Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let's Have Lunch

Twenty years ago or so, we would go to a Pizza Place that had a featured Pizza called "Once Around the Kitchen". At the time, that Pizza and that Place ranked among our Favorites, but Industrial Food pales in comparison to what we put on the Table here.

We had an absolutely fabulous Lunch today. That Salad featured Fresh Produce from the Garden. We could call that Salad: "Once Around the Garden". Every time we fix it, the Garden is different, so the Salad is different. Eating becomes an ever changing Culinary Experience.

As you may remember if you have been following this Blog, we use mostly Heirloom Varieties (the ones the Grandmas knew). The Produce comes right from the Garden so it is the Freshest it can be. We put as much Loving Kindness into growing, harvesting and preparing our Food as we can muster. Over time, that has just come Naturally.

The Salad featured a variety of Lettuces and Peppers. We added Swiss Chard, Herbs (Parsley, Basil), Arugula, Peas. I goofed on the Peas. Melanie and I picked Peas which have edible Pods and those that do not. I mixed all of them together. It meant I needed to test each Pod to see if it was Edible. Fixing Food around here is a Challenging Job.

I chopped up a Chioggia Beet, while Melanie was slicing Carrots. We sprinkled in Edible Flowers: Borage (Bluish Lavender) and Calendula (Sunny Yellows and Oranges). No meal from the Garden is complete without Edible Flowers.

I made a little Side Dish of chopped Tomatoes, Onions, Cucumbers, Cilantro, Chives, Garlic to which I added a bit of Vinegar and Olive Oil; we let it marinade while we made the rest of the Salad. In assembling the Salad, we spooned the Tomato Medley (I made up that name) over the Top, but the Top of the Salad just kept getting taller.

We sprinkled on Cheese which we had made from Kefir, which we had made from Raw Milk, that the Whitaker Cows had gracioiusly provided. The Cheese is white and kind of pebbly. It looks like Feta, but has a softer taste.

Melanie made Croutons from 2 Slices of Homemade Bread which we had carefully tucked away in the Freezer. She cut the Bread into Cubes. She put Oil in the Iron Skillet, added an Assortment of Fresh Herbs, fried up the Bread until it was crispy and brown. We kept eating the Croutons before we sat down to Lunch. We had to test them, you know. I think we could eat them like Popcorn. She had made a Dip from Tahini the day before and altered it a bit to turn it into Salad Dressing.

The Salad was complimented by Iced Tea which I made from Anise Hyssop. Anise Hyssop is very happily growing in the Herb Garden. It makes a lovely Gentle Tea.

We sat down to our Lunch in the shade on the West Porch. I asked who might like to say the "Blessing". We almost always have a Blessing before our Meals. Melanie had just been visiting with Karen, Doug and their Family in Minnesota. She was inspired by the Grace of 2 1/2 year old Jonathan, so she shared her own version.

When the Meal was complete, Melanie looked down and, to our surprise, Penny Chicken had joined us. Being on the Porch is a No-No for Chickens. Penny is one for Drama. She has lost a considerable amount of Feathers and wears a lovely protective Cape which Melanie fashioned. Penny Chicken looks Primordial, so we call her our Primordial Chicken. Penny is also our Escape Artist, always seeming to find a way out of the Fenced Area that confines ordinary Chickens.

Upon her arrival on the Porch, Penny checked out what was in the Bowl, but it was all gone. Max, who had been sleeping blissfully under Melanie's chair, respectfully gave her and her Beak a little more room. I just captured it on Film.

Things are always changing around here. Life is good.

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