The dead of winter defines today. The sky is leaden. The temperature is struggling to get out of the single digits. (it was 23 below when I got up this AM) My cherished lemon tree, a gift from my daughter, Neddy, has caught a chill. Her leaves have turned a mottled yellow and are dropping, one by one, to litter the floor. But there is hope as well. Today, my husband, Bruce, found tiny flecks of green in the greenhouse soil. He has devised quite a system out there. He covered the north and west walls with double panels cut from a solar pool cover that was headed for the landfill. This, along with a stone walkway, holds in enough heat to keep the soil from freezing. We can eat  Asian greens, spinach and hardy lettuce until well into December. There is a short hiatus, then the seeds we plant in November emerge. By mid-March, we will have a modest harvest.

In preparedness circles, we often hear about TEOTWAWKI-the end of the world as we know it, usually to describe Armegeddon. I am not foolish enough to believe that those tiny green shoots in my greenhouse will get me very far down the road if the grocery stores don’t open next week. I store grains and beans, powdered milk and canned food, a stock room full of food in fact, to see us through hard times. But I need the hope of the of that sprouting seed to remind myself that TEOTWAWKI holds the potential to know the world in a new way. 

In our new world, we will grow food where we live. We will probably eat less. We will need to share more because real food security means that my neighbors can’t go hungry. I will revive the  “clean plate club” for my kids because it is a sin to waste while others want.

I am new to this blogging thing and I am still trying to piece out I want to do with this site. I will, of course, talk about preparedness. I am, after all, trying to sell a book, but I also want to write about what is like to be me-a middle-age soccer mom with a pile of kids and a mini-van, living in a world that I fear is going to hell in a hand basket.

For today, while the world does appear to be going to hell, I must still feed my kids. So I will use this space, often, to talk about food-what we eat and where it comes from (my backyard is usually the answer).

Blueberry/Rhubarb Crisp

Dump a quart plus a pint of home canned fruit into an 8 by 13 inch pan. You can actually use whatever you have a lot of. For me, it’s rhubarb because I had so much this past spring. Now mix up a topping of 1 cup of ww flour, 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter with your hands. I usually add some walnuts and maybe some raisins. I often add that last bit of cereal or a broken heal of bread. A crisp is pretty forgiving. Spread the topping over the fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Try to do this while something else is in the oven.

I usually throw a crisp in the oven if we are expecting a storm. With a cup of milk, a dish of fruit crisp makes a perfectly fine breakfast or dinner.