I went to a vinegar tasting at the Creamery a couple of days ago and the talk came around to what we used to consider food. I remember thinking that a meal of those oval pieces of mystery substance labeled veal cutlet, topped with Ragu and a slice of American cheese and sides of Minute Rice and canned asparagus was real gourmet fare. I would no more eat that today than I would my dirty socks. Velveeta cheese, Wonder Bread, there are lots of things we ate routinely that would not be considered fit to eat around here. On the other hand, I made a casserole last night that was made of reconstituted mushrooms, gathered and raised, onions, turnip greens and nettles, all sautéed with some bacon then topped with some sour cream that we all thought was delicious. I am quite sure that in my Wonder Bread days, I would not have eaten such a wierd dish.

I am getting the ground prepped for planting and among the things that I have not planted before that I plan to try this year are salsify, kolrabi and celeriac. I am game for anything that will store in the root cellar as this is the least energy intensive (mine and the planet’s) there is. I am also putting in some new perennial greens, salad burnet, watercress and garden sorrel that I will be able to gather year after year.

The first thing to go with cheap oil will be our food prejudices. We will eat what grows locally and in season and what is easily preserved and learn to like it. I have to say that a diet based on pork and potatoes has been pretty easy to live with. Pickles and fruit sauces, root vegetables and dandelion wine, delicious and accessible.

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