Monday, August 17, 2009
When I first got to the garden, I found the container for the food bank turned over, and several watermelons strewn about in various pieces. It wasn't until I found a row of ripe beefsteak tomatoes ceremoniously gored on a row of rebar fencing that I realized it wasn't just the work of rats.
This is disappointing because after all our challenges with weather, fires, bugs, rodents and disease, for some gardeners, it all came down to some bored neighbors standing between them and some really great local food.
Luckily, most of my pumpkins have already been harvested.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
It hasn't started yet, but I am ready, market basket in hand. Let's see: straw hat, sunblock, birkenstocks, big organic or bamboo fiber skirt with a flower pot applique, small bills, canning jars waiting for me at home.
Read about it HERE
Michael Pollan seems to have a clear picture of what his ancestors ate and what we need to get back to. But what is my food culture? It's a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, with a huge dollop of the food-fads-du-jour.
Mom’s from a tidewater family, so on our frequent vacations to the seashore, while most headed right for the sands, mom and grandma headed for the local fish market. During our stay at the efficiency hotel, we ate “home-made” crab cakes, ocean fish, shrimp and whole fried soft-shell crab. We rarely fished ourselves, and always from a borrowed hook. As a hot young babe in a bikini, I was often offered food, beer and strangely, fishing gear while combing the beach merely looking for seashells. Grandma always knew how to handle whatever I caught, but she did reserve comment about any of the guys.
And then there was the unlimited saltwater taffy, and the huge bag of peanuts that only lasted as long as they did because they had to be shelled first. Grandpa taught me how to shell peanuts. He opened the first one, and then I was on my own. This was traumatic. It took me a long time to figure it out.
On the drive back home we bought a Smithfield ham. I have never tasted a real Smithfield ham. They were always to be used as gifts.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
When I opened my kitchen cabinet this week, I was disappointed (and a little grossed out) to see that a few of the potatoes had these weird sack-like pro"tuber"ances, and worms were crawling all over the shelf.
Oh well. Those visions of local potato chips might never be translated into reality, at least this season. I just hope the Jerusalem artichokes do as well as I need them to do. Right now they are towering over everything in the garden.
I am also very grateful that I have another kitchen cabinet. The other potatoes are still fine.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I could go on no longer without the cinnamon, now that apple season is here. So, to celebrate, I whipped up a batch of fake dried apples out of an overgrown yellow crookneck squash. I just peeled the squash and took out the seed area (mine was old enough to just start being a seed cavity), sliced it up and dipped the slices into a mixture of honey, water and cinnamon and put them in the dehydrator.
Can't wait to try them in a mock apple pie recipe. Of course, the crust has to be made with amaranth, so I guess I should call it a mock apple mock pie creation. I harvested two varieties of amaranth today, and also a bushel of flour corn. The corn won't be fully dry for a week, and who knows how much I will yield. At least it was a better crop than last year. Some of the nicest ears were totally eaten by animals, so I have mostly the smaller ears.