Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yesterday's Big Haul: Free Squash

I went to a big lunch at the small liberal arts college where I taught until recently. The theme of the lunch, served outside under tents, was local food brought in by local farmers. Every ingredient, other than the salt, was locally procured. The farmers brought in tons, and I do mean tons, of various squash that were used to decorate the grounds and, I suppose, illustrate the bounty of our local farms. People were allowed to take squash home, and here is what I carried back to my car: While we were eating, my friend Katheryn commented on the tendency to eat to excess at buffets, and wondered why we do this. We all agreed on the general explanation that we are disposed to eat, and keep on eating, whenever we find ourselves in situations of bounty, as a disposition, perhaps even genetic, left over from our hunter-gatherer past, when such a dispositon would be crucial to survival. Eat when there is lots of food available, and you are more likely to survive the periods when there isn't enough. If that explanation is right, and does explain our tendency to gorge ourselves when surrounded by piles of free, ready-to-eat food, then I think that it may also extend to my disposition to take as much free stuff as I can fit into my hatch back when I'm surrounded by free, good stuff! After I got all this squash home, I regretted that I hadn't gone back for more.... I wish I had more of the butternuts, and the carnevales, which you see in front, especially since squash stores well. Now I've got a nice store of squash in a basket in my basement, covered with one of these towels.


Anonymous said...

The reason I eat too much at "potluck" is curiousity and politeness. A spoonful each of 20 dishes really adds up. I can't bear that someone's dish might go untasted

Robinson said...

It's the stress of plenty. I have this problem in my garden... if three tomato plants are good then 20 tomato plants must be better.