Doing Things The Old Fashioned Way


Today my hands are covered in blisters and cuts.  My shoulders ache and my legs are a little sore.  The last thing in the world that I want to do today is push a 20 pound stroller loaded up with 75 pounds of children around town, but I promised, so I have to.  Yesterday I foolishly promised Tevye that we would take a picnic to the beach today, as the weather is supposed to be nice.  Right after I made this promise I went out to the back yard and started digging up the grass to put in a vegetable garden.

I decided to plant vegetables this year, after never growing anything edible aside from tomatos and the occasional herbs.  I’m trying to instill in Tevye the notion that our food doesn’t originate in a grocery store.  While I have no plans of buying a large piece of land to grow and raise all of our food, I do think it’s a good idea that he have some idea of where his supper comes from.

We went to the store a few weeks back and picked out some seeds that we wanted to grow.  I let Tevye help decide which vegetables we should try to grow.  When we came home we got them all planted, and within a week most had sprouted.  Each day Tevye came to check on the seedlings, and to make sure they had enough water.  He’s absolutely loving the idea that we can produce produce.  As this is one of my first attempts at growing vegetables, I’m not certain that it will work out as well as I hope it does.  Even if it doesn’t, it gives me a reason to dig in the dirt, and what boy(even a nearly 27 year old boy) doesn’t love digging in dirt?

Aside from educating Tevye about the origins of his vegetables(vegetables he most likely wont even eat in the end), I’m trying rely on what the grocery store has in stock less and less.

As any good Ashkenazi Jew, I love lox(smoked or cured salmon eaten on a shmeared(to smear as much cream cheese as possible without completely clogging your arteries) bagel.).  I don’t know if you’ve price checked lox lately, but it isn’t cheap, which is why I don’t buy it regularily.  After coming across a recipe for making my own lox, I decided to give it a try.  Actually, it was stupidly simple and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it myself before.  It was finished curing a couple of days ago and I gave it a try yesterday morning.  It was really good, and so much cheaper than buying it, which made me happy as well.

Another thing Tevye and I are working on is Sourdough Starter.  After a couple of weeks, it’s finally at a point where it can almost be used to make bread.  I love sourdough bread, but it’s hard as heck to find kosher sourdough in Nova Scotia.  I say T’heck with the grocery stores, I’ll make my own.  I started it right after Pesach(Passover) was finished.  I thought that right after Pesach would be a good time because during the holiday we don’t eat any grain that has come in contact with liquid for 18 minutes or more because it will start to leaven by itself.  It’s one of those things that you don’t appreciate to the fullest extent these days because it doesn’t impact us on an individual level so much anymore.  Sourdough starter consists flour and water in equal parts and left to it’s own devices.  Although the internet told me this would work, I didn’t really believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.  Sure enough, if you have a grain in contact with water it shall rise(it might just take a while).

It’s like after carefully checking eggs for blood for years and years, meanwhile thinking that this is an exercise in futility, when one day BAM! There’s blood in your egg.  Boy was I glad I’d been checking all this time.

During Pesach I couldn’t find Kosher for Passover butter, so I looked up how to make my own and I did that too.  This didn’t save us any money, but it was nice to know that I did it myself.

I’m hoping that all of my efforts will one day have some sort of impact on the children, even if it’s just that they realize that food doesn’t originate in a grocery store.

2 Responses to “Doing Things The Old Fashioned Way”
  1. Deb Allison says:

    I agree, Moishe. I think it is wonderful to teach kids about where their food actually comes from. Plus, it is just nice to muck about in the soil!

  2. Nicole says:

    Chuckle chuckle chuckle, muck about. . .
    But it is actually very sweet how much Tevye enjoys looking after his plants with his Tatte!

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