Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Limits of Scavenging

M. F. K. Fisher used to write about cooking with the wolf at the door, back in the days of war rationing. I used to read Fisher in my first year of college, in those very broke days in which I would eat homemade rice pilaf while reading stacks of cookbooks from the college library. Her stories of cooking in very small apartments resonated, as I cooked downstairs and washed up in the dormroom bathtub. By comparison, even Fisher's wartime rations and scavenging efforts seemed lavish, and I came away from her stories with a new sense of "can do" spirit, not to mention a life-long love of nasturtiums.

Perhaps it was reading Fisher at such a formative time, but I find myself falling back on my own style of rationing and creative cooking as I ride my own little periods of feast and famine. I am very prone to periods of stocking the pantry up, followed by periods of obsessively working the pantry back down, and back again. Living in a studio apartment intensifies my lifelong obsession with the perfect balance.

No surprise then, that I found this article on running out of cooking fat from Salon's resident scavenger absolutely hilarious. Mind you, I do live in the city and it's largely my reluctance to buy butter at convenience store prices which has allowed me to get down to my very last 2 tbsp this week. But after a week of "I'd make biscuits, but . . . " I found myself laughing out loud.

Things like butter do represent the limits of foraging, I'm afraid, even in this new land of limitless wild fennel and nasturtiums.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Small Spaces Work

Also, please check out this lovely post. I am delighted.

Small works!

And, small works because it is small, not despite it!

Change is Always Now

Dear readers:

Much has happened since I last wrote.

First, and most relevant to my recent lack of writing: my house was forcibly broken into. I couldn't wish this on anyone. While my relatively frugal lifestyle meant I didn't have much to lose, it shook my confidence in a big way. I also lost my computer on which I was blogging, which meant: no more blog.

Somewhat later, I received a job offer in a new city. Which I've subsequently accepted, and moved for.

Much has changed. My former land in central Texas is now tended by a lovely friend. And I now live in extremely urban San Francisco, yearning to garden.

The plan is to kick-start this blog again. For my part, I intend to talk more about adventures in urban foraging, and eventually community gardening. A dear friend intends to write about her small plot on the beach.

And so: gardening continues: no matter how small nor transient the space. In the meantime, I grow herbs on a windowsill, and am grateful for the times I am able to connect with wild spaces, and the times I inspire.

May the alliances with the green ones continue to inspire you. I will be back to aid you, and them -

The Gardenatrix