Fragaria × ananassa 'Chandler,' a short-day co...

Fragaria × ananassa ‘Chandler,’ a short-day commercial cultivar grown in California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who knows what makes a perfect day… Often times days start like any other and somehow everything falls into place to bring you peace and happiness.

We honored one of our family traditions today: We decreed a ‘Do whatever you want day.’ Once decreed, everyone in the family is free to do whatever they want. That means that the kids can watch TV all day if they want to and I close my eyes (and guilty feelings) to that. My husband usually migrates to the basement to work on his music. And usually, that means that I set out to do some of the following things: drawing, reading, writing or, joy of joys, taking a nap!

Well, that’s what I had in mind as the day began. I took out my stuff to work on some of my artwork. Somehow, it didn’t seem to jive today. I put it aside. I took out my laptop and tried to catch up on some emails. Then I thought, why don’t I do something that I have been wanting to do for a long time. I started to look for farms that deliver organic local produce. I signed up for a weekly basket. Food is the essence of health and family. I felt like I was something good for myself and for the whole world.

I suddenly felt inspired. I managed to tear the kids away from the TV to come and tear off some leaves off corn. We made muffins for the school snacks for the week. It felt so good doing that. Why should I buy a box of granola bars when we can have a fun time making muffins together, which take a few minutes to prepare, are healthier and cheaper to boot. As I looked in the fridge, I noticed a pint of local strawberries that I bought last week from the farmer’s market and that had been forgotten. All this as my husband casually says: ‘We are out of jam.’ A pint of old strawberries, a box of pectin and some sugar and voilà! I have two jars of strawberry jam on the counter. I was on fire! I look through the pantry and I see some much food that is just sitting there: peas, lentils, prunes, almond slivers, two bags of oatmeal (why do we have 2 bags of oatmeal?)…. I grab a bit of this, a bit of that… well, the short of it is that I have some granola roasting in the oven.

This day started out as something totally different. Somehow, the cool crisp air and the falling leaves spoke to me of cooking and preserving and turning inwards once more. September always brings me a burst of energy. There is so much to do! The fields yield their fruits and the animals prepare for the winter. So much to do! It was really fun to go back to basics, to look at what I have and create a family home from it. That’s what food is. It is family and it is life. And it was so much fun!

Now, if you’ll excuse me: I have to take my granola out of the oven.

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