These are strange times when it comes to food. The President commands meat to come forth, no matter the cost. Lines of folks wait for something, anything to eat. And I go on a daily archaeological dig to my freezer to unearth something edible, then to determine the time period during which it was buried. I love a good mystery, but not when it comes to what I’m about to swallow.
Over these weeks of obeying my youngers, as opposed to them listening to their elder, I’ve returned to my childhood for inspiration on how to do with less, while staying inside. For example, when there was no money for meat, Mama got a bag of bones from the butcher for soup. Wilted vegetables filled in the broth. Now, bone broth’s an “in” drink. It’s taken a pandemic to remind me less is more and too much of anything harms me and the rest of the world in one way or another.
It’s not just my freezer that’s a treasure hunt, it’s the back of the vegetable bin in the refrigerator. Yesterday I found potatoes reproducing themselves behind closed doors. The dairy compartment contained a piece of cheese turning into a possible cure for something.
When my family shows up with fresh anything, I devour it with unusual gratitude, not allowing vegetables or fruit to morph into something mysterious. Fresh strawberries and blueberries come with an aura. Before Covid, I’d quickly lop off the top, taking more fruit than needed. Now, I cradle each strawberry like I’m about to perform heart surgery on it, carefully cutting around the stem, removing only what’s essential. God only knows when I’ll eat another fresh berry and at what cost to someone.
So what’s for dinner?
Something still thawing for someone much more thankful.
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