Saturday, August 4, 2012

A good food day

Food Diary for August 3rd, 2012:

When people are on a diet, the often first thing they do is create a food diary. One of the goals is to get them to notice all of the junk food they are mindlessly eating. I can also see that it might be a little harder to eat fifteen cookies if you know it is going into the food diary.

After yesterday, I was struck with the number and variety of fresh, local food experiences that I packed into one day without even trying. We have been thinking about abundance and generosity as a model for living, as opposed to scarcity and deprivation. Where did the pervasive feeling of scarcity come from? If with look at nature we find fantastic abundance everywhere.

1. My day started (as it does most days) with organic steel cut oats, cooked slow and then garnished with frozen blueberries that we picked at our friends' farm (and some Earth Balance fake butter). Yum. Also a cup of yerba mate tea.

2. A friend, Maddy, was over to work with us in the morning. Maddy works at North Creek Community Farm, a nearby CSA. When I brought her to the greenhouse behind the farmhouse, we sampled some of the strawberries (intense flavor) and the middle eastern cucumbers (sweet, like a melon). I also had to sample the plums from the trees by the long barn (one tree will be ready in the next few days).

3. We worked through the morning, and one of our work experiences was putting the extra basil from Thursday's market into our solar dehydrator. We smelled and tasted the basil as we picked off the leaves. Aaaah.

4. Lunch was fun.
     a. Jen had prepared a cucumber salad with a red pepper from the hoophouse and a little jalapeno, dressed with ume plum vinegar.
     b. She had also started some wild rice (gift from friends that we have been saving) in the rice cooker.
     c. I harvested some okra, tomatillos, another jalapeno, an onion, and some fresh cilantro. I fried the okra in local sunflower oil and some curry spices. I made a fresh tomatillo salsa in the food processor (tomatillos, juice from one lime, a little onion, half the jalapeno, salt, and a bunch of cilantro). Yum.
      d. Laura and Maddy went and got leftovers from the Homestead kitchen. Last week we hosted 30 Montessori teachers for a week of teacher-training. Anne cooked, and she used the week as an opportunity to showcase the use of fresh local ingredients.
             1. There was smoked chicken (Donna's chicken that she had raised at her place), which Laura and Maddy converted into a chicken salad using fresh garden herbs from our greenhouse containers.
             2. Also present was heirloom tomato gazpacho. A mix of our second-quality tomatoes and Maddy's farm's that she herself had picked earlier in the week.
             3. Sauteed zucchini.
             4. Cole slaw with fresh summer cabbage - red and green.
             5. Homemade ice cream that Anne had made from local ingredients. Rich like custard.

5. I did snack on some of those awesome yellow corn chips made in Minnesota that they sell at the co-op - while watching some Olympics coverage. Sadly, the bag was almost empty.

6. In the early evening, I harvested some corn on my way in from the potato field. The youngest, tenderest corn we have ready. Bodacious. I also grabbed the cabbage and green beans that were left over from Thursday's market. After a brief consult with the book Wild Fermentation, I shredded the cabbage and combined it with sea salt and packed it into our crock. I did four cabbages and it yielded 8 pounds of shredded cabbage. Sauerkraut is on the way!

7. Then Jen and I picked through the green beans and removed the stems from about 4 pounds of beans. While I was finishing the beans she got the steamer ready (to blanch the beans before freezing) and the corn ready and also made a surprise meal. She took the chicken-of-the-woods mushroom that she had found earlier in the week and combined it with some onions and a green pepper that she had cooked to caramelization. Added into that was some leftover organic black rice (wow!) and a cilantro/parsley/lime sauce that Laura had made on Wednesday. Oh, and a New Glaurus Moon Man beer.

A typical summer food day on the farm.

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