Ponder this:

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Last Sunday we went to a farmer's market and bought loads of sweet smelling vegetables and fruit. We walked out with many heavy bags of Good Food for fifty bucks. Tight-budded broccoli, bags of firm purply-white garlic, icy white cauliflower wrapped in its ruffly leaves, rich-smelling dark dark red beets complete with their hairy stems and dirt covering, a few acorn squash, melons, and two big bags of plum tomatoes to add to the couple dozen our garden has produced.

On Monday, I steamed and skinned the beets between my getting home from work and going back for an evening meeting.
Tuesday the workday ran from eight a.m. to eight p.m. I ate beets for lunch and dinner.

On Wednesday after work I was tired unto autopilot and thought I might as well keep the body moving while my mind was turned off. I filled three pots with tomatoes, with the barest part of the stem end cut off, and great leafy basil and parsley bunches that I grabbed by handfuls from the garden. I love throwing whole fruit and leaves and stems into a pot, knowing that the result will be the same as if I painstakingly prepared everything prior to cooking it. I feel sure that the first tomato saucemakers did it the same way, leaving the concoction to alchemize into a meal while they went out to slaughter animals or pound clothing clean on rocks.

Fresh juicy tomatoes take a long time to cook down into sauce and at bedtime I had to put the whole mess in the refrigerator. Next day I remembered that I own two six-quart slowcookers, and I filled up both of them with my sauce-to-be and let it simmer for twenty hours. When I got home last night there were still illusory whole-tomato and basil leaf shapes in the pots, but the little hand blender turned it all into a puree. Today will be ladling-into-freezer-bags day.

My autopilot cooking evening got the squash baked too, along with the three that appeared all on their own in our garden, in the same oven time that my thrown-together meatballs baked.

Fresh food . . . really fresh fruit and vegetables . . . is such a pleasure, such a gift.
Think of it: A seed lies on dirt and turns into edible stuff.
It's magic.


Michele said...

God's food *is* a great gift. I wish I was a better cook though. We go to the farmer's market... get goat cheese and pickling cucumbers and just put the cucumbers in leftover pickle juice. I bet your house smelled great when you got home!

threecollie said...

What a great post! I get the deepest pleasure from putting up in the fall. It fills some need I guess, but there is nothing like food in the freezer....rows of jars....a wonderful wonder in life.