Wow! Some snowstorm last week. Everyone was out on Thursday gathering supplies. It seems all took the forecast seriously.
I was downright smug. I had tons of food to prepare if a couple of days were spent inside. I loaded my somewhat elderly four-wheel drive F-150 with a huge pile of wood for extra weight, filled it with gasoline and positioned it strategically. I knew that the State Road crew would plow me into my driveway. Fortunately my grandson Christian came by and shoveled me out. Still, I needed the four-wheel drive to navigate the driveway. Naturally, I was parked in front of the other vehicle.
You must see where this is heading. The steering column was so frozen that I could not turn the key. I spent the next hour holding hot water bottles against the column and wondering why everything in life has to be so stupid and difficult.
I love coming off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road onto State Road. The house on Look street has a wonderful winterberry. It has a lovely backdrop of the dark purple VW bus. That whole yard always looks great and cared for.
Every day my mailbox is stuffed to overflowing with tons of catalogs and new free calendars. Every charity and company on the planet thinks they can woo me with calendars and address labels.
On Thursday last, as it began to snow, I wandered around the vegetable garden. I patted myself on the back for planting my winter rye in a timely fashion. It looked so pretty poking out of the falling snow. I’m planning to make it easy on myself in the spring. I’m going to cover it with a hay mulch rather than turn it in. Gardening has to become less of a chore as one’s body starts betraying itself.
I have not used a machine on my garden in several years. I had a Troy-Bilt rototiller for years but got so irritated with it — the noise, the gasoline, the ripping of my shoulder blades — I put it on the side of the road. It was gone by sunset. Good luck to the new owner.
Snow brings its own problems and amusements in the animal world. I did not unlock the hen house on the day of the storm. Next day, when I let the girls out, they were completely disoriented. I spread some wood ash around for them to get their bearings that evening. I needed to, flashlight in hand, rescue the few who strayed off the path. Violet reminded me about the size of their brains.
Thanks to Wendy Andrews this week. She told me about massaged kale. I know crispy kale was all the rage a few years ago (roasted raw in the oven until the texture of a potato chip). Massaged is obviously handled in either a rough or tender manner. Cut into smaller pieces, again raw, and dressed with olive oil and lemon. It can be stored for a few days in the fridge. I added pecans and dried cranberries — yummy. And just when I was getting tired of the green leafy winter crop.
I’m reading The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. I believe it is Abigail Higgins’s book that I am tardy in reading. By Janisse Ray, it is right up my alley. I was an anthropology minor in college so I love any history of culture material. The New York Times calls Ms. Ray the Rachel Carson of the south. She also wrote Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. The very idea of that title makes me love her only a few pages into the book.
When I first started writing this column in 2007, my big political interest was the genetic modification of seeds. Well, nothing has changed except maybe for the worse. In November, Big Ag poured $22 million into the state of Washington to defeat a grassroots initiative to require companies to label GMOs in food products. Of that, only $550 came from actual Washington residents. The rest came from Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Bayer, BASF and the grocery manufacturers association defeated the measure.
Why do we bother with elections? Let’s just declare the one with the most money the winner and save us from pretend democracy.