My birthday was last month and I received some really lovely gifts. One of my favorites was from my sister, Leigh. She lives in Boise on a huge parcel of land. She’s been involved with agriculture her entire life, including earning an Agriculture Business degree. It’s her profession and her passion.
So when I opened my birthday present from her, I was delighted to find the best homemade grape jam I have ever tasted, along with savory dried herbs and produce from her garden. I’m thawing out homemade stock right now so I can make Butternut Squash Soup.
Here’s a look at some of her bounty this past fall. I squealed when she texted me this photo. There’s at least 10 butternut squash in there, along with acorn squash, red kuri hubbard squash, eggplant, bell peppers…absolutely gorgeous. She and her husband are now sellers at the organic farmer’s market. I can’t believe we didn’t end up in the same town!
It got me thinking what a lovely surprise the gift of food is. Growing up, we grew artichokes, cucumbers, onions, herbs and tomatoes in a yard rimmed by fruit trees and berry vines. Sharing this bounty with our friends and neighbors was a true joy.
I remember coming home from church with a box full of homegrown cucumbers from a family friend. We canned with our mom, all afternoon, turning them into bread and butter pickles we could eat in winter.
As the Christmas season approaches, consider the gift of food. It doesn’t have to be something you’ve grown yourself, but something thoughtful and decadent like truffle salt (Trader Joe’s has a small seasonal container for around $6) or a block of great parmesan-reggiano. Happy Giving!