happy ‘murica day!

Wishing you extra independence–with love, the Betzes

Hope you had a great holiday! Ours was hot, filled with accidental parade-watching (turns out you cannot cross town without running into a police blockade on the morning of the 4th), spiced up with a new cocktail & a bit of a New Years’ Day.

I don’t normally take pictures of my average-looking dinner, but I have to say, this was our one bit of celebration for the day (that & the “antioxatini” you see–pomegranate juice & $5 sparkling wine from Target). And we did it right.

I spent the hottest part of the day out in the garden. I know, I know. A bad idea. But I had to kill those squash bugs I mentioned, & I knew the water would drive them out into the open. I filled a spritzer bottle with dish soap & water, gave each bug I found a spritz, then watched them walk in a circular death dance before falling to the ground. It. felt. amazing.

I also learned that what had looked like a pumpkin plant has since exploded into the heirloom squash lemon seeds I put out. Those will be delicious in a few days, as there are already a handful of babies starting up (& everyone says the skin gets tough, so pick them tiny). And on the eggplant front? Three that are the size of my thumb.

So, when I got back from the garden I was already hungry for our dinner. Here’s what was on the menu:

  • jalapeño-bison burgers with Indiana free-roaming bison & peppers from the garden, topped with our garden-grown lettuce & tomato
  • sweet potato fries with a sweet potato from the beautiful, organish Sun Circle Farm (with this recipe, which mostly worked)
  • a big nasturtium salad we cut from the garden, blossoms & all–spicy, but balanced out with dill, olive oil & balsamic (check out more about this edible flower, including recipes, here)

Now, could I have made the buns? Sure. Was the vegan sour cream we topped them with local? No. Probably conventional soy beans. (Did we need to grab a Reese’s cup cyclone for dessert? Hmm. Does it count that it was a local ice cream shop? ) But, dang it, we done good. The complete joy of eating something you put into the dirt & cared for is–it’s even more than I’d imagined. Intoxicating. Addictive. Healthy in every way.

So, here’s the thing about New Year’s Day… I made a lot of promises to myself–to the blog, as well. Then, I got busy. And distracted. And unmotivated. Now, Joe & I are mealing our way through Animal, Vegetable, Miracle & can’t stop thinking about the food calendar, about relearning to eat with the seasons & enjoying each gift as it comes.

A few days ago, I reserved two books: Skinny Bitch & Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. The former, a book about going vegan, whose contents I have very mixed emotions about. (Slapping a label & restrictions on my diet is something to which I have an increasing aversion.) The latter, a cookbook. I read these books when I was in college, but the recipes are so filled with extra, special, extra-special ingredients that making them is a huge investment–and you’re relying on some serious food miles. I got an e-mail last night that both are waiting on my at the library.

Megan, you’re saying so many things. Where are you going?

Synthesis: Today is our New Food Year Day. Joe & I, after such an incredible meal, are turning a sharper focus toward eating local, seasonal produce. Saving produce when it’s in season to enjoy later. Limiting inputs. To get us started, I’m using the four-week vegan sample plan in the back of Skinny Bitch to get us started on aspects of a vegan lifestyle. But I’m ripping & tearing at the recipes to make them easier, more affordable & more applicable to the everyday life of the average eater. This is going to be fun, especially as I bend recipes to their breaking point in order to use up our CSA goodies (& let myself use honey instead of agave).

Cheers to that! Hope you had a great holiday. What food traditions did you indulge? If you were to make one diet change today, what would it be? (Ha! There. You’ve recognized one–now try it.)

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About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
This entry was posted in being married. Bookmark the permalink.

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