Sep 16, 2014

Too Many Veggies and Fruit ?

Lower garden...Oregon is so dry this year.
Ever since I moved back home with my parents eating food and preparing food has been on my mind way too much. Here I am surrounded by foods from my growing up years that I never thought I would want to learn how to make and now I have a second chance to learn how. There are those moments the past twenty five years that I have shamelessly longed for another grown up to have the responsibility of cooking for just one meal and here I am in a house with two"very good at cooking"adults. I also have been doing some musing about how I have become a grown up that refuses to embrace the leftover idea when my parents are the leftover king and queen....hmmm?

upper garden 
So I need to start off by declaring to the entire world that I have parents who garden. I mean serious gardening folks. I am thinking that if you have an upper garden and a lower garden it is most likely serious :) I would also imagine that if you set a trap at night to catch the animals who fuss with your garden it is serious. My parents are always outside....did I mention always? This gardening obsession means that I grew up eating 4 to 5 veggies at most meals during most of the year, Ranch dressing with a plate of veggies from the garden was almost always available at my house anytime of the day. I did not know until I was a grown up that most people did not eat green beans raw with dip. I would serve them on my veggie tray at a gathering and always get exclamations of wonder. I also thought everyone knew what kohlrabi was.

I do not even know how to explain to you the abundance of fruit and veggies that are here where I currently reside. At the moment the refrigerator in the garage has one drawer full of cucumbers and my mom still gives away boxes of cucumbers a week. There is a twenty-six pound watermelon on one of the shelves. I think they grew at least ten amazing watermelons this year. The other crisper drawer is full of apple pears from my mom's tree. There is an enormous box of plums sitting on a counter in the garage. There is also a box of onions and a box of tomatoes. And I can not tell you how many of these items they have already given away. I can not leave out the strawberries, watermelon,beans, corn, kohlrabi, grapes, acorn squash, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkins, and broccoli.....I know I left something out but I am not sure what it is....oh yeah the kitchen sink :)

Almost every morning when I wake up my mother is canning,freezing, blanching, grating and then freezing, or drying something from the garden. She even tried to make raisins with her grapes :) Both of my parents work so hard and nothing goes to waste. Notice I have not mentioned my working hard skills :) Yes, It appears moving home has made me into an enormous bum. (No, I do not have an enormous bum I am one :) It also has made me realize I could be called a wasteful gardener. You have to be on the ball to not be a wasteful gardener. Too bad no one has figured out how to can, freeze, dry, or blanch watermelon. I mean these watermelons are fabulous but I had no idea that there was a limit to how much watermelon you could eat :)

My parents love food and are pretty decent connoisseurs of it. They are always collecting spices, batters, and marinades. Since I have moved in I am constantly and shamelessly dropping hints that I really need their homemade onion rings, their home made ice cream, my mom's famous pies, my dads barbecuing chicken skills, my moms homemade fresh salsa. It is rather pathetic, yet lovely, how much life revolves around food here:)

My girls thought they knew about vegetables, fruit, and consuming them but it turns out they did not really know about them until they moved here.

I have learned the secrets of the Ord Family onion rings and next on my list is to have some serious pie classes with my mother. Her pies are beautiful and her crust is perfect in every way. I remember as a child staring with awe at the dining room table that she had filled with peach pies she was making. She always has a pie crust on hand, just a defrost away, in the freezer. My dad has given me a few barbecue lessons throughout the years but I need some more to boost my confidence. And then there are the aebleskivers. This obsession technically came from my sister Sarah but regardless I need to learn how to make them.

I have to mention one more time that I am fascinated with how careful my parents are to make sure nothing goes to waste. I am thrilled to know that there is a possibility that it is in my genetic make up. Because I thought there was no hope for me and my "just throw it away" answer to everything.

The routine of the home made food is very comforting here. We had settled into some bad habits in our past east coast life. Last night when we were at Wal Mart Tatiana impulsively grabbed a box of macaroni and cheese, something we have not purchased in at least 6 weeks and she asked if we could buy it....for old times sake. I said yes but I inwardly cringed at how the other home grown food in my parents house might treat this poor innocent box of processed-ness :)

Tonight we are having deviled eggs and potato salad for dinner and I know for a fact there is homemade strawberry pie from last night still in the fridge. And then I am going on a bike ride :)


Marty C. said...

Would your parents consider adopting me. Not only do I love good watermelon and garden fresh fruits and veggies, I appreciate them.

Marty C. said...

Oops. Should have read that again before I posted it. Well, here is the question mark I forgot.