In the Living Kitchen

Musings, memories, meals in the making.

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No Time Season.

(Yeah, no time at all which is why I am writing this post!  All photos were taken specifically for posts I never wrote.)

I wish I had some sort of recording device hooked up to my brain so that my thoughts could be transcribed in this here blog while I am working.  Okay, not all of them.  A lot of the time I am just worrying, giving myself an ulcer and all that.  But sometimes, my mind mulls over quite interesting topics, such as the theory of special relativity (fellow Johnnies will appreciate that), the ethics of eating locally, and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Plato, modern feminism and herbal salves.

But alas, at the end of the day, I come home, realize that I will be back at work in eight hours, feel the need to eat dinner even though I am falling asleep, and go to bed.  All thought save the farm one flee.  I have three books on the nightstand: Breads from La Brea Bakery, Heavenly Bodies, Earthly Hair, and Healing with Whole Foods.  I wish I could say I have made progress with any of them, however, I fall asleep after reading one page these days.  (The bread book is, so far, awesome, in that the breads I have made from it have turned out well.  I keep it by my nightstand because the two times I have used it I have had to set an alarm for 3:00 AM in order to ready the dough for its second rise.  You got to understand, these recipes must be followed to the letter!)

I have spoken to other laborers about this, and we all agree, work begets thought.  My mind is hungry for topics, but I can’t muster the energy to give it any new stuff (hence the constant worrying).  I can say this though, I do have these moments when I feel one with my work, when there seem to be no thoughts in my brain, just observance of the task at hand.  It doesn’t last long, but it’s quite refreshing, akin to jumping into the pond.

I will be spending time now writing posts ion my CSA blog, since the season begins June 1.  There will be recipes galore and farm news and so on every Sunday.  So I think I will probably just be posting goofy pictures of my culinary exploits on this blog.  Or maybe writing haiku poetry.   Or perhaps that device will materialize and I will start writing a novel while toiling in the field.  You never know.



Frugal Fridays

When I was admiring the strong beet seedlings last week, I began fantasizing about the full grown, first late-spring beets: medium sized, sweet, with delicious leafy greens.  Then I realized that I still have beets stored in our basement.  I have been eating beets for months now.  That really took all the fun out of spring beets.

Add this to the fact that we still have butternut squashes and a freezer full of preserved food, and I decided to take action in the form of a challenge:  To not purchase any food for as long as we can take it, a minimum of two weeks.

We are officially on day 5.  Normally, we would have gone to the store on Sunday, but we have been trudging right along.  Our meals have been a mixed bag.  For instance, I would not wish tonight’s dinner on my worst enemy.  Weird frozen udon noodles with frozen (over ripe) green beans topped with hot dried chilies (the best part) and a strange sauce made with an even stranger fermented black bean sauce (that basically came in a jar, why did I ever buy that?) .  Most of the foods in our house that are still in the freezer or condiments that we still have after months are items that flabbergast me now.  Like frozen (over-ripe) greens beans.  I know now that I enjoy pickled dilly beans so much more than frozen green beans.  The proof is in the pudding, we have been out of dilly beans for months and still have 5 or 6 bags of frozen green beans to go.

On the plus side, I found a bag of frozen, sauteed fennel (score).  One last bag of roasted, diced eggplant (very nice).  We now have enough room in our freezer for the six gallon-sized bags full of tomatoes that have been housed in a friend’s freezer.  I am putting tomatoes in everything.

Some meals feel like cheating, like when we had black beans and rice for dinner.  Others are glorious:  kale and seaweed over soba noodles.  I am actually looking forward to getting down to the wire, when we really are almost out of food, and have to be really creative.  After all, we won’t have a good supply of spring greens until the very end of May.  This challenge has already forced me to rethink feeding my food cravings at all times.

Update:  Since I wrote this on Friday and am posting it on Sunday, I can add that Sam was excited that he might be able to buy cereal at the store today, since our challenge has lasted a week.  “Cereal?” I replied, “Cereal?  This challenge is not over!  You do not need cereal!”  I must be firm.