Winter's Fast Food

| 1/2/2011 1:30:38 PM


Winter brings a welcomed down-shifting of gears at our homestead. The garden is tucked-in and I smile that further work on it is impossible while the compost piles are frozen. We’ve stopped milking until next spring when the calves are born, and the time spent milking, sanitizing equipment and making cheese can be spent elsewhere. Our city friends can’t appreciate how much easier our lives are because they know we’re out in the cold twice-a-day feeding animals, hauling manure and working to create a milk room in the barn. However, they don’t recognize the big bonus we have of eating fast food in the winter! 

root cellar and winter-garden vegetables   

The secret to our easy-to-prepare winter meals is in the basement where colorful food in glass jars lines the shelves. There’s also the corner root cellar that is filled with root vegetables and winter squash. A freezer holds meat, vegetables and even cheese. Trips to the basement are like going to a fast-food store—the work of harvesting and cleaning, chopping and processing was done in the summer. All we need do is bring produce upstairs, put it in the pot and come back later for a delicious meal that is free of chemicals and packed with nutrition. 

   winter vegetables from root cellar ready to cook 

Roasted vegetables are one of those meals. Current fare includes potatoes, turnips, onions, garlic (lots of garlic this year), carrots and sweet potatoes—each year is a little different. After a quick scrub, I coat them with olive oil, sprinkle on a bit of sea-salt, add some dried sage or rosemary and mix them together by hand (literally). One variation includes some of our dried apples and a bit of allspice. Other meals include grass-fed beef with the vegetables. It’s fun to have meals cook on the cast-iron Dutch oven on the wood burner that also heats our home. The house smells good and the meal cooks slowly to perfection.  

ronnie hager
1/7/2011 7:28:02 AM

hi tom and mary the pictures are real nice also.

ronnie hager
1/7/2011 7:18:33 AM

hi tom and mary its nice to read from you. down the road a bit ronnie hager

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