Grit Blogs > One Foot in the City

My Meat and Potatoes Legacy

When it came to food, my father was a pain in the butt.  A Kansas farmer of German descent, he was a big man, did big work, and burned a ton of calories.  At our farm house, we ate meat, potatoes and a vegetable topped off by a good desert – usually a cobbler.  Variety, however, was not his thing.

lettuce We did not eat salads as most know them – strike any image you have of salad.  We had fresh green leaf lettuce doused with a special home dressing or lambs quarters doused with oil and vinegar.  I didn’t see head lettuce until I was in high school.  I was probably in college before I found fresh spinach.  We ate it from a can. In the summer, we simply ate fresh tomatoes, peeled and sliced into great thick slabs. 

My squashI think I carry on his prejudices.  Although I have learned to love zucchini and yellow squash, my squash of choice is “patty pan.”  When I was told this year that we weren’t going to get them at the farmers market, I was gravely disappointed. 

“What are these little yellow and green things?” I asked of the imitations of patty pans.  

Reluctantly, I took them home and found them disgustingly – well, delicious.

Most of my garden was a bust, but I did salvage the beets.  Tonight I had a bowl that somehow became “diced” beets.  What!!! Not in my family.  We only slice them.  Funny, they were delicious.

I think I may get adventurous at the farmer’s market tomorrow morning.  A good friend asked me yesterday if I knew what those funny knobby green things that looked like a big white radish were.  Yep, I think they are kohlrabi.  Haven’t had one for a while and this may be a good week.

When you have a great market, you have good eats.  I hope you’re enjoying the same.

nebraska dave
7/25/2012 2:51:22 PM

Joan, I used to like lots of meat and potatoes with a little corn and beans on the side. However, as I've aged my culinary tastes have broaden and include many other food dishes. Now meat is more of a flavoring than a main dish. I suppose it's more healthy that way but the main reason it became the way I cook was the cost. Rarely can I afford a good chunk of meat for home consumption. I do not frequent restaurant dining too often either. There's a lot more chicken and fish on the table these days. Probably again more healthy but has been a result of the high beef prices. The last few years more vegetables and less meat has been my cooking trend. More soups and casseroles visit the household. More beans, more rice, and bigger garden harvests are in the future. My eating habits are being driven into a more healthy lifestyle because of monetary reasons. So I guess that's a good thing. Right? Have a great day in the garden.