As the end of the year draws near, the weather is warming, my house is being de-mildewed, Gregor is beginning renovations and we are becoming more wholesome…for example, The Big G has given up sugar and coffee!!! This is a remarkable development, as anyone who knows Gregor knows how much he enjoys his cake and coffee.

My interest in all things wholesome is inspired by some friends of mine, and a particular cook book by Sally Fallon, called Nourishing Traditions. In my hunt for the perfect sourdough recipe, a friend recommended it. My copy arrived a few weeks ago. Like a sacred object, it sits on our dining room table, and I have given everyone clear instructions to wash their hands before touching it. The recipes are simple, and largely based on a traditional agricultural diet, which include fermented food, sprouted seeds and offal. I am yet to read the fine print, but flicking through, I am already rapt with Fallon’s offerings.

In the last couple of weeks, I have made two batches of sourdough, three jars of fermented vegetables, three jars of sprouts, and a beautiful tomato sauce from the 5kilo of tomato seconds I bought from the farmers market on Saturday. For once, my sourdough is delicious. I love the pickles, and the sprouts make me feel very…. wholesome. And I ate liver for the first time ever – the thought of offal makes me want to vomit in my mouth, but Fallon presents a good case why we should all eat liver. Apparently there is a famous vegetarian who became anaemic, and so added liver to his diet. There is also a tribe in Africa who believe the soul of an animal lives in its liver, so when they prepare it, they never handle it with their hands – only with implements. Eating liver the other night, I didn’t vomit. Actually I enjoyed the meal.

Peck of pickled peppers, tomato sauce and sprouted buckwheat

A little insight into our food shopping week: we buy in bulk from the Bangalow farmer’s market and from the whole food shop in Lismore. Generally, the only things we buy from the supermarket are yoghurt, bread, butter and toilet paper. Except the toilet paper, I can now make all those things.   There is great satisfaction in trundling home from the market with baskets laden with fresh, locally grown produce, or home from the whole-food market with a big box of paper bags filled with all things healthy. There are a few  indulgences in our shopping week:

1.4 kilo bucket of locally grown blueberries ($25)
500g of smoked salmon off-cuts from Northern Rivers Seafood Co-op ($10)
1/2 kilo of frozen raspberries  from a farm outside of Bangalow ($8)

I’m sure we could live cheaper if we did without such decadence, but would we live as well?

I feel traditionally nourished. I feel wholesome. I feel healthy and well-fed. Mostly I feel pretty full. I love food. I love shopping for it. I love preparing it. And luckily, now that Gregor doesn’t eat sweet things, I don’t have to diminish my skills in the kitchen by trying to bake a cake.

The only problem is, if we eat this healthily, is my daughter going to be 6ft6in? She is on her way to being exceptionally tall already – maybe this super diet is going to tip her over the edge.

What are your weekly shopping habits like?

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