Summer is coming on towards us - hot foot. Well, yesterday, today winter popped back. But yesterday we had 27 C. A good day for being in the water, not at my desk. Desk won. Barely. Still we're eating spring food - artichokes - we must have had a good 25 and still have 7 or so on the plants. My daydream is to get to enough to make them ingredients of pasta sauce and preserve some, instead of just special treats. Still, we're dramatically up on last year. Strawberries - not quite enough for jam but real big bowlfuls for dessert. The Zucchini is flowering and soon the time of 'oh no not another disguise for yet another zucchini' will be upon us. I got to feeling that our training to be a wasteful consumer society goes back a loooooong way -- I dried a load of beetroot, and pickled 7 jars yesterday - it had to come out was going to seed - a fair amount of the veg is doing that, we just don't eat it/ preserve it/ have something to feed it to. And the waste galls me, but... we HAVE to. Growing just enough is a freaking disaster area looking for a place to happen. Something always goes wrong, if not with every crop at least some of it. The last 4 winters -3 have been good for broccoli. Not last winter. Carrots and beets and leeks did well, however. So we overkill and spread our risks and by the time we know that we're safe, it's usually too late to give it away or to preserve it. And um we pick a lot of stuff either too late (after rats/caterpillars/slugs/birds discover it) or as a fear reaction to this too early.
Still... the past. I've been making Biltong (South African cured dried meat -like jerky but far nicer IMO)this last week. And Bobotie (cape malay slave dish, with mince/leftover meat and an egg custard topping), and boerebeskuit - rusks. My son was talking about melktert (milk tart) and I thought, yes I should do that. Now we eat 10 times the amount of biltong we ever did back in the old country. Sure meat is cheap, but making bobotie? I don't think I ever made it back in South Africa.
I could not bear to go back to live there. I did love the place and there are people I miss, badly. But I have made wonderful friends here, and to be honest, more of them, because we set out to do so. And I love the security, community and the island life. There has been nothing like it South Africa for 40 or more years (small country districts - which I loved then, had this feel to them , then.) Flinders Island has the highest proportion of volunteerism in Australia, which actually explains a lot. It's a little country in the best part of the past, itself, where fast-food doesn't really exist, where the hunting and fishing are good, and you still help (and know) your neighbours.
I don't want to carry the past we left to this spot. Troubles will come, but not from us, I hope. But the food, now, that is a different matter. I wonder what muttonbird biltong would taste like? ;-)