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.)


About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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