Monday, July 12, 2010

an assortment of weeds

I love these few hot days mid-summer when the house is dim and cool and the garden is bright and hot and I wander between the two with stops each way for the hourly-changing shady reading spot on the porch or deck, happily torn between writing, weeding, and reading. There's dirt under my nails, sweat running down my neck, and streaks of lily pollen and blackcap juice on my shorts and tee. I am minimally ecstatic.
On one of those trips inside I inspect my friend El's excellent blog, Fast Grow the Weeds dot com, wherein a professional woman lives (close to where I grew up) in Michigan with her husband and child and various animals and gardens. She works from her home office at an entirely separate job while experimenting with eating close-to-completely-off-the-land -- mostly her own -- with local and area supplementation. This involves season-extension and preserving and what does not sound like, but we know is, an immense amount of work. Her latest addition is a goat, her latest activity is making cheese. It seems no hardship to her and hers, but, conversely, a joy. 

On her blog she has quoted Patience Gray in a permanent sidebar:
Good cooking is the result of a balance struck between frugality and liberality...[i]t is born out in communities where the supply of food is conditioned by the seasons. Once we lose touch with the spendthrift aspect of nature's provisions epitomized in the raising of a crop, we are in danger of losing touch with life itself. When Providence supplies the means, the preparation and the sharing of food takes on a sacred aspect. The fact that every crop is of short duration promotes a spirit of making the best of it while it lasts and conserving part of it for future use. It also leads to periods of fasting and feasting...
Patience Gray in the introduction to Honey from a Weed (New York: Harper & Row, 1986)
It is not the first time I have found like-mindedness between us. I was struck by the pertinacity of this thought to our local food culture of today, and in no time at all I had put my hands on this book so lovingly perused over the last two decades. It will stay out of the bookcase for weeks now as I taste its sweetness once again. Until, in fact (if I know myself), the snow flies.

On another topic, Michael Ruhlman posted a Zucchini Fritter recipe just now and he has several curves on it. It is here.

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