This weekend, I’m going apple picking at an orchard a little ways Upstate. I’ve never gone apple picking at a U-pick farm before (as lamented in this post two falls ago), so I’m pretty excited. I’m even more excited about all the fun opportunities for using the apples afterwards–in addition to just plain eating them, I wonder how I can smush them into more soups and stews, and envision being loved by all my co-workers for the apple tarts and other baked goods I can bring in for the next month. This hits on many “reasons for not eating out,” like sharing and learning new tricks, but the possibilities of piling up are a great plus in itself.
Simply put, piling up makes you more inclined to cook at home–and, perhaps, enjoy it more. And when you “pile up” in turn by cooking a great batch of something in advance (say, pickles or stock), it’s easier to eat in well. I like to put myself in positions where this happens, like apple picking, cherry picking, cheesemaking, oyster foraging, and the like. Growing vegetables and herbs and keeping chickens for eggs would fall into this category as well. So would signing up for a CSA, or a food share or buying club of some other nature–there are so many types nowadays.
My friend Dave has an annual tradition of ordering a bushel of tomatoes at the peak of its season and jarring a whole crate’s worth of them to use throughout the year. I envy his winter pasta nights. I know many who go out of their way to get berries to put up as preserves in the summer. Have you ever purchased a great lot of something, like bread for a party or bacon for a cook-off, and had way more success “scrambling” to use up the leftovers of them than you did its intended purpose? I have, too. Currently, I have a number of frozen wild Alaskan salmon fillets from my annual CSA share of that, and I cannot describe the joy I get from dreaming about how I’ll cook them for an upcoming dinner party soon.
No, piling up on food is not foolhardy; it’s plain fun. Having the added pressure of having plenty of something is momentous, and a catalyst for your favorite eating-in experiences.