We haven’t hit the halfway point when it comes to making it through winter. And we’re about as far away from the abundant summer garden as we can be in the year. We’ve still got lots of produce packed away in the freezer and on the shelves in cellar from last year’s garden harvests, so it isn’t that we’re lacking in good things to eat.
But I find I miss the urgency of summer eating. Those piles of tomatoes, the baskets of green beans and peppers, the kale and cabbage, lettuce and peas, all ripe and ready to be eaten. The counters in the kitchen would be covered with vegetables. Want something for lunch? Saute up some of that over there, otherwise it’ll go bad, throw it on some pasta, done. Time for dinner? Stir fry whatever is closest to the cutting board, done. Need as snack? Better eat up those over there unless you’d rather spend the afternoon canning them.
This time of year, by contrast, nothing is urgent. All that is there will continue to be there, without going bad, until you get to it. And more needs thawed or soaked and simmered before it’s ready to cook with. Cooking becomes something that requires a little preplanning. And the ingredients to inspire menu planning look the same week after week. It is easy to get stuck in a rut.