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.


  1. You are a multitalented person. Beautiful veggies.

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  2. A 'root cellar' hmm... Wonderful! Are you quite sure you're from Brooklyn? :-])

    Happy holidays to you...


  3. thanks, Lisa and Carl. Yes, sometimes it's hard to believe I came from Brooklyn. The kids in my NYC family refer to my house as "the farm", even though I only have a moderate sized garden.

  4. Your vegetable growing and cooking impresses me for many reasons. We have a big root cellar in Sweden and I am often amazed at how long things keep. My only question (as the spouse of a progressive chiropractor who works with nutrition as an integral part of health) is:
    Where's the Protein???

  5. don't worry, Julie; I eat some meat and fish from time to time; I also eat cheese and beans and legumes. I believe that the American diet has too much protein in it; at least I know I don't need that much.

  6. Well Altoon: from your incredible output, I certainly don't worry. If you are ever interested in reading about how much protein we need as a topic, try looking at This cutting-edge chiropractor's books: Phillip Maffetone. I think the specific title is the Big Book of Healtj with a very long sub-title. FYI: my husband was a vegetarian for 14 years (no longer) and has a number of vegetarian (for various reasons) patients. I have never been such because my body type requires lots of protein and almost no sugar (so I read your carb-laden recipes with vicarious thrills). My political beliefs would have me eating little animal protein, but my health beliefs haven't found a healthy alternative yet. It's an interesting discussion and the chiropractors were 30 years ahead with good fats/bad fats...