Thursday, July 17, 2008

I don’t care …

if I never eat again.

That’s how full I still am this morning.

So the stress continues; my dad is doing great but another family member isn’t. There’s no illness involved, thank goodness, but there’s tension; life here in the Middle of Nowhere is definitely not peaceful.

My husband and I had accepted a dinner invitation for last night before I went to visit my father. With everything else going on around here, we weren’t feeling very sociable, but we had to cancel the last invitation with this couple because of Dad’s previous hospitalization. So it was more than a social obligation, it was a Social Obligation. If you know what I mean.

All we knew about this couple is that they raise Belted Galloways and some kind of longwool sheep (Coopworth, maybe?), that they lean to the political left and that they live even further in the Middle of Nowhere than we do.

What we learned last night is that they also are extremely self-sufficient.

The only part of dinner they didn’t raise or grow themselves were the Country Time lemonade, the salad dressing and the coffee. Oh, and the bean salad I took, the making of which meant discarding four empty tin cans.

There were seven of us altogether; we toured the house (the husband built it himself) and property before we sat down to eat. The vegetable garden covered about two acres and included five varieties of potatoes, among other things. (The Irish potato famine occurred because they were only growing one kind of spud, which developed blight.) Also corn, peas, several varieties of beans, squash, tomatoes, carrots, Brussel sprouts – you name it, they grow it.

They have four dogs – one is a pet, two work the livestock and one patrols and guards the property.

Our hosts had to cover their half-eaten dinners with napkins precisely at 7 p.m. to milk one of the cows. Without her milk, we would not have had fresh cream for our coffee or homemade ice cream for dessert. (You were wondering when I would get around to the menu, weren’t you?)

Okay: fresh salad greens with black beans, corn and onions; homemade bread and butter (also courtesy of the cow); pork roast; potato salad, garnished with sliced hard-cooked eggs; pickled beets; dilled yellow beans; bread-and-butter pickles, and the aforementioned ice cream.

This was sooo not South Beach-friendly. But it also was sooo good.

In an odd way, I think we all felt kind of wholesome and healthy as we waddled back to our cars, clutching our lovely parting gifts – containers of homemade yogurt.

And I know if I’d actually done any kind of work to earn the right to eat that way, I’d feel a heck of a lot better this morning.


L.G. said...

That's quite an impressive couple. They really try to live off the grid (so to speak).

I bet that was one delicious meal....mmmm

denise said...

That is so cool. I've always admired people who can live that way and wished I could want to do it. Unfortunately, the bottom line is that I'm just too darn lazy for that lifestyle!

But the menu sounds great and knowing that it was all fresh must have made it taste even more special.

Mary Gee said...

And there was a time when I wanted to live that way, but it has passed. Glad some other people are pulling it off.