Sometimes my life gets to a point where a line forms between the writing and the doing. I am right now at that line. It is a combination of a very busy time of year, a growing business, and lots of sustainable activity going on that I know I should be writing about. The problem is I cannot both do and write at the same time. It is hard enough just getting my to-do list punched out lately, there is no time to photograph, document, and post (oh, and have a life). So in the interest of sustainability and possibly a window into what living sustainably really means, here is what I did last week.
Cooking: Weekend before last, I scored a beautiful organic leg of lamb. I rolled it in tons of fresh herbs and garlic from our garden (tarragon and rosemary) and roasted it. It came out perfect. For a side I picked the first of our heirloom white sweet potatoes and made an au gratin dish with some goat cheese, more tarragon, and some whole milk. I finished it off with green beans from our garden, gravy, and homemade rolls. My daughter made a sheet cake with chocolate frosting. She and I also made a batch of homemade applesauce as an experiment because she wanted to try it. We ate on this for 2 nights and I still froze enough left over lamb for 2 more meals. I am planning on making curry with one batch and a chutney on the side with our citrus, pineapple, and my neighbor’s carambola (if there is still some applesauce left, I will probably add it in) . I am thinking of making dolmades with the rest as I have plenty of mint and lemon now and there are still some decent grape leaves left on the vine. I made a double batch of rolls and froze the rest for later. I also made 6 dozen cookies, a batch of bars, and a key lime pie from our eggs and key limes. Half of the cookies go in the freezer for weeks I don’t have time to make cookies. Later in the week I roasted a chicken with lemon, garlic, and basil. We had more green beans with it and the rest of the rolls. Again, we ate it for leftovers a second time and got three more meals out of it. There was fried rice with leftover chicken, some garden vegetables, our eggs, and peanut butter topped with fresh cilantro, green onion, and Thai basil. I froze some of the meat for a casserole or stir fry later and today will make soup from the bones. I will probably make more bread to go with the soup so I can freeze the extra. We are able to eat sustainably most of the time, due to the fact I have 1 or 2 big cooking days a week. The rest of the time I am just combining leftovers creatively and thawing baked goods. We also eat very little meat per meal as baked goods and garden produce are easier to come by than animal protein. For badly planned nights eggs are our fast food.
Garden: I spent 3 full (12 hour) days either planting seeds, re-potting seedlings, or transplanting larger plants. I spent a half day fertilizing my fruit trees. I spent 2 days at farmer’s market. I pulled a 4×8 bed of black eyed peas then shelled the peas and dried them. I dug the bed down about 8 inches to loosen it up and added in more dirt and a little compost. I put one third of my potatoes in for winter so I can stagger the harvest. I am still getting a few eggplant, tons of green beans, okra, and and some straggling bell peppers. My herbs are everywhere and I really should be preserving them. The sweet potatoes, tomatoes and squashes are almost ready and I still need to get some of my extra animals sold so I can plan for spring.
Kids: My kids have been building an increasingly elaborate survivor fort in the hole that is supposed to be my tilapia pond. They built walls and dividers out of palm branches. They dug some clay in the yard and and drew all over everything with it. This led to wanting to make primal weapons so they spent several days with the neighbor kid making spears, arrowheads etc. They tried and tried to start a fire with flint rock from the army/navy store but it didn’t happen. They swam most days after school. Saturday we let them build a bonfire in the fire pit and roast marshmallows with their pointy sticks. I will use the ash on the garden when it cools completely. They also helped us with the yard and garden every day. We have animals to feed, cages to clean, and water dishes to fill. We rented Rio on Sunday last weekend and watched Tron on Netflix this weekend but other than that, we didn’t watch TV.
Hopefully I will have time for proper blogging and picture posting in December.