Recipe from the Root Cellar

| 3/28/2011 4:41:57 PM

    Your ingredients depend on what remains in the root cellar 

Time to again turn the calendar page, but this time there’s hope for spring. Seeds for this year’s garden have been recently planted and are being watered and watched in the sunroom. Fruit trees have been pruned, and when the ground dries a bit more, compost can be carted to the garden.  

The chickens are excited to again be finding worms, and the cows will give birth soon. There’s the promise of rhubarb and asparagus poking through the soil, and lettuce seedlings are holding their own under a row cover. But, what are folks who grow their own food eating now? 

If our little farm is any indication, we’re still eating the remnants of last year’s harvest. The root cellar has pretty slim pickings, with plenty of winter squash and garlic, but the onions and sweet potatoes are gone, and the regular potatoes are beginning to sprout. Some of our favorite canned goods are gone, but tomatoes and apples and peaches remain. The chest freezer holds the remnant beef and a couple skinny-looking chickens, but also cheese and lots of chopped peppers. The mixed frozen vegetables and wonderful green beans disappeared at least a month ago. Outside, chickens are laying more eggs now that the days are longer, but there’ll not be milk until the calves are born. There’s plenty to eat, but meals sure aren’t what they were even in the middle of winter. 

What we’re eating can best be described as “creative cooking.” My grandmother would probably not be impressed and would describe our meals as normal for pre-garden fare. One of my favorite meals is “Shepherd’s Pie” because its ingredients can vary with what’s available. I also like it because it can be created from the previous day’s left-overs and yet come to the table looking like a new creation. See if your family won’t enjoy your own variation of this recipe:  

Shepherd's Pie 


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