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Jun 20, 2008 12:00 AM

What Were/Are Your Favorite Fresh Food Living Situations?

I was reading the supermarket meat and chicken thread earlier this evening. In the middle of the night I started thinking how lucky I have been in the fresh food department most of my life.
As a kid, in central New Jersey, I hunted and fished all the time. Catching crabs and digging clams are fond summer memories. My dad's cousin had (and still has) a farm and we had free pick your rights for all crops. In college in Pa. 5 guys, who loved to hunt and fish, lived in an old farm house, were big Hemingway fans, and our freezer was stuffed w/ pheasant, deer and trout and we had a wonderful farmer's market. Viet Nam, a pass. New Mexico, elk, trout, crayfish and gathering pinon nuts, a Mormon food coop and a master's degree fueled on 100 lbs of pinto beans and 4 bushels of chiles (2 red & 2 green) fresh from the farm. Moved to Norway, lived on a small island, had a gill net, ate tons of fish and crabs, island lamb, made beer, wine and currant concentrate, picked berries and mushrooms and ate a lot of reindeer. Finland, more of the same with moose meat, salmon, herring, burbot roe and tons of self -picked mushrooms, dried in the sauna. Maine, Island life again,raised some little boys, worked summers as a sternman on a lobster boat, clammed, fished and hunted, ate tons of free crab, picked berries & mushrooms and started a big garden. Down to Bolivia! The trees in the yard gave us bananas, red mangoes, grapefruit, oranges and tangerines and the garden and open air market fresh fruits and veggies. Fished for piranahs and other fish and got fresh lambs and beef from our neighbor's ranch. Back to Maine and more of the same as earlier with the addition of a lot of deer meat. I worked 9 hours in our garden today with our wonderful 18 year old son (wife still has school) in preparation for a week's visit to my aged mother and a visit to the cousin's farm. My poor old bod is so sore I can't sleep, but life is good. :) What is your fresh food life and memories?

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  1. jeez P. write a book....


    1. Picking mussels off the rocks in Cushing Maine, then scrubbin 'em and steaming them w herbs, garlic, wine and lots of butter.

      1. When my son and I would go to Questa (area, in NM) and stay in a primitive cabin, We'd catch cutthroat trout and eat them like corn on the cob. When I was about 14, we would steal corn from the farmer's field and eat it raw. Ate mustang grapes on several occasions but they sure were hard to take. At my grandparents farm I learned, early-on how to wring a chicken's neck and clean them. We would go fishing in the river for catfish with the guts and liver. Frequently we'd hunt rabbits and birds. We'd always bring back some beef and pork from the farm. In '83 I had a spectacular veggie garden. I would get home from work (preferred transportation-Kawasaki 650) and put on cut-offs, wiggle my toes in the dirt and eat veggies raw as I worked the garden and gathered food for dinner.
        Now, I have a seperate veggie garden and an herb garden and do the same, but miss the scoot... (but don't miss a regular job)
        We've started foraging for edible plants and mushrooms and have enjoyed quite a few, so far..morels, oysters and fried chicken. I've hunted a little over the years. Mostly birds. I have dove in the freezer and we recently had a rabbit I shot. Never could get that rabbit quite tender enough for our liking. I should take up fishing again.
        Thanks for helping me dredge up good memories and remember how good I have it as a gentleman farmer.

        1. Nothing that exotic or elaborate to report. But I did love getting an organic CSA box in Pittsburgh, PA one year . . . cooking with excellent, farm fresh produce was more fun, and more rewarding. And very easy.

          1. Passion fruit (or something similar) tree in the backyard of a country house my family rented for 3 months in Ecuador when I was 6... for a cold-climate, city girl that was amazing. Fresh grilled fish at the beach grill at a Cuban resort 10 years ago (sadly I don't think you can hope for that from all-inclusive resorts anymore).