Two women were walking by my garden yesterday as I was harvesting and stopped to ask some questions. There was the usual, what’s this and what’s that? Then one woman asked, “Are you trying to grow all of your own vegetables?”
“Well, yes, actually, I am,” I answered.
“What about the winter time? Can you grow anything then?”
“No, not really. We grow everything in four months and then freeze, can, dry, and put it in cold storage for the rest of the year.”
“Hmf, sounds like a lot of work!”
Yeah….it is hard work. Every day that it’s not raining I’m outside taking care of the garden and harvesting whatever I can, then I’m up late trying to get it all put away for the winter. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a treadmill that is going just a little too fast for me to catch up. Add to that making yogurt, cheese, bread, pasta, butter… just about everything we eat it seems requires some sort of process to get it into our bellies. But, when you need a quick lunch and you slap some homemade marinara on sourdough bread you kneaded, top it with some salami from the farmer’s market and Mat-Su Creamery mozzarella (thank goodness we don’t have to make everything), you have a pizza toast that is out of this world!
“Dang, we’ve been having some fantastic meals lately!” Matt exclaimed the other day. I have to admit, I’ve been so busy I haven’t put a lot of thought into them, but when you have fresh, ingredients it is hard to go wrong. Normally leftover pasta is pretty unappealing, but when it is homemade and you toss it with fresh tomatoes, herbs, sauteed zucchini and broccoli, it is mouth-watering. A meal of salmon sausage, buttered cabbage, and leftover roasted beets tossed in a vinaigrette came together in less than 10 minutes in a pinch before a workshop Wednesday. And last night when I finally got around to making dinner at 8 o’clock, I tossed together a stir-fry with just a sampling of each vegetable I had harvested from the garden over barley and eggs. Matt declared it the best stir-fry I had ever made.
Yesterday I was doing a garden consultation and the woman was telling me how inspired she was by the article in the paper to eat more locally and grow more of her own food. (Awesome!!) “As I was eating my peanut butter sandwich today at lunch, I was thinking about you and Matt and about how you can’t have that. I don’t know if I could give it up.” My mind flashed to the pizza toasts Matt and I had just eaten and then to the giant jar of peanut butter in our refrigerator that was left by our last roommate years ago (thanks Marne!) that we use for the occasional peanut sauce and to fill the dog’s kong. Somehow I don’t really feel like I’m giving anything up.