“Over here is one of our larders,” Charlene mentions as she leads the small group of university students to the north facing porch of the farm house she and Richard call home. The students quickly realize its not your average front porch. They gaze over the cornucopia of milk carton cases bursting with multicolored apples, gallon glass jars jam-packed with
olives, earthenware pots spilling over with potatoes and onions, and light gray formation crocks bubbling with sauerkraut, kosher dills, and assorted citrus.
“These foods are alive,” Charlene continues. “The larder is where we keep foods that need to be in a naturally cool and shaded environment.” The care and respect she has for good food comes through as she talks with the students about “live” food, the fermentation process, and the importance of a larder in a well stocked kitchen. Each student takes an olive to taste.
Charlene moves on to the subject of the pantry. “Our pantry designated areas are stores of canned tomato sauces, preserves, dried pasta, beans and grains, jars of anchovies, dried fruits and vegetables. These are all things that are kept in a ‘still’ room, which is also an old term referring to a kitchen or workroom where foods are preserved or made ‘still’.”
Nana Cardoon Urban Farm hosts many students of all ages and Charlene doesn’t miss a chance to help them learn the many components to a good table. “Pantry comes from the French ‘pain’. Larder comes from the French ‘lard’. These terms come from the way homes used to be organized. I like to keep things separated in the same way, honoring the traditional ways of storing and handling nutrition, and depending on non-electric storage methods.”
The students continue on their farm tour as they make their way past mounds of herbs, twisting grape vines, and fruit hanging heavy on the persimmon tree. If they just happen to come back in the near future they would find that most of what they see now in one of the pantries or larders they just learned about. Because as she mentioned Charlene processes and stores almost all foods utilizing traditional and natural storage in various the larders and pantries around their home.
Harvesting produce, beans and grains from the farm; procuring and curing meats from neighboring farms; creating cheeses, kefir, and fermented breads – each batch, jar, basket, or crate makes it way into the appropriate pantry or larder. There it becomes part of the ever-changing procession of good foods headed toward a nutritious convivial meal around the farmhouse table.
Nana Cardoon larder areas:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Lacto Fermentation Crocks
Nana Cardoon pantry areas:
- Kitchen area pantry – ‘still’ items used on a daily basis
- Shed pantry – canned goods for the year
And the wine is in our “cellar”!