If you ask my granddaughter about fast food she will tell you that she doesn’t eat it and that she eats slow food instead. Her mommy is doing an excellent job of educating her on the merits of healthy eating.
I’ve pondered the concept of slow food often recently as I’ve stood at my kitchen sink washing produce I’ve brought in from my garden. It takes time to tend a garden, harvest its bounty, wash it, and prepare a meal from it. These times of cleaning vegetables and preparing a meal have afforded me time to slow down, reflect, pray for loved ones, and savour every moment. I’ve felt blessed.
I’ve been busy canning in recent weeks (and not writing as evidenced by my absence from this blog!). The shelf in our storage room is filling up with jar after jar of fruit, vegetables, soups and sauces that will feed us for many months to come. I’ve found great fulfillment in preserving this year’s harvest by canning, freezing, and dehydrating.
Today, I finally had enough tomatoes from the garden to make a big pot of soup that I subsequently canned in pint jars and to be tucked away for another day. This soup illustrates well the concept of slow food since I started these tomatoes from seed back in late March–too early really for this gardening climate but the itch to get growing was too much for me to resist any longer.
I tended thirty seedlings, watched them grow, and repotted them when necessary.
I gifted a few friends and family members with plants and the rest found a home in my garden.
In early July I savoured the first taste of a sun-warmed and freshly picked Sungold tomato.
A few weeks later I rejoiced when the first bright red Black Krim ripened enough to be plucked from the vine.
I became almost giddy when the first big bright red Brandywine was ready.
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been eating tomatoes on sandwiches, in salads, and all by themselves. I’ve combined them with peppers and basil from the garden and made sauces for pasta. It’s tomato season to be sure.
This morning, as I assembled the ingredients for the vegetable soup I couldn’t help but think that the soup was really five months in the making if one counts back to the first tiny tomato seeds that I planted–slow food to be sure!
I was chopping vegetables this morning when I got a phone call from the local green grocer letting me know that the pickling cucumbers had arrived. Oh my! It’s going to be a busy couple of days. I joked to Gerry that I’m working harder these days than I did before I retired.
Ah, but this work fulfills like the former never did.
Linda, I especially liked your thought about time to reflect as you cooked in the kitchen. I never looked at cooking that way but I might. You are, however, wearing me out with all of your canning and cooking. Have you always been such a dedicated gardener to produce veggies like you have?
Lol, Lettie! Actually I consider myself a relatively new gardener and canner–still lots to learn. It’s just so nice to have time to devote to these things now that I am retired.
How wonderful is it to grow your own food! I wish I had the time and space to do this. There is nothing like a fresh tomato pulled from your own garden. And I love the idea of “slow food!” I’m a member of a food co-op here in ND, and we get fresh fruits and veggies every two weeks. I’ve been able to try a few new foods I’ve never had before, and have expanded my “good eating” regimen.
Love the idea of a food co-op, Karen. We hit the local farmer’s market once or twice a week and it also affords an opportunity to try new things. Last week I got some fava beans (also known as broad beans) that were very tasty. Got hubby to finally try kohlrabi after claiming for years that he didn’t like it. Yup, turns out he does like it after all!
Linda, you are so amazing!! Your long, tedious work of starting your seedlings, growing, and tending the garden, and then canning, and preserving shows your love and diligence for the love of “slow food” (I love that term! You are a true, down to earth, person! Thank you for sharing your story, photos and your beautiful canned goods! I know you’ll enjoy eating them as the weather cools down, and a good home grown flavor is needed. You are amazing!!
Not amazing, just finding great fulfillment in home-based activities I had little time for when I was busy in the corporate world. It’s a good season of life to be in!