Birds began singing weeks ago, and to me, that marks the start of spring. I love this time of year, for the needy desperate craving for warm weather and outdoor industry, but also for the respite of true dark wintry days that, in all their depressing gloom, offer a few more hours to catch up on winter crap.
Last summer, we grew three kinds of flour corn in our little city garden - Painted Mountain, Abenaki Calais, and Hopi Blue. Since then, a mason jar of each variety has sat on the kitchen table, the colors being too pretty to shut away in the pantry. On Friday, we took our corn to the farm of some friends, and ran it through their awesome grain mill. The first cup of Painted Mountain went into a yogurty batter, and then into the wood cookstove, and then into our bellies as really yummy, beautifully speckled cornbread. We ground the Hopi Blue into meal, too, and had some in pancakes for breakfast the next morning, along with wild blueberries left from summer foraging. The Abenaki Calais we ground a little coarser, into polenta.
I made a tart with our very own whole-entire, rind-and-all, except-for-the-seeds Meyer lemon, and that was also delicious. Meals last week were built around our own roasted tomatoes, sweet (oven)dried tomatoes, herbs, black trumpets... Sausagefest done and happened, so our freezer is stocked with chorizo and friends. Bacon, too. Oh boy. Bacon. We have teas from chaga, reishi, and chamomile that we harvested ourselves, and a freezer still partly full of berries, blanched green beans, breaded eggplant, pesto, chicken-of-the-woods, and whatever else is lurking in the avalanche.
So that's that. We've just been eating. And I'm feeling good about what we put up last season. After giving up the gardening business, I had more time to grow food, collect food, draw pictures to trade for food, and preserve food, so between what we stored and the staples that come on the truck with Matt's bakery supplies, we haven't had to go to the grocery store much at all this winter. Except for blocks of frying cheese and avocados, because taquitos with guacomole is, like, fifty percent of our diet. But we grew the salsa.