Sunday, 20 June 2010

Quiet Sunday by the fire

There has been more gentle rain and the garden looks healthy.   It is that time of the year when meals are decided by what can be found out there.  Today it looks rather good...
... plenty of broccoli, cauliflower and leeks.  Chinese broccoli (that I have been picking for months) and the last eggplant for the year and the chickens are still producing two eggs each day.  But what kind of a dinner can one make from this is the question!
When one has such an abundance of healthy,  fresh and local, and organic vegetables,  it is interesting to see how to combine them to make a meal.  It's not the same a finding a recipe,  getting to the shop for the various requirements and ingredients and then preparing it all  according to plan.  It's a whole different process.
This is when "peasant recipes"  come in to their own.  I've mentioned this strategy before when thinking about some of the food combinations...  broad beans and artichokes or that combination of summer produce that makes up ratatouille... tomato, zucchini, capsicum and eggplant that all just happen to ripen together.  Traditional recipes have necessarily been a combination of ingredients that were available at the same time... and without as much preseervation or transport from other climates as we have nowadays.
And so to this evening's options....  "eggs and vegetables"  or  "lentils, rice and vegetables" or perhaps "vegetable curry with rice and coriander chutney"...  that lovely emerald green mixture that I have been making occasionally....  decisions, decisions....
Gardening and cooking seem to go so so well together.  Perhaps that is why so much of the world's agricultural production is done by women who inevitably need to provide food for their children.  It is interesting to note also that this food production and preparation is not considered to be a part of the Gross National Product.... apparently because it is unpaid.  Even military "production" adds its dubious value to the GNP.  Unless production adds to the financial capital of the wealthy (and growing vegetables in the backyard or cooking dinner does not)  it appears to be unimportant.
This is the kind of thoughts that I have when gardening or cooking and I think I'm not alone in the world.....
According to the World Bank, women make up 70% of the world’s poor and their wages world wide are on average 50% to 80% of men’s. One third of all households word wide are headed by women, they are responsible for half the world’s food production, and yet they own just one per cent of the world’s property. The majority of workers in sweatshops are women and the majority of unpaid labour is done by women in every region of the world. Further, women make up two-thirds of the one billion people who are illiterate and 60% of the 100 million who have no access to primary education.
Just a thought...

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