19 January 2009

The Glory of Food

I must say, I am totally engrossed in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I want to stand on the street corner and hand it out to people. I want to quit my job and plant a farm on our quarter acre. Mostly, I want to cook real food. I can't say that my life has been totally void of real food, but I don't think I've ever fully understood what food, cooking, and the process of eating is meant to be. I've eaten a lot of junk and never really cared about cooking.

But what I'm realizing is, cooking is magical. It's transformative. And I really don't think I'm blowing it out of proportion by saying this. There's a huge difference between throwing noodles in a pot and pouring premade sauce over it and actually choosing the ingredients to go into the sauce, between buying muffin mix and adding a bit of egg and water and starting from scratch with flour and sugar, and between pulling a pizza out of the freezer and taking the time to make the dough, then thoughtfully choosing and arranging ingredients. With our family about to expand, I glad to accept this as part of the domestic routine.

Adam already does this. He loves to cook and loves to eat. He cooks at the fire station and gets rave reviews for his étouffée. He has taught me a lot about cooking and gardening. He's also a big proponent of eating as a family at the table every night, something we've been lax on but will make an effort toward once Baby C arrives.

I did a little research and found that the Natural Resources Defense Council lists what fruits and vegetables are in season, month by month and state by state. This is great for knowing what types of produce were less likely to have been shipped a long way (like from South America) when shopping at the grocery store or when local produce will be in season to purchase at the farmers' market or to pick from our backyard. This weekend, we bought a bunch of seeds for our garden. Adam wants to give corn a shot (it's an experiment). We also plan to grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, spinach, and a variety of herbs.

In digging a little deeper, I found a farm not far from here that may be a CSA (fingers crossed). From what I read, they sell seasonable fruit, veggies, meat, dairy, and pecans. I'll admit, I actually had a dream about it this weekend. But we're waiting until after my trip this week to venture there and check it out.

Last night, Adam and I made our own rendition of the Friday Night Pizza recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I made the dough and Adam chopped the veggies. We added chicken and pepperoni to and it was amazing -- beats the pants off of DiGiorno. I also made chocolate mousse from scratch, much of which is sitting in the refridgerator awaiting my arrival at the end of the day.

The rest of our weekend was pretty standard. Penny and I took a long walk in the park on Saturday, and yesterday was spent watching football with the fire blazing. We also bathed both of our pets, which is always an adventure but necessary because they keep passing fleas to each other.

Who knew having a home life could be like this?


jenni said...

I think you're spot-on about the glory of real food. I must read that book soon. And thanks for the veggie list - I'm already perusing what's in season in Texas.

alissa wilkinson said...

"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" is definitely my favorite book I've read in the last month or so. I gave it to my mom, too, who raised me with a lot of what goes on in the book. I knew she'd enjoy it.

Thanks for that "what's in season" link - I usually know these things from my mom, but it helps. Thankfully some of the local farmers also grow mushrooms and greens in their hothouses! We are eating a lot of potatoes and onions around here.

alissa wilkinson said...

By the way, I am trying to find a resource for helping me grow herbs on my windowsill (not windowbox, but windowsill). We have deep windowsills and I love fresh herbs, but it's hard to find gardening books that are for the TRULY small apartment!

Lindsay said...

Thanks, ladies. I can't wait to get gardening season underway!

Alissa, I wish I knew of a herb-growing resource. I'm not sure but this might be helpful, about growing herbs in containers.