reflections from the southeast PA rural underground

Friday, November 28, 2008

Where the food comes from

We headed out on Rt. 143 north to Mike's place tucked down against the other side of Hawk Mountain in Drehersville, Pa. He was there dressed in long underwear and tending to the woodstove at noon. We all commented on how nice the paint job was inside the living room and kitchen. He had painted the ceiling with a high gloss exterior white and the walls were the most calming green he could find. The place was brimming with warmth against the damp Thanksgiving Day outside. Mike said, "Yeah, lets go take a walk."

The three of us headed out into the woods behind the Airstream trailer. Following the train tracks we came to a good spot to head down into the small cluster of young pines. Mike's brother was visiting from West Virginia with his blond haired 4 year old who was displaying a rare shyness that her father said was not usually the case. I told Mike I had seen a full size Doe in this spot when I waited there to "see what i might see" last Monday morning at 6am. The old tractor part must have been sitting there for 20 years. None of us were sure exactly what part of the tractor it was. Something to do with harvesting for sure.

After tromping around the estate Jen and I headed back over the mountain to make our dinner. I had gone the 1/4 mile up the road to the farm earlier that morning and gotten some stored heirloom sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, tuscan kale, and bulls blood beets. The frozen turkey in the freezer was to wait until Saturday when it would make the trip with us up north to my mother's house. I put the white potato in the oven right away and then cut the baby brussels off the stock to clean them. Jen cleaned them while i cut up the dark green kale and got it braising in the pan. She then peeled the beets to reveal the deep blood-red streaks inside. "I should have gotten more from the greenhouse," I thought.

We took our plates to the living room and put in the film The Outlaw Josey Wales. As the massacre of the southern farming family took place in the first ten minutes I could already feel a kind of food coma overtake me. Josey wept while he let the words slip slowly from his grimaced face, squeezing the wooden cross he had made to mark the area where his son and wife were now buried, "The good lord giveth and the good lord taketh away."

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