Friday, August 3, 2012

At Grandmother's Table

"Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." 
  - Michael Pollan 

There are lots of things in the Dunn Creek Farm CSA box this week that your great grandmother would recognize. And she'd be pleased to have fresh produce picked and ready for her family. Chances are you
have a food memory about a grandmother, aunt, neighbor or someone else close to you who knew how to 
put love into every bite. It's amazing how durable those memories are and how they become part of us.
They are the opposite of the empty and forgettable calories that never fill us up.    

My Grandmother was a fine cook who came by her skills the hard way. Her mother died when she was 12 
and as the oldest girl she took over the kitchen and fed her family.  That was in 1892 on a farm in Kansas.  
As a boy, I remember her being very old in a gingham apron making boiled frosting for a birthday cake in our suburban kitchen. She talked about the food she used to love. She would become rhapsodic about shelling peas and string beans, tomatoes and corn. Every July she asked to have home made vanilla ice cream from a hand cranked freezer.

As a child of progress in the city I was raised on the convenience food served by my working mother.  
Frozen peas.  
Canned green beans.  
Frozen corn. 
Ice cream (without cream) came in a box.  
My farmer was the Jolly Green Giant. 
I could not understand why my Grandmother looked so satisfied by the memory of...vegetables. 
This morning I was picking the last of our shelling peas.  I popped open a shell and tasted that tender burst of
sweet green flavor.  We've been picking snow peas and digging potatoes, harvesting amazing zucchini and
fashioning these veggies into our meals with friends and neighbors this week. Simple meals made special with 
a fresh potato salad. Or greens so good guests compliment us the next day.  Simple. Clean. Satisfying. 

Grandmother would have put on her gingham apron and shelled the peas in the time it took me to write this.
And in just a few minutes you can create a feeling of lasting satisfaction no processed food can deliver.
It's a richer way to eat and live.