So this freaked me out a little. I was reading KimDonesia's blog (kimdonesia.blogspot.com, she's awesome) and saw her post about her Muslimness.com icon. It linked to the website, which had an article about preparing for Ramadan. I click it and there's a link to a website called HalalTube. This has a list of contributors. I'm looking at the list thinking "Hmm...I wonder if they have any white people on this website" and I see a guy listed named "Johnathan Brown"...turns out he's one of my husband's Near Eastern Studies professors from UW. 6 Degrees of Kimdonesia! Little bit freaky.... (http://www.halaltube.com/category/jonathan-brown)
Speaking of that, my husband has lots of good books on Islam, which I have been perusing recently, because he took all these classes (and was in Iraq for a year). He has a cool Quran w/ English translation on one page and the matching Arabic on the opposite page. There's a book about the Prophet Muhammad (and yes, pbuh indeed) that I've been working my way though. There as a book that looked promising, Aspects of Islam, but was more of a glorified college thesis paper. Well, I just found one called "A History of God" which isn't necessarily one form college or about Islam, but it was a NYT best seller and looks pretty good, so I think I'll give it a try. I love my well educated husband <3!
I've been thinking, and I've decided I want to open a gourmet halal butcher. It would be pretty awesome. The meat wouldn't be packaged "Beef - stew" "lamb - ground" "goat - steaks" it would be "Beef chuck - good for stewing and braising" "ground lamb - use for burgers, meat pies, etc" "beef tenderloin - grill, sear or another high heat short cooking time method". Just because it's halal doesn't mean you shouldn't make it delicious and use the meat in a way that does it justice. Oh, and I could also make sure my beef is grass fed, same with lamb, goat etc. And that the chickens aren't kept in eensie-weensie cages and fed garbage too.
I bring this up because I bought some "Beef - stew" meat that was way too lean to be stew meat. It tasted like tail or something, definitely wasn't shoulder (chuck) which is the single best cut for stewing and braising. It has fat, I know, but it's not like I'm eating beef every day, or even every week.
So...yeah. I'll probably write about my $400/month experience soon. I've been trying to budget $400 per month for food for two. Kitties don't count. It's the 20th and I have about $80 left for the month. We're going to be eating a lot of lentils....