This is the time of year when I love to eat only food I can grow or which is grown in my neighborhood. As Barbara Kingsolver pointed out so eloquently in Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, it’s not hard if you allow yourself a few exceptions. Here’s a typical dinner with vegetables grown from seed in my garden. The simple menu consisted of a vegetable sauté, with freshly caught fish.
First I boiled up some baby Red Pontiac potatoes in the antique Griswold iron frying pan until they were just tender. Red Pontiacs are an American bred potato, very popular and eaten with or without the skin. These baby potatoes were “accidental” bounty from digging some larger potatoes.
Once cooked I removed the potatoes, set them aside and added some olive oil (not from my neighborhood) in which I sautéed some Music garlic freshly harvested. Music, named after John Music, is a hardneck, white skinned garlic with large cloves and great taste.
Once the garlic was softened but not browned, I added the stems from Rainbow and Ruby Red Chard followed by the leaves. There is no member of the beet family more beautiful than chard or Swiss chard as it is often called. Easy to grow, more heat tolerant than spinach and many other greens, incredibly nutritious, quick to cook up and gorgeous.
While the potatoes were cooking I steamed some Provider bush beans for about 5 minutes so they were brilliant green. I don’t know specifically why this bean was called Provider, but I can imagine why it might have been so named. It is a very high yielding, dependable, larger green bean that isn’t stringy and stays tender and delicious. It provides well.
I grilled the fish and served it with lemon (the other thing I can’t grow). The eating was delicious and healthy and there was more than average satisfaction that we can feed ourselves from our own efforts with help from some good seed, well-amended soil, rain and sunshine.