Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Garden eating: October

It's almost November, friends, and we have yet to eat butternut squash. We have still been eating tomatoes. And lots and lots of greens, and potatoes. It's like, soup, potato something with egg, pasta or pizza, soup, something in a casserole, shower, rinse, repeat. I sent Patrick to the store last night to "stock up," planning to skip the grocery store next week, and he came home with a $22.83 receipt. Raisins, flour, lemons, a block of tempeh, white vinegar, and baking powder. Wow. 

The past few years I've been finding myself wading deeper and deeper into a weird (and satisfying) historical twilight zone. Like, the way people shopped Back in the Day, when everyone still had a garden and a smokehouse and a root cellar. Remember the Little House books? "Pa went to town and came home with flour, sugar, salt, and coffee, and a bag of rock candy..." Maybe they'd buy a tin of oysters and some crackers at Christmastime. That's it. And ever since I read those books at age 12 or whatever, I've craved that kind of self-reliance. In the words of Liz Lemon, I want to go to there.

Then somehow the way we eat as a country got subverted by the purveyors of TV dinners and frozen pizza and GoGurt and fast food, and our food system fell apart. I don't know why it's so important to me to create my own personal food system, one that rises and thrives and blooms and is harvested twenty steps from the kitchen door, but it feels patriotic. It feels like the most important, and most nourishing thing I can do for myself and my family and my community and my country.

Is that weird? 

I don't know. I read somewhere that growing your own food is like printing your own money, and it feels that way sometimes. So thrillingly anarchic. 

I know it's delicious. This week we ate:
  • Veggie burgers topped with tomato, bread and butter pickles, and cheese, plus sauteed Swiss chard on the side.
  • Smoky greens and beans soup with potatoes (viva smoked paprika!)
  • Baked Swiss chard: cooked rice topped with torn chard, capers, raisins, roasted red peppers, walnuts, and mozzarella cheese
  • Boiled potatoes topped with Caesar kale slaw and a poached egg
  • Pizza with pesto and fresh tomatoes, and roasted broccoli on the side

Holy greens, batman. Tonight, we're going to get a freeze, and the Swiss chard will be No More, but not before I harvest and freeze every last little leaf. And the bok choy too. I harvested the celery and put it in the cellar, in wet sand, which I've never tried before, and I figure, if it doesn't work, then I'll launch a major stock-making initiative in a month, before the celery is totally mush, and salvage it somewhat that way. Next year I am growing celery root, which will keep really well, mark my words.

Oh growing and eating. It teaches me so much.

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meshell1121 said...

the most wonderful post, i do declare.

Kristina Strain said...

Thank you. :)

Katie Otto said...

I feel the same way! I read and re-read the Little House books all the time! I get inspired to make EVERYTHING from scratch. Now if I can just get my garden to produce more than one meal and we will be good.

Kristina Strain said...

Love it! I had the advantage of being able to choose our house with an epic garden in mind-- with your yard, I'd be struggling too!

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