Thursday, June 04, 2009

On the table

Dinner Menu

Fritattas, made with eggs from our own hens and my sister's:
--Baby beets, fresh onions and spinach, all from the garden
--Fresh onion from the garden, diced bacon, broccoli and tomato from the Farmer's Market

Beet greens from the garden and Swiss chard from the Farmer's Market, sauteed and steamed with fresh onion from the garden

Homemade honey whole wheat bread, made with honey purchased from a friend, served with butter and homemade strawberry jam

Strawberry-rhubarb pie, made with strawberries from the front yard and rhubarb from the neighbor
We're making the move. We avoid processed foods. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. We serve oatmeal instead of breakfast cereal. We're growing, picking and preserving our own food. Eating seasonally. More local foods, grown by and purchased from people in and near our community, and we're participating in Community-Supported Agriculture. We drink locally-roasted coffee instead of Peet's. Our diet is continually evolving. Ten years ago, we ate a lot of pasta and potatoes, out-of-season vegetables, store jam with all of its preservatives. We didn't read labels looking for foods without high fructose corn syrup. We didn't eat a lot of salad, not a lot of green food at all, actually.

There's got to be a balance, and we haven't dived in headfirst. We can't grow our own rice and wheat in the back yard, nor do we have any desire to do so. We love bananas and eat broccoli and salad year-round, and though we purchase less than we used to, these foods are still staples in our home. That may change as our diet continues to evolve, as the children get older and more tolerant of green food and things that taste different, and as we educate ourselves on the pleasures of eating seasonally.

When I look at last night's menu, though, turning into a "locavore" isn't really what I'm thinking of. I'm delighted by good food. I'm grateful that we have the means to serve simple delicious meals to our children. And I feel a sense of connection to my meal, satisfaction that I know where a lot of that food came from: I can look out the window at my garden and at my hens scratching in the dirt. (Around my peas!! Ack! SHOO!) My children planted seeds in the dirt and saw them end up on our table as greens. Ten minutes before I sauteed a fresh onion, it was in the ground. Some of our vegetables were bought from the people who had just harvested them from their own gardens that morning. On Wednesdays, my house smells like fresh bread. We met a new neighbor who gave us rhubarb for free simply because he had enough to give away. My children play with the children of the family who sold us our honey, and I know that the chickens that lay the extra eggs we buy live in a large and clean pen. Our scraps and discarded stalks and rinds will turn into rich soil in which to grow more food for our table.

Life is good. Food is good.


KarenK said...

Ah, wonderful post, your sense of awareness of the rewarding work that has gone into that meal, and the thoughtfulness that goes into your menu planning and shopping. You're planting more than good seeds in rich soil, you're nurturing ideas.

Sara said...

Sounds yummy. I also enjoy the local and homegrown food. Have you seen the film "Good Food"? I think you would like it.