Begged, Borrowed, And Homegrown - The First Of Many Meals - Hunter/Gatherer Blog at Allrecipes.com - 240015

Hunter/Gatherer

Begged, Borrowed, and Homegrown - the first of many meals 
 
Jun. 16, 2011 7:44 am 
Updated: Jun. 22, 2011 12:54 pm

So, here it is – my first food blog. I was wondering what I would write about, and I realized that I should write about what I know, and what I eat. When I became unemployed last winter, I had to rethink how I cook, and what I eat, so that I could fit it in my budget. All winter long I dreamed of the mountains of fresh produce and seafood I am used to eating, and I realized that my summer garden, and the man’s hunting skills were going to be essential to maintaining me in the lifestyle to which I am accustomed.

My garden is a hobby, and so is the man's fishing, but if we got more serious about it, and combined our hunter/gatherer skills with what is locally available, and what we can beg/trade from friends, we might be able to survive without too much sacrifice. We decided that once summer time came around, we were going to try to eat at least three dinners a week that came (mostly) from our hands.

Last night was the first successful dinner. My garden is just beginning to produce. I planted a variety of greens, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, melons, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, corn, tomatoes, a variety of peppers, asparagus, sunflowers and herbs. Many of my plants were established, and the seeds were mostly leftovers from last year, so I spent about $35 for this years’ planting.

*Cheater's note* - We live on Maryland's eastern shore, so while it is kind of cheating, chicken is a staple, and it’s all raised locally.

The dinner menu featured two kinds of grilled chicken: the first marinated in balsamic vinegar and rosemary from my garden; the second using Allrecipe’s Key West Chicken marinade . Grilled local sweet corn, mushroom rice made with mushrooms a friend’s father grows and an onion from another friend’s garden. Then there was pasta salad made with local cherry tomatoes and my basil and oregano. We also had fresh salad with radishes, cucumbers, carrots, and mixed greens I picked from the garden, with a gifted green pepper. I grilled a zucchini and a yellow squash from yet another friend’s garden. I didn’t make the pasta (or the olives), the olive oil, vinegar or the rice. Almost everything else came from within 20 miles of my home, with the majority from right outside my door. The exceptions were the squash and pepper which I carried back from a trip in my carry-on luggage. Now we just need the weather to cooperate so we can go fishing and crabbing!

My rosemary made a fantastic addition!
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Fresh greens!
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The whole dinner (on my favorite plates)
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What I like to call my pesto garden.
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The zukes are coming right along!
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My tomatoes will be here in a few weeks!
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garden goodness!
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amazingly happy rosemary plant - right at my front door!
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Comments
Jun. 16, 2011 7:49 am
Nice AZ! Can't wait for my garden to start giving me some goodies! Love that first BLT with fresh warm hand picked tomato.
 
Jun. 16, 2011 7:54 am
Great photos! We have a little longer to wait before my garden has anything to offer :( I can't wait! (That rosemary plant looks amazing!)
 
Jun. 16, 2011 7:56 am
my favourite meals are from hunting and gathering, when I look across the table and it is mostly ours-I feel a sense of accomplishment. Welcome to the life of a squirrel, once you start gathering there is no stopping you:)
 
Jun. 16, 2011 7:57 am
It seems you have titled your blog appropriately. Well written and interesting post, AZ! Keep us informed, please!
 
Jun. 16, 2011 7:57 am
Great blog, AZ! Love that you are having 3 meals "homegrown". Have fun being creative in your menu planning - everything looks delicious!
 
Molly 
Jun. 16, 2011 8:04 am
Nice blog AZ and love the pictures to posted along with it. I look forward to reading of them. Have fun with your garden.
 
AZ 
Jun. 16, 2011 8:07 am
Sassy - you might hear me squealing with joy when I pick that first tomato! Christine - can you believe that rosemary was started from a cutting and is only 3 years old? Redneck Gma - I agree! I've always been too busy to have more than a few tomato plants and herbs, but I am so excited for this summer. Mike - thanks! Can't wait til we start getting some seafood mixed in! WFDM - I wish we could do more, but fishing is such a hit/miss thing, and he was not too successful this winter with hunting, so the freezer is pretty empty :(
 
Jun. 16, 2011 8:12 am
Beautiful photos and sounds like a fabulous meal!! :)
 
Jun. 16, 2011 8:36 am
wow! i wish i was your neighbor, great photos...i'm green with envy at your garden! great blog az! i'm hungry!
 
petey 
Jun. 16, 2011 9:22 am
Love it. I can't even plant our garden yet, its been so cold! Gonna be a short season this year. Kudos to you for taking the steps to be self reliant! Look forward to more
 
Jun. 16, 2011 9:51 am
I knew that if you blogged it would be a great one! And blue does look good on you! You were one of my first acquaintances here on AR!
 
AZ 
Jun. 16, 2011 10:33 am
Sandra - It was a wonderful meal, and the man was very happy!
 
AZ 
Jun. 16, 2011 10:34 am
gderr - Last year I did catch some neighbors sneaking in for tomatoes :)
 
AZ 
Jun. 16, 2011 10:35 am
Fabius - I always look forward to seeing you, and you always make me want a dogfish head 60 minute!
 
AZ 
Jun. 16, 2011 10:36 am
Petey - I was anxiously awaiting the time to plant my garden this year, and then got a bad cold, so everything went in late. So, now I am trading with friends who have earlier crops than I do, knowing that I will be able to deliver later crops to them!
 
Jun. 16, 2011 12:03 pm
We should all learn to be more self reliant. Gardening is just simply good for the soul. Great blog! I am counting the days til we have that first tomato of the year... such a reward!!
 
Jun. 16, 2011 2:26 pm
I enjoyed reading your blog AZ. We love fishing and gardening too. This year I am anxiously awaiting my tomatoes. I planted Ramampo tomatoes after reading about them. I have never tasted them, however. My herb garden is always a joy. Your photos are beautiful!
 
Jun. 17, 2011 4:42 am
Great blog. Wonderful garden. The rosemary is amazing. Your garden looks so healthy and inviting.Enjoy it. Congrats on being blue.
 
Bibi 
Jun. 17, 2011 4:59 am
I really enjoyed your pictures! It's so nice to see such beautiful green! We have only had 4 inches of rain for this whole year, so things are pretty brown here. When I lived in Kentucky, my whole family feasted on my dad's vegetable garden. Your blog brought back lots of memories....Thanks!
 
Jun. 17, 2011 5:29 am
Nice blog, AZ! I, too, get such a sense of accomplishment when I look on the table and see that most everything we're eating is from our own labor. Hubby & I are heading out to the Eastern Shore next week, for our annual summer trip to Chincoteague Island. I can't wait to have some great seafood meals!
 
AZ 
Jun. 17, 2011 5:42 am
Chris k - we are going away for the weekend, and I am surely hoping that I will see little yellow flowers on our return!
 
AZ 
Jun. 17, 2011 5:43 am
shorecook - what are ramampo tomatoes? I have never heard of them! I have some san marzano plums, red and yellow jelly beans, big boys and some from a friend - not sure what they are!
 
AZ 
Jun. 17, 2011 5:43 am
Rosebud - that rosemary is my pride and joy!
 
AZ 
Jun. 17, 2011 5:44 am
Bibi - I cheat - I have a drip irrigation system that I installed with my first garden, and I keep adding onto it!
 
AZ 
Jun. 17, 2011 5:44 am
Mother Ann - welcome back! We love to have you visit!
 
Jun. 17, 2011 6:03 am
Great blog. Love your rosemary! Mine is four years old and right outside the door too! I cover it in the winter, along with the other herbs and it all keeps coming back in the spring, parsley, sage, chives, oregano, thyme. Basil doesn't winter over but my dad brought me 6 plants he started from his own seeds! We love our little garden with cucumbers, squash, jalapenos, red and green peppers, red, white and yellow onions, 2 kinds of lettuce, carrots, spinach, 3 types of tomatoes, and asparagus. Everything tastes so much better and you cannot get it any fresher. My asparagus tastes totally different than store bought, just wish it would be available all year! I will not eat a store bought tomato on any sandwich, will in a few cooked dishes, but my tomatoes are so good you can eat one on the short walk from the garden to the kitchen! Good luck with the hunting, you have the garden covered!
 
Jun. 17, 2011 6:41 am
Lovely first blog! It's too cold here in the winters for some of my tender herbs to stay outside. Got my garden in late due to weather too. Then the deer came. I had 2 perfect heads of romaine lettuce almost ready to be picked. Those pesky varmints must have been watching them too! Gnawed them right down to the ground with a side of peas that were almost ready. Your photos have my mouth watering and I'm declaring war on those pests so I can have some produce too!
 
Jun. 17, 2011 6:46 am
Fantastic!
 
AZ 
Jun. 17, 2011 7:09 am
Lucky - your garden sounds great too!
 
AZ 
Jun. 17, 2011 7:09 am
Cat Hill - dang those deer!
 
AZ 
Jun. 17, 2011 7:09 am
SLS - Thanks!
 
Jun. 17, 2011 12:49 pm
I just heard about Ramapos this year. Here's what they are...http://njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/RamapoTomato.htm
 
sueb 
Jun. 18, 2011 4:07 am
Hope you get to enjoy lots of the fresh produce! Great blog!
 
AZ 
Jun. 18, 2011 4:30 am
oh shorecook, I am so excited! We are going to NJ this weekend, and I just bet that the man's sister grows these. Maybe I will "beg or borrow" some!
 
AZ 
Jun. 18, 2011 4:30 am
Thanks Sueb!
 
Jun. 18, 2011 4:43 am
I love your garden. Will you come plow one for me? lol! I can't grow anything. My grandmother did but now she's gone so, my produce comes from a store or a farmer who sells on the side roads. Great photos!
 
Jun. 20, 2011 4:22 pm
Congratulations! Sounds like an excellent idea. Keep it up.
 
Jun. 20, 2011 5:45 pm
My garden was planted in the mud this year. It is so shamefull the rabbits don't even want it. Had better luck last year. Maryland is a great state We visited ocean city and had a great time.
 
David Lloyd-Jones 
Jun. 21, 2011 3:54 am
Just looking in on you for the first time: you came up when I ran a search on "How to". I like your aesthetic a lot, so I'll be back. My hope is to do pretty much what you're doing, though perhaps I'm a little less ambitious. I.e. my parsley seems to be doing OK, and I have high hopes for the basil. Cheers!
 
AZ 
Jun. 22, 2011 12:52 pm
Luv2cook - after 6 years of fighting the weeds I cheated this year and had the man build raised beds for me. We got the dirt from a friend and almost all of the lumber from the shed!
 
AZ 
Jun. 22, 2011 12:53 pm
Sweet treats - thanks!
 
AZ 
Jun. 22, 2011 12:53 pm
impellizzeri kitchen - Ugh! MUd! I have a huge pile of it right now myself and some tree limbs down after last night's monster storm
 
AZ 
Jun. 22, 2011 12:54 pm
David - Hope you enjoyed!
 
 
 
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AZ

Member Since
Dec. 2007

Cooking Level
Expert

Cooking Interests
Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert

Hobbies
Quilting, Gardening, Photography, Reading Books, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting

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About Me
I love to garden, and I love to cook what's in my garden. I grew up vegetarian and went through many styles of diet until I ended up where I am today. I love vegetarian food, seafood and poultry. I love to try new things and every year in the garden I rearrange what I'm growing - one of these days I'll find the perfect balance for me.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake bread and desserts, and since the man joined me in the house with two crazy dogs, I get to bake a lot more. My friends and neighbors still end up the lucky recipients for anything he doesn't scarf down though. Cajun and southern food is a particular favorite, I never met a grit or a fricasee that I didn't LOVE!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am the family baker, so I get to play around with desserts every year for all of the holidays. I am not allowed to skip the brandied pumpkin pies for thanksgiving or christmas, and we have to have lemon something for easter. I also make huge batches of apple butter every winter and that's become my favoite part of fall.
My cooking triumphs
Hosting Thanksgiving last year I served 12 with no assistance. I made the soup, rolls, salads, sides, turkey and desserts. It was a treat for me to be able to do that for my family instead of the normal potluck that we do. No one else had to lift a finger and I got to do what I love!
My cooking tragedies
I have a few, but last year's jalapeno fume cloud takes the cake. I was making a jalapeno pickling liquid and forgot to turn the vent fan on. I ended up having the get my dog and leave the house for several hours while the vapors diminished! Thank goodness I did not throw the habaneros in the pot too!
 
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