Monday, April 28, 2008
My Friend's Mountain
When I was in fourth grade, we read My Side of the Mountain. This is the tale of a boy who feeling neglected by his family decides to move (alone) to a plot of land owned by his family in the Catskills. The main character goes on to live fairly successfully by creating a shelter in a rotted tree, eating acorn pancakes (how did he fix their poison, I can’t remember) and hawking. I wonder if this book is read in schools these days, what with its spirit of ingenuity and childhood empowerment—it would likely strike fear in the hearts of all helicopter moms.
Why was this story so attractive to me? Years later, my husband and I came to the conclusion it was the not the solitude of the boys quest that was attractive but the self-sufficiency and ability to eat off the land. We are so disconnected from our food sources generally. Over the years, our food industry has succeeded in taking us further from the natural. When I was little, the only food that was in bags was carrots and iceberg lettuce. Now everything is contained in plastic. (The Graduate was right.)
So recently, my husband and I decided to take advice from Cincinnati Locavore and went foraging. With a prearranged agreement with friends who have a wooded lot, we walked under tall trees and upon deep leaf litter. In this lovely setting, we found wild garlic and dandelion greens. Near the end of our trek (it was actually not very long) we found a lovely patch of ramps. We only pulled up a few; waste not…
With our bounty we made, farmers cheese crepes filled with farmer’s cheese, ramps, potatoes, and dandelion green salad. Not everything was local in this meal—thanks to our American processing methodology, I have no idea where my flour comes from.
Farmers Cheese Crepes
I really didn’t measure at all when I made these in part because I was fairly confident that they wouldn’t succeed. I put ½ cup of farmer’s cheese in a bowl and added a bit of flour (1/3 cup or so) and then a bit of soy milk until I got a thin batter (like crepe batter). I filled them with sautéed leeks, sautéed potatoes, and a bit more farmer’s cheese. (Make sure to salt and pepper the filling)
Labels: Vegetarian recipe