I immensely enjoyed all the responses from my last posting. I love to hear other's thoughts and feelings on issues of importance or unimportance! The fall has kicked off in my area with a bit of chilly weather which I am enjoying immensely. The past week has been spent preparing for harvest festivals and the like and the leaves are starting to change a lovely color.
I had planted a garden this year, and my son and I cultivated typical crops from the 15th century and spent the better part of the week putting them up for use during the winter. I have recently started amassing recipes for various vegetable dishes and have even found a rural farm that does slaughter to order. This brings me to the topic of my post. Fall traditions that are incorporated into your mundane lives but based on history.
I enjoy reading and researching and am a firm believer in simple, rustic comfort food. I would not call myself an expert by any means but I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks in Europe last fall/winter and was amazed by how much I really didn't know. I have never seen a society as a whole so frugal and simplistic but amazingly decadent in foodstuffs in my life. I could go on for hours about the differences between cultures, but the most poignant experience I had was going to a Christmas market in Frankfurt. I'm told it is celebrated as the oldest market in Europe dating to the mid 1300's.
At this celebration traditions have grown and evolved with the times, but the food from what I have been told by the various family vendors still hold to very long held recipes that have been passed through the centuries. The sausages, the vegetables and even crepes which aren't all that old but amazing none the less. The hand crafts, baking, pies and sweets are to die for. I spoke with one lady, who has been baking since she was a small child on her method for gingerbread.
After this visit it so profoundly affected me I wanted to share this with my family who had not been able to join me, so this spring I started down this road. As a general rule I try very hard to be kind to the environment, but to commit wholly to this I needed to replicate the experience as well as the product. So, by hand I started to till and weed and cultivate. I don't think I've ever pulled so many rocks out of something in my whole life and am well on my way to the construction of a small mountain! My children thinking I'm nuts laughed and jeered as I worked all of this.
I used nothing but natural fertilizer - I have a cow farm down the way from me, no pesticide except vinegar and now am the proud owner of so much squash that I could easily feed a shire. I enjoyed this project immensely and have been contemplating growing functional items such as flax and cotton next year as an experiment.
So now that my story is shared I hope you all will share with me how you have brought the simplicity of times past into your everyday life. How do you feel that this has impacted your life, your family’s life or friends? Did you find the fruits of your labor meet your expectations? Tell me the good, the bad and of course the hilarious! I bid you adieu, until next week!