I started to wonder last week if I have an obsession with food. The word “obsessed,” ran through my head repeatedly. I began to be concerned about this apparent “problem.” I reassured myself that at least it’s not drugs, alcohol, or gambling, right?
Fortunately, the next day my friend Amy was telling me about her hobby involving cooking, eating, and processing food. I realized how we both share a similar passion and neither one of us needs help about it.
Phew, I’m not crazy since Amy agrees she spends most of the day thinking about what she’ll eat next, preparing the harvest, and consuming incredible cuisines.
This month has been entirely engulfed in the season’s harvest. I have been canning pickles, peaches, green beans, tomatoes, jellies, and jams. I have frozen pounds of corn, blueberries, strawberries, and broccoli.
Even on my days off and while visiting friends at home, I manage to focus on food. Last weekend Amy and I started our day with a list of tasks involving peach picking, farm Olympics, cruising by Nuestras Raices to dump compost and say hello to the farmers roasting a pig, cider donuts from Atkins Market, and Sidehill Farm yogurt. All were achieved.
I am realizing that what makes me really happy is sharing food with people. Last night a friend and I cooked dinner, which the entire process lasted about four hours. Then the next day another friend and I canned hot pepper jelly. We dabbled the leftovers on a cracker covered in goat cheese. Before I knew it, another group of friends knocked on my door and we threw together a delicious meal after picking the ingredients from the garden. A meal always tastes better when you’ve picked the veggies a few minutes earlier. And especially when you leave the forks in the drawer to just use your hands to shovel each bite into your mouth.
It’s not crazy at all that I devote so much of my time to food. Besides, don’t most other animals spend a majority of their lives searching for food? When did humans start to do otherwise? I much prefer food being at the center of my attention rather than what’s in style and who’s dating who.
After the rewarding peach picking exertion in Whately at Quont Quont Farm, we drove to Outlook Farm in Westhampton where I bought a 20-pound box of utility peaches.
A year ago I canned their peaches in sugar syrup and they were one of my favorite winter treats, so I did it again. There’s nothing like peaches in yogurt for breakfast with a little granola on top in February.
The other big processing project this week was freezing corn. Susan and I filled the front-end loader on the tractor with corn, husked it, blanched it, took the kernels off, and filled freezer bags with over 30 pounds of sweet corn.
With the extra juice I made corn chowder- a warm treat for these cool nights in the hills. The pigs at a farm down the road enjoyed all the corncobs left over and the goats nibbled on the husks: a full-circle of sustenance.
It’s quite a process, but well worth it in the end.
The yellow corn is Sumptuous and the white is Silver Queen.
Tomato update: the good news is that we still have cherry and plum tomatoes in the hoop house, which are plenty satisfying.
The bad news is yes, we did get the blight on our larger varieties outside so I tore them up, put them in black contractor bags, and brought them to the dump.But, oh, how lovely our tomatoes in the hoop house are! Sure makes you appreciate the small things in life…
Along with farm food comes farm flowers. The bees and hummingbirds are happy in the garden, too.