December 26, 2011
From the Root Cellar
Yesterday, at Christmas dinner, a friend told me about a small but wonderful vegetable store in White River Junction, which has low prices and a surprising variety of produce. "But", I said, "I don't buy vegetables". Aside from buying some onions and potatoes in spring, I eat only what I grow, from the garden during the season, and from storage during the cold months. I freeze and can and store in the root cellar, a walled-off portion of my cellar, stone walled and dirt floored. To see more photos of it, go to this post from last year. The vegetables in my diet are restricted to what I have, but I never feel that I'm missing anything. On the contrary, I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction in feeding myself. The photo above shows my cabbage crop, wrapped in brown paper to keep it moist. The storage-variety cabbages usually keep until May.
After yesterday's big meal, I thought I'd like to have a simple vegetarian dinner tonight: sweet and sour red cabbage with boiled potatoes. When I unwrapped the cabbage, I could see that the first wrappings of leaves were spoiled, but under them was a bright, fresh vegetable. The potatoes are a variety that is my favorite for boiling, with a smooth, creamy texture and superb flavor: French Fingerling. My cabbage recipe comes from Deborah Madison, is very simple and delicious, and you can see it on this blog post. It's a perfect meal for a winter evening, cooked on the roaring woodstove, comforting and warming.