Grow Your Own
I’m rather amused by the images in Northwestern’s World War II poster collection, and more than a little surprised at just how much currency their suggestions still retain. I mean, the US government was telling Americans to reduce their meat consumption, to raise their own vegetables, to can and preserve their homegrown produce, to car pool, to reduce unnecessary petroleum consumption, all those conservation strategies for which contemporary tree-hugging liberals are so often derided. Of course, the government was trying to conserve supplies for the war effort, not protect the environment or conserve natural resources per se, but the contrast still reminds me of just how decadent a nation the US has become when the present administration’s reaction to economic troubles is to give everyone a little extra cash for that shiny new toy, rather than encourage values like frugality and thriftiness.
Anyway, here are some pics of vegetable and herbs from the garden here at home and a pasta dish I created with some of the harvest. Nothing particularly historical and no formal recipe today, but hell, pasta with vegetables is about as forgiving a dish as you can imagine, so I don’t anticipate you need explicit instructions. More details on what I made after the fold…
To make the sauce, I just briefly sauteed vegetables—sweet peppers, eggplant, zucchini, baby brussels sprouts, all from the garden—with a little olive oil and roasted garlic. I then added a bit of vegetable stock and let simmer until everything was tender, topping up the stock as needed. Once tender, I added a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast to add flavor and thicken the sauce, added chopped fresh herbs—basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and a bit of mint, again all from the garden—along with black pepper and salt to taste. Simple, but good.
If you’re interested in growing your own produce, you might want to take a look at the website revivevictorygarden.org, part of the current effort to revive the WWII concept of the victory garden, this time to fight the war on global climate change. For more on the history of urban agriculture, check out the excellent blog Sprouts in the Sidewalk.