M272: make-a-(green)plan food

I am enjoying my look back at this make-a-(green)plan weekly food feature, one letter at a time. I am all over the place with this subject of food. As expected, the writing ranges from the researched articles that still contain much of my own experience and analysis to the bits where I rely heavily on cutting and pasting what others have written. Let me clarify, I say it’s expected that the quality of these posts show a range from poor to better because I am not a food writer producing a consistent column about food.

No, mine is a journal-like style of writing and sharing all of this year’s challenge of living lightly and food is one ingredient of this. Co-incidentally I have a fascination with trying out some odd foods new to me and a growing fascination for finding free food, native foods, local foods and foods with wonderful stories. And the relationship of food and water. This last is something I haven’t spent many words on yet . . . but it is growing in importance.

I suffer through the posts that are dashed off without much care, journal-style or not. But, there are those entries where everything has gone wrong, but I find the flexibility to offer something I think is well worth sharing, like G45: Green Onions and Guava when my beloved Induction Cook Plate died. Or most recently, I utterly failed in what was supposed to be one of my finest ideas, K258: KLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ where I got to use half the alphabet, try new food, explore an international world food, purge my cupboard of corn meal, share with my neighbors, use my home grown fennel, my solar oven. I was stupid with anticipation and it was an utter disaster. I had to throw it all out and didn’t even bother with the side dish. Gah. Followed by a mini-failure where I had a fantastic idea months prior to save one of Chile’s recipes and use it on my own Kohlrabi. The plant became infested and died, yet a neighbor brought an exotic food, dragon fruit, to my door, K257: Kismet and Kindness with Food. (BTW, he let me know today that it was true what he’d heard. Dragon fruit sold for $15 at the local rich people’s boutique market).

Some of my favorites were not about a food or a recipe per se, but about the theme of food. And this includes the posts I wrote about gardening and food emphasis in my posts not intended for the weekly feature. These included:

The design overlap with food in my immediate world and in the design community was evident in these posts:

The really basic way of providing food for myself was best described in a phrase make-a-(green)plan Commenter Extraordinaire, Rosa, gave me. I have now taken for my own, “Cooking by Looking.” This is the approach a real forager would use. It is the best for the urban farmer who is watching and waiting to see what there will be to harvest for dinner. That is for the frugal at the farmers market or the bargain hunter at stupor market searching for the best buy. And recently, I looked into the bag my neighbor handed me to throw into my green compost pile for the Master Composter Class. I found enough food for a bunch of meals last week and for one last night.

I'm not sure I have mentioned this in my food posts. Like a climbing vine's mysterious yet natural ability to find the place to latch onto in space, it is supernatural how when there is need, things come together. This same neighbor is someone who is constantly cooking up big, delicious batches of food and taking them to various neighbors (including me at least three times). And her timing is stunning. It comes easy in this little trailer park, especially as we grow as a community. And we have neighbors who share fruit from their trees, bushes and even ground cover (gotu kola) of herbs.

Last night I fixed a caramelized potato and onion dish with apples, nopales, jalapeƱo pepper, garlic, flax, salt and pepper. About 80% was free from that plastic bag given to me to toss into the green compost. I took some of the finished meal to the young man who'd given me the dragon fruit and other fruit treats. He just now returned the bowl and said it was delicious. (I thought so too.) I shared the story of it being free food. Then he let me know where I might find my next foraged food in the neighborhood. Yum.

Flickr photo mag3737

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