Sometimes I think all of this homesteading/sustainable stuff is just a little too precious for words. I mean, I just read a review for a restaurant that recently opened in San Francisco that is extremely farm-to-table, and some of it is just so over the top. I mean, using a perennial wheatgrass that is specifically known for its carbon-capturing capabilities for the bread? And I thought grinding my own wheat was crunchy.

And I'm too old to be a hipster. None of the stuff I'm doing is in the name of 'cool.'

But there are times, even whole days, when I derive such an immense sense of satisfaction from doing things this way, I just kind of want to burst with the 'rightness' of it. Today has been one such day. 

Tom's brother is here for the day, and it's so fun. He helped Tom put up the hop vine trellis (which involved ladders! yikes, you never know what you'll be asked to do around here) and now they are brewing beer. I knew we'd want to have good meals for him, something from the garden and something from the larder.

Choosing something for dinner was easy, with the new smoker - put a piece of meat on for the day, make some baked beans, and later, biscuits, and we're done. But I wasn't sure about lunch...

Today was bread-baking day, so I already had fresh bread. I had some ricotta left over from the other day - I had made fresh ricotta to go on homemade pizza dough. I also had a couple of tablespoons of pesto left over, which I froze last summer and have been taking out of the freezer when needed (like for pizza). I went out to the old herb garden and cut some chives, marjoram, and oregano. I opened up the last jar of pickled garlic from last summer. I put the ricotta, some olive oil, the pesto, the herbs, and a couple of cloves of garlic in the food processor and blended it all up with some salt and pepper. This gave us an herby cheese spread for the bread. 

I sent Tom to the store for prosciutto, and went out in to the garden for carrots, turnips, broccoli, beets, peas, and asparagus. I made a vegetable plate with these items from the garden.

I got out the last jar of pickles, a jar of dilly beans, and the olives and pickled jalepenos from the fridge. All together, these items made such a nice lunch, with a mandarin orange to top it off. And it was just so darn satisfying to have all these items on hand to make a lovely, homemade lunch. 

It's been a while since lunch, so soon we'll have an afternoon snack with our coffee - angel food cake and blueberry compote. I had a ton of egg whites left over from projects earlier in the week, so angel food was a great way to use them up. How fabulous to have our own delicious, nutritious, home-grown eggs to use in all these wonderful dishes. How amazing to have all these vegetables in the garden, just ready to eat. How terrific that I thought to put up all these items last summer, so they'd be on the shelf when I needed them. How lovely to have fruit from our own fruit trees, vines, and bushes. It's all just so darn satisfying, I can't think of any other word for it. It has nothing to do with the environment (although it helps there, too) or the water shortage (though it helps there, too), or make us look cooler, but it sure does feel (and taste) pretty good.