There is, as well, something deeply comforting about a winter larder, connecting us with ancestors who either provided for their own needs or went without. The question, “What what shall we have for dinner?” thus becomes not a matter of pleasant choices among options within close proximity, but also a realization of some vital link, historically and spiritually, with our own past.
Finally, there is still something living about vegetables one gathers out of storage. Chicories have actually grown, prodding fat witloofs deep beneath a thick layer of peat, signaling their readiness for the table by snouts poking barely into the air. Cabbages and brussels sprouts are stored with their roots and outer leaves, from which they still draw sustenance throughout the winter. Carrots, beets, and winter radishes, pulled from the damp sand, will display frail white whiskers of root, and may ten have produce a tuft of new leaves, not an unacceptable addition to a winter salad.
All this, with the smell of life still on it, reminds us, if with a difference, of the pleasure of the summer garden, and of harvesting from a medium closer to life than a plastic bag.
Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill
There are no words I can add that will expound on the simple beauty of this passage.
Do you have a larder, pantry, root cellar? What’s your favorite shelf-stable winter vegetable?Filed under Quote | Comments (18)