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Putting food by.

GetAttachmentThe photo is a glimpse of harvest mania at Chez DIY. Those underachievers in the small glass dish are strawberries picked from our tiny patch, which we hope to expand in years to come.

In the bowl and large measuring cup are four quarts of raspberries that DF and I picked in an evening, quitting before we’d gotten them all. We’ve already frozen 14 quarts of the things for his oatmeal and my homemade yogurt, and also to eat the Alaska way: only partially thawed and with a big dump of sugar.

On the left are jars of jam I’d made from a previous session; it’s the second batch I’ve made this year. Seeing those jars gives me the urge to make another one.

Not that we need a third batch, or maybe even that second one; we’re still using up jam from last year. But I don’t want the backyard bounty to go to waste — and part of me doesn’t even want to give them away.

That’s the part of me that feels, every year, that primal urge: Winter is coming. Put food by.

 


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Salad days.

IMG_20150622_182817We had our first from-the-garden salad last night. When I say “from the garden” I mean that most of it was from our own little urban homestead.

The rest of it was from a great big garden somewhere else. Factory farms count, right?

Although the greens (and reds!) in the garden are starting to look respectable, we don’t want to denude them just yet.

So we possess our souls in patience and augment what we grew with romaine from the supermarket.

Here’s the lineup from the picture on the left:


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thI am officially an elder. My niece and her fellow went dip-netting in Chitina over the weekend and scored 60 Copper River red salmon.

Yes, the fish that cost a bomb in the Lower 48. Her sweetheart, who is Alaska Native, had a list of elders with whom he wanted to share his catch. Happily, DF and I were on that list.

“Elder” is still a term of respect among Alaska Natives. Older people get fed first, get the most comfortable seats and most important of all, get treated as though their opinions matter.

They may also get Copper River reds. At least 15 pounds of them – and already filleted.

 


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thSometimes I regret my habit of reading while I eat. When dining or even snacking alone I tend to reach for a book, a newspaper, a magazine or even the back of a cereal box.

Dietitians would probably say that mindless eating often leads to overeating. Slow-food movement enthusiasts would likely tell me that paying half-attention to a plate means I’m missing the full experience.

And anyone who’s ever tried a recipe from the back of a food product would almost certainly warn against baking Tic Tac Toe Cookies, a peanut-butter cookie recipe found on the Heinz ketchup bottle.


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How to avoid takeout.

thYesterday I woke up with this phrase in my head: “Something about the bridge.” Not the conveyance type of bridge, but the kind in my mouth.

Unfortunately, my dentist appointment proved that my precognitive flash was correct. The X-rays showed decay in a place that can’t be fixed unless the dentist removes the cantilevered bridge (aka a “Maryland bridge”) to do it.

That bridge was on borrowed time anyway. It was installed 31 years ago. When I said as much, the dentist’s eyes widened. It’s had an impressive run, but time for it to go. And for a crown to be placed on that tooth.

My self-funded dental insurance covers only preventive work like X-rays and cleaning. The work needed will run a little over $1,200 if I pay by check. Which I will, of course.

My decidedly non-frugal reaction was to say, “Let’s go out to eat.” You can see that I wasn’t thinking clearly.


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