Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gifts From the Earth

Now I know I said this wasn't going to turn into a foodie blog, but I just can't help myself today. A few weeks ago, I was reading a blog in the Washington Post Online - the food editor had presented a challenge: take $20 to your local Farmer's Market, and see how much you can get with it. Now I used to live near DC, so I know the prices there are a bit higher than where I currently live. But I was shocked at what these people could (or couldn't!) get for $20. So just for fun, I'll tell you what I got at my Farmer's Market yesterday, for $9.50: 13 ears of corn, picked about 2 hours before I purchased it, 2 huge sweet red peppers (at 2/$1.00 - the same ones that sell for $3.49/lb at the grocery), a huge red tomato, a quart of peaches, and a half peck of lima beans. Amazing - and I was going to get an acorn squash because I found a yummy-sounding recipe for roasted squash with maple syrup, but it's still summer - I'm going to give that a few more weeks!
So for dinner last night? Corn, lima beans. Homemade chicken strips. And tabouleh, with fresh tomato, and fresh basil from my garden. I'm going to be sorry to see summer come to an end - I just love the foods of summertime. Right now, besides the peaches, in my refrigerator, I also have apples, strawberries, watermelon that I cut up last night, a pineapple and grapes. MMMMM - eating close to earth just feels right.
Which brings me to a thought. We are so fortunate in this country. We are a prosperous nation, with all kinds of foods and retail goods available at our whim. We go to huge, brightly lit, heavily stocked grocery stores that make you shiver with cold because they're so air-conditioned. We are so used to all the products we use and eat and need being there for us - neatly arranged and attractively marketed. We even get a little disgruntled when they might be out of something we like, or we can't find it readily. Compare that to those nations where food is a luxury, where children are starving and where men fight for a sack of rice to feed their families for a month. Where produce sits and rots in the heat while people have to walk 20 and 30 miles to get there, swatting bugs the whole time, carrying children, nursing babies. Thank you God, that I don't have to fight for food to feed my little ones. Thank you God, for prosperity, for never having to go hungry, for having our basic necessities plus a whole lot more a short drive to Walmart away. Thank you God, that I can wake up in the morning, greet my family, and ask them what they would like for breakfast today, because I have OPTIONS. At my fingertips.
Just my thoughts for the day - I'm going to go see what Jonathan would like for breakfast --- with a smile on my face!


fishface said...

Amen! We are so blessed to have been born Americans. My Mom just got back from a trip where she visited China, India, then Singapore. She was appalled at the conditions people where living in. Needless to say, she is still extremely ill from an intestinal parasite she picked up in India...

fishface said...

BTW, you have inspired me to find a local farmers market by me now.