Sunday, January 16, 2011
In the Bleak Mid-Winter
It’s January and the snow is thick on the fields and my own vegetable patch has disappeared. I live next door to a good-sized farm and when the ground is frozen and covered in snow I love to walk across the bare fields into the woods in the distance. Snowmobiles lay down trails and it’s easy walking. Fabulously quiet and peaceful in the snow-covered woods. Well, at least until a snowmobile comes by.
Yesterday a flock of about 40 wild turkeys marched across the trail in front of me. When I got closer they took to the air.
I’m steadily making my way through the contents of my root cellar. Dinner tonight will be pork chops with fingerling potatoes and sautéed bok choy. The potatoes have been in a big paper bag down in the cellar since the fall. I bought 18 lbs. and have about half left. Some are sprouting and some are a bit soft, but they’re still in great condition and almost as tasty as the day they were picked. The bok choy is from the supermarket, but I will be cooking it with heirloom garlic grown by my friend down the road. There isn`t much that lasts the winter, but garlic and potatoes can if you have a nice cool place to store them.
Which is why we also have freezers. Last night’s dinner was pasta with shrimp in the tomato sauce I froze in the fall. You could still taste the fresh tomatoes. I’m also dining these days on tomato soup and squash soup I made and froze when the vegetables were fresh. As well as blueberry muffins and scones and apple muffins. The blueberries taste just as good as the day they were picked. Full of flavour. Really!
I bagged and froze raspberries and blackberries and although they aren`t as good frozen as fresh, they are wonderful to light up a bowl of yoghurt sprinkled with granola or ice cream.
I’m not strictly a locovore. I shop at the supermarket and I’ll occasionally buy produce from other countries when I really feel like it and there is nothing local in stock. i.e. this week’s bok choy. But there still isn`t much that beats local foods.
Even in the bleak mid-winter.
The picture of the deck and garden shed was taken last winter out my kitchen window, and the other shows wild turkeys marching across the field beside my driveway.