Some of the 150 pounds are dehydrated, some in salsa, some in jam, but most are still frozen for future snacks
Passion is a curious thing. Its pursuit, on occasion, excludes all other things, and this can be a problem.
I’m not doing any on-the-couch time, no analysis here, but my passion for good, real food has led me to be a bit nutty as far as volunteering for our daughter’s school goes. I am not at the point of needing an intervention, but doing the school garden and rethinking how the school supplies, cooks, and distributes its food to the children has been a rather time-consuming affair for me these last few months.
Both gardens are weedy, but both populations (home and school) are well-fed due to my efforts, as well as the efforts of many others.
Here’s the passion: I feel absolutely HORRIBLE, and sorry, for people who aren’t eating the way my family eats. Is this some kind of epicurean snobbery? No. Simply, we eat fresh, whole foods, year-round. Minimal processing, minimal transport, tasty simply by the fact that it’s real food, not too far from its origins.
Here’s a typical snack rundown for a typical school week:
- Monday: Fruit day. Apples, pears, peaches and blueberries are in season. These are served raw. We’ll have apples throughout the year, but we have applesauce, peach and pear butter, and lots of frozen fruit for the rest of the year.
- Tuesday: Vegetable, Parent-instigated food day. Roasted potatoes from the garden are next Tuesday’s snack. Hummous and classroom-made pita, our jam with school-made crackers or oat cakes, etc.
- Wednesday: Muffin Day. We make the muffin mix (actually, the kids make it and bag it) and a child from each classroom takes the bag home. The basic mix requires you add two eggs, a quarter cup of oil, and some water. You can add fruit or nuts or a crumbled topping as you wish, but the mix is nice by itself too.
- Thursday: Chips and Salsa Day. We’ve made salsa for the year at my house. Black bean/corn, regular, tomatillo (salsa verde), peach, and cherry salsas are in the pantry and in the freezer. The chips come from a reliable manufacturer in Chicago, where our students practice their Spanish when they make the monthly order.
- Friday: Classroom-supplied Snack Day. We have given each class suggestions, and the school has crock pots, hotplates, toaster ovens and electric griddles to use. So, classes might make Stone Soup (where each child brings in something to add), or even make tortillas from scratch (or at least a bag of masa harina) for quesadillas. Either way, this is a way for the children to directly participate and also to really see what it takes to produce a small snack for the entire class.
We have other irons in the fire, too. We are getting a milk share, and will be using the milk to make yogurt, yogurt cheese, kefir and smoothies for Monday’s Fruit Day with the older kids. The milk will also be used for baking. (It won’t be directly consumed because it’s raw and we don’t want the hassle.) Trips to a beekeeper and a cider maker and a maple syrup maker (sugarer) are scheduled for October. I have a 20-gallon crock in the Upper School’s classroom (grades 5-9, 9-14 year olds) that is currently filled with brine and cucumbers, and in three weeks will be filled with shredded cabbage for kraut.
Where is your passion taking YOU?
Mine has been keeping me away from the blog, unfortunately. I’ve been thinking of you lately, though.