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Another Wilderness Fridge Raid

Jemez Springs
New Mexico

Well, podnahs, I've written before of my gourmandizin' adventures out here along the trail. Right now I'm sittin' on the bank of the Jemez River, having lunch.

The biggest problem in the boonies seems to be too much food rather than too little. I tend to overbuy at the grocery store when I pass through what passes for civilization, and rather than trouble with cleaning out the fridge I just push the dated stuff to the back. Much like the venerable wall cemetery practices in the French Quarter, down in Noo Orleens.

If it weren't for the starving Armenians, it wouldn't matter.

You know about them. Every family has their own version of the starving Armenians, some popular, pitiful, and alarming tale of ancient deprivation, a fabled time when a miserable ragtag band of neglected humans were insanely happy just to suck rocks, which the Lord provided. They are continually resurrected, through the generations, to remind us that there are Those Less Fortunate, Who'd Like To Have What's Sitting On Our Plates Right Now.

What do you mean, you don't like turnips? Eat your greens and be grateful. What did you just say in the Blessing? Right. "God is great, and God is good". You could have been born in Armenia, you know, a stick-thin victim of the parsimonious harvests of heathen lands. What? They're Christians? Armenians? Don't you get smart with me. I didn't slave over a hot stove just to raise a couple of smartmouthed, willful, vitamin-deficient children.

You eat that. It's Good For You. And sit up straight, while you're at it.

Ah. We never outgrow the lessons of childhood. I think even the most culinarily rigid among you can see why I can't just throw this stuff away. So what if it has more hair than I do?

Sooo, let's take a look. Hmmm. A bag of green beans, getting rather limp. Red onion. A large, gorgeously orange, but somewhat dry and misshapen yam. A forgotten deli ziplock of smoked ham, flattened beneath all that, just past it's prime. Sniff. Just.

Garlic, dill weed, salt and pepper. Cornbread and butter, which tastes good with anything. Have I got an egg for that? Yessss.

Why, it's a feast!

And so it turned out. The only really odd ingredient larger than a bacterium was the yam. But it turned out right tasty, and made a more colorful dish than the usual bland pile of white potatoes.

Boil it up, you'll like it. Beats driving into town. Especially in an area where "town" is a nebulous concept, possibly in another time zone.

Unlike almost anything else you might be eating, this doesn't taste like chicken.

Besides, you know it's Good For You.


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