Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Food Fondness

Growing up one of my favorite memories, from when I was really little, was the yard surrounding our house. My dad is an avid gardener so he filled our yard with flowers, vegetables, and fruits. In my memories our family garden looked like this.
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In reality the garden probably looked more like this.
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Take away the hedgerows and add in some grapevine rows. This garden was fantastic to me. When my brother and I got hungry, we simply raided our garden and had a snack.

We also spent plenty of time taking care of the garden. Weeding, picking, cleaning, shelling, and dicing. I hated all those things, while I was doing them, with every core of my being. And I'm sure that my whining made things pretty awful for my parents at times as well. Ha ha

My mom also took the time to can, whatever we did not use, so we could enjoy the veggies and fruits in the winter time, which she had me help with. I can still see the strawberry jams bubbling, in a big pot, on the stove. I remember the rows and rows of gleaming glass jars and shiny new lids waiting to be filled.

Fast forward to present day and I am left with no gardening skills at all. Like, zero ability. As in, I kill ivy. Which my father has lead me to believe is nearly impossible to kill. (Yes, we're past the point where my father is tactful about my lack of gardening skills. Or as tactful as my father can be anyway.) And that, my friends, is why I love my CSA. I get to have all the benefits of that long ago garden with zero chances of my coming into contact with the actual plants and accidentally killing them by even looking at them. My CSA allows me to create the same memories, with my girly, in our own ways.

My daughter and I hull, peel, skin, and chop away to prepare our veggies and fruits to eat. One of our favorite things to do with the leftovers? We love making crock pot applesauce.  Any leftovers get thrown into a gallon ziplock bag and stored in the freezer. And, sometimes when I remember to, I like to fill an ice cube tray with the applesauce. That way I can pop them, once frozen, into a bag as individual servings for my girly's lunches at school. L has mentioned to me before that she always remembers making the applesauce when she eats it at lunch. :o)

I know I've written about this before but I'm going to go into it again... Three of my favorite tools in the kitchen to help us? (Which are especially helpful with my arthritis) Well, obviously the first is our crock pot. I think I can safely say that the smell our house has by mid afternoon has got to be one of my favorite scents! My second favorite tool would be my apple peeler/corer/slicer.
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It seriously saves my hands! Otherwise I would never be able to make the applesauce. And it's so easy to use that my seven year old loves to use it for me. Even better!

The last tool I love is my hand cranked food mill.
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While I don't necessarily need to use this after the apples have been sitting in my crock pot all day, I love to use it anyway. Because it was my grandma's and I have fond memories of seeing her use it, but also because I love how fine the applesauce becomes after using it. And, yes, mine absolutely looks as beat up at the one in the picture! Using the food mill ends up being a two person job. While, the little metal piece on the side hooks over the lip of my metal bowl perfectly, it does have a tendency to skip off if a person gets too excited in their cranking. So, usually, I have L crank because I'm all for child labor because she honestly likes to and I hold the bowl in place. And we end up with this.

Mmmmm! I hope L has the same fond memories of this some day!!

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