I am not poor. I have food in my cupboards and my fridge is full. I am in transition. I no longer run up to the store or a restaurant on a whim to buy anything my heart desires. That ability is a luxury; one I took for granted, but no more.
The vegetables in my fridge are oddly juxtaposed. I have the locally grown, organic, community supported agriculture box veggies I get weekly. They are sublime and socially acceptable. In fact they would get me pats on the back in many circles, for their ethical and sustainable existence. There are the veggies I grew in my yard. These are not so plentiful with the climate changes. We had a hot dry summer with little rain. I try to water them with only rain water and grey water, but my barrel is running dry and the sun continues steadily to beat them so I have to use metered city water now and again. Then there are the rescued veggies. The taboo items; the food that was to go to the dum(b)ster for whatever reason but was saved and diverted to dinner tables. My thoughts are consumed with the notion of these rejected edibles as I consume them meal after meal.
I was gifted three nectarines and a banana, a black plum and peach. I also got a cob of corn. These items are expensive and truly a special treat. I sit at the table and make a meal of each one on a different occasion. I cut them up and prepare them. Some with a little blank yogurt, a bit of cheese or pumpkin seeds. I am in awe of the flavors.
Tonight I went out for dinner. I dressed up and everything. I was showered and tried to look appropriate. I had seashells in my hair. I really should have brought something but all I had to offer was my gratefulness. We had vegetarian spaghetti on whole wheat noodles with Parmesan and whole wheat garlic toast with a glass of cow’s milk. It was raining and the windows were open and we sat in the dwindling evening’s light eating a feast. The spaghetti sauce was made with some rescued peppers and zucchini. Rescued food has taken a place of honor among us.
She looks at me and tells me the onion used was a Walla Walla and was sweet enough to eat like an apple. There are mushrooms in the sauce as well. These are special ingredients; not the run of the mill.
I hungrily devour this feast. I do not cook much these days. So a hot meal is exotic. I have three pieces of whole wheat garlic toast and it is divine. I eat the crusts first and save the buttery, herbed center for last. I use the last piece to mop up the homemade tomato sauce. I do not want to waste a drop.
I am thankful for this shared meal. I contemplate the food and company on my walk home. I could have biked but I wanted to enjoy the slower pace in the rain. Petrichor. That is the word that describes it.
I decide to splurge this evening and have five pieces of dehydrated banana and ten canned cherries. Let me tell you about these cherries. They were a gift of course! I hope that I offer enough in return to the souls that share my world and share their worlds with me. I get out a bowl and pop the lid off the jar with a butter knife. The liquid is so dark I do not know how many sweet treasures are nestled within. I have ten. Even as I count each one out I know I should ration them. I am already imagining drinking the liquid, but that my friends, will be for another day. I should sit down to eat these. I am spooning them into my mouth leaning over the counter by the sink. I forget the spoon and pluck them from the bowl and place them on my tongue. I suck the flesh from the pit and spit the pit into the bowl. I repeat this over and over. I should sit down. This treat is beyond expectations. I share nibbles with Little Fat Dog. We stand in the kitchen like an ovation for the meals today.
I have one serving of yogurt left so I am saving it. I might have it tomorrow, but I don’t know, it is the last serving.
I might eat the last duck egg. They were broody last week so I could not get more. That is such a grounding thought that I could not get more duck eggs because they were not available so I will do without.
Things are different here now. I am more careful. Every bite tastes like the best thing I ever put in my mouth. I shy away from processed foods.
I will work in the kitchen again this up and coming week helping prepare rescued food for processing. Life is changing me.
I plan to go foraging again.
Some days I want to look inside a dum(b)ster and see if there is something in it for me.
I am not, but I feel in need. Or maybe I am. The winds are changing and finally we were blessed with rain. I will sleep deep tonight. Goodnight.