Before the two big freezes of this winter, I harvested lots of lettuce, which is fairly freeze hardy, but not to 16 degrees. With all of this wonderful lettuce in my fridge, it occurred to me that when it is freezing outside, a salad really doesn’t appeal to my winter appetite. When my toes are cold, I crave hot steaming bowls of chili, soups, stews, braised short ribs, gumbo. You know, winter food that warms your soul. But I had all of this lettuce, and it is delicious, cold, crunchy and oh so summery. So, for a few nights, I made a half hearted attempt to include a salad with my hot dinner. I wasn’t making a dent in my lettuce harvest, so last night I decided to make a meal out of lettuce. Taco salad. I defrosted some of my favorite ground meat, from Alexander Farms via Boggy Creek Farm, and seasoned it liberally with Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Ancho Chili, Chili 3000, Salt and Pepper. (The spices are from Penzy’s and Savory Spice) I piled up loads of my garden lettuce, grated some Full Quiver Cheddar over, chopped an inferior tomato, the seasoned beef, a dollop of Taco Deli Dona, and then some leftover Jalapeno Ranch from Hula Hut which I ordered for Superbowl.
It was really quite good, although I still haven’t put a dent in my lettuce, and I need to harvest even more.
Eating seasonally creates anticipation and desire for the delicious bounty to come. As I was chopping this sad little tomato from the farmer’s market, I was imagining the big lucious, juicy tomatoes of Summer, the Purple Cherokees, Chocolate Cherokees, and remembering a delicious Panzanella salad I made for a group dinner. I think now that I eat only the foods available seasonally, I appreciate them so much more when their season rolls around.