Monday, June 18, 2012

Where do things come from?

I don't think it's just me.  I mean, with the number of books popping up, it must be a growing trend, this whole learning about food thing.  Since I've moved out to this little island in Puget Sound, I've learned about how so many of the foods I'm used to from the grocery store are just, well, different if you get them right off the farm.  Who knew there were so many different kinds of kale, and that they could be sweet and soft and yummy?  Or that fresh berries really ARE as good as they say?  Or that any number of foods exist that you simply won't find in a grocery store because they don't transport well?  Or that raw milk from a trusted source is just friggin' awesome and sooooo much better for you?  I sure didn't know.  But I'm learning!

I don't think I'll ever be a fancy cook, but give me the simples and I can Do Things.  This weekend was the official opening of Jam Season.  The first of the local June strawberries came available, and the rhubarb is just about finished at the local farmer's market, and I have this new book with some awesome jam recipes, which means I spent the weekend making jam.  This is just my second Jam Season, and I'm off to a rockin' good start.  Strawberry + Vanilla jam (where I learned what is in a vanilla pod), Rhubarb + Strawberry + Orange with a hint of cinnamon, and Rhubarb + Earl Grey + Lavender + Vanilla.  I'd never had rhubarb before, and I think the Rhubarb + Earl Grey is going to be my favorite for a while.  Tart, smooth, and oh so good on toast with goat cheese...  Nom, I say.

And I'm also learning how to bake wheat-free bread.  Did you know that gluten free bread comes in little tiny loaves that cost about twice as much as "regular" bread?  But if I make it myself, it's both tastier and cheaper, just a few cents more than regular bread.

So, this weekend, I learned more about baking bread (this is my second acceptable loaf of bread, ever), I learned that there are more flavors that can go in jam than I ever see at the grocery store, and I learned that doing all this still leaves me time to take the morning coffee grounds out to feed and smell the roses.

Next weekend, I'm going to learn how to take this raw goats milk I have access to and make yogurt.  It's apparently so much easier than one would think!  So much of this whole food thing is easy and inexpensive.  Why didn't I know about this before?


Laura Fry said...

Because we've been brainwashed into thinking we don't have the time to do it?

RuTemple said...

There are whole theses to be found and written on the whole post-wars industrialization of foodways. That whole time game construct is definitely part of it.
Fortunately, most of these cool things we've been learning, many of us as grownups, are y-writ in bookes olde and even more fortunately, are yet in living memory or unlost in the first place (I wish Ayse's experience wasn't as rare as it appears to be).

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