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
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