What Are You Baking?

This is a short one.  Today I’m thankful for choices in food.

Today was another visit to the older gal I help with housekeeping.  She is endlessly entertaining.  As I left she asked if I needed to do anything else.  I replied that I still had to bake.  She is a marvelous baker and so inquired if it was anything special for Christmas.  I told her that I need to bake my tofu.  Her expression was immediate, and very funny.  She looked like she’d swallowed a lemon slice.  She loves stir fried vegetables, and acknowledges the convenience of tofu as a food, but she would rather eat almost anything else.  I feel similarly about mushrooms.  I truly enjoy spending time with her.

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An Iron Chef Needs One

Today I’m thankful for iron skillets.

The older lady I volunteer with asked me to clear her kitchen cupboards.  I discovered she had five iron skillets in all different sizes.  I have one skillet and one soup pan.  I told her as much.

She retorted, quite reasonably, that iron skillets are about the single best thing to have in your kitchen.  You can fry anything edible in them.  They can safely be put in the oven to make pie or corn bread.  Mmmm, pie.  With proper care and seasoning they will last practically forever.  She had four boys.  I imagine she always had multiple pans going, both literally and figuratively.

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Schnitzel and Strudel and Spätzle

Today I’m thankful for strudel.

I am visiting family.  Traffic on the drive here was heavy and chaotic.  As soon as I arrived the news announced a number of new disasters that I’m not even sure how to deal with anymore.  The world is starting to feel a bit unreal.

We were all a little stressed so we went to a local Germanfest that happened to be going on.  Vendors were selling every sort of “-wurst” imaginable.  I went for the potato pancakes.  They were tasty but a bit small.  I was still hungry.  Then I saw the strudel tent.  They had cheese strudel!  I don’t eat meat but I love a good cheese.  The pastry was light and flaky but substantial enough to contain the cheese without crumbling.  The cheese was creamy and rich but not acidic.  The serving was generous.  It even made the polka music was more tolerable.

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Playing In the Dirt

Today I’m thankful for gardening.

I have a bunch of containers on my patio.  They’re all flowers.  I didn’t know if I would be able to eat everything if I grew vegetables.  I might next year.

My grandparents had a huge vegetable garden.  There was an entire row dedicated to strawberries for me.  I’ve never been a fan of weeding but working with the soil and watching something grow is amazing.  At home we’d do yardwork but it always kind of sucked.  I’ve learned, that for me, the spirit I approach the work with is the most important part.  It’s probably grossly oversimplified but that’s all I’ve got.  I do think people should have a better idea where their food comes from, and of the amount of effort that goes into producing it.  Our county extension office offers community plots for a small rental fee.  I’m thinking about getting one for the next growing season and just letting flowers and veg run riot.