by Marion Nestle
Mar 11 2022

Weekend reading: Tamar Haspel’s “To Boldly Grow”

Tamar Haspel.  To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard.  GP Putnam’s Sons, 2021.  

I did a blurb for  this book:

In To Boldly Grow, Tamar Haspel gives us a warm, thoughtful, and thoroughly entertaining account of how she and her husband committed to eating and, therefore, growing, gathering, and, yes, hunting “first-hand” food every day.  This is a love story with an inspiring message: if she can raise her own food and have so much fun doing it, you can too.

I copied a few choice quotes, to give you a taste.

On calculating the amount of salt you can get out of seawater:

I shouldn’t have been surprised.  I’m pretty good at math, and this was basic arithmetic.  But that beautiful pile of salt was the next best thing to creating something out of thin air.  You take water out of the ocean, put it on your woodstove, and end up with something people put in froufrou little containers and sell at the same per-pound price as wild-caught salmon.  We were mesmerized by a completely mundane process we could predict with perfect accuracy. (p. 123)

On raising turkeys:

Turkey stupidity is the stuff of legend; they can supposedly drown by looking up in a rainstorm or simply not figuring out they should take their head out of their water dish.  But ours seemed to have something going on in the brains department.  Not the kind of thing that gets you into Yale early admissions, but baseline street smarts.  From the day we brought them home, they were on the lookout for an escape route.  (p. 157)

On eating roadkill wild turkey (Kevin is her husband):

I didn’t know at the time that this bird would set the tone for so much of what we did afterward.  It was the very first time we jumped into a project knowing absolutely nothing, the first time we bumbled through successfully, the first time we made a meal of something we’d gleaned from the world around us.  And it proved we were well matched in this endeavor, because Kevin is the kind of man who brings home roadkill and I’m the kind of woman who wants it.  (p. 169)

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