March is the hungry month

Barbara Kingsolver in her book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.), mentions that March is the hungry month. I had never thought that much about food before. It is really a recent thing that we don’t worry about having enough of a harvest to last through the winter. Goodness, many people these days hardly know that food comes from the earth. It isn’t their fault, it is hard to imagine a tasty snack cake was ever anything simpler. But that is a topic for another day. It is March and the food of the summer is mostly a memory. Daffodils and crocuses are breaking through, even blooming, but fresh vegetables are still a dream.

Right now, we are getting through the food that we stored up from the summer. We didn’t do much to store food over since this local food journey for us started after the spoils of the harvest. Tonight’s meal has been a staple for us through the winter. Today, I had to use store canned tomatoes (since I didn’t have any left) and the carrots were from an organic 5lb bag I bought a couple of weeks ago. There isn’t much left (if anything) at the farmer’s markets and our freezer and cupboards have more empty glass jars than full ones. Dinner was a vegetarian minestrone soup recipe that I found back in October when we had cabbage coming out our ears. I shredded the cabbage and froze it and we have been using it 2 c. at a time through the winter. This recipe comes from the following website: http://www.cheriestihler.com/recipes/soups.html

Minute Minestrone

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated – I chop
2 small zucchini, diced – I use summer squash I froze and chopped
2 cups cabbage, shredded
2 cups chicken broth
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can cannelloni beans, drained – I cook bags of beans then freeze them in 2 c. portions instead of buying canned. Much less salt and 1/4 the price.
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
Saute garlic, onion, carrot and zucchini until tender.
Add cabbage and continue cooking until cabbage is tender.
Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes.

Along with the soup I served corn bread from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. A staple cookbook in our house. At least the edition that we have includes cooking temperatures. I bought organic whole wheat flour at Millers Market last time I was there. Then I used all purpose flour by King Arthur from Weis. It is hard, if not impossible, to find local flour. I have not given up my search but so far it has turn up nothing.

Lastly for more calories and protein I included local cheese from Broom’s Bloom. They make a yummy horseradish cheddar and I don’t even like horseradish.

What are you looking to hear about? Let me know and I’ll write about it.

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