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The End Is Near

December 1, 2016

December. Thirty one more days, and then we can put 2016 to bed. Can I tell you how upside down the world is right now? I was flipping through the AM radio dial yesterday and I hear a few minutes of Glenn Beck, and he sounded surprisingly sensible.

But nothing is going right. It’s crazy warm. There’s a tree outside by the school bus stop that thinks it’s spring. After dropping its leaves for the winter, now it is growing buds. That can’t be a good sign.

And me? I’m actually chomping at the bit waiting for the weather to get truly cold. That doesn’t make sense either, but it’s all about cooking.

Regardless of the calendar date or outside temperature, it’s winter. Do you know how I know? The harvest holidays are over, and the CSA has stopped making dropoffs. That’s how.

That means a time of transition.

When the CSA is raging, I don’t have to think about buying vegetables. They are already here, and they are wonderful. The vegetables are local, seasonal, and sustainable. I pay for them all in advance, so I don’t have to fret about the prices for each individual item. And even better, I don’t have to consider the family’s preferences when bringing vegetables into the house, I just get whatever the farm has grown.

CSA season brings a lot of diversity into the household. Diversity is good.

Now that it’s done, we’re in the season of legumes. Because that’s some of the only vegetable matter which is universally agreeable to the Fussy Little Family. Plus, the cold weather makes cooking a pot of beans a pleasurable experience.

However, the cold also plays another critical role in bean season. The near freezing temperatures in the garage are a perfect place to chill down my massive batches of beans once they are cooked, so they can be portioned and put away for many meals to come.

This is also an important step in soups, stews, and stocks. But dammit, the cold just isn’t here. And I’m ready for it.

The cold is probably the only thing I’m ready for at this moment. Although I have been stockpiling a few stouts for Christmas on the farm in Pennsylvania. This time, I’m going to be eating scrapple. So I guess I’m almost ready for our annual December trip.

Hopefully when we return from The Keystone State, I’ll start to eat sensibly again in January or February. Believe it or not, but since I ditched the diet, I’ve actually put on a couple of pounds. Even with the yoga. Crazy. But comfort eating doesn’t come without a price. And right now, all I want is smoked blue cheese melted into buffalo chicken pasta. Like, all the time.

Maybe 2017 will start with a new sense of optimism. Although I understand that Christmas shopping has been brisk this season. So perhaps there’s a lot more optimism out there than I can see.

At the very least, we’ll start 2017 off with a crapton of beans. Because if it’s not cold by January in upstate New York, we may have even an even bigger problem on our hands than expected.

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