On what’s for dinner

Somebody mostly wise once said there are two kinds of people in the world:  people who wake up wondering what’s for dinner, and people who do not.

I certainly wake up wondering.  Tuesday I worried we wouldn’t be able to have our usual salads:  this cold weather, these cloudy days, conspire to keep our green leafies too chilled to eat.  (This is one of the sad truths of greenhouse gardening in someplace chilly like Michigan.  Give us a sunny day, even if it’s really cold outside, and the leaves will be fine.)  Sure enough, it was really cold and snowy.  Ugh:  what to do about dinner’s raw food component (i.e., salad)?


Carrots.  We are quite rich in carrots, both in the garden under straw and dirt, and in the greenhouse itself.  It’s so dark by the time I harvest that the flash went off on my camera.  The leaves, like I thought, were cold, too cold to harvest, but the ground is not (and probably won’t get) frozen.   Pulling these big babies then was quite easy.

So this year I have leaned a bit away from the root cellar and toward the idea of using the greenhouse and burying certain root crops under dirt and straw in the garden itself.   So far, this method of storage has worked fairly well, and our early snowcover has certainly helped.   I still have lots of cabbage in the root cellar and, on cloudy days like today, a nice slaw made with apples and walnuts and some of our apple cider vinegar is a quite-fine substitution for our greenhouse’s lettuces.  But a girl needs to mix it up every once in a while:  I wake up thinking about dinner, after all.


11 responses to “On what’s for dinner

  1. I’m with you. I usually start thinking about dinner while having my morning cuppa. I’m thinking tonight it may be a version of the gloriously named Scottish soup, Cullen Skink. We have potatoes and leeks to use up, and with snow on the ground, a hearty soup is going to be most welcome.

    I’m so impressed that you still have a raw food component in your daily diet. You’re really my gadfly to get a root cellar and some coldframes in order for next year. Thanks, El!

  2. Yup, I’m one of those wake up wondering kind of people too! 🙂

  3. I too start thinking about supper with my breakfast!


  4. Ok, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with what’s for dinner, but I found it hysterical:

    Techno Chicken

  5. Since you still have rooty kazooty in your garden, consider slicing radishes and/or carrots really thin with a mandoline. You will be “making” lettuce leaves. Tender, moist, raw.

  6. My first question as I am making the bed is “What am I making for dinner?”. Then the list of possible ingredients start rolling together with new questions about what ingredients I have left, when was the last time I cooked a similar dish, and should I bake some fresh bread to compliment it.

    In between other activities the rest of my day is spent tweaking the meal I will share with my family.

  7. How can you even miss lettuce when you have cabbage and carrots? I’m embarrassed to admit that there are days when I think of dinner after I realize I forgot to eat it.
    Maybe when I grow up I’ll be more organized.

  8. I start thinking about what to make for dinner tomorrow right before I fall asleep at night. No fooling.

  9. Kate, yeah, I have this real raw-food thing that I believe in, and I really am not into woo-woo so much as I think it’s really important to regularly get some live, uncooked critters in your system. Feed them, they’ll take care of you, I think, so anything I can do to keep fruits, salads and kefirs/yogurts/cheeses in the daily diet, it’s a good thing. That said, I LOVE some of the more bizarre Scottish inspired dishes. I made a cock-a-leekie soup with one of our roasters (not, as is usual, with a newly dead fighting rooster) and it was divine. Humble food, strange names, long traditions behind it: I’ll climb aboard that train any day.

    Angie, hah! I thought so!

    Linda, at this time of year, eating dinner is my favorite time of day.

    Jules, what I found amazing is it really looks like they put a chicken on a lighted dance floor. Goodness I would scratch at it too! Thanks for sharing, I think…

    CC, I think of Cranky every time I grab my mandoline. I did a turnip slicing on a salad last week: yumza! And I am certainly not above eating a raw sliced potato with a bit of Maldon salt.

    Scott (welcome) with the exception of making the bed that’s my thought process to a T! It’s actually a fun way of moving the day around in my head, like a little game. With us it’s mostly “what’s ripe now that needs to be used up,” which, in some instances, can get kind of tiring. It makes it challenging though too which for me is a good thing, kind of like Dinner Roulette. Glad you’re on the same path!

    Pamela the few times that Tom and the child have been away from the house I forget to eat dinner too, that, or I use the opportunity to eat something they less than enjoy, in most cases something involving stinky Gorgonzola. So I know of which you speak, really I do.

    Laurene, then you’ve got us all beat! It’s fun, isn’t it? Instead of counting sheep, you count what’s in the pantry…

  10. Yep, as another poster said, I go to sleep wondering about breakfast and am contemplating dinner while eating breakfast… lunch, that’s something I can anticipate all day long! How have you gotten the carrots out? Many of mine are stuck under the ground because we had an unexpected freeze a week or so ago, before I could get at them. Now with the big snowstorm, I don’t think it’ll happen 😦

  11. Mangochild, well, once I realized the cold was here to stay I threw leaf mulch and then straw on top of them. As long as it doesn’t rain (Hah!) the soil stays pretty loose under the snow. But yeah, as you saw with the leek post, the soil can and does freeze especially after it gets soaked. I will need some turnips for a roast for dinner tonight and I will bring along the garden fork in case I really need to hack up the soil to get to them. But snow is our friend, as it does keep the ground warmer than if it were bare!

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