Thursday, November 29, 2012

and the light bulb comes on. Finally.

Just a quick post to say that I am completely and hopelessly addicted to butternut squash! I know people are all excited about pumpkin right now, but it's only because they haven't tried roasted butternut squash yet.

I was so mourning the loss of tomatoes (by the way, how is it that some places still have "local" tomatoes by the truckload?) and all things that come from fresh tomatoes when the butternut squash stepped into my kitchen! Fear not! I will survive the winter after all.

I'm hoping this is what local eating is all about.

I think, maybe, you're supposed to be so very sad to see 1 thing go, so that you treasure it more when it reappears in its own season and you know not to take it for granted.There is an importance and value found in missing something. It's nice too, that just as you are bidding farewell to something, a new, and fresh, something arrives to take its place.

I also think it's the core of what locavores have known that the rest of are overlooking, unaware of, or willfully disregarding: you aren't supposed to eat the same thing every day of the year. Food, like life, comes in seasons, and there needs to be rhythm and a balance to them, and, like the moon should come in phases. There needs to be a waxing and a waning of all things found in nature.

Perfect example: I actually find myself daydreaming about taking E to pick strawberries. We had just begun to wonder about local food at the very end of strawberry season and unfortunately the season this year was extremely short and supply was markedly low due to weather at the time. We were able to pick enough for some treats that lasted about a week and I luckily made some strawberry ice that we froze. Sadly, there wasn't enough for jam/jelly (thought I wouldn't have known how to make it yet.) or freezing in bulk (but we weren't really into that at the time) so we had only the tiniest taste of anything strawberry. I can't wait for strawberry season and I intend to make up for this year for sure (while hoping not to turn us into crazy, strawberry hoarders). The point is I am looking forward to them b/c we don't have them.

I'm learning that local eating is about the not-having as much as the having. It's about discovering new tastes that your tongue has been allowed to miss. It's about relishing something b/c you know it won't be around forever and it won't be available when you want it. It's about eating on nature's time table rather than your own. So far, it's about celebrating ebbs and flows of all things rather than a constant stream.

With all that said, I encourage you to put away the tomato for just a meal and try roasting some winter squash. You might be more ready to welcome a new season and new flavors than you realize.

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