Celebrating NH’s Fall Harvest With Peppers and Politicians

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By Susan Dromey Heeter, Joyful Musings

While I was out canvassing for candidates a couple of weeks ago, my ADD kicked in and I ended up going from front porches to the back yard of friends who happened to be harvesting their garden.

Susan Dromey Heeter

Talk then turned from politics and budgets to fresh tomatoes, squash and peppers. My bag was quickly filled with a plethora of bright and vibrant vegetables — bright reds and yellows and pinks and greens.

The pamphlets I’d been distributing were covered with produce. Effective campaigning? Probably not. Delicious? You bet.

I happen to teach Spanish and food is one unit upon which to muse joyfully and deliciously.  We cut and dice and smell and create various creations including guacamole and salsa.

Many of my cherubs have never before cut an onion or figured out what an avocado has to do with guacamole. And me? I’ve been having a blast letting them figure it out, watching them cry while dicing onions, letting them determine how to get the most juice from a lime.

My friends’ harvest has been instrumental in our class’ ingredients, direct from a lovely New Hampshire backyard to children’s hands and mouths.

It’s kind of like watching candidates progress here in New Hampshire — slow and steady, mistakes and bumps, but fun to watch and learn.

It’s a lovely time here in New Hampshire — so many vibrant colors from our gardens, and even more color to come. I so love when kids bask in their creations, knowing absolutely what is in their food — learning, for instance, to enjoy cilantro and the possibility of its enhancement of a taste.

While I watch them dive into their Goldfish crackers, their Fruit Roll-Ups and their Gatorades, it’s refreshing to think that our class time will help them realize in some small way that all food does not come prepackaged. Might the same be said for those candidates.

It’s the time to celebrate the harvest of colors and vegetables here in New Hampshire and delight in the freshness that is October. My cherubs are noticing that all tastes are not the same; that one had better be prepared for those hot peppers by wearing gloves. Hmmm … again, much the same with some of those politicians.

And who knew the New Hampshire harvest and parade of candidates would have so much in common? Fresh, colorful, spicy and with the potential to keep us invested over what may be a long winter.

And they can both be canned.

May you muse joyfully, enjoy your own harvest and celebrate the pure joy of “fresh” — produce or people.

Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Spaulding High School in Rochester and the mother of two teenage daughters.  Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal  in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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