The second week of my self-imposed Stockbox Challenge had a few more successes and challenges than the first one. As a reminder, my husband and I have committed to buy all our groceries from Stockbox for the next few months. If we can’t find what we need (or if we need to design a work-around) we’ll share it with you, in full disclosure. We’ll also share our successes and surprises.
This week was similar to last week, in that I was able to find all the basics on my list: fruit, garlic, cereal, prepared meals, milk, and coffee. I also stocked up on, not one, but three hot cereal options this week – apparently that little cold/rainy spell we had triggered my urge to hibernate.
But, there were two items that I was unable to find or develop a work around for:
- Coarse polenta (we had the finer alternative but we needed the coarse polenta for bread making)
- Flax seed (this is a bit of an outlier and I was constrained in developing a work around because it’s for a specific recipe: granola)
I also realized that my shopping needs were feeling pretty limited and didn’t represent “normal” grocery needs. After all, we have a garden that is brimming with tomatoes, greens, and zucchini, so we don’t need to buy many vegetables right now. We have chickens, so eggs are usually taken care of. My husband bakes a lot, so bread, granola, and treats are always in abundance. And, for whatever reason, I don’t tend to buy a lot of meat.
So, for this week’s challenge, I chose to expand my shopping list. My first step was to dive into Stockbox’s beautiful selection of Willamette Valley Meats. And, I didn’t start small – I was immediately drawn to the bacon-wrapped pork fillets because of, well, the bacon.
Having never made pork before, I had to do some research on how to prepare the medallions. I heated a mix of oil and butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat and cooked them on each side for 3-4 minutes. Then, because I like my bacon crispy, I rolled the meat on its side for another few minutes. The pork is actually quite thick, so you need to finish it off in a pre-heated oven, at 400 degrees, for 10-15 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, you can check that the inside temp is at 145….although, I had some trouble hitting this target and eventually went over, but the meat was still super juicy.
The end result: I should buy meat more often and pork isn’t scary at all. In fact, the pork was delicious, moist, and tasty. And, at $4.99 a pound, I was able to make several servings of it for about $1.50 a person! I rounded out the meal with a quick arugula salad (from the garden) and some toast (from my husband’s bread), but you can easily find comparable ingredients at Stockbox at any price point. I obviously haven’t been trained in “food photography”, so I apologize for the less-than-flattering pic. I also feel that I should point out that I went for the smallest medallion in the pack – the other two were much larger.
More to come on my journey through the Stockbox aisles. If you have suggestions or challenges to put forth to me, just add a comment to the post. In the meantime, bon appetit!