Food

Oct. 3rd, 2011 11:54 am
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[personal profile] cloudy_one
So it's definitely Fall, and almost Winter actually.  Of course that means it's Harvest Time.  This year was the first year that CD and I actually got around to planting a garden.  It took some drastic measures (like planting) and a decent amount of (over-)digging.  We set up a snaking trench leading from the east portion of our yard to the west.  We're on a slight slope.  Then we planted along that trench.  While this Harvest Season is certainly not the first we're seeing of our crops it is a time when it seems we've gotten some more great dishes to come out of the garden.  A lot of the vegetables we've picked so far have ended up in stews and soups, as they've been a bit hodge-podgey with when they've been ready.  We've had the occasional huge zucchini and some yellow crook-neck squash and way too much okra (who knew it'd do so well here?).  We've been kind of hit and miss with the corn as far as picking it.  A difficult aspect of having a garden is realizing it's not the same as a grocery store.  If we don't feel like corn today but want some next week, those ears we've been eyeing will likely be too dry for much cooking (I think we're going to have a lot of cornmeal this year though). 

Along those lines though we've kept a closer eye on the egg plant and the cantaloupe.  The little seeds we planted for the melons ended up taking over quite a bit of our garden.  It looks like all of those vines might be coming from just two plants too.  The entire central portion of our garden is overtaken by cantaloupe vines, which are producing quite a bit of melons too.  Byron brought up how some folks hollow out the melons slightly from a small-ish hole in the top and then fill it with vodka.  They reseal it and let it sit for a while.  Sounds kind of yummy so maybe we'll give that a go. 

Meanwhile Sam made a delicious dish with the first eggplant we harvested along with a rather large zucchini we've had sitting in the kitchen for a while.  She stuffed some chicken breast with the zucchini (which she had marinate a bit in a sauce she came up with) and then used the zucchini to make a lasagna to go along with it.  It was amazing.  There was a bit too much zucchini for the dinner so we ended up saving it in a container (I've had a few zucchini omelets since then) but otherwise it went pretty quick, even for how many portions Sam had to make so we didn't waste the eggplant.

In a lot of ways it's pretty exciting being able to cook the occasional meal with mostly fresh out of the garden ingredients.  It certainly makes me feel good about the work I've put into it.  It also makes me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile.  An issue that I've had with being academically inclined is that there isn't really anything I can touch and say "I made that" or "I did that."  It's not the same as having a more trades type job where you can readily see, feel, touch the work that you've done.  With the garden I can pick up a cantaloupe and say "I helped this grow."  I think back on the weed clearing, the digging, the planting and all of that stuff and then get to see these edibles come up out of that work.  That probably helps make the meals taste just a little bit better too.
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