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  • Jennifer Stewart

The D.G.


I will finally admit that I live in the boonies. Maybe not the boonies, but definitely the more desolate part of Texas. We’re a little farther away from your average coffee shop, grocery store, gas station, wine shop, or Home Depot. And well, walking is not an option to anywhere, except to the mailbox. I say this, out of not only love for where I live, but for the fact that since leaving my home town, I’ve only lived in mostly LARGE Metropolitan cities; Chicago, Los Angeles, & Austin. I can truthfully speak the statement…

“How the other half lives….”

Except from this perception, I’m not comparing mansions and large beautiful homes that are well groomed and neatly landscaped. While they seep with incredible gardens and peaceful back patios. But I AM comparing this to the large open air with the run down pick up trucks parked out front and the junkyards and mobile homes attached to the sheds…. Where the owner pays more money for a tractor or lawn mower than their actual house. I have snakes, rats, bats, moles, salamanders, humming birds, and little bugs I’ve never really seen before roaming my land. I have wild blackberry’s growing in my ditch that I bake pies with and when it rains I’m scared my garden is going to flood.

Having lived in multiple places from my twenties on…. I definitely grew to appreciate the local produce, the Sunday Farmers Markets, the local beer, and delicious authentic wine. I loved being surrounded by culture and color and art. And although I moved away from it to seek something else… I truly miss it.

We have a Dollar General that sits about 1 mile down the road from us. And well, that’s it. That’s all we have closest to us… and my husband played this amazing song for me that reminded us both of this little rural store that sells nothing but soda pop, chips, strange canned goods, smut magazines, and a few pieces of frozen chicken. You might even get lucky and pick up some Halloween masks…

Sung by the famous local Austin Band, Shiny Ribs, this neat little song will give you an authentic vision of my sweet neighborhood. Or I suppose any Dollar General near you.

I’ve always envisioned a little country food store on our little road… filled with all local produce, local flowers, local honey, meat, and cheese…maybe even a little home brewed beer and some delicious wine. A patio and a big rocking chair so the locals could sit and enjoy the thick Texas air. Although I have surrounded myself with the folks who aren’t necessarily educated in the healthy food area, I’ve definitely surrounded myself with those that know how to live the slower life. So maybe we can teach other a few things…

I would like to share a beautiful pesto recipe with my local community. My garden has the most incredible amount of kale growing right now and so this recipe will come in handy for anyone who love kale and basil.

Fresh Raw Baby Kale Pesto

with Roasted Pecans

From Southern Farm & Garden Magazine

Ingredients:

* 2 Cups of Kale – Picked from stems and washed

* 2 Cups Parmesan Cheese that has been pulsed in the

food processor

* 1 ½ Cups of pecans that have been lightly toasted with * Olive oil and salt

* ½ Cup picked basil leaves

* 1 Head of Roasted Garlic

* 1 ½ Cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

* Chili Flakes

* Zest of Lemon

* Salt and Peppers to Taste

Roast Garlic on a piece of foil with a sprinkle of olive oil and salt and peppers in the oven at 375 Degrees until the garlic is soft and squeezes from the skin.

Place all ingredients in the food processor and puree until smooth. This is best as a sauce/pesto that can be used in different dishes such as spaghetti, toast with warm Ricotta, Roasted Vegetables, or small potatoes.

I’m humbled by this lifestyle I’m living. Maybe even more content than anything else… That contentment I’ve been seeking my whole life. The searching we all do in our twenties and early thirties… But it gives me nothing more than joy than to sit on my porch swing in the middle of the boonies and soak in all the lighting bugs, hummingbirds, and strange fart factory smells down the road.

I even don’t mind a little drive down to the DG for a little pint of Blue Bell ice cream every once in a while…


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