Friday, July 29, 2011

Backyard cuisine

Hey there! Been awhile, I know, but I wrote a novel and that takes a little bit of time, you know?

Here's what we ate with dinner last night. It's pan-fried potatoes with minced garlic and fresh basil and thyme.
The potatoes were from the garden--we pulled some the other night and they were perfect, pink new potatoes. The herbs? From the herb garden, right outside the kitchen door. We bought the garlic--we don't grow our own garlic because our weird neighbor grows garlic and we don't want him to talk to us about growing garlic. But the rest was all backyard grown, and that's not too shabby, right?

The best part was pitching the dish to our beyond-picky six-year old daughter. It went something like this:

Me: Would you eat potatoes if I fried them in a pan?
Daughter: No
M: Are you sure?
D: Yes
M: They're from the garden.
D: (pauses) Okay then.
D: (few minutes later) Dad? Can you fix these for Thanksgiving dinner? They. Are. Awesome!

Now, I'm no great cook, am only now coming to the realization that you can toss herbs into a meal to give it that "flavor" thing people are always raving about. Watching her scarf those potatoes down and ask for more made me feel like friggin' Jamie Oliver or something, though.

More important than her enjoying a side dish, however, was her responding to the fact that the potatoes came out of our garden--she helped plant those potatoes, checked on them every day with us, and pulled them out of the ground just the day before. We're growing food together. Every day without fail, she runs out and gathers berries, even eating green beans raw--she doesn't eat green beans, but she'll gobble down a bean that she pulled off the plant. That, to me, is something important. She's realizing that food doesn't come from Wal Mart but from the ground, and anybody--even her barista dad--can make food come out of dirt. How far are we gonna take this? I'm not completely sure, but I do know that we're nowhere near the end of the life lesson. I mean, the tomatoes are still green and I think we can coax a few more inches out of those cucumbers.

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