After weeks of threatening, weeks of randomly timed complaining, weeks of wondering if I'm over reacting, today I took action. And my action was anti-climatic.
I cancelled my membership at our local NPR radio station. I listen to NPR a lot. Their schedule influences my schedule. The voices on the station are as familiar as family members. When I'm sick, the radio voices calm me. When I can't sleep, they lull me. It's odd but I love these people; at least I love their voices.
Some months ago however one of the shows began including Monsanto in its list of sponsors. Immediately I wrote the program. I received a fast response. I'd identified the wrong program, it wasn't them, they wrote, and I let the issue go. I saw a petition and realized other people weren't happy about Monsanto on NPR either. I signed the petition and let my membership ride.
But the Monsanto name didn't go away. A quick mention in the sponsor list turned into a five word sentence. I don't remember what it was. I would turn off the radio and break pencil led until the ad was over.
Now the single five word sentence sounds like three sentences. Maybe more. And in one of the sentences is the word sustainability and everything is verdant green fields and today I was done. My blood didn't boil or my heart rate increase. I simply knew I no longer wanted my dollars to support programming that created a frame in which Monsanto could paint a happy face I believe is false.
I called member services; it was easy finding their number. A young woman picked up the phone and as if I were ordering birthday flowers I requested the monthly auto debits to my account be stopped. She took the information, thanked me for the long time membership. She didn't ask me to stay or attempt to sell me on staying. But I had to tell her why I was quitting being a member, "I don't want my dollars supporting programing that promotes Monsanto."
She was silent. I considered she might not know who Monsanto is. Or she thought I was over reacting or she was making dinner reservations at Open Table while I talked. I'll never know. Maybe I am crazy. My meager monthly pledge is nothing against the sponsorship of Monsanto. It still feels good to stand up for what I believe in though.
And it doesn't. I remember the first time I pledged to NPR. It was a right of passage. I became part of a community of listeners and I was proud to belong. I'm sad to give that up, to not support the voices I'm so fond of.
But I can't support Monsanto.
I grew up thinking the whole world drank Clover milk from surrounding dairies. The first time I saw another label I declared it false and went without rather than drink it. I've always been settled in my ways. And I've always loved milk.
Now that I've learned to make sour cream and its kissing cousin, creme fraiche, I adore it more. I say learned loosely, as if making soured milk requires detailed instruction, talent, as if the making requires study; it doesn't. And yet as simple as these recipes are, these simple foods have been a mystery. I didn't know sour cream was possible without buying it in a plastic tub. And creme fraiche, well, I believed it would never be possible at home. I was mistaken.
Sour cream is better made fresh. At least mine was.
Four Parts Cream
One Part Buttermilk
Stir them together and place covered in a warm spot for 24 hours. I put the bowl in the oven, kept the light on. A comforting thought through the night.
I used most of the sour cream for a holiday rabbit and the remainder, that precious remainder, went to a silkened carrot soup. Then I licked the bowl.
The creme fraiche was as easy with ten thousand ways to make it online. It was art drizzled on the top of soup, an excuse to play with my food. And to have more.
As much as I appreciate milk and the elementary ways it can be transformed, sometimes it still goes sour. But I have a new recipe for that too. I learned it from a farmer. "Dilute the milk," the farmer said, "and pour it on the garden."
I can't believe I haven't done it before. It makes sense. Right? All that calcium. Given the amount of milk I loose it's not going to make a significant difference to the soil but it feels better than pouring even the smallest cup down the drain.
Especially when I love it so.
Galeuse d'Eysines Squash
Little Gem Lettuce
Red Kuri Squash
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Back Deck Harvest
Gleaned and Gifted
(From Someone Else's Yard)
Apple Sauce (Thank you, Olivia)
Lemons (Thanks, Ellie!)