Fresh Facts Week 35: Campaigning for State Cooking and Celebrating Delightful Meals


 Uncle Vern’s Weekly Farm-Fueled Musings, April 21-27 2014

I don’t think we’ve had this long a run of perfect people weather in my life. Since Christmas it seems, everyday is picnic on a blanket weather. Some rain would be nice, but that’s not happening, so let’s just enjoy what we’re given.

The perfection of the produce, the vibrant colors in your box is the result of this perfect weather. The flavors are a bit more concentrated; undiluted by the real miracle gro— rain; let’s enjoy what we’re given.

I’m starting to see a bit of color on the outside trees in the aprium patch as I write this, so there will probably be some to enjoy as some of you read this, and once again, they’re just perfect little unblemished gems hanging out there, no rain or hail to mess ’em up. Apricots are native to Iran, so this kind of dry warm weather following a cold winter is right up their alley. Many were dry land farmed there in the day, then cut and dried. Iran was the world’s dried apricot producer prior to all the disruption in that part of the world.

As I walk through the orchards now, post-thinning and prior to harvest, it’s pretty easy to start whistling or singing. Nearly every patch has a nice crop, and all the fruit is clean. Cosmetically challenged might be in short supply this year, but let’s enjoy what we’re given.

I was thinking this week about meals. You can just be wound up, overloaded, can’t get it all done, and then there’s lunch; especially if it’s with friends or family and you gratefully sit down, relax, and enjoy.

There’s a commonality to meals. We all look forward expectantly to dinner. It doesn’t matter if I’m a violinist or an electrician, poor or rich, deciphering genetic code in a laboratory, a doctor’s handwriting in a pharmacy, or a student’s essay, I know that for a brief time in the middle of the day I get to just stop and eat. Homemade soup from a thermos, or something delivered crisply and set on a white table cloth; relax, enjoy, meals…

Did you notice that when important people get together, they have “state dinners?” What if they met a few hours early, put on an apron and fixed dinner together; each chopping and peeling, sautéing and boiling their favorite dishes and desserts. We could call it “state cooking” prior to the “state dinner.” I’ll betcha, there’d be a lot less strife in the world.

When dignitaries or families sit down to a meal together, it’s basic, it’s right now, it’s anticipated and restorative. Food is a delight, and from a farming perspective, it’s a delight from planning which type of seed, or variety of tree to plant clear up through the actual meal.

I think the anticipation of watching the seed germinate and sprout, grow and bloom is more about the future meal than the future harvest. Anticipation of the meal is foundational to the sustainability of farming. Without the anticipation of meals, farming would just be a sequence of tasks, another job that produces a product that’s sold for a profit.

A big part of our profit is knowing that ultimately we’re raising meals.

Our labor is bringing order and rest and well-being to an otherwise chaotic and tired world. That knowledge is a big part of our pay, so let’s enjoy what we’re given and

Author AHO Kitchen Team

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