Food, Glorious Food

Before we were married, whenever I told people Ian and I were planning on moving to an isolated mountain top, they would inevitably respond in the same way. They would say something along the lines of,

“…oh that sounds very interesting! But I would have hated it at your age.
I always wanted to be in the middle of things and the isolation would have killed me!”

Unsurprisingly, I never knew how to respond to this. Should I apologize that our early married life choices differ from theirs? Or agree that odds were good we would be lonely and regret moving out here? I could have made some joking remark about how our only plan for surviving winter together was to hibernate…or turn into cannibals. But in all honesty it was a little offensive to have to constantly justify our life choices and try to convince dubious people that we didn’t feel we were missing out on our youth by choosing to live in West Virginia. It’s true that we can’t go out to eat more than once a month or so, and that we have yet to find any local people that actually want to be our friends. But everything has a trade off, and one thing we have gained by coming out here is TIME.

The two of us have never been out of school. We barely know how to structure an evening without piles of homework to fill a few hours. But living without internet, tv and working cell phones has caused us to be creative with our evenings, especially in regards to cooking. It’s been a huge joy to spend a couple hours at a time prepping and preparing food together. The long travel distance to grocery stores necessitates that we plan out our meals well in advance, and the encroaching Autumn weather has provided us with plenty of ripe fruit from the trees in our yard to process. I can’t imagine taking the time in my more normal life to stir a batch of apple butter on the stove for hours on end, but here, I can. It’s a blessing I hope we don’t tire of anytime soon.

Besides, if we don’t keep the oven going regularly, it will take a lot more effort to heat our big drafty house this winter!

Ian has discovered his inner domestic goddess and can now make incredibly tasty oatmeal bread
#artsy angle
Our little peach tree is suffering and will probably die soon. But that didn’t prevent us from harvesting a bowlful of its fruit.
One bag of frozen peach slices for smoothies later
Three pear trees comprise the “orchard” at the base of our garden.
A much better harvest than the peach tree.
Blanching and then dehydrating a potful of pears led to a depressingly pitiful result
Same with our apple butter experiments- all day stirring resulted in one canned pint jar of butter.
one measly sandwich bag!
Our pear chutney was a success though. Savory and pungent, I think it will remind us of warmer times this winter.
Boom. That’s a way better quantity.
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