One of my goals in living more sustainably is to learn how to eat food more seasonally and to preserve foods to eat through the year. I’ve checked out cookbooks from the library focusing on root vegetables and other such winter/early spring produce. Eating by the seasons also means that I need to eat more of the produce that is available. When you purchase turnips or beets at a farmer’s market, they come with their beautiful long and absolutely edible greens still attached. Yes, I mean greens. Yes, cooking greens. Yes, eating greens.
“Why would you pickle a perfectly good strawberry?” My mother asked me.
Moments earlier, she’d been telling me that I had become a better cook than her (which I protest—adamantly so), and I had texted her a picture of my latest project: pickled strawberries. In the jars, the strawberries looked like rubies against darkness of the balsamic vinegar. I had been rather enamored with their appearance, which is what prompted me to send her the picture. Without knowing what was in the jars, she suggested that the picture was proof I was a better cook. (Again, proposition rejected!)
Once I told her what I had done to those 2½ pound of perfectly good strawberries though, I lost all credibility and comments about my cooking prowess ceased.
As the weather cools, I start craving both sweet and savory pumpkin dishes and returning home to a house that smells like a spicy chili had been slowly cooking in a crock pot all day. Last year, I searched and searched for a pumpkin-chili recipe that (1) was vegetarian, (2) used chunks of pumpkin, (3) used a crock pot, and (4) was still a chili and not the sordid conflagration between a chili and a dessert with cocoa powder or pumpkin pie spice. I didn’t find such a recipe, and the closest recipe I did find called for ½ cup of butter AND ½ a cup of olive oil. (No wonder it got rave reviews!)