Friday, January 16, 2009

Thoughts | Missing the garden...

Missing the sunshine. Missing summer. Fall was amazing this year but's getting me down.

Anyway, I'm going to ramble about food for a bit. If you wonder why I'm so obsessed about local food, first read Animal Vegetable Miracle, then read In Defense of Food...and then google Monsanto. That's about all you need to know. Other than that I love food. A lot.

First off, my New Years resolution of eating Canadian produce only is going quite well (I know I know, it's only been 2 weeks...). Partly because as it turns out, I like all those vegetables. Wonder what's available in BC this winter?

- Squashes (and I could use some advice on butternut, because it always turns out dry for me...but I loooove spaghetti squash)
- Carrot, parsnips, beets, potatoes. Amazing roast veggie mix, let me tell you.
- Green leaf lettuce (greenhouse grown), sprouts. Makes a good salad, especially with a bit of feta crumbled on top.
- Cabbage. Good in stir fries (with carrots and parsnips :P). Fried up with sausage. Yep.
- Apples. I happily don't tire of apples.
- Mushrooms.

I miss bell peppers, but that's about it. Everything else tastes nasty this time of year anyone, so why bother?

Anyone think of something I didn't list? I'm buying American garlic and shallots, because I haven't found Canadian ones. I'd like to grow some...if I ever live in one place long enough. Oh to have a house and a garden and a root cellar... I'm counting veggies and fruits frozen in Canada, although I haven't bought any yet, because I still have my own.

Which brings me to my next update. How my food stored from the garden this summer is holding up:

I more than one years worth of:
-Pickles, asparagus and beet. I need to stop hording them and eat them more! But seriously I have tons.
-Pasta sauce. I'm mostly using it for pizza and that doesn't use a ton at a time. Next time I'm going to use smaller jars too.

I made just enough of (I think...):
- Jam, I made a lot and we're eating a lot. We love jam.
- Canned fruit. Like the pickles I need to stop hoarding so much. I'm just used to stealing from my mom, so I forget that I have lots.
- Frozen summer squash. I did quite a bit, and mostly use it for stir fry.
- Pesto. I have enough...I would eat more though...
- Frozen herbs. Although I'd like more dill...

Next year I'll do more of:
- Frozen fruit. I'm almost out. I've been having breakfast shakes pretty regularly. I need to double or triple the amount of fruit I do next year if I want to eat it all winter. And I do, it's soooo yummy and a good way to get your vitamins all winter.
- Asparagus, but I knew that, asparagus season ran away on my last year and I've been rationing.
- Ratatouille. I can't tell you how much I love this stuff. With sausage. I need to post the recipe. I only have one meal left of it and that makes me soooo sad.

And I'll run out of soup probably, but I can do more this winter.

What I didn't do and want to next year:
- Frozen green beans. I want some.
- Canned veggie broth. I made some asparagus broth, and it's great. I want to make a big batch of general veggie broth next year, so much cheaper and happier than buying organic chicken broth.
- Dried fruits and veggies and herbs. Stealing my parent's dehydrator for a bit if I live nearby.
- Apple juice. I just wanted juice when I was sick. And most juice gives me heartburn anyway. I miss home squished apple juice.
- More kinds of pickles...haha because I don't have any? But seriously, pickles are so fun! I want to do green beans...and maybe cauliflower.
- Maybe freeze some spinach. And Kale.

So how about you guys? Any of you do some preserving this year? How's it holding out? This local/sustainable eating thing would be a lot less fun without ratatouille and frozen raspberries, I'll tell you that!

I could talk about food all day long...but it's time to go eat!