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Food Freedom!

May 28, 2013

truss plant gone

 The images are from about 6 miles away from B’s house…click on the pic to see the news article with more images.

Right now, Moo, the middle child, is making scrambled eggs.  She refers to them as the Epic Eggs.  They are eggs, a little cream, lots of onion, fresh thyme, cracked pepper (the three-color stuff because the black pepper, according to Moo, is too strong for eggs) and “Mom can I use the good salt?” Which leads me to ask the question, why the hell can’t women cook proper food?

Jamie Oliver, in a TED talk gives us a great understanding of how we got here.  Jamie is passionate about food.  He attempts the impossible out of passion for the health of others.  It is a beautiful thing to observe that passion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIwrV5e6fMY

Spot on until around 21:00 when he says that we need to let Mrs. Obama do what she wants to do… I give him a pass on that one sentence. The whole talk is about food and how obesity costs us all a shit ton of money, but the solutions are simple.  Best point that he makes is about how for 2 or 3 generations women have not been taught How To Cook.  (I am smashing my head on the desk right now, and typing at the same time. Dammit, That HURTS.) Seriously, if my elementary school kid can do it, why are there so many grown up women who can’t be bothered?

5-14-13 123The same child is also able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. (Ok, not quite… but 7’4″ in the standing broad jump is pretty good for a 5th grader.)

It all comes down to Food=Work.  When the hell did we lose that concept?  If you can’t plant it, care for it, be patient, be kind and then harvest, prepare, and enjoy it, what the hell are you doing to yourselves and your family?

 

Now where was I… Oh, yes, I was bitching about food when this happened, thankfully, over 30 miles away this time:

corning twisterNear Corning, KS last night…two nights in a row, homes and businesses were blown off the map.  Round three is due to start sometime this afternoon, whoopee

 

Back to food.  There is a clip in the Jamie Oliver talk where he shows kids veggies.  The little buggers aren’t even able to identify a freaking potato. That is completely unforgivable.  Can you imagine?  A six year old who can’t identify a potato.  I struggle with my 8 year old know being able to remember the difference between chives and garlic chives. (The garlic-y ones are wider and flatter, BTW)  We are lucky to be able to grow much of our food and I realize that you may not be able to do that.  Before I tell you about the garden, I want to point out that I haven’t always been able to have a garden, and I have a sister who lives in Southern California.  Without a garden, or really any yard to speak of, she is an absolutely amazing cook and the diversity of the fresh, wonderful ingredients she uses is nothing short of mind-boggling.  Before you jump to conclusions, she works full time and is also nearly done with her Master’s Degree, but she still cooks at a level that rivals most professional chefs.  I tell you that to tell you this: There will be NO whining about time or money. 

Let’s get started…

Before moving here to the middle of nowhere, a/k/a tornado alley, for quite some time, I lived with my kids in a crappy trailer park in the absolute top school district in our home city.  (Don’t judge, cities are expensive and I was determined to keep my kids in a damn good school, so we lived in the only place I could afford on my income without financial assistance from either the kids’ dad (pre-prison, obviously) or the state.)

trailerYeah, its not a castle, but this is pretty damn close to the place I lived for almost 3 years.

Guess who else lives in a friggin’ trailer park? Other po’ folks.  Not all of them are wonderful parents, in fact some are downright pitiful.  One day, I was cooking on the grill for my girls when I noticed a couple of boys staring intently through the chainlink fence, obviously hungry.  Dammit…. “Boys, go get your sister.”  That became a regular thing on the weekends, and it would only get worse when school got out, when it would happen during the week too.  I could not afford that, even if I resorted to feeding the kids hotdogs, it was just too big of an expense.  I am not a heartless piece of shit, and I knew those kids were not being fed.  My neighbor lady (with an autistic son) was a nice lady, wonderful cook, and dirt poor with no hope of things getting better, knew I was feeding some other kids and she offered to help, but I had to buy the food.  Fuck.  The only way to feed my kids, my neighbors’ two and the three kids of the pathetic crack head was going to be for free, or at least if the food was dirt cheap.  Yeah, DIRT cheap…

I got permission to plant a garden in my yard, borrowed a tiller from my mechanic and paid a friend in beer to do the tilling for me. We saved seeds from store-bought melons, I helped kids with their homework and we watched plants grow.  I did some sketchy stuff like trading the crackhead $2 for $1 for her food stamps so I could feed the kids while the garden was growing.  I was painfully aware that the crackhead called me “Stupid White Bitch” but fuck her, I was feeding her kids and my kids were tutoring them…  The kids laughed and thought I was silly, until wonderful tomatoes.  Cute darling little cherry tomatoes.  Yard candy. Cantaloupe and cucumbers, and peas…  I grew about half the veggies and fruits that fed nine children and two adults two summers in a row, between to trailers in a shitty trailer park. Now I am in a much better place, but I see lazy pampered middle class bitches who think food is too much time or effort to prepare.

Now, fast forward to today… I have my own place where I put in several fruit trees and have over 2 acres.  I have a small (and I mean small) garden plot here at my house on the edge of town and I no longer have to feed other people’s kids.   I also have my garden at B’s house, it is nearly half an acre, and I have a couple dozen chickens that roam free eating bugs and weeds… I have been quite fortunate to have jobs that pay the bills and allow me the time to learn about food being medicine and nutrition.  I have discovered paleo, via a burning desire to not eat GMO garbage and we are healthier, much healthier. Yet.  I see a horrible disconnect.

jdrf sodas

What the Hell?

People can’t cook food, but they will applaud themselves for buying a gigantic soda to support a foundation that “researches” a preventable disease by contributing to the cause… Holy Hell. Get a grip! I realize that not everyone can do this:

IMG_9524

Yard Birds.  Free Range.  Over a dozen eggs a day.

IMG_9510

Herb garden in the foreground.  Big, round hunk of tin is for strawberry plants… regular veggies go in the dirt in the background, and Yes, I did plant a bicycle.

IMG_9502From a different angle, herbs are mulched in.  The onions, peas, potatoes, carrots, radishes and beans will all have straw around them.  

We have a little potato bug issue, but the chickens LOVE to eat potato bugs!

By now, you may have your panties in a wad because you don’t have the space, or the time to garden.  OK, fair enough… Let’s say that you have a soul crushing HOA or you live in an apartment… Maybe you can’t grow food out in the open or you have no space to do that… you can do something.  Incorporate some herbs into your landscape.  No one will care that your ground cover is oregano.  Basil, sage, thyme and some types of rosemary are brilliant ground cover plants, and you can use them to cook. I do not care if you are using store bought spaghetti sauce, just doctor the shit up with your herbs… Lavender, especially Spanish Lavender makes a pretty landscape plant, as to a bunch of other herbs… Look into it.

Now let’s say you live in an apartment.  Here we go.  Buy some green onions.  Use the tops, you know the green stuff and keep the bottoms.  I know, WTF?  Put the bottoms into the bottom of a 20 oz bottle, a coffee cup or that ever you have lying around, and put some water in it.  Wait.  It will do this:

green onionMore lovely green onion tops will grow.  Just chop them off as needed, even if it is only for a garnish, congratulations, you are now a gardener! (Celery will do the same thing!!!)

You can do this.  Please take the first step.  There are lovely hanging planters that grow tomatoes or strawberries and look like a regular non-food source plant that you can hang on a balcony.  Peppers, or chiles, are actually fabulous houseplants that will grow year-round.  Any step you can take to put real food in your mouth is another step away from this:

Honey Boo Boo

Please, please take the first step!

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6 Comments
  1. Radical Suburbanite permalink

    Stay safe. (This is SQT by another name. I’m working on getting my own MRA-friendly blog up and running– hence the name change.)

    I need to cook more with my daughter. When she’s in school I tend to prioritize school. But thanks to blogs like this I’m realizing it’s just as important to get her in the kitchen. This summer the girl learns to do more than heat up soup on the stove…

  2. sqt, thanks for your comment, I have updated this post. I am very excited to have you starting a blog, we need more voices! Please let me know when you are up and running so I can add you to my blogroll.

    If you want to have ideas for cooking with your daughter, please let me know! It is pretty awesome to have kids that can knock out a full meal while you enjoy a glass of wine, but you have to teach them how first…. 😉

    • I’ve known for a while that I don’t much care for feminist thought, but I’m still learning to realign my thinking and I’m in the garbage-out phase. The blog is/will-be part of the process for me. So while I’m not even close to being where I want to be as a wife and a mom- I know I’m on the right track. It helps to talk to other women who know what it’s like to embrace more old-fashioned ideals in a world that looks at you cockeyed when you do.

  3. JDRF researches type 1 diabetes exclusively, which is not preventable any more than Multiple sclerosis is. Type 2 is the one correlated to obesity.

    • Yes, Off, that is the point, who wants to risk type 2 for the sake of type 1 research, and what marketing genius dreamed that up?

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  1. A dozen links. Plus, I miss The Patriarchy more each day, don’t you? | Sunshine Mary

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