In the rush to industrialize our food system, tradition has not only been ignored, it has been actively shunned. We make the assumption that the new thing is the better thing, indicating progress and vision, and that the old thing is obsolete. But vision, to be healthy, must be balanced by tradition. Unfortunately our country neglects tradition.
Jessica Prentice – Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection
I was thinking about this quote as I was talking to my grandma about her childhood last week. She said they raised 8-9 hogs each year and butchered them in the winter to help feed the 8 kids in the family. We chatted about how we butchered our own hogs a few weeks ago right on our place.
Growing and raising your own food is definitely a way to connect with tradition. For most of history our ancestors have had a hands on connection with their food. Not only in the cultivation of it but in the processing of it as well. If you can’t grow your own vegetable or raise your own meat, I’d highly recommend connecting with a small local farm that does. Even going out to the farm to see the vegetables in the garden and animals in the field will help connect you with your food heritage.
Learning to make food from scratch is also a way to connect with tradition. One of my favorite things to make is bread, whenever I knead bread I think about the millions of women around the world that are kneading bread now and the billions that have done it throughout the ages. Such a simple act that transcends culture and time.
What kind of food do you feel most connects you with the past?Filed under Quote | Comments (5)
Last week we packed everyone up in the car and headed to Ohio to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Lucy and Tara both went along, though with two large dogs in our small car we had to get a trailer to haul all of our clothing & supplies in.
Today we’re headed back to Maine with a car full of dogs and a trailer full of gear and venison.
Any holiday traveling last week or in December?Filed under Miscellaneous | Comments (15)
When I was in 2nd grade, we took kraft paper and crumpled it up over and over again to make faux suede. With this suede we made vests. Ever since then I’ve loved kraft paper and have used it for wrapping gifts.
Whenever I get a package that uses brown kraft paper as the packing material I save it in my wrapping stash. Brown paper bags of all shapes & sizes are saved as well. I love that this paper can be used throughout the year, no need to keep holiday, birthday and other wrapping around.
I also have a box filled with scraps from ribbon, these add a bit of beauty to the humble brown paper. Sometimes I make tags, other times I buy them. I love the simplicity of this paper!
Do you wrap gifts simply or do you like to go all out with your wrapping?Filed under Favorite Plants, Friday Favorites | Comments (13)
It’s squash season and I’m happy. I love butternut squash soup, really love it. I’d eat it a few days a week if I could. My favorite recipe combines sweet squash, creamy butter, savory sage and smoky chipotle peppers. In fact, there’s a batch on the stove right now.
Here’s my favorite Butternut Squash recipe.
Butternut Squash and Chipotle Soup
from Fresh & Light (Williams-Sonoma)
1 butternut squash, 2.5 lbs
1 tablespoon of butter
2 slices of coarse country bread, each about 1/2 inch thick cut into 1/2 inch cubes (for croutons)
1 teaspoon of dried sage
1/2 yellow onion chopped
2 small chipotle peppers (I’d start with 1 without seeds and then taste) I use canned ones
3 1/2 cups of chicken, turkey, ham or vegetable stock
salt to taste
fresh sage leaves (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Using spoon, scrape out the seeds and any fibers and discard. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake until just tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
In a large saucepan over medium high heat, warm the butter. Add the bread and dried sage and saute, stirring often, until the bread cubes are browned on all side, about 4 minutes. Using a spoon, transfer croutons to a plate and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash chiles, and broth. Simmer over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the squash is very soft, about 30 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth (or with immersion blender), be very carefully blending hot soup as it has a tendency to explode the top off the blender. It’s best to start with bursts of power then to full blend. Its also wise to keep a kitchen towel draped over the blender. I have found an immersion blender to be indispensable since we make many pureed soups.
Return soup to the pan and reheat gently. If desired add some whole milk and butter. Taste and add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Ladle into warmed bowls. Divide the croutons among the servings and garnish with sage leaves. Serve hot.Filed under Cooking | Comments (13)
Mr Chiots is back at it again, deer hunting in Ohio with my dad. It’s become a yearly tradition. They head down to the family hunting cabin for a week of hunting and manly chatter, no doubt lots of stories of the big one that got away. There are usually a few other friends that come as well, makes for a fun week for them.
I got an update yesterday afternoon and both Mr Chiots and my dad filled three deer tags each. This will keep us in red meat for the entire year, along with our ducks, chickens and pigs, we won’t be going hungry any time soon!
Are there any hunters in your family?Filed under Miscellaneous | Comments (18)