Food as connection.
I think all of us have food memories, pieces of our stories bound up in the act of growing, cooking, eating, or sharing.
The way the smell of steaming fresh bread brings one back to a grandmother’s table. Or the first time you inhaled the scent of a sun warmed tomato, taking you back to the exact dirt in which you stood, the sunshine kissing your shoulders. The aroma of garlic and onions before pasta night. Crisp apples and sharp cheddar cheese from afternoon childhood snacks. Molasses ginger cookies. Curries, hangi, tortillas, sauerkraut, French press coffee, apple pie… we all have our food memories.
When I close my eyes, the food memories that come to me from this beautiful island home wash over me. The joy of fresh produce when I first found my newly local Lyttelton Farmers Market on a cloudy Saturday. The first lettuce leaves we grew in our hill-shadowed and sharply terraced garden. Freshly ground almond butter. Bygone days of throwing together sumptuous meals with my lover. Creating Piko Bowls and the enveloping scent of wholefoods, like a hug every morning.Sharing Thanksgiving pumpkin pies. Cakes to help people celebrate so many occasions. Evening potlucks and hill hike picnics. That first feijoa encounter on a red zone forage, and all those to follow. My son, crowing in joy from inside and amongst the veggie box, his leafy treasures in hand.
We are bound for my own homeland, for sugar maples, cherry trees, summer sweet corn, winter preserves, wild strawberries and ramps, morels and goats cheese.
It is time to sink my roots back into that limestone strewn soil, and introduce my little guy to the farmers stewarding the land there. It is a strange time to be on the move but for personal reasons it’s time indeed, and I can’t wait to laugh in my mothers wildly coloured kitchen, and listen to sandhill cranes from the back garden.
Food is connection, and Ōtautahi has nourished me for 6 1/2 years. I am so lucky to have been enmeshed in the food community here. I got to talk food, sell food, create food, grow food, write about food. I met foodies, newbies, chefs, growers, movers and shakers in the local and organic growing community. I feel like in some way I know YOU, sharing a food relationship, and I’ll miss you all. Until we return….
Snapshot of a few meals we loved based around the vegetable box this week:
This week is a bizarre one- sorting, packing, leaving our home in the midst of a national lockdown- let's just say our meals are a bit scattered and I’m aiming for simplicity.
•Roast Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Sourdough & Cultured Butter- fast, simple, delicious
•Grain Bowls- Lentils, Rice & Quinoa, Citrusy Slaw, Extra Roast Veg, drizzled in the last of the vinaigrette
•'Garbage Green Curry' with every vegetable left in the fridge- thank goodness for coconut milk and the last of the curry paste from the freezer!
•Beetroot Burgers, 'cause they're delicious and beautiful and dangit, stressful unknowns just feel better with a burger. And wedges, lots of oven baked wedges.
•A mess of Sautéed Greens, to keep the vegetable intake high
•Quickie Burritos- canned beans because that's what is left, leftover brown rice, cumin roast cauli, shredded carrot and coriander, all smothered in chipotle mayo. Wrap it and go!
I'll be taking green pancakes, hummus and roast vegetables, baked egg & vegetable cups, and oat slices for the journey. Always thinkin' food, and praying endless snacks get a toddler through a very long adventure.
Thank you to Streamside Organics for the collaboration love; you are the real deal, and the world is a better place because of you and your efforts.
Keep in touch via Instagram or Facebook for further food musings from another corner of the globe @nakecakesandwholefoods
What are YOUR food memories? Have questions about how to store, prep or eat a vegetable from your box? Need inspiration for something new to do with the tried-and-true? Made one of the shared recipes? Created something new? Let us know! Message or tag @streamsideorganics and @nakedcakesandwholefoods
Created by Elena Keir of Naked Cakes and Wholefoods