Finding Food in Fargo

This post was updated on 12/17/11 to reflect a change in what I wrote about Crystal Ball milk, Organic Valley cheese, and to include the eggs we’re trying.

If any of you read my last blog entry, you know that I’ve recently moved to Fargo, North Dakota, from the St. Louis, MO, area. And, if you read that entry, you know that I went on a whirlwind trip that included 10 days in Texas, 10 days in New Mexico and, with 2 trips to Fargo, traveled over 6,000 miles in just over a month. Whew! It’s been so long since I posted, it’s been hard to get started again. Well, that and the unpacking and the starting over…yeah, it’s been a little hectic around here. Anyway, I’m so excited about being able to find some great food sources that I decided this would make a good re-entry into the blog world; my adventures in finding food, the kind of food that brings about good health. Not that our eating has been totally clean. After being on the road as long as we were, I still find it easier to fall back on some of the things I used to get us through some of the crunch times. Things like homemade granola for breakfast, burritos with homemade tortillas (organic white or spelt flour), and the occasional artisan bacon/egg sandwich from Starbucks. It’s hard to get back on board with our eating plan, but I can say one good thing has come of all this. I’m not the food snob I once was. I’ve eaten fast food and survived to tell about it! Not that I’d recommend it, but sometimes you have to be willing to bend. (I say all of that, mostly because of the missed opportunities for fellowship due to self-imposed dietary restrictions) However, I totally consider myself still a food renegade.

So, without further ado, I bring you…REAL food!

We were blessed to be given some tomatoes and apples from people at church.
apples from church

My husband also picked up some apples that his boss brought in to work.
apples from work

All of the apples we received were very tart, but make a good apple crisp. I will admit, I tried making apple crisp using soaked oatmeal and, while the taste was good, the texture was a bit soggy.

I was also very excited to find someone who would sell me fresh eggs and even some various meat.

no comment
Hey! What’s that picture doing there?! Let’s all just forget we saw that.

I found various meat sources also at a nice little health food store in Moorhead, called Sydney’s Health Market. For those of you who don’t know (like I didn’t), Moorhead is like a sister city to Fargo. The only thing separating them is the Red River.

Some lamb leg roast:
lamb leg roast

And lamb steaks (here they are marinating):
lamb steaks

Also got some ground buffalo (yum!!):
ground buffalo

And some turkey, for those days when I didn’t plan enough supper for lunch the following day:
turkey

I was also happy to find some RAW MILK cheese at Sydney’s. (The cheese on the left came from another store)
cheese

The other cheese I got at a supermarket here called Cash Wise. They have a decent organic/real food section. (Update: I now find that Organic Valley raw cheese isn’t really raw, but “sub-pasteurized.” Now I’m wondering if there is even such a thing as raw milk cheese; at least, that isn’t homemade) I also got the following items from there.

Butter:
butter

Yogurt:
yogurt

Bread (for the grown kid for lunches, since we are now grain-free):
bread

I have to say, I did try some pasteurized milk from Sydney’s. I was all out of raw and was desperate for coffee cream. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I was in a big rush and didn’t read the label very well. The words “Cream Line” kept jumping out at me and I knew it said “organic,” so I thought I was in the clear. Got home and poured a small glass just to taste and yuck!!! (No offense to Sydney’s! I’m thankful I found them!) Poured some for my husband and he thought it was worse than I did. Started looking at the label and in the fine print read, “Fat free.” That explains a LOT. I have yet to make the connection between the words “Cream Line” and fat free milk, but maybe I’ll figure it out when I have more time. In the meantime, I will keep on looking for ways to promote a change in the ridiculous laws regarding raw milk. (Support the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund!!!)

Okay, that was a little harsh. After thinking it over, I decided to check and see if this brand of milk (Crystal Ball) came in a non non-fat version. As in, a full fat version. So I went there today and found out it comes in the fat-free, low-fat, and whole. Knowing what a difference the fat can make, I decided to try the full-fat version.

cream line milk

It wasn’t bad. It’s supposedly grass-fed, organic, and vat pasteurized (lowest temp allowed for 30 minutes). I would definitely recommend this to someone who had no access to raw milk at all. And I still recommend Sydney’s, because I think they have great prices for the foods they offer.

Also, after running out of eggs several times, I decided to ask about eggs at Sydney’s. These were recommended as the best (Larry Schultz brand). It’s nice to see brown eggs again, since the ones we’ve been getting (from a farm) are white. (The ones we got from the farm in Missouri were brown with darker yolks)
Don’t they look pretty?

eggs

Of course, I still have a lot of food I brought with me from Missouri and will continue with things like kombucha. Here is my new kombucha jar, now that I’m brewing 2 gallons simultaneously (and using turbinado sugar exclusively):
kombucha jar

And my kombucha brewing cabinet (which used to store the grandkids coloring books and crayons and stuff):
kombucha brewing cabinet

I guess I should call it my fermentation cabinet. Decided it might not be cool to ferment stuff in the cabinets of the house we rent.

I also signed up to order through an UNFI food co-op group here. I was in one in Missouri and appreciated being able to get some great prices on organic foods. Since gardening isn’t much of an option at this house, I’m thinking of joining a CSA next year. My husband received a link to one through an email from work. (That’s kind of cool in itself!) I really like the way this farm, Bluebird Gardens, is operated.

I will be posting more stuff on my facebook page as I discover more sources of great food!

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays real food blog carnival. Check it out for real food blogs with great information and lots of awesome recipes!

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3 Responses to Finding Food in Fargo

  1. Rachel L says:

    Random question, but where did you get the bottles for the kombucha?

    • I bought the 4 I have (which is all they had) from a Marshall’s/Home Goods store and paid $7 each for them. I found out later they also had them at The Container Store for the same price. Stuff at a Home Goods store is pretty random, but The Container Store still has them (although the price has gone up). Here’s a link:

      http://www.containerstore.com/shop?showDS=true&Ntt=hermetic+bottles&submit=GO

      If nothing else, it might lead you to some other ones elsewhere.
      ~Karen

      • I just realized I made an assumption that you were referring to the stoppered bottles I use after fermenting it, rather than the large gallon jars I actually use to ferment the kombucha. If you did happen to be referring to the gallon jars, I got one (that looks like a pickle barrel) at a Big Lots store and the other one at Target.

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