Day 10 (almost)

Necessity is the mother of invention, and this 100-yard challenge has spawned some serious necessity. These days when I’m hit with a craving for something unobtainable, say, a big plate of pasta, I pick some squash blossoms, dip them in egg batter, fry them until golden and eat them with a sprinkle of preserved lemon juice. Or, for breakfast I handmill the corn kernels down (thank god I saved those cobs from last year), pour a little boiling water over the grain, then add a handful of shredded beets and an egg–and viola! beet cornmeal pancakes. I eat them with stewed plums and honey. It’s really brilliant. There are rough spots though, like a totally gross (almost) inedible fava bean stew. The horror. I wonder if the original reason recipes were written down and followed was not so much for taste, but to ensure food wasn’t wasted. I’m seriously thinking about all those survival books I read as a kid–My Island Summer, Little House on the Prarie, Call of the Wild, Julie of the Wolves, Sacajawea. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of living off your own inventions and skills.
Not that I’m not using modern technology. The other day I microwaved my peppermint/verbena tea. And a duck caught a chill (I’ve relocated them in a grassy area in the lot) from a long swim in the galvanized tub (he couldn’t get out) so I rushed him upstairs and used a blow dryer (it’s Bill’s, I swear) to dry him off and stop the shivering. He loved it! He moved his head around so the warm breeze would ruffle the feathers on top of his head. His down feathers had gotten wet, so he could’v died! Later, I spotted him from the window, puffed up, positively whiter than the others, and for the first time in my life, I thanked the person who invented the blow dryer.

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