My lovely friend Karen Black, got in touch, offering some fresh organic veg from a local Farmshare group – Norwich Farmshare – that she couldn’t use. Yes please! I received a bag of unidentifiable vegetables, and lots of them. What were they? Caked in mud, I couldn’t tell the carrots from the parsnips. Yes, real soil! When was the last time I had to wash earth from a vegetable. I felt quite excited. Memories of helping my mum wash potatoes and other vegetables before peeling them came to mind. I remember that they lasted longer with the earth providing a protective layer from light and contamination.
Time spent preparing food when I was in the catering trade was often a chore, something that needed to be done and usually quickly. Now however the preparation of food is another mindful practice for me, an activity that places me in the moment. Peeling, chopping and cooking food is part of my daily routine. It allows me space to just be with an activity I enjoy. I realise it takes time to do this and it makes no difference. It simply brings me closer to appreciating the food before it provides me with sustenance.
In the case of the dirty veg, I could spend time with my memories also reflect on the provenance of the vegetables and food on my plate. If you notice the labelling on your food, you may consider that some of what we choose travels across the world, from the next county, or perhaps from your own garden. (What a joy to pick fresh produce from your plot.) Anyway lots of thoughts from a gift of free dirty veg.