In which sprouts and sauerkraut count as salad
Happy Monday Friends,
How’s your Christmas cookie intake?
I wish I were as disciplined with mine as Col and Rose are with the daily opening of their advent calendars. Dan’s mom made them these amazing advent calendars, which must have been an engineering feat of tracing paper, exacto knives and 10th grade geometry resulting in perfect alignment of tiny snowmen and their attendant rectangular door flaps.
And even though every child whose seen Col and Rose’s advent calendars have mentioned that theirs contain chocolate, Col and Rose pry open their daily doors as awestruck as if they’ve descended on the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Times Square from their native aboriginal island. “Cows!” Rose exclaimed yesterday morning about the sleepy eyed bovines under flap #12, while we discovered Col’s #12 had been prematurely flung open by a zealous toddler at our last playgroup. “That’s okay,” Col said magnanimously, likely remembering the crop of siblings who roamed around our house plucking wine bottles out of the recycling to chew on. Having toddlers on site reminded me that despite my own airbrushed nostalgia for Col’s toddlerhood, if you did an MRI on my brain at the time, it would reveal that 85% of my mental faculties were concerned with keeping Col from walking into traffic/chewing electric cords/swallowing gravel and generally dying, 15% on sniffing out dirty diapers. Oy.
Aside from snazzy advent calendars, the big news around here is that I’m taking a break from writing the San Juan Table column. I might start again in spring when dandelions and baby lettuces pop up like old friends, but for now, eating locally in Colorado is almost entirely based on what level of food preservation you engaged in back in fall; which is to say, it’s all about the eating now and it doesn’t seem fair to bill my editor for a recounting of our meals.
Thank you for reading the columns, and for trying your hand at sauerkraut (Andrea) or bread baking (Jennifer, Kristen), roasted zucchini (Sue) or mint dipping sauce (Steph). Writing about local food became this wonderful circular thing where the writing inspired the living which inspired the writing. And all that time chopping and canning and freezing and packing potatoes into buckets has become what now feeds us in December.
Eating seasonally has stretched my ideas. For instance, salads haven’t contained lettuce for a month; but grated beets, carrots (which, stored in the fridge are still perfect after 2 months) and greenhouse chard zinged-up with a vinaigrette is just fine. Sometimes a motley pile of assorted sprouts stands in for salad, or even a scoop of sauerkraut fills that space on the plate. It’s all an experiment, but I haven’t missed lettuce yet.
But, the weekly responsibility of producing the column has been exhausting. It’s a little like running a marathon where instead of people handing you power bars and gatorade at rest stations, you get laundry and overdue library books tossed at you. Last week I locked myself in my room to conduct a phone interview with Trent Taylor of Blue Horizon Farms while little people thudded their bodies against the door.
Plus there’s a strange and disturbing stench in my car I will finally have time to investigate. Rose says it’s sour milk, spilled during one of our milk runs; at least it’s local.
San Juan Table Archives are available on the Edible San Juan Mountain homepage, or up top as a “page” on this blog. Thanks again for your support and may your advent calendars and toddlers be merry.
ps: any gift suggestions for an 8 year old boy?