First, a question. Since when did all these holidays start in June? Isn’t it supposed to be right after Memorial Day right now? Whatever.
I have been collecting recipes. Every year I make a few standards, and add in a few New Things. Last year, the New Things were marshmallows
and hot chocolate.
All those get made every year. This year’s New Things will involve ginger. When we were at My Happy Place, which has an enormous selection of fresh produce at crazy good prices, I purchased 5 pounds of fresh ginger. 4 pounds were sliced and dehydrated, and one was cut into chunks and stuck in the freezer, for those recipes that call for fresh. As needed, the dehydrated ginger is ground up, which makes for a wonderful pungent ginger, light years above the kind of faded and sad ginger-type powder that one finds in the grocery store jars. Anyway, the recipes this year will be gingersnaps and gingerbread biscotti and a ginger scented almond toffee that I made many years ago and didn’t give away because I was overcome with selfishness but I’ve matured since then and might be able to share it this time.
November is the Gearing Up time, when mental preparations are made as well as decisions based on the ponderings of the last year and the noises people made regarding the foodstuffs.
We are on this Emergency Preparedness kick right now. It has become important, since Society is Likely To Collapse and We Will Need Food, to have canned goods on hand. However, commercially canned stuff disagrees with my kidneys, due to the salt and preservatives, so I have gone all Ma Walton and been making and canning soups and sauces. The benefits are already coming in. Yesterday a friend came over for lunch, and I had some sort of vague notion about what to prepare, and remembered the 6 quarts of chicken soup in the pantry. good chicken soup, too, full of garlic and herbs and grains instead of noodles. It’s also rich, because it’s made with homemade stock instead of water, so there’s double double chicken chicken flavor flavor. And when I am sick, store bought chicken soup Will Not Do, and now there’s quarts of it there, waiting, good solid and rich homemade chicken soup.
I also made 12 quarts of spaghetti sauce. Ditto on the store bought stuff, excessive salt and all. Also ditto on the preferring homemade. We eat spaghetti about twice a month (or some other thing requiring a tomato based meat sauce, like lasagna or such),and this ought to see us through Winter until Salad Season.
Right now there’s a bunch of pinto beans cooking, and a stack of crushed tomatoes on the table (low salt version). Later today or maybe tomorrow (or sometime…) it will all be made into chili, and canned. We can heat it up and eat it on Fritos (or rice), or turn it into tamale pie by pouring it over some
cornmeal mush polenta, throwing some cheese on top, and baking. Emergency Meal, Because by golly, my house might be a wreck and there might be flower pots all over the yard from the wind the other day and that suspicious puddle in the bathroom might be completely ignored, but We Will Eat Well.
And in a pinch, I can take a jar of chili and stick a bow on top, if someone shows up and sings a Christmas carol.
But you know, the holidays really have snuck up on me, in spite of being prepared for them, which sounds really silly, I know, but it’s like my head knew they were coming and prepared (there’s all sorts of baking supplies on top of the fridge), but my heart is still somewhere off in the distance, hanging it’s legs over the side of a canoe and drifting aimlessly down the Oconee River on a hot Summer’s day.