Roasted partridges do not fly into one’s mouth

beefsteak tomato seedling


That’s a strange expression, right?  But one that has guided me and made me think things thru for many years.  When I was first married, my husband’s old grandmother gave each new couple a copy of a cookbook called Mennonite Community Cookbook.  That was in 1969 and we didn’t have all these fancy cooking methods we do today; things were done in old ways, real food made from real ingredients, and new brides that needed help learning how to do all that.

A lot of cooking and measuring ingredients info in that book was useful to me then.  But the most useful thing Mrs. Showalter’s book taught me was one expression.  Roasted partridges do not fly into one’s mouth.

Unless you lived out in the country a long time ago, you probably don’t know what a partridge is.  They are small birds, also called quail,  that travel in groups out in fields and stay hidden in long grass as much as possible to prevent becoming  the lunch of hawks. For you to be able to have a meal of roasted partridges, someone had to go shoot the birds, clean then, prepare and serve them.  That wasn’t convenient in the way we think of convenience now, but it was the way things were then.

Up above is a beefsteak tomato seedling.  It’s a seedling about patience.  I’m one of the old folks who still wants to start with seeds and grow some of my food in the summer.  There are some people who think that food comes from the grocery store, and have no idea beyond that what they are eating, how it grew, how it got to them and what happened in between.  Patience is a virtue being lost by so many people  in our modern world. People want things fast, and convenient, so they can get on with their more important things.  I can’t imagine what is more important than thinking about what we eat, having and making time to make sure it’s good stuff, considering sustainability in all aspects of our lives, and letting all that flow into the concept of how we treat our mother earth.  All that goes together in one big thought for me.

So, Mrs. Showalter’s original expression isn’t just words; it’s a way of life.  A thought process that guides me to have patience and remember where we came from.  And where we’re going. I can buy tomatoes at the grocery store, sure.  And all the other stuff I grow too.  But it makes me happy to watch seedlings grow and flowers  develop on plants, and tend to them to help them to give me good food that I know I had a part in producing.   All the things that are steps along the way are part of living close to the earth the way I believe we were intended to.  Processes in life are not always convenient.  But convenience isn’t everything.

Roasted partridges do not fly into one’s mouth.  How wise she was back then to originate such a profound expression.

19 responses to “Roasted partridges do not fly into one’s mouth

  1. Love the expression… Guess Mr. Bowie would open his mouth for a roasted partridge…!!

  2. What a great post! It’s so true what you say. People really do not appreciate what it takes to get food from the garden or the farm to the table. Your post is an important reminder of something we should never lose touch with.

  3. This was a good reminder for me Nancy. My life has been a bit out of control lately and it’s wearing me down; time to return to slower and gentler everything for me. I find when I pull that off, the patience is a naturally occurring side affect. I’m going out to work now in my tiny greenhouse to get things ready for going into the ground this week. I’ll be patient, I promise. And then I’m going to make a bit pot of African Peanut Stew and use the first of the overwintered spinach to add to it! Hugs from NE TN!

    • Hugs back to you, Sista. It was warm enough for me to go out and start cleaning some things up to get growing areas ready. Course nothing can go in the ground here for a while yet. And everything takes me longer to do with one hand post-op restrictions, but I’ll git er done, and get help with a few things later. Borrow that expression and spread it around in TN. 🙂

  4. When I had a house I grew my own veggies… it was wonderful… but now I visit the Tuesday afternoon farmers’ market for all my fresh produce… I wish more people would put some thought into what they are eating, where it comes from, etc. I like to support the small local farmers who grow organically or without pesticides. And, of course I don’t eat red meat for a variety of reasons water usage being one of them. Thanks for an interesting post.

    • You’re welcome. Local food and growing your own when you can is my favorite soap box to get on. I support local food producers as much as possible, but we have such a short growing season that there’s no local produce thru all the cold months. And no farmer’s market in my town, which is a shame. But! There are many farmers around here that have road side stands all summer, so I can get some things I don’t grow directly from them. I love it!

  5. Great post. I remember stories about my maternal grandfather partridge hunting when a young man. Unfortunately, I never do well with seeds, though we do try to grow some vegetables every summer. Best wishes! I’m glad I found you thanks to the A to Z blog challenge via The Squirrel Nutwork (isn’t that a fun website?). Oh, and my Darla M. Sands blog is number 1281 on the A to Z list today.

    • I enjoy the Squirrel Nutwork so much. They take great pictures and seeing the world thru a squirrel’s eyes is fun. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Good luck with this year’s growing of vegetables.

  6. Indeed a profound expression! I believe only old people had/have that wisdom.
    My mother-in-law is close to nature and grows many things on their own. It gives us immense satisfaction when we get their produce (when we are in India)…it’s free of the worries as to what all pesticides have gone into producing it.

    • Yes, when you can grow things yourself you know what you’re eating. Most bought foods are a mystery as to what has been done to them. Thanks for following and commenting!

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