Sunday, June 14, 2009

What a Crock!

Almanzo ate the sweet, mellow baked beans. He ate the bit of salt pork that melted like cream in his mouth. He ate mealy boiled potatoes, with brown ham-gravy. He ate the ham. He bit deep into velvety bread spread with sleek butter, and he ate the crisp golden crust. He demolished a tall heap of pale mashed turnips, and a hill of stewed yellow pumpkin. Then he sighed, and tucked his napkin deeper into the neckband of his red waist. And he ate plum preserves, and strawberry jam, and grape jelly, and spiced watermelon-rind pickles. He felt very comfortable inside. Slowly he ate a large piece of pumpkin pie.

That's from Laura Ingalls Wilder's book Farmer Boy. I like that book mostly for the descriptions of food - all those piles, and mountains, and cream, and velvety crispness! At the same time, I feel an almost physical pain for the women who had to prepare all that food, three times a day, with absolutely no modern conveniences to help them out. No rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, no 2 for 1 Pizza place down the street, no microwave, no freezer. No internet for recipes, no fresh herbs in deepest January, no nothing that you didn't grow, preserve, store and prepare all on your own.

Also, no fat people, because second only to the descriptions of food in this book are the descriptions of manual labour. Oy vey, those people worked hard.

Having said that, I am a bit of a fool for this old-timey stuff. I made jam a couple of summers ago and loved it. (I'll be making it again this year - if you and I are friends, this is what you're getting for Christmas. Resign yourselves.) I knit, as you all know, like a fool. I make pie from scratch, regularly enough for my boy to say "Oh no, not apple pie again!"

And guess what I'm making now? Guess!

Here's a hint:

Want a close-up?

Still nothing? Okay, I'll tell you.

Sauerkraut, baby! Oh yes, cabbage and salt and the wonders of fermentation, added to this groovy old crock, and I will be swimming in sauerkrauty goodness.

I can hardly wait.

In other news, here in the world of Uber-Geekiness, I have finished the fronts and the back for the Central Park Hoodie, which is still blue and cabled and a delight to my shriveled up and decidedly odd little heart.

Ain't it lovely?

I think I may need to get out more.

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