The last few days have been busy in a good way. First of all, I have been very present with my daughter. She is a beautiful, sweet girl who sometimes needs my full attention. I try to balance the attention she needs and deserves with the work I do to grow and preserve food. Sometimes that means that she becomes my helper in the garden and kitchen. Other times, when she is not wanting to have anything to do with the garden or the kitchen, I either find myself playing with her for several hours (I especially enjoy coloring!) or finding something to amuse her while I get my work done.
Lately I have also been looking for work off the farm. I’m not sure what life has in store for me in this department. I am hoping to find work in at least one of my areas of interest. While it looks like meaningful, paid employment is in my immediate future, there is definitely a part of me that mourns the loss of my stay-at-home mom days. These few years have been absolutely precious. I don’t think our culture values mothers and housework for what it really is.
While we don’t call it making a living, stay-at-home moms are responsible for the work of living. Not only are we giving most of our energy and attention to our children, but we are also responsible for feeding, educating, entertaining, driving, shopping, growing, putting up, maintaining, organizing, cleaning and more! I enjoy the diversity of house and farm work. My own mother returned to the “work force” when my sister and I were both in school. Before that time, we always had a big garden, home cooked everything, home-made clothes and a full time mother in our home. Though our culture often devalues the work that mothers do, I think my mom and other stay-at-home moms consider it to be a worthy investment.
With all of my job applications, interviews, networking and various preparations for work, it is easy to let my local eating slack off a bit. I have tried to balance my busy schedule with time in the kitchen and garden. What will I do when I get a job? I will most likely use some of the money to buy more local “convenience” foods. This is a cost of employment that many of us overlook. (I will write more later on making a living rather than making a dying.) While I have time right now to make my own sauerkraut, I may find that as a working mom, I am more likely to buy something pre-made. I definitely have my favorite quick snacks. Hopefully I will find a new balance between time in the kitchen, time with my daughter, and time at my job. Here are my meals from the last few busy days:
Day 7 (Sunday)
Eggs, oatmeal, coffee at Kealy’s Cafe (local restaurant, not necessarily local food)
Local Pheasant snack stick (Basics), tapioca pudding made with local milk and duck eggs
Pizza from the Red Zone (another local restaurant – my dad’s favorite!)
Chef’s Mess – see recipe below (local duck eggs, home grown potatoes, local butter, local beef franks, home-grown zucchini), fermented veggies
local roast beef and home-grown cabbage, home-grown zucchini
home grown veggies, hummus from Basics, chips from Basics (not local) – eaten at the Board meeting
Carribean Style Soup – local, farm-raised trout from Rushing Waters, home-grown okra, home-grown tomatoes, home-grown corn, WI wine
local Chocolate Mint cookies
Day 9 (Tuesday)
non-local yogurt, MI peach
non-local pb&j sandwich, cheese sandwich and cupcake at birthday party
local hamburger from Amazing Grace, home-grown sauerkraut
home-grown musk melon
local hamburger, home-made pickles, home-grown sweet corn, local butter, home-grown beets
local chocolate mint cookies, local fresh milk!
McCann’s Irish oats, local milk, local maple syrup, local butter, non-local vanilla yogurt
Grilled Pecan Butter Sandwich (non-local bread, local JoshEWEa’s Garden Pecan Butter, local butter), home-made pickles, non-local tea
soup and sandwich from Luke’s local restaurant – I am totally addicted to their turkey artichoke sandwich!
local milk, local mint chocolate cookies from Back to Nature
2 Medium Potatoes (baked or boiled)
2-4 Tablespoons Butter
4 large Eggs
1-2 beef franks or sausage links (sliced into disks)
1 small zucchini (sliced or chunked)
Salt to taste
Over medium flame, melt two tablespoons of butter in a cast iron pan. Grate the potatoes into the pan. When the potatoes are warm and just beginning to brown, push them to the side of the pan. Add more butter to the empty side of the pan, if necessary. Crack all four eggs into the pan and gently scramble them. When the eggs are cooked but still slightly wet-looking, add the precooked sausage disks and raw zucchini. Mix everything together in the pan. Cover the pan to steam the zucchini and heat everything through. When the zucchini is soft but not mushy, it is ready. Salt to taste and serve with fermented veggies.