It feels like it has been a million years since I’ve had – count them – TWO whole hours by myself to sit down and give my favorite little blog some love and attention. I have shipped my sweet little people back off to school (by ship, I mean they are a half a mile away expanding their minds for six hours a day).
This is really great news for me, because my head cannot hold all the fun food thoughts and ideas that come and go throughout the day. I have wished I could remember them in the few minutes a week I gazed adoringly at my computer this summer.
But I am a work in progress, and progress we shall make!
Everywhere I look, I see things I would like to do better, would like to learn more about, would like to try. It can be maddening. Luckily my hope is to live long and prosper, so I have time to explore all the things I can imagine plus more.
One of the things I will remember most about this summer is reading “Little House in the Big Woods” to my six-year-old. We cuddled up at night and I would read a chapter or two. She loved Laura’s story of homesteading in 1871 – her chores, her dog Jack, Pa’s fiddle, and her rag doll. Yes, yes, that’s all very sweet and fun.
But for me, I couldn’t help but be completely enthralled and fascinated by Ma and Pa and all they did to eat (and avoid bears, but that’s only because bears freak me out). Ma and Pa were so connected to the land and the rhythms of the seasons. They had such reverence and understanding of the animals. I can’t forget the image of Pa “hunting” by sitting up in a tree on a moon lit night NOT shooting a bear because the woods were so peaceful that he forgot all about the gun.
Ma and Pa’s foresight, planning, and plain old hard work is inspiring. It makes my meal planning, lame ol’ herb garden, Community Supported Agriculture subscription, and beef share seem like whoppy-freakin-doo.
And the way they celebrated maple syrup season (with big parties), finding honey (with all-you-could-eat-buffets), and buying a candy from the town store (never to eat it, because it was too pretty and special), made me realize that my own culture’s preoccupation with sugar comes from these roots. We just have too much of the sugar and not enough of the planning and hard work for the other 99% of the food we should be eating. It’s hard to celebrate a piece of candy when you get 35 in a bag and you get a bag every few days — or whatever our sugar of choice looks like.
Anywho… I’m rambling because it was awesome, thought-provoking and in many ways I’d love to see the world a little closer to the 1871-Wisconsin-Big Woods version, instead of the one we’ve managed to create. I could do without the bears, but I’d throw a sweet Maple Syrup Party. And you’d all be invited.
Like I said, I’m a work in progress and if you are too then I think you’ll enjoy the future of the Lean.Green.Kitchen. Thanks for being a part of the progress.