Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) begins at 12:01am on November 1st, and I am ready to go. I told my husband that for the month of November, he’d have to do all the cleaning, shopping, cooking, etc. He said, “I hope you stocked up on lots of macaroni and cheese.”
Actually, although I do most of the cooking, my husband is a very good cook and taught me how to cook many of the dishes we eat on a regular basis, most of them vegetable based meals. He’s also the identifier of things that grow wild in our yard, which we then incorporate into our salads and suppers as much as possible. We tried, this year, to do this even more than we have in the past.
Last year, for instance, we discovered that our wild spinach can be blanched and then frozen. Months later, you can pull it out of the freezer, unthaw it and cook it in a dish as you would fresh or any frozen spinach. This year, with an abundance of purslane growing wild everywhere, I tried blanching and freezing it as well. Works perfectly.
Wild Spinach and Pinto Bean Skillet Dinner
Saute chopped onions and garlic in a litle butter, some olive oil and a couple splashes of vegetable or other stock. Add a couple cups of cooked pinto beans and maybe three cups of wild (or not) spinach, fresh or frozen. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. When this is hot and seasoned to your liking, add a half cup of shredded cheese (any will do, I used a smoked French Fume cheese), mix well and serve with a sprinkle of bread crumbs on top. I served this in green pepper cups that I had steamed till tender, but it’s also good on a whole wheat, nutty bread or stuffed into tomatoes.
Another wild plant that we have is cress, which has a peppery taste and is good in salads. We also have wild lettuce, but I don’t have a picture of that. Here’s a picture of the cress.
The fall has been mild so far and we still have tomatoes ripening on their vines, although they may not have time to really ripen. In which case we’ll be eating fried green tomatoes and green tomato rice. We also still had okra till just a few weeks back, but it’s gone hard and woody now. A domestic lettuce that we let go to seed in the garden this spring has reincarnated itself and we have quite a few small lettuces now, without lifting a finger. We did, however, lift our fingers to plant fall greens, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, beets, and potatoes.
In the photo above, you can see some okra peeking out from behind some domestic spinach and lettuce, a cherry tomato and the wispy stuff to the right is tarragon. We had tarragon potatoes last week that were delicious, my husband made them using this fresh and some dried tarragon, lemon pepper seasoning, some butter and some stock. He mashed it all together and as I said, it was delicious.
So, as you can see, I won’t starve while doing Nano. I have been asked by a few people what I’m going to be writing in my novel, and I reply that I can’t tell them, because if you talk about it, you won’t write it. So I’m not telling any of you either. But I will, from time to time, post my word count here and possibly some extracts as I stare down that goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. At least there’s some mac and cheese to look forward to…