Farm to table. This trendy term isn’t new to those of us who live on a farm. Many meals prepared here come directly from the field to the table daily. No shopping at a grocery store or warehouse. And if I am fortunate to grow the right herbs, there is no need to add store-bought spices.
It took me seventy years to get a KitchenAid mixer, and that spiralizer attachment is getting a workout this summer.
One of my favorite lunches starts by spiralizing curls of zucchini. Then I heat a little olive oil, add chopped onions, toss in the zucchini and some seasoning, and voila! Cut up a few garden-fresh tomatoes, and it becomes a feast – to me, at least—no carbs, just fresh from the garden – farm to table. And what farm (or backyard garden plot) doesn’t have a surplus of zucchini?
Our family, who lived in the hollers of North Carolina, grew just about everything they ate. What they didn’t eat farm to table, they canned, jellied, or preserved. That was how life was on the farm, then and now.
My husband told the story of visiting his Grandma Smith in Marshall, North Carolina when he was a boy. He loved going to her “grocery store.” In her cellar, he saw rows after rows of home-canned goods and chose what he thought they should have for dinner that night. She knew how to raise, grow, and preserve everything.
Despite – or perhaps because of – living through the Great Depression and one or two world wars, that generation knew how to make do, how to do without, and how to maintain joy for life on the farm – lessons so many of us need to embrace today.
I’d like to share my grandmother’s Refrigerator Pickle recipe with you. I don’t think she would mind; she’d share anything she had.
7 c. sliced cucumbers 1 TBS. salt
1 c. sliced onion rings 1 TBS. celery seed
1 c. diced green pepper 2 c. sugar
1 c. white vinegar
Wash vegetables. Slice cucumbers; chop pepper. Peel and slice onion. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for one week, then eat.
Cucumbers are plentiful these days on the farm. On hot summer nights, I enjoy a cold Cucumber/Onion Salad. I just slice some small cukes and sweet onion, add a splash of white vinegar, a splash of red vinegar, a pinch of sugar to taste, and salt and pepper—another delicious-and-quick farm-to-table treat.