Sunday, March 28, 2010

Food--It's What I Planted in the Back Garden

Any Pagan foodie worth the name knows the ineffable joy of growing your own. Whether is a balcony windowbox, some containers on the deck or tilling up the Back 40, the pleasure of growing your own food cannot be oversold.

I began gardening as a child. My father's family had been country folk and he was itching to move to the country and try his hand at farming. We had a cow at some point, a goat, chickens, ducks. And a sloping south-facing garden that was tilled each spring and planted with corn and green beans and tomatoes.

Back then, western North Carolina was blessed with good amounts of rainfall in the summer and we hardly ever had to water the garden.

Now, I catch water from the roof of the house and water my garden with it. I garden organically--well, not certifiably organically--and have the pleasure of wiping soil off radishes and eating them in the field. I eat tomatoes warm from the sun, and perfectly ripe.

There is nothing fresher than food that comes from the back garden. The taste is different, the nutrition is better.

Win. Win. Win.

If you don't have a backyard, you might consider herbs in the window or containers at the front door.

So many articles are being written about knowing where your food comes from and how it was grown. May I suggest doing some of it yourself?

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Slight Chutney Obsession

I made a delicious pear chutney yesterday, with a bag of dented and scarred pears from the produce department at my local grocery. Pears, onions,walnuts, currants, sugar and vinegar. Cooked for an hour, slowly. The house still reeks of it.

It is rich and exotic and will be delish with meats or beans and rice.

Or on a spoon, which is how I had some this morning. Wonder how it would be with oatmeal?

I love the mix of sweet and pungeant.

I made a mango chutney a few weeks aho and it was gone in a hurry. This bag of pears (3-4 lbs) yielded rather a lot, including 3 pints to give away as gifts.