did eat.  The first non-Paleo thing I needed to do was to make brownies.  “Need to make brownies” sounds like a joke, but I actually have more freezer space than cabinet space right now.  In the middle of the cabinet has been a Costco sized box of Ghirardelli for at least half a year.  It was an impulse buy that I ended up just not using.  Wanting to turn the cabinet space into something useful I made the box; all six batches of brownies.  I made them in four sheets and cooked them in the oven at the same time.  Every square inch of rack space in the oven was cooking the 96 brownies at once.  It smelled heavenly.  I usually use this as an excuse to eat a lot of the left over batter, by far my favorite part of making cookies, brownies or cakes.  I didn’t though.  I didn’t so much as lick the batter off my fingers.  Once those were baked and cooled they were cut, put in bags and put in the freezer.

Next up were two smaller tasks, in terms of time.  I have a sourdough starter that is nearly as old as I am.  My neighbor has been keeping it going since the mid-1970s when he got it for Christmas.  I’ve kept my batch going for over four years.  Despite being on Paleo I refused to let it go bad.  So every week or two I will continue to feed and cycle the starter.  I didn’t have enough time to do anything with it, but I would have loved to have whipped up a flat bread or pizza or something.  Instead I just poured it down the drain.  There were enough things I had to get done to be indulging in yet another extraneous kitchen project.

Next up was sorting and packaging cheese.  While I’m really good at getting my eggs and meat from local farms I have not had as much luck getting cheese products from them.  To be blunt, the local cheeses sucked.  They didn’t match the flavor or texture of the cheeses I can get at the store from further away.  I wish it was even close, then I wouldn’t mind paying a premium to support the local producer.  It didn’t even come close, and I don’t intend to pay a premium for an inferior product.  All that leads me to the point that I buy mozzarella cheese in bulk.  I therefore had ten pounds of grated mozzarella that I needed to sort off into 8 and 16 ounce freezer safe bags and put in the freezer.Along with some organizing and cleaning, that was the extent of the kitchen activity that I didn’t get to indulge in today.  The rest was for immediate consumption.

I figured I would be eating bigger for lunch and dinner so I kept breakfast to simply some more plums, four to be exact.  I want to eat them while they are still in this really crisp stage.  I know I maybe have a few more days to eat the ones I have left before they start getting too soft for my liking.  Without breakfast I was pretty hungry for lunch when it rolled around.  Rather than do something simple I actually made a point of finally trying this New England style Clam Chowder recipe from Cafe Janae.  It has no cream or milk in it.  It’s almost all vegetables as a matter of fact.  I’ll be doing a full write-up of my experience with it, but I will say that I will definitely be making this again.  It was sweeter than what you expect from clam chowder, but it was tasty and filling nonetheless.

Along with working through lots of other veggies, I had a watermelon that I’ve been procrastinating cutting up.  I’ve tried lots of ways of cutting up a watermelon, but after watching this video I won’t do it any other way.  Granted it took me just slightly more than 30 seconds, actually more like five minutes, but it’s still the way to cut a watermelon with the least amount of waste and in the least amount of time.  Watermelon then became my snack for the rest of the day.  Did I even mention I love watermelon?  How much do I love it?  I ate three pounds of watermelon today, and that’s just because I thought it would be too obscene to eat more.  I’ve eaten an entire seedless watermelon in one sitting one time.  Now my mouth is watering again, just thinking about it.

Dinner was the product of eight hours of cooking.  This was another cooking experiment.  I got a very fancy crock pot as a gift for Christmas.  I asked for it specifically because I figured I would be doing lots of meats and bone broths that I would want to start before I left for work and have ready when I got back.  I am sad to say I haven’t had the opportunity to use it until today.  I have a nice 3.5 pound bone in pork butt from a local farmer.  I found a nice slow cooker recipe that consisted of nothing more than making a rub paste and pouring it on the pork, slicing an onion, putting it all in the crock pot for 7-8 hours.  The pork pulled apart perfectly.  The rub had great flavor, although most of it ended up on the bottom of the crock pot rather than all in the meat.  I could have soaked the meat in it, but there was a lot of honey and drippings and I didn’t want to make the meal overly oily or sugary.  Along with the nearly 10 ounces of pulled pork that I ate I also at a large salad of mixed greens (kale, spinach, arugula), tomatoes, raw mushrooms and green peppers.  I also had a couple of table spoons of almond butter to take some Vitamin D supplement oils with.

I got a lot of stuff done around the house, but actually still fell behind.  I had my typical mid-afternoon crash as things started winding down, but otherwise felt pretty energized all day.  I need to make some changes to my diet in order to get more Calcium.  I hope to have a full write-up of the week, but Calcium was the only micronutrient I was less than 100% DV/RDA on, at 75% of DV/RDA.  It may be a cliche that dairy is the source of Calcium.  However without dairy it is a lot harder to get to those levels.  I should be able to with a combination of different meat and vegetables combinations, but I will say that a bit more than one ounce of Swiss cheese or 3/4 cup of homemade whole milk yogurt a day would be the difference between me hitting my calcium requirements and falling short by 75%.

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Picture of Me (Hank)

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