Thursday, March 31, 2011


There. I said it. I don't mean to jump on the weather whiner's bandwagon and to be perfectly honest, I love me some snow. But this has been a long, hard winter in so many ways and I'm done. I need the rush that I get when I see my first tulip and the feeling of rejuvenation that comes with the sense that everything is coming to life. I'm tired of potatoes and greens at the farmers' market. I've started a new chapter and am trying to not look back, how come Mother Nature has to dwell?

When I was playing ostrich and ignoring the forecast, I had visions of yard clean up, compost turning and finally planting some seeds. Of course, I can still plant seeds even while it's snowing, but something just feels WRONG about it. Ah well, maybe it's one last hearty batch of chili instead.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So long, CSA

This week I got the "last call" notice for the CSA we'd participated in for the last three years. It made me so sad that I'm not signed up this year. But, it's just not practical. It was hard enough keeping up with the share with two people, cooking for one with a box of veggies that big is just asking for major waste. This is especially true because I still haven't overcome my fear that I will kill myself if I try canning. I know it's possible to do half shares, but while a big part of me will miss it, I'm actually a little bit excited to be share-free for a season. Having the share got me to explore different veggies and be creative about cooking, but now that I've expanded my range and sense of adventure, I can explore all on my own. I rarely hit up farmers' markets because I was already swimming in veggies and I was often away on weekends. Now I'll have to get a bit more savvy about mid-week markets and will have the freedom to pick up what inspires me at the moment. And, with any luck, I'll have some of my own bounty to work with...that is if I ever get my butt in gear and focus on getting seedlings started.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A New Start

When I started writing Green Peccadilloes nearly a year ago, my image of the project was that it was a way to chronicle the stops and starts of a regular person – busy, distracted, overwhelmed – trying to make better choices about food, and by extension, better choices generally. I wanted to be more committed to understanding food sources and the broader implications of choosing to direct my buying power in a way that made me feel better. Knowing myself, the title reflected what were sure to be little slip ups along the way. I liked that “green peccadilloes” sounded vaguely culinary but really referenced minor indiscretions. Am I a bad person because I don’t eat exclusively grass-fed beef? Depends on who you ask, I suppose, but I’d argue no. Would I like to change my habits so that I am not, even occasionally, supporting commercial enterprises that do not reflect my beliefs? You betcha.

But I lost my way a bit. I’m so appreciative of those of you out there that enjoyed reading about my adventures, but I started to feel that I was telling the world what I had for dinner instead of telling a story. And, lo and behold, life has a way of changing the story on you. As I move forward and reconnect with what is really important to me, I look forward to revisiting my earlier goals, albeit through a slightly different lens. I starting writing from a place where I wasn’t sure I was happy with some of the choices I’d made and I was determined to explore the what ifs from the safety of my good job. Now I’m writing from a place where I’m not sure I’m happy about things that were not my choice, but are in fact my reality. Instead of exploring the what ifs, I now think it’s best to look forward and accept new challenges. Maybe there’ll be a better story to tell than just what’s for dinner.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter's quiet

Gosh it's been a long time since I've written. I think my inspiration was buried under the piles of snow that have graced our fair city, then work and life get in the way and before you know it, weeks or months have passed. I'm trying to get back into a routine, to find comfort in ritual, and cooking has always provided that. And - it's almost time to start thinking about the garden again! I'm so looking forward to planning and nurturing my little space of land. While I can't say I was off-the-charts successful last year, I took some good steps in the right direction and learned a lot. This past weekend I bought one of those timers you stick in the electric socket so I can have the grow light manage itself. I think my future seedlings will benefit from automation instead of relying on me to stay on top of them. After a fairly unsuccessful go at seedlings last year, I toyed with the idea of just skipping it altogether and hitting up the Menands Farmers' Market for plants this year. But there's something about the anticipation, seeing that first little sprout emerge, and the sense that with some time, effort and patience you can create something greater than what you started with. That's a sentiment that would do me some good right about now, so seedlings it is. Here's hoping...