This originally went out March 13, 2014.
The Dig Is (Almost) Done. Now for Stocking.
Below: The foods my house cannot function without…
1. Flour, two or three types.
2. Dry Beans
4 . Maple Syrup
5. Pancake Mix
6. Eggs, Cheese, Yogurt
7. Meat, (you might go for tofu or tempeh, here)
8. Vegetables (I’ll settle for ANYTHING).
9 . Frozen berries
The glory of terroirology was good while it lasted. And I remain a believer. But a fresh round of snow has gotten me feeling a bit more like the scores of adventurers and -ologists who at some point must have realized they would NOT return from their journeys.
I’ll admit that’s a little melodramatic. But the thought of buying a Maine homebrew BEER KIT to celebrate St Patty’s Day (and distract me from the shortage of cabbage) did cross my mind!
It becomes a bit demoralizing to catalog (as I must, each week) as well as the discoveries, all the food that becomes UNavailable…dozens and dozens of foods with celebrated seasonality. Said seasonality is all well and good until I go to my home cupboard and find it bare. Well, almost bare. There IS that stack of smoked salmon samples I picked up last weekend from Sullivan Harbor Seafood…
It’s a good thing my kids are used to this routine. Mom works long stretches at a food warehouse filled with food treasure, loads the car with the cast-offs and short dated products and drives home after bedtime. Or, mom lives a very balanced life, departing work at 5PM, but somehow in the rush to balance work and kids leaves the groceries in the COM cooler.
I wish I didn’t remember my dad doing the SAME kind of quirky feast or famine routine! Bringing home 10 flats of kiwi fruit from Boston after delivering potatoes for a week. Then making a 20 quart stock pot full of wheat berry and potato stew… and I’m pretty sure those were the only two ingredients.
It might even be a tradition in our family. Exploring the nuances of Maine food production and marketing. Preparing some rather randomized menu selections as a result.
How else would you get kids to try smoked salmon? Or tacos without cheese, in the case of last night’s dinner. 100% local tacos from the onions in the burger (ungratefully picked at by the under-five crowd)…to Emily’s Taco Salsa from Cheryl Wixson’s Kitchen to the corn tortillas from our new friend at Tortilleria Pachanga in Portland, made with Maine grown corn.
The side effect of terroirology is a lack of attention to staples. Cobbler’s kids sort of thing. So while I ruefully retire items such as watermelon chunks and yellow onions from this week’s list, my kids remind me that our kitchen lacks some very obvious, otherwise abundant Maine staples. Maple Syrup, dare I confess?
How about your kitchen?