Saturday, June 5, 2010

Living off the Land

Coming from a long line of farmers, I suppose it's in my blood to want to live off the land. Cotton has sustained generations of my family for 150 years; now I'm happy to get a few fresh vegetables to call my own. Maybe that's what drives my new friend and fellow Knoxville blogger Mamabelle to raise her own chickens for eggs. I'd have to check our neighborhood by-laws, but I'm pretty sure "no livestock" is in there somewhere. So for now, I'll stick with reaping the bounty of our small garden.

Take tonight's dinner: To celebrate the incredibly fresh taste of snow peas right off the vine, we ate a few raw as snacks and then steamed the rest slightly for a vegetable and pasta medley. I started by cooking a pound of pasta I got for $1. I then sauteed green onions from the farmers' market; mushrooms, red peppers, and garlic on sale at Kroger this past week; and a few organic carrots. I then added the rest of the chicken breast from the whole chicken I bought for $1.04/lb on manager's special at Kroger and those amazing snow peas I previously mentioned. I added 1/2 cup of parsley growing in our herb garden and a few tablespoons of Classico alfredo sauce I got for a great price when those Classiso coupons were going around in May. When the food is fresh, it's best not to lose it in too many spices or sauces. The result was fresh, healthy, and delicious.

This is far from "living off the land" but I stress that even one ingredient that's fresh can make an entire dish phenomenal. If you're intimidated by growing your own, though you shouldn't be with such guidance from Gabe at Couponing in Critical Times, then consider visiting a farmers' market this week. You'll be glad you did.

1 comment:

  1. The current law actually allows hens if they are 500 feet from any inhabitated buildings. I am fortunate to have only one neighbor, who is kind.

    I also come from families who gardened & knew how to preserve their harvests. It's been eye-opening to realized how much knowledge has been lost from one generation to the next. For example, my mom remembers her mom making their own soap, but she has no idea how it was done.
    Meanwhile, I watched my mom can vegetables, etc, as a child but ony just now (at 31) ventured into that art by making strawberry jam this spring.