Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple (eating) pleasures

In which Truffula gains renewed appreciation for the power of good things to eat...

As of yesterday, my sister's boots are on the ground.  She had the past weekend off, and was able to travel home.  Her one wish: "to have some 'real food'."

Our mother and I ratcheted our kitchens into gear.  Soup was cooked.  Beans were soaked.  New ferments were prepared, and finished ones were pulled from their special places in the refrigerator.  Fruit and eggs were procured.  The dehydrator was filled and fired up.

Cafeteria fare and MREs have their purposes, but all thoughts of those were cast aside for
  • pureed vegetable soup
  • pats of butter (shh... they might even have been enjoyed straight up)
  • aged, raw milk cheese
  • sunny, golden yellow breakfast eggs
  • squash chips, dipped into navy bean hummus made with Italian extra-virgin olive oil
  • water kefir, from grains she'd carefully dried and sent to get me started kefiring way back when
  • creamy milk kefir from direct-from-the-farm milk
  • hearty, dark, whole-grain sourdough bread
  • Dad's special goulash recipe, featuring grass-fed beef
  • beautiful smoothies, containing raspberries, cherries, peaches, and generous pours of coconut oil
  • kimchi, savored like a vintage wine
What do two wacky enterprising sisters do when left to their own between divine meals and snacks?  They devise a fermented cod liver oil taste-off!  We gathered jars of Green Pasture's new emulsified flavors, got out a supply of forks (they're better than spoons for stirring, in this case), revved up our taste buds, and happily sampled away.  The results: she loved the peppermint, I favored the licorice, and we were in firm agreement that the ginger one didn't need to be purchased again.

As she left, space in her bag was at a premium, but Mom found a way to slip in some sandwiches and apples for the road.  In the emails and text updates which followed, we read how sparingly those sandwiches were rationed out, with each bite savored to the max.  The organic apples received highest praise in comparison with the standard-fare Red Delicious.

LCDR G., we'll keep those ferments going for you, and our kitchens stocked!  (In the interim, I'm taking suggestions from gentle readers for how to mail dehydrated veggies in something other than a glass canning jar, and still have them remain in good condition.)


Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Wow sounds like you all have fixed an awesome feast for your sister and it sounds like you two have a blast when your together!!

DramaMama said...

Squash chips? Tell me more please! I am envious of all that you have made. Also, proud of/grateful to your sister! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

I mailed some homemade chocolate chip cookies and brownies (along with a few requested store-bought goodies from Trader Joe's) to my brother-in-law when he was in Iraq. I should have sent him more packages! It must be such comfort to get food from back home. Hope someone has a great suggestion for shipping your treats. Sounds like you treated your sister to a real "real food" feast.

Truffula said...

@Alicia - yes, boredom is not an issue for us when we're together!

@DramaMama - I've simply been slicing summer squash into rounds about 1/4" thick, slapping them onto trays, and dehydrating them until they're crunchy. They are actually a little on the sweet side!

@Betsy - chocolate chip cookies and brownies... now we're talking! :-)


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