I love food. I love all the different textures, flavors, colors, and stories of food. Each ingredient has its own story. Some stories are good, and some you wish weren’t true. I will tell you a story of the meal I cooked for dinner tonight broken down by each part.
On the menu: boiled potatoes with melted butter, steamed broccoli, and an omelet full of chives dabbed with goat cheese, raw radish on the side
Almost all of the items came from within a few miles of my home. The potatoes were harvested from our garden 15 minutes before plopping them in boiling water. The broccoli was picked this evening and then sat in my bike basket up to the house. The eggs were given to me by my Aunt, who visited last weekend from New Hampshire. There is a wonderful meat and egg farm near her where we replenish our freezers with chickens, sausage, and beef. I know the farmers and have seen the facilities. But, from now on I will buy my eggs for $3 a dozen from Gould Farm- 1.5 miles down the road. The goat cheese we made here at the farm. The radish came from a friend who works at Indian Line Farm about 15 miles from here. The chives I picked from the garden a few days ago.
The only ingredients I don’t know the sources of personally are the sea salt, pepper, and butter. Eh, can’t be perfect, I know. But at least I bought them at the co-op. Except for the butter, oh dear, which came from Price Chopper! (Gasp) Please don’t hold it against me- it was on sale and the organic kind is like $5 now and it was for making pies. OK, now I feel bad, so I will try to buy happier butter in the future. It’s challenging finding a balance between what you know is right, and what is cheap…especially when you make less than $600 a month. But, that’s a whole different blog topic to be addressed soon: affordability.
I am really proud of how much of my food intake is from local sources and grown by Susan and me. It feels hopeful and rewarding to eat so well and know that what I am putting in my body is from a sustainable model. I enjoy being self-sufficient and not entirely depending on a system that exploits people and the environment. It’s a hell of a lot more work to do this when society is constantly pulling me in the opposite direction, but it’s worth every minute.
Food just tastes so much richer when I work for it. I hoed and weeded the potatoes and broccoli so they could spread strong roots into the soil. I squished at least 300 potato beetles to protect the plants. I milked the goats who’s milk I eventually processed into delicious cheese. I picked, washed, and chopped the chives for my omelet. And I am grateful for all the labor that went into getting the deep orange and bright white eggs to my skillet. My heart goes out to the men and women who make it possible for me to season my dinner with salt, pepper, and butter.