Posted by: terrapraeta | November 5, 2009

Ye Olde European Grandma

Plus you gotta dip, you gotta doodle
You gotta eat Grandma’s stroodle
‘Cause she stayed up all night to make it from scratch
You gotta gish, you gotta gash
You gotta wax Grandma’s mustache
And lay out her socks
To make sure they match
Whoa, you gotta help out your Grandma

Adam Sandler, The Grandma Song

I’ve been spending a lot of time cooking since I came back from my trip.

Last week, I made a big ole pot of stew and another of Beef Stroganoff (mom’s recipe, which is rather different from the traditional). I also cooked up a pot of stewed apples with spiced rum and raisins. When I was done, I packed it all up into single serving containers and stuck it in the freezer.

This week, I have a pot of chili coming and I also bought pears, peaches and cranberries to make more fruit conserves. Give me a couple more weeks and I will have enough food in the freezer to keep me fed for most of the winter. That’s actually the plan – after Thanksgiving I will be working a whole lot more and this will enable me to eat real food even on those days that I work for ten or twelve hours. (And those days that are short but I just don’t feel like cooking.)

Now, I said this was a plan, but that’s not entirely truthful. The simple fact is that I like to cook and I have been in the mood to do so the last couple weeks. And when I cook, I don’t do small scale. So freezing is a decent alternative for me now that I am living alone. In fact, when I say I don’t do small – over the years I have attended a number of different unconferences (like this one) and except for the very first, I have taken some portion of the cooking responsibilities on myself. So whether we were at a small conference center with a large, commercially equipped kitchen or hanging out in a camp ground with a few grill pits, I have cooked (and co-ordinated) for up to 30 people at once. And I love it every time – especially when that means that someone else gets to do the dishes!

When I think about my intentions for community, it has gradually wormed its way into my consciousness that I know what my role in any such community would be. I love permaculture design, I’m really digging learning local wild edibles, and I have an absolute passion for taking the proceeds of those activities and turning them into a meal to be shared amongst people I love. So although I have many other interests as well, and even though I sometimes think about all of the other things I would like to be competent at, I am gradually becoming comfortable with the fact that I already have a well defined niche and all the other stuff will simply be hobbies or temporary interests.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that so many of the people I know in this movement have gradually come to think of me as “mom.” As much as I like to give them crap about it, the simple fact is, it really doesn’t upset me at all. There are worse roles to fill, after all 🙂



  1. 4:26 🙂

  2. When someone cooks for me (or gathers/hunts for me) – you know I got dishes!

    I do enough cooking and enjoying of home made meals for myself – that I always appreciate someone else offering that daily labor/necessity/love to me.

    That alone earns my gratitude (and my desire to reciprocate with cleaning up). But it’s even more – I get to try new things, learn new ways to prepare & eat, and expand my tastes in healthy/local-sufficiency ways. We all share the bounty according to one’s needs, and reduce overeating/snaking opportunities when eating alone…

    It builds community, ritual and celebration, naturally.

    What’s not to like or be thankful for?


  3. Thanks Nicola 🙂

    Jim…. why do you think I love gatherings we both attend so much?

    You know… when I was thinking about this the other day, it started when I realized that I drove a thousand miles, then fifty more to come to your place, stopped and did the shopping and then (mostly) cooked dinner… and none of us thought anything of it. Its who I am and I enjoy it… so its all good 😉

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