T327: Toast

Okay, I got nothin’ and I will need to reach out to the interwebs for inspiration. My lack of inspiration has even persuaded me to bring the toaster in from the shed. It’s true . . . And I have spent November buying cheap bread, bargain brand nonsense from conventional grocery stores. This was in part because I have been taking a neighbor with a broken arm to 4 grocery stores every week. (I used to do this when I measured everything by frugal alone, instead of fossil fuel, factory farms, blah, blah blah). But, throughout these weeks I’ve felt so hypocritical or sanctimonious or something when I tried to keep my own carbon footprint very small while I was the helpful accomplice to an entirely different lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong; my neighbor knows how to cook, was persuaded to let me sew up the bottom of his cotton knit tank tops for grocery bags (he loves this now) and he buys whole food, vegetables and a very little convenience food. But, it didn’t help that I was overwhelmed by the hundreds of shoppers around me these last 4 weeks who are consuming without any apparent realizations we in the sustainability group of people are beginning to take for granted. Carts are piled high with non-local, non-seasonal, high fructose products, mountains of packaging for so-called convenience foods. It has been disheartening and de-motivating. It doesn’t help that I am at the end of 2008’s budget where I don’t feel I have three nickels to rub together. Boo fucking hoo.

This too shall pass . . . the new year promises much hope.

I turned to Farmgirl Fare, a beautiful website I visit every day for the photographs alone. The recipes and posts are just bonus. The following title caught my eye: Five Things to Eat Before You Die.

After describing her first responses from exotic places with unique cuisines she switches gears. This speaks to what I would like to hear and one day will say in my own way.
Then I changed my mind. I realized that all of these delicious memories were as much about the place as they were about the food itself. I once ate a perfectly recreated dish of that Balinese black rice pudding in a suburban Northern California kitchen, and it simply wasn't the same. So while I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of these far flung delights (and doubt I would pass up the opportunity to experience them again myself), my new list is completely different--like my life is now. Less fuss, more flavor. It's all about the food. These five things will taste absolutely wonderful no matter where you are. Each one is a celebration in and of itself. I hope someday you'll have a chance to try them.

  1. A thick, warm slice (or hunk) of bread from a loaf you made with your own two hands. No mixer or bread machine involved. Plenty of organic butter recommended but not required.
  2. Something you grew yourself.
  3. Homemade potato chips, preferably made with thin slices of freshly dug, organic red potatoes (scrubbed, not peeled), fried in homemade lard in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, and prepared by someone you adore who is willing to stand over a splattering pan of hot oil for an hour or two while you both devour batch after batch of warm, salted chips as soon as they are cool enough to touch. Serve with lots of laughs and plenty of iced tea or cold beer.
  4. A grilled hamburger made from a freshly ground chuck steak (from grass-fed, naturally raised beef), served on a toasted, freshly baked bun & smothered with slices of vine-ripened, organic heirloom tomatoes.
  5. A crisp, juicy apple you plucked from the tree.
  6. And my Bonus Beverage Answer: Champagne for breakfast. Just because.
Yes a toast!

These are worthy items, all done with Farmgirl attention to taste and the eye.

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