Can you or I or anyone know?

Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,
Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,
Can you or I or anyone know
How oats, peas, beans, and barley grow?

Can you or I or anyone really know where our food comes from now? My students don't believe milk comes from cows. Milk comes from a box, just like high fructose corn syrup juice drinks come from a box or a pouch. You pull the straw off the side of the box, remove the wrappers, and poke it into the box. That's how you get milk.

In our cold weather I just wanted to wrap up in a quilt and read the Kimbell Museum Cookbook or The Omnivore's Dilemma. The 1986 Kimbell cookbook was a favorite of my mother. She loved Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum, and the soups served in its Buffet Restaurant.

Michael Pollan's book was a Christmas gift from the Woolly Mammoth's special lady friend. Reading about genetically-modified Round-Up-Ready Monsanto corn seed gives me scary nightmares. Soup is more comforting.

The preschoolers are singing about "Pease porridge hot" this month. "Pease porridge" is such a weird concept for a kid. If Sam-I-Am should ask, I will not eat it hot or cold. I will not eat it in the pot nine days old.

Sam-I-Am can ask all night. Sam can ask all day. I will not eat his "curds and whey". Don't bring them on a silver tray. I will not eat them on a tuffet. I will not eat with Warren Buffett.

Tell Sam-I-Am I won't eat gruel. Unless you're Scrooge it isn't cool. I will not eat it at my school.

In fact, I'm fond of cottage cheese with black pepper and fresh tomato slices, and often eat it at my school. The soups I made in the cold weather improved the longer they simmered and blended flavors. When I froze portions, and then reheated them, my soups made of peas, beans, and lentils got simply splendid. If winter drags on, I might start eating oatmeal and cream-of-wheat in the mornings. But not gruel!

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder

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