the rebellion of a couch tomato

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I’d never thought of myself as a rebel. I’m a mutable Sagittarius. A fitter-inner. The G.O. looks sceptical when I say “I liked school”. The closest I came was my bestie Mrs S. says she thought I was cool when we met age 16 back in the early 1980’s because I wore desert boots. My stepmother certainly expressed her opinion that I wore too much eyeliner, and Dad considered I wore too much black. But that was fashion, not rebellion.

I never had reason to rebel. I grew up in a family, country and era where I had freedom to make my own choices, for better or worse. I chose to work, marry & divorce, repeat, not have children, buy a home and so on. My sister was the first rebel in our family, when she decided age 14 to become vegan. It rocked my family but for me it wasn’t an issue, whenever she spent time in my household, the food on our table was vegan too.

My particular rebellion came on slowly after I realized the most basic of my choices was being made for me in an artful manner by people I didn’t know. The food of my grandparents’ and parents’ kitchens was disappearing.

So armed with a nanna shopping trolley, most weekends I walk the walk of my rebellion to the farmers market. In supermarkets I opt for free range-organic-ethical-local. I wield the weapon of a wooden spoon with my shield the mixing bowl and bake biscuits. Of an evening, knife in hand I go into combat armed with pastured raised meat and organic veges for dinner. In the mornings I crack the shells of ethically produced eggs.

The other weapons in my arsenal are information and communication. I took the affront to my food rights quite personally. How dare they. I’m just one of many food rebels. Many who generously share their time, efforts and knowledge. They farm, garden, shop with awareness, cook, appear on TV, write articles, blogs & books.

Although I’m currently limited to espousing rebellion from my living room via a keyboard while sitting on the couch. I consider growing your food to be the ultimate act of rebellion. Living in a tiny apartment redeemed by a large a sunny balcony I’d love to grow tubs of vegetables as many apartment dwellers do. But it is in direct proximity to a grimy train line; only the hardiest of geraniums and succulents survive. The edible plants & herbs I attempt to grow exposed to railway track ballast struggle, and eating them doesn’t seem safe. I feel blessed when we receive a gift of tomatoes from a gardening friend and find basil growing in the apartment complex’s small herb garden down the back away from the tracks.

Easy weeknight food: Rebel garden sauce, meatballs and pasta ribbons

The rebellion of a couch tomato

Chop 4 large tomatoes such as those grown by the G.O.’s mate Trojan, with handful of basil leaves and 2 small sweet onions. Sauté using macadamia (or other nut/vegetable) oil. Add chopped leftover organic green beans, baked red capsicum, golden beetroot, black olives and beef meatballs from the freezer. Serve over left over strips of pasta made from leftover fresh lasagne sheets from the freezer, and top with grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Note: Every day I eat. Every now and then I blog about food: I thought it only fair on occasion to share what passes as a recipe for something I’ve made. We’re a 2 person household. All quantities and times are approximate. Additions and substitutions may be made according to preference, taste and availability. Where possible I use pastured/free range/organic produce and improvise using ingredients I have on hand.

I want to go back to Brazil, get married, have lots of kids, and just be a couch tomato. Ana Beatriz Barros

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41 thoughts on “the rebellion of a couch tomato

    memoirsofahusk said:
    May 29, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Mmm. Beautifully written – and thus way too enticing! It’s only 10.28 am and already I’m feeling hungry for meatballs and tomatoes and pasta.Every year I decide to grow some food and other than a few odd courgettes, straggly rocket and a veritable shrub of parsley it doesn’t usually go too well. I blame the weather and shop at the farm shop! And keep herbs indoors on windowsills. Now I have read this I am vowing to plant the dwarf runner bean seeds I bought last year – but it’s raining, so later …

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 29, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Thank you. I have lots of dreams and plans but I’ve never had a proper vegetable garden. Fortunately the G.O. has expertise, and it’s something I’m really looking forward to. I like farm shops, and markets too and as I doubt we’ll ever grow enough to feed ourselves, I’ll continue to enjoy those as well.
      I usually think about lunch at breakfast and so on… often to the G.O.’s bemusement.

      Like

    ashpauls said:
    May 29, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Looks yummy… Great way to rebellion hon!!!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 29, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      Thank you. A rebel army that marches on its stomach 🙂

      Like

    davidprosser said:
    May 29, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I’m hoping your quiet rebellion will gain enough converts to stop Monsanto taking over the world with it’s poisons. You’re doing a great job.
    xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 29, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      GM and pesticides is a whole other battle… but well worth fighting. The wages of war aren’t great but the food is good 🙂

      Like

    katechiconi said:
    May 29, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Sounds like I’m growing your supper. The cherry and beefsteak tomatoes are roaring ahead, but the romas are lagging rather…. BTW, you can get locally produced macadamia oil from Rose’s fruit & veg place on the Waterfall Way – it’s on the left between Bellingen and Thora.

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      EllaDee responded:
      May 29, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      Oh you rebel !!! 🙂
      I’ll look out for Rose’s next time we’re up that way. We also buy macadamia oil from a farm just past Bellingen on the left heading to Dorrigo who sell local fruit & veg, and trailers… the G.O. was of course happy to stop!

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        katechiconi said:
        May 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm

        I suspect we may even be talking about the same place… It’s just after the house that has the bus mailbox, and just before you get to the macadamia plantation on the left.

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          EllaDee responded:
          May 29, 2015 at 8:47 pm

          It’s entirely possible we are… it’s quite rustic!… too funny 🙂

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          katechiconi said:
          May 29, 2015 at 9:32 pm

          Yup, that sounds like it… They sometimes have a stall at Bellingen and Dorrigo markets.

          Liked by 1 person

          EllaDee responded:
          May 30, 2015 at 7:36 am

          Yes!

          Like

    acflory said:
    May 29, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    I love meals like that! And sometimes I’m decadent and add a dash of sour cream to the sauce instead of cheese. 😀

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 30, 2015 at 7:40 am

      Oh yes mmmm, a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche makes leftover seafood in a tomato sauce go a long way, and no need for cheese.

      Like

        acflory said:
        May 30, 2015 at 10:03 am

        -starts to drool- Indeed. 😀

        Like

    Gerlinde said:
    May 30, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Your are my kind of rebel! My tiny plot and its location near the ocean doesn’t allow me to grow very much, but I try. I am lucky in having several great farmers markets in our town. My friend Robert has a wonderful garden and always shares with me.
    Your Spaghetti looks great.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 30, 2015 at 7:47 am

      Thank you. That’s what I love about my kind of rebellion, it encourages community and friendship… make good food and share it or the recipe, not money.

      Like

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    May 30, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Oh, yummy! Hurry up summer tomatoes.
    When my dad first saw power operated toothbushes, he said, “What is the world coming too when people are too lazy to brush their own teeth?”
    Sometime I wonder what my farming grand parents/great grandparents would think of all the fastfood drive thru windows. The whole idea of paying people to cook food for you – and unhealthy poor food at that – would be alien to them. Would they laugh at all the ones running back to the farm (after a generation left to make better lives for their children)? Probably just smile and say, “Knew you’d come to your senses. Let me help get you started.”

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      EllaDee responded:
      May 30, 2015 at 7:51 am

      I like to think my grandparents and yours would be happy with and value the sense of their ways. I wonder if the TV generation is where the real disconnect began. We stopped listening to each other and became “informed” by advertising.

      Liked by 1 person

    Glenda said:
    May 30, 2015 at 2:02 am

    Well said Ella. We are doing our best not to eat any processed food and not to shop at Coles and Woolworths. It is amazing how little we buy there these days. If everyone took a stance ….

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 30, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Thank you. Same here, it’s been a process and still is but I know all of us are making a difference because of the improvement in selections of brands and produce I see when I’m at the supermarket. Of course there are still far too may aisles of crap…

      Like

    ardysez said:
    May 30, 2015 at 6:32 am

    I’m right behind you in the rebel brigade, carrying my crock pot and homegrown herbs! I enjoyed reading this piece, Dale, well put together!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 30, 2015 at 7:57 am

      Thank you. I knew you’d be there! And I think the cause is really being furthered via our merry band of worldwide bloggers who love good food.

      Like

    Bill said:
    May 30, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Bravo EllaDee! The ultimate act of rebellion. I like that. A friend of mine described it as an act in defiance of the empire. I like that too.

    We’ve been prepping for the farmers market all day. Up at 5 this morning and finally sitting down with a glass of wine at 9 pm. We’ll be up at 4:30 for the market. Without rebels like you, who choose to buy your food from real farmers, then we’d all be at the mercy of the industrial food complex. Rock on you rebel you.

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      May 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      It’s the company I like as well as the food I think. I love hearing about the passion, process of farmers, gardeners and cooks and people who believe in good food. Even the G.O. who professes not to be foodie waxes lyrical on occasion.

      Like

    Nola Mackey said:
    May 30, 2015 at 11:56 am

    We have had a great vege garden for many years and usually have lots to share with family and friends, but sadly this year the wet weather has done so much damage from rotting plants before they mature, few bees to polinate the flowers that do survive, and then fruit rotting on the trees and plants before they are mature. Or being over run with weeds of all kinds! Saturday is often a busy day in the garden. Not today it’s raining again! Just looking through seed packet trying to decide what to plant in the seed boxes on the back verandah out of the weather. Hoping for a dry Winter to prepare for Spring

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      May 30, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      It’s the faith and the toil of gardeners & farmers despite being at the mercy of mother nature, and their pride and generosity sharing bounty, either privately or via markets that keeps those of us without gardens in touch with what is real. I wish for you sun when you need it and just enough rain 🙂

      Like

    anne54 said:
    May 31, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Oh yes, I am part of your rebellion too. However, I must admit that when I shop my first priorities are as seasonal as possible and as local as possible; how they are produced sometimes takes the back seat. I love your image of marching off with your armour of the wooden spoon and baking dish!! Your coat of arms must have a rampant tomato 😏

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      EllaDee responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      It’s a good point. local and seasonal. I find out of season produce often looks good but doesn’t deliver on taste. And seasonal gives us something to look forward to, as in oh! mango season…
      A coat of arms emblazoned on my apron! I can see that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    Kourtney Heintz said:
    May 31, 2015 at 10:08 am

    You’ve increased my awareness and made me want to make lifestyle changes. I love your food rebellion. 🙂 Thank you EllaDee for reminding me that what I eat is my choice.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      May 31, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Blogging has opened a whole new world to me. I was floundering amongst good intentions but not enough knowledge. And even the G.O. who is reluctant to change can see the sense of it to reverse unintentional change we never knew was the result of corporatization creep.

      Like

        Kourtney Heintz said:
        June 12, 2015 at 10:33 am

        Your blog has done the same for me. 🙂 It’s hard to change but when you realize changes were made without your consent, you want to take the control back.

        Liked by 1 person

    sara said:
    May 31, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Since when are Sagittarians not rebellious?? The ultimate free thinkers 🙂
    You are absolutely right, growing your own food is the ultimate rebellion – not long now!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 1, 2015 at 6:09 am

      With an Aquarian moon as well. I guess it depends how you think of rebellion. I’m quite happy to live and let live. So long as no-one’s telling me what to do, a trigger point I’ve discovered over the years, at which I return fire!
      When I was a kid, the effect of “bad influences” was “hanging out with the wrong crowd” and about making a choice and falling in with people. I think influence is now so much more sophisticated, subtle and profit driven.

      Liked by 1 person

        sara said:
        June 1, 2015 at 6:57 pm

        You know, I was going to write, “except Aquarians who are the ultimate rebels!” Aquarius moon – no wonder you didn’t want to get married :).

        Like

          EllaDee responded:
          June 1, 2015 at 7:09 pm

          Yes, but THREE times??? !!!

          Liked by 1 person

          sara said:
          June 1, 2015 at 7:19 pm

          Lol!!!

          Like

    Market Day « Practicing Resurrection said:
    May 31, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    […] and there are still way too few people buying their food locally, but the food rebels (to borrow a term from EllaDee) are increasing.  We sold nearly everything we took to market yesterday. We’re getting […]

    Like

    mybrightlife said:
    May 31, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I have been reading your posts with interest as you’ve moved towards what feels more like a full scale war against the rubbish served out to us now days, then a rebellion….so much to think about. I am engaging with food differently thanks to you and growing again!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 1, 2015 at 6:15 am

      Thank you 🙂 It’s been so much more of a journey than I ever thought, and it’s nice to have good company. Since I started blogging, it’s turned into one of those trips where I took an interesting turn, and it became apparent it was the path I was looking for.
      And yes, so much of what passes for food now is rubbish. I can’t think of it as food, but product. And who wants to eat product? Yuck.

      Like

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