Monday, January 9, 2012

Spice of Life

These are the herbs that I collected in july from my garden. The basil got turned into a DELICIOUS pesto, because I like the taste of basil better fresh. The sage and mint however got hung upside down in a dark closet and this week when I finally realized that they certainly must be LONG since dry, they fell victim to my mortar and pestle. Sure, it probably would have been quicker to use one of the many gadgets that exists in my kitchen, food processor, or magic bullet, or coffee grinder... but I can't shake the feeling that that's cheating. These herbs were grown by the work of my own hands, pinched off the plants with my two hands, hand tied and hung from a nail in my closet... and now I'm supposed to introduce mechanization to the process? Well, perhaps if I had bushels of the stuff or was really short of time. But neither is the case. And there's something cathartic about standing in my kitchen listening to the gentle rasp, rasp, rasp of stone on stone in my hands, slowly turning dried pathetic looking foliage into usable product. As an added bonus, I got to watch one of my favorite episodes of "farm tv", watching squirrels and cedar waxwings bicker over coniferous cones on the edge of the forest. I could get used to this kind of time consuming monotony. It feels good, there's a result at the end. That's really what I do it for. Lately I'm feeling particularly proud of complex chains of homemade products. For example, as satisfying as it is to make homemade food with store bought provisions, its much more satisfying to bake say a chicken rubbed with ground sage that was grown in my garden, then ground in my kitchen. It's like third generation homemade when you look at it that way. I can't wait until the day that the chicken also comes from home, but baby steps for now keep my fires burning and pride in what I serve to my family.

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