Posts Tagged Tradition
The weekend is a good time for grazing. This is a summary of some of the delightful Blog articles I have been reading during the week. I invite you to graze through these, and also through the archives of the creative writers who wrote them.
Food canning equipment, tool carts, compost bins, growing kits, cider and fruit presses, the Squeezo Strainer, food dehydrators, juicers, smokers, cold frames, greenhouses and so many more innovations contribute to making our lives organized and healthier and to turning our homes and properties into an oasis where the living is good.
All of these things exist because we are creative and because we have a unique ability to adapt to our environment. In truth, foodies, homesteaders and gardeners who write about their experiences are telling the ongoing story of our inventive spirit. On their pages, every tool and appliance is like a paint brush; ready to express a new vision.
You can access the entire Weekend Highlights series to date by clicking on that category in the sidebar at left.
Fast Grow The Weeds muses On life without rain in a place where you’d think a dry spell might be perceived as a true blessing. Those who live off the land, however, know the importance of balance. When nature feels out of sorts, it is up to us to find a measure of balance in strategy and perspective. We do this by attempting to “control” what little circumstances we can control.
“You know, growing as we do here under clouds for three-quarters of the year, you think I would enjoy the sun. I do! Those long hours of unimpeded solar rays hitting my garden’s leaves? Heavenly. But it’s the Severe Drought I admittedly am not terribly happy about right now…” begins the author.
Instinct, not logic, is our surest ally, when the rain suddenly comes, but we sense that it is in jest. The self-sustainable life demands a level of intelligence that goes beyond textbook knowledge. It must act like a sudden storm. Rushing to do what must be done. Right now. And if all is well after all, then we go with the mood of the moment… and much gratitude in the mix. [Read On life without rain]
Let’s stop in on Made By Mike, I thought. Good idea, if I may say so myself and I think you will agree. Listen to this:
Foodie Penpal – My first box! – “Want to get a box of surprise food items picked just for you from a total stranger? Um, yes, please!… Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean matches food bloggers and food lovers from across the country and each participant sends another a box of goodies…” explains Mike.
The author received a box from Vermont. The Lake Champlain Peppermint Crunch chocolate bar in the corner of the picture jumped at me. I had to read on, though I was already quite eager to find out more just from the introduction.
“Here’s how it works,” he continues, “On the 5th of every month, you will receive your Penpal pairing via email… -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15… The box must also include something written… Use your imagination…”
Go to Mike’s blog and find out more for yourself. If you happen to like writing or reading about food, you might be interested in a Foodie Penpal, or this might inspire a great idea based on your own interests.
What’s So Special About Grass-Fed Cows? City Girl Farming ate breakfast with her grandma last week. “She absent-mindedly read the wording on the side of the milk carton, ‘What makes our milk so delightful? Our milk comes from herds of cows that freely graze on green pastures’… She held her spoon mid-air … Well, what makes them so special? Isn’t that how all cows are raised?… Grandma milked cows before and after school, seven days a week, for five years. Cows that hung out in the pasture…”
The author also makes an interesting observation. Her grandma was poor, but did not know it, because her family grew their own food. Eventually, we come full circle. Someday, a day that may actually be here already, we will no longer say, “This is how our grand-parents did it.” There will not be a distinction.
We took a detour, harvesting something from the land, but using indirect ways. Our grand-parents’ ways, then, are not the “old” ways; they are the natural, no, the obvious ways. [Read The Article]
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Food beliefs are not limited to the kitchen. Ancient Egyptians believed onions kept evil spirits away. When they took an oath, they placed one hand on an onion. Can you see this in a modern courtroom?
Throwing rice at a wedding is a superstitious tradition believed to bring prosperity, happiness and wealth to the couple. If you think about it, with the amount of money people spend on weddings nowadays, would it not be more sensible to throw cash at the newlyweds, rather than rice?
Food and dining have long been the source of countless beliefs and superstitions. If you think about it, perhaps this is because food is so closely related to human relations. Food preparation and consumption are a process, one that demands rules (do not open the oven door before the cake is baked or it will flatten) and decorum (hold your fork just so).
From proper food storage and preparation to table manners, food-related superstitions and beliefs abound. Some are based on fact: the cake will flatten if you open the oven door too soon. Others are based on accepted rules: clutching your fork with your fist simply does not look very distinguished. Others yet defeat explanation, but remain entertaining nonetheless.
Consider salt. We all know the one about throwing spilled salt over your left shoulder for good luck, but why salt and why the left shoulder? It was believed that evil spirits dwelt on the left-hand side of the body, thus by throwing spilled salt over your left shoulder you might actually throw it into the devil’s eyes. We continue this tradition to this day, almost automatically and often playfully. Surely the devil is nowhere near the kitchen and surely getting salt in his eyes might irritate rather than overpower him. But Granny digresses.
The ancient Greeks, famous for their lavish feasts, believed that due to its preservative abilities salt was the repository of life itself. They also believed it to be a symbol of friendship. Thus spilled salt foretold the end of a friendship. In Britain and Europe, country folks often carried a small salt pouch on their person for luck in their dealings. Incidentally, the word salary originated from the Latin, Salarium, which is the allowance given to Roman soldiers to purchase salt.
Other beliefs about food and dining defy explanation. “If you drop a knife on the floor, a man will knock at your door; if you drop a fork, it will be a woman.” Why not a stork for a fork? Should it not rhyme? Precisely; no rhyme or reason. Let us enjoy a few more.
“She that pricks bread with fork or knife will never be a happy maid or wife.” However, when peeling an apple in one continuous peel, a maiden should toss it over her shoulder, the peel that is. Upon landing on the floor, it will be the first letter of the name of the man she will marry.
When pouring tea, bubbles in your cup represent money, thus, “You’ve got money in your cup. Take your spoon and drink it up!” This one conjures up a funny memory. Granny had been invited to join a friend to lunch at the home of an elderly couple. She had never met these fine folks before, so she was on her best behavior. The conversation was light and cheerful. The woman did most of the talking. She was the lady of the house, after all. She served a deliciously aromatic soup.
Eating in good company, her husband seemed to relax a bit and began to join the conversation, but every time he raised his head from his bowl of soup to say a word his wife, who had up until this moment appeared good-natured, slammed her spoon down on the table and commanded, “Eat your soup!” A few more words from hubby… “Eat your soup!” One more attempt; he looked like he had something very interesting to share… “Eat your soup!” Granny lost her appetite on the spot. My friend seemed unperturbed. To this day, I almost believe they were putting on a show and enjoying the look on my face. I am certain they laughed uproariously when I left.
The table is the source of many beliefs and superstitions also. How about this one? When rising from the table, try to not move your chair, for this is a sure sign that you have lied at some time during conversation. Furthermore, to fold your napkin or place your chair back against the wall after a meal will prevent you from ever being a guest at that table again. Granny must have inadvertently folded her napkin or moved her chair at the soup luncheon, for she was indeed never invited again.
Perhaps the man was deaf and unaware of this belief, “If you are deaf, eating onions mixed with ant eggs will cure your deafness.” Now I wonder what was in the soup.