Carmen’s Weekword Challenge: Rebel

In thinking about the word “rebel,” I wondered in what way I might be considered one. I’m not really the rebellious type. And then, while preparing dinner one evening, it struck me: I am a food rebel.

Current view of this year's garden. So far, so good!

Our pond crayfish, "poor man's lobster."

Yes, my food consumption flies in the face of the establishment. I go out of my way to procure food in diverse ways. I’m an open-minded, experimental eater, yet I generally shun mainstream America’s grocery store food (exception: my favorite chips, oops). I grow, forage, catch, dispatch & eat foods that others might never dare to prepare!

I strive to produce a bang-up garden every year — even when the tending, harvesting & preserving wrings me out  — because fresh, homegrown, organic food tastes so darn good. I raise hens for eggs, and yes, then kill them sometimes for meat. Fishing neighbors give us their catches & I carve them up. We have fruit trees & berry bushes. We even eat certain wild mushrooms (ones that aren’t deadly poisonous are preferrable). I shell peas, can tomato sauce & pickles, root cellar enough potatoes & braid enough onions & garlic to last all year, dry hot peppers & herbs, freeze gallons of blueberries & home-pressed apple cider, ferment cabbage into sauerkraut. I can’t even list all the strange food rituals that were once commonplace in most households, but now make me & my husband just plain weird. Weird in a good way, of course. In a rebel way.

A sample of one morning's harvest last summer.

So… if you want to join a rebellion, read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma or Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle & try what they did. I highly recommend their adventures. But if you just want a really good, rebellious meal, then come on over to my house :-)

A 40 lb. striped bass our spear-fishing neighbor gave us. You can gauge size by the spoon in the photo.

The same fish, as a meal for the grill tonight... and 5 future meals for the chest freezer!

Our homegrown peaches are small but sweet!

Ken, with a wild mushroom score.

2010 sweet corn, due in any day now. YUM!

For more Weekword interpretations of the word “rebel,” visit Carmen for a links list.


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19 Responses to “Carmen’s Weekword Challenge: Rebel”

  1. B Says:

    Oh, VERY rebellious! I especially loved the crawfish as I’m from Louisiana and grew up with their little mud houses in our front yard! One of my fondest memories of home is from when I worked for a big company in south Louisiana and they had a crawfish boil for the employees and families. They boiled crawfish in huge vats, dumped them in backs of newly purchased pick up trucks. Then they backed the trucks up to picnic tables, dropped the gate, and shoveled them out! It was amazing! Love this post. Love the photos. Love the food. Love the sentiment. I have Omnimore’s Dilemma on my list. And love Kingsolver, so I’ll have to check that one out, too. Hope you have a great weekend! B.

    • henniemavis Says:

      Thanks, fellow rebel! Re: crawfish, I’ve never seen their “mud houses?” We catch them in an open-ended bait trap. We’re lucky to get enough for an appetizer, so I can’t imagine a whole pick-up truck full of them! Wow.

      Re: the books, both are really worthwhile, informative, fun reads, but in different ways. Kingsolver is a softer read, she’s more emotional, but also informative & inspiring. Pollan’s take seemed more philosophical, analytical & had a broader scope, I thought. But he’s funny & not hard to follow at all. Either book is a catalyst for change.

  2. mary taitt Says:

    Those are good books!

    Our garden is not nearly as extensive as yours, but I am a food rebel in many of the same ways you are.

    I’ve always been big on wild edibles, fresh homegrown veggies, raising my own chickens and eggs, etc.

    We even ate a deer that fell through the ice in front of our house and drowned.

    • henniemavis Says:

      We ate a very fresh “roadkill” pheasant last year, which made me think of you, HA! Ken saw the car in front of him strike it dead, so he pulled over & grabbed it for dinner. We were delighted — to the shock & amusement of some of our friends :-) Fresh pheasant breast, c’mon, that’s a $30 entree when out fine dining! This is just the do-it-yourself version.

  3. mary taitt Says:

    I agree 100%.

    I think people think rednecks–but good food is good food! :-D

    Ya done good.

  4. Carmen Hirkala Says:

    Oh my god Hennie I want your life!! Beautiful beautiful BEAUTIFUL pictures that are so inspiring and ultra foodie rebellious! I’m a huge fan of the slow food locavore movement and do my best to spread it as I go-we actually just went to the Westside Market here in Cleveland and I’m about to make some carnitas with a local Avon raised pork shoulder. I’ll take pics :) Thanks for playing and could I trouble you perhaps to be our new Weekword mistress? Just let me know if that works for you (you can even change the date due if needed) Thanks!

    • henniemavis Says:

      OK, I’ll do the Weekword for Monday/Friday… but yeah, Fridays do crunch me. Maybe everyone can post Friday but may I post mine w/links on Sat. morning? I’ll ready my Monday Weekword post tomorrow & say that in the post? I can already tell that this Friday will be even worse than yesterday, cuz I am backed up at work (working some this weekend, in fact, to get a jump)… plus we have dinner guests that night, too. Whew!

      I laughed out loud when I read that you “want my life” — careful what you wish for, dearie! You don’t really know what’s behind Door #Me, do you? HA! I have learned a lot about wishing for things in the past year. Tell you what, you can share my life thru blog posts, deal? That way, you’ll get the best without the bleah :-) Besides, sounds like we are foodie pals already! I have to go Google “carnitas,” which have a lovely name… tho I don’t know what they are!

      • Carmen Hirkala Says:

        Hey there, sorry it’s such a late reply. I think posting tomorrow on your word and giving a later time frame should work out beautifully! As for wishing for your life, I’ll be extremely satisfied to enjoy it from a lovely blogging picture window look inside, but I’ll still titter along with my lovely idealistic notions that your world is an interesting and vibrantly connected place to be :) Thanks for taking the reins and looking forward to playing with you.

      • henniemavis Says:

        I’ll go post my Weekword now then… and yes, please do “titter along with lovely idealistic notions that (my) world is an interesting & vibrantly connected place” & more! It’s the “& more” you have to watch out for, HA! I love your spirit.

  5. Kirstin Says:

    Love your rebellion. I grew up on that type of food, we either grew, raised or caught much of our food and spent a lot of time canning and freezing too but nothing tastes as good from the grocery store. I miss that.

    • henniemavis Says:

      I grew up on garden grown veggies, too. I remember when I went away to college, was in the dining hall & saw peas from a can for the first time in my life. They were brownish & awful!

  6. christine Says:

    loved both those books… we are condo-dwellers… so our gardening is a bit limited! and this summer it is non-existent as we are on “holiday” in London for three weeks… We do have some fabulous “Farmer’s Markets” we frequent at home… and have even found a couple here in London. I posted a picture of a fabulous pairs of “pears” – unfortunately, they were mealy and just tasted “blaw” You can see how gorgeous they are on my blog. (see post for 7/24/10)

    • henniemavis Says:

      Farmer’s markets & CSAs are the next best thing to growing it yourself :-) Before I had a huge garden, I did both of these. Your pears are lovely! What a letdown that they were that good looking, yet mealey.

  7. peggy fussell Says:

    Fantastic!! You are definitely livin’ the life! This is my fantasy, in reality I am more suited to the farmers market than the farm. Excellent rebellion and inspiring as always, HM.

    • henniemavis Says:

      Guess you shouldn’t visit me in season then, as I’ll put you to work… you’d have to tempt a pardon by waving a blue bottle or a couple of free passes to the Walters, HA!

  8. mike Says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing all of those pictures.

    You’re a renaissance woman, hopefully inspiring others to give some thought to skipping the cold sterile grocery stores in favor of the organic food that just plain tests better.

    Mushroom picture is provoking. I obviously have a classical image of a mushroom burnt into my brain, because I would have no idea those were mushrooms.

    And of course, very proud (jealous) of your corn crop!

    • henniemavis Says:

      Excellent, that corn photo was intended for you :-) You may be able to smoke my sad little keaster in a foot race, but my corn eats your corn for breakfast. (Bet you never heard someone talk smack about gardening before… my father-in-law is great at it!)

      • mike Says:

        Since the corn started sprouting, my daughter was convinced that we would eat some on her birthday (this past Saturday).
        Sure enough the crop cooperated and we had our first ear during her birthday dinner. It was delicious.

        And wouldn’t ya know it? The damn neighbors haven’t complained ONE BIT? They all just want free corn!

        Finally, just a reminder, my pace in that last race was 16min/mi.
        I’m pretty sure that falls in the realm of SLOW, eh?

      • henniemavis Says:

        That’s impressive about your daughter’s birthday corn, I love it! You had so few plants, I was doubtful that you’d get any yield at all… did you cross-pollinate by hand, you naughty boy? HA!

        To highlight your SLOW 16min./mi. on my public forum is an admirable show of sportsmanship, you. I almost feel guilty for having beat you down on your site… almost… OK, not really ;-) but I’m banking you’ll put up with me, since I’m old enough to be your mother… almost.

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