The current project is food, though. Our goal is to eat locally and sustainably, and therefore we need 1) a menu based on 2) a set of recipes that we know we like and 3) what foods we can get locally and in season, as well as 4) a pantry list of the ingredients we need to keep on hand to be able to make our set of in-season recipes. Which has led to many discussions of which recipes to include. For instance, tomatoes grow almost too well in Oklahoma. My first instinct is to can lots and lots of pasta sauce. Ryan, while not being opposed to Italian food, has a different idea: he wants to focus more on foods that reflect our local culture.
Say what? I was under the impression that true local food consisted of Indian tacos and ... Indian tacos. And whatever other Native American food I've never tasted. Last time I checked - and correct me if I'm wrong - most of the food I'm familiar with was brought over across the Big Pond by (my) (European) ancestors. What cuisine is native to Oklahoma? Hamburgers? Cornbread? Chicken and dumplings? Blackberry cobbler? My mind wanders to imported food long before I've thought of enough dishes to constitute a menu. (NB: I'm totally in favor of learning to make Indian tacos, by the way. I still think Oklahoma cuisine is limited, though.)
I haven't found an answer to this question, so I would appreciate any insights.
In the meantime, I've recently and relatedly been inspired by very simple foods. Tonight we ate beef liver and onions, which was a first for us. We both enjoyed the simple meal with few ingredients, which nourished and satisfied us without weighing us down with fuss or extraneous tastes. We speculated on why neither of us ate this dish in our childhoods. For my part, I know my mom doesn't like the taste of liver, but I also was under the impression that there is a cultural connection to poverty. Ryan wasn't so sure, because the liver cost us as much per pound as ground beef would. We couldn't figure it out, especially because liver is so high in vitamins. There were times during my pregnancy when I would eat half a pound of chicken livers in a sitting, probably when I was deficient in something or other.
Anyway, our meal and discussion got me thinking about foods which our grandmothers surely grew in their gardens, but which have disappeared from our cuisine (or at least from the cuisine I've been exposed to) so entirely that I have to search the internet to find how to cook them, and even then I'm still not sure I'm doing it right. Eggplant. Cabbage. Turnips. Many kinds of squash. Someday I will boldly disregard all the recommendations I've ever read to only plant foods you know you'll eat, and purposefully plant foods I have no clue how to prepare, so I'll be forced to learn.
Which brings me to the tangentially related piece of news that we like a job, and we like a house! We'll find out next week if the job likes us too, and if it likes us then we'll find out whether any banks like us. The house we like is big enough for a very large family, in a nice neighborhood, on about a 3/4 acre lot, needs lots of cosmetic work but structurally sound and has the potential to be gorgeous, and is a foreclosure (read: cheap enough that I don't care what garish colors the walls are painted in or how bizarrely the light fixtures are wired).
Visions of edible landscaping are dancing in my head.
Time for gratuitous baby pictures!
We got some tiny baby chairs and a table for MeMe and Pop Pop's too, so Heidi and Ava can have tea parties!
Buried in a pile of diapers hot from the dryer