Last weekend we foraged for wild grapes in the yard and on the bike trail.
Wild grapes are tiny and very, very tart, but they grow in the shade under our walnut trees and in my opinion, make better tasting jelly than their sweeter, cultivated cousins.
And what could be better with wild grape jelly than its classic companion, peanut butter, which can be easily & quickly made in the kitchen. It's these kind of simple pleasures that make homesteading worthwhile for me.
So we're happy to share instructions on how we make our own:
Anatomy of a Breakfast, or, How to Make a Meal Out of What You Have When Your Husband Uses Up All the Bacon
It's early Saturday morning. I announce to Bear that I'm going to make eggs and bacon for breakfast, but when I peer into the refrigerator, I realize that he has used up all the bacon in a previous meal and neglected to thaw out more. (From Bear... I'm getting the blame but not feeling too guilty.)
So plan B. I know we have a few very old potatoes in the cupboard. I pull them out, and see that they have started growing, but they're still edible. I cut them into thin slices and put them into our cast iron skillet, into which I have put in a generous amount of leftover bacon grease.
I am thinking of my Mom, who passed on a few years ago. She made the most amazing fried potatoes. She actually peeled each potato, which I am too lazy to do, and then she was so skilled with her paring knife that you could almost see through her thin potato slices. I didn't inherit her slicing skill, but I do have her knife.
And although I loved my mother's meals and certainly got my appreciation of home cooked meals from her, I am not her, so I learned my own way of cooking. I'm looking at the frying potatoes, and although my mouth is salivating, I know that my system needs more vegetables and fiber, or I will regret having all that bacon grease.
I also pride myself on being able to create meals from whatever ingredients we have on hand so that nothing gets thrown out. Food is life- life that is taken from whatever we are eating and being given to us- so we shouldn't waste it.
I find mushrooms in the vegetable bin and part of a chopped up onion, and add those to the pan. I also bought a burdock root, to help my ailing liver. It's really good chopped thin, dunked in egg, and fried, so I think I'll put it the frying pan with the potatoes. But I also love eating salad with my breakfast eggs, and while I'm staring at the large burdock root I'm holding in my hand, I suddenly remember a workshop I took in which the instructor made a shredded carrot and burdock root salad. So the plan changes again.
I don't have any carrots, but there's one of last Fall's beets left from our attic root cellar, so I make Bear's beet and carrot slaw recipe, but with beet and burdock. The sesame oil dressing is really good, although I think the burdock is a little dry compared to carrots, so I add some fresh chopped parsley, which adds a wonderful flavor (it's really not just for garnish).
By now the mixture of potatoes and mushrooms has gotten brown and crispy, and the onions are translucent, so I stir up some eggs and pour it over the mixture. I add a generous amount of fresh pepper, and cook the eggs for a few minutes, stirring constantly. We like them slightly runny. When they're done, I add more fresh parsley, because it doesn't last long in the refrigerator.
I toast some French bread we got from the bakery and pour a glass of organic milk from pasture raised cows, and we have a wonderful way to start our Saturday morning. It will nourish us much more than simple bacon and eggs (although if your husband hasn't used up all the bacon, I suggest crumbling it up and adding it to the eggs- it would taste wonderful amongst all the vegetables).
(From Bear... Ooooo... She ends up making a good meal and I get the blame. Does that sound right to you?)
A satisfying meal goes fast, although the satisfaction of using up some of the random vegetables we have in our refrigerator continues.
Hope you have some equally satisfying meals this week...
Here's a humorous look at Bear and Theresa's different cooking styles and the
Division of Labor at Our House
as we spend our Sunday afternoon cooking. Enjoy!
Theresa & Bear's Blog
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