I packed the last of the peas today. An enormous unshelled bag yielded a meager 2 cups of tender green pearls. It crossed my mind the whole 'grow your own pea' thing may be more work than it's worth, but then I pictured them dressed with butter on the Thanksgiving table, and looking perky in a February risotto, reminding me that spring will eventually come. Not to mention the multiple pea adorned meals (pea carbonara with pancetta, pea & fava bean favenade, minty pea soup) we've already enjoyed. They're worth the work. So into the freezer they go, smothered by a vacuum seal, my new country woman "tool". Yes, a vacuum sealer. I actually wished for such a thing for my birthday this year. Toto, we're not in Manhattan anymore. Last year my wish was to get the heck out of the city (silently, as I blew out the candle that rounded out our 'reconstituted emulsified codfish, raw razor clam with cinnamon oil, watermelon cum beef carpaccio" avant-garde meal at Mugaritz in Spain. It was terrible. At the height of gastronomic experience, all I wanted was something simple... to eat, and to live by). I had no idea then, how fast we could make both happen.
We eat mostly from our garden now (and friends' gardens), supplemented by the local supply of seafood and island raised beef, lamb, and pork. Life is not quite simple, but indeed simplified. I'm not doing anything that looks at home on a resume (home canning expert with a tendency towards sexual innuendo?). I'm doing what feels right. I'm a writer. I'm a cook. I'm a farmer. I'm an independent contractor of domestic production. I accept payment in love...and vacuum sealers. I'm living close to the earth and getting my hands dirty as often as I can. I smile a lot.
If your mouth is always full, it's hard to smile. Take my dog Sabina (aka Sebby, short for Sebatchka, or "puppy" in botched Russian), for example. She attempts to put two regular size tennis balls in her mouth on a daily basis. Lately she's been aiming for three. She's honing her craft with complete obsession (one might say neurosis). That's what happens when you grow up in Manhattan. For me - it was time to put the balls down. Simplify. You don't need to have all the balls in your mouth at the same time. One ball at a time (or peach...or plum). Your peace of mind (and your husband/boyfriend/partner) will thank you. [gallery]