Trash: way down. Dirty dishes: way up. Compost generation: way, way up.
Our kitchen has changed completely, and I really like it. I just finished a whirlwind kitchen session that included fennel cabbage soup, fennel pesto, herb squash chips, cucumber salad, garlic mayo, and roasted three stewing hens and stripped them.
The compost bowls are overflowing, and I love seeing the mosaic of potatoes laid out on the counter, a braid of garlic, an active cutting board and butcher knife, a pot of something boiling on the oven (right now, chicken broth), and the place looking like someone’s been throwing handfuls of veggie peel confetti. It feels much more like a farm kitchen should, but it definitely comes with a trade off: time.
Back in 2012, we had just finished working with a farmer in Georgia to help erect a new greenhouse – the previous one was lost in a tornado – when I asked him what he usually had for dinner after long market days. “Pizza,” he said, “because I am so damn tired!” We have found ourselves trending that direction. Days are long this time of year. We’re up early, I work off farm, we are stretched thin, and at the end of the day it’s simply too easy to come up with an easy dinner solution.
This week, M was frustrated with me when I beat the guys back from market and immediately went out to harvest and finish putting dinner together for everyone. He felt like I was ignoring him and preoccupied. I finally paused and explained the situation: we have no quick and easy dinner solution; the only recipe for dinner is to harvest food and prepare it before we’re all falling apart; maybe we could just chat about our days while he finished loading the dishwasher? It seemed to help, and of course the best way to help any feelings of being overlooked is to include them in the preparation which has also been fun. Whether it’s peeling or chopping or loading dehydrator trays or stirring the pot (which they are very good at!) I want them to be a part of this experience and take ownership over nourishing themselves.
There have been multiple times in the last week that the boys have disappeared, and in several cases it’s because they’ve found their way down to the field to get a snack of blueberries or strawberries or a carrot. The dependence is shifting from the cupboard and fridge to the land, and I like that feeling.