Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today, Peas and Potatoes...

...tomorrow, the world.

Today I planted 40 red and Yukon Gold potatoes in hills (due to continuing internal debate on the straw bale method), 32 string beans on one tepee. I am planning five tepees total but I'm just worn out this afternoon. The weeding! The stooping! The watering in! The hot sun! And let's not forget the children who wanted to be fed and bathed!

All two-thousand-plus peas (I still cannot get over that number) are up (although I haven't strictly counted the sprouts) and reaching for their trellises. I also put in five tomato plants today. Two yellow pear tomatoes because my kids can't get enough of those, and three heirloom multipurpose tomatoes for sauce, sandwiches and stewing. Seriously. I need some more tomato plants.

Madeleine and I planted turnips, beets, radishes and carrots yesterday in a bed that we hand-turned to add sand. Okay, to be truthful, my husband turned it first. But we finessed it.

I have heard that gardening is better than therapy (not incidentally, I've heard the same about blogging). I'm not sure though. I never got a sunburn while visiting a therapist.

And what do you think I made for dinner after all that organic dirt-turning and seed-flinging? Spam and eggs. I kid you not. I marched us all inside shortly before sundown and found a can of Spam that a friend gave us in a care package. The kids were very excited about this care package because it was chock full of grocery store convenience foods that I never, ever buy.

"Mom? What's Hamburger Helper?"

"Mom? Can we open the Sugar Snaps?"

"MOM! There's carrot cake in a box and FROSTING IN A CAN!"

"Mom? Does your friend love us more than you do?"

And then of course there's my husband. He spent the first four years of our marriage trying to detect whether I'd snuck tofu into (you fill in the blank). I had to call him at work today to tell him about the basket full of goodies. His response was pure joy. "Welcome to the other side, Miriam. Heh, heh, heh."

I don't think I'm all that radical, actually, in our food choices. I think I'm pretty mainstream. I think most of America is on the organic bandwagon. I think the nation's financial situation has brought more gardeners out of the closet, so to speak. And futhermore, if you are still with me on what I think, I think ice cream is best if it's just cream and sugar. Frozen.

But this care package -- bought with love by a friend who knows how hard it is for me to take a trip to the grocery store these days -- this care package just made me feel like a dreadlock mama. Honestly, if you do wear dreadlocks, I'm cool with that. But I shower every day and I usually use Lancome and Clinique products without checking whether there's a sticker about animal cruelty. I breastfed all my babies, but I stopped before they could ask for it in words. Again, if you're nursing your kindergartener, okay, then. I cook mostly organic and I bake all my own bread and we buy fresh pressure-pasteurized milk from our neighbor and then make our own butter and yogurt and sour cream and soft cheeses. It doesn't even tire me out anymore, all this homestead-type fussing about. What does tire me out is finding someone to watch four children while I go to town for things I can't buy in the country. Which brings me to the Spam.


First I had to figure out how to get it open. I didn't understand the pop-top-tab-thingamajig so I accidentally broke it off. Then I had to finagle the can opener to open a rectangular can. Are you seeing yet why butchering my own pig (or whichever meat Spam approximates) would have been simpler for me?

Finally I pried the box/can open and then I fried (don't even bother to call it saute') the meat in some olive oil in a heavy cast iron pan. Then I added some mushrooms and tiny chopped-up brocolli. I beat half a dozen eggs and then folded in some heavy cream and shredded sharp cheddar cheese before pouring the whole mess over the fried Spam and mushrooms.

Um. Yum.

Um. Can anyone send me a case of this stuff?


Carolyn said...

Ahh Spam. When I was little we lived in Guam. I remember that the little grocery store had a whole aisle of Spam. Pretty much every non-native that lived there was with the military, which explains the Spam...except us..Dad was IBM.

Your food theory sounds just like mine and I wear make-up too. Good food just feels...well...good!

QuiltedSimple said...

Oh I just died laughing! Although I don't cook spam - we don't like it for some reason......otherwise, your food theories sound like mine. Although 2000 peas? Maybe that's why I only get enough for 1 meal when I only plant a 10 foot row.....hmmmm......

Misty said...

wow. really? Spam makes me a big nauseated... but yay for you.
honestly though, I had no idea! no idea you made your own- well- everything...
no wonder you are KL's best friend. You are super woman. I would be your BF too, if I lived there and all. you ARE the girl to know. I think you should start a summer camp and allow me to attend on scholarship. I mean really, the pluthera of things I could learn form you. I'd offer to teach you, in exchange, but what would I teach you? NOTHING...

I am deeply humbled by your utter amazingness..

Rebecca of Sunny Morning Farm said...

OMG!! You are so funny!! I can handle me some Spam here and there too. I have never had it like you fixed it though. A really big um yum!!

I love your blog!! I am so envious of you getting the garden in already. It was blowing snow here this morning! YUCK!

Take care,


Farm Chick Paula said...

I think you are Superwoman.
Even if you didn't know how to open the can.
You make me tired just READING about your life.
Sigh.... my hero....