Monday, January 6, 2014

Holy crap, it's the Food in my Food movie!

"If you have a limited amount of money, you're going to spend it on the cheapest calories you can get. And that's processed foods."  "

"If another country was doing this to us, we'd be at war."

A Place at the Table is out on DVD/Blu-Ray and available on Netflix and Amazon Instant.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"French Kids Eat Everything"

Stumbled across this article, and thought it made many great points about American attitudes towards food. In particular, this:
Take your time, for both cooking and eating. Slow food is happy food.
“North Americans associate food most with health and least with pleasure. The French are at the opposite extreme: they are the most pleasure-oriented and the least health-oriented about food.” And ironically enough “20 percent of kids in the United States are obese, but only 3 percent in France.” Now if that doesn’t send a message, I don’t know what does.
I'd add that Americans need to reorient themselves to what "pleasure" is when it comes to food. There is great pleasure to be had from a well-made meal created from whole ingredients that came from the ground instead of a chemistry lab. We need to re-learn how to appreciate that. (And in my experience, once we do, the highly-processed "foods" aren't quite so pleasurable anymore, so win-win.) Let's stop viewing food as a battle to be won, or a temptation to be vigilantly guarded against. How much would that change?

Check out this book review. Makes me want to read the book.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I thought things were bad.

They're worse.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Salads

Simple and easy ways to use up those farmers market finds... and keep up with how fast my herbs are growing.

The Green Salad

Asparagus and pea salad
This idea came from an amazing omelet from The Bongo Room, which combined asparagus with English peas, with some additional brainstorming with my friend Suzanne, who suggested ideas for how to dress it, which I mostly adhered to...

We got the last peas from the farmers market last weekend; they are now officially Out of Season.  Some asparagus too.  Since I wanted the asparagus to retain some nice snap, I prepared that solely by blanching in boiling water for two minutes, then immediately dunking in ice water to stop the cooking.  The peas came already shelled, half of which I'd earlier used in a pasta salad (yum), so those simply got dumped in the bowl.  Once cool, the asparagus followed, cut into two-inch spears.

For the dressing, I threw some lemon juice, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, and coriander in the blender.  I had some leftover lamb's quarters that I needed to use up as well -- a leafy green "forage food" that's mildly bitter and great in salads with strawberries and balsamic vinaigrette. So I threw in a few leaves and blended everything together.  After finely chopping some mint leaves, I threw everything into the bowl and tossed to coat.

It turned out to be a very fresh-and-earthy tasting salad.  Despite using only a little lamb's quarter, that flavor really came through and nicely complemented the earthy asparagus and the fresh pea and mint flavors.  It had a nice balance between light and cool, and grounding.

The Red Salad

As much as we love watermelon in our household, it can still be a challenge for only two people to get through a whole big melon before it starts to go bad.  Enter the watermelon salad, a new take on watermelon that makes it different enough from ordinary, plain watermelon to make it disappear much faster.

This one is even easier than the first. Open up your watermelon, and cut the flesh into bite-sized chunks. Put the chunks into an enormous bowl, because it's a big watermelon and there's a lot of it. Throw in chunks of crumbly, tangy cheese – we have used goat cheese and feta and have loved both. On top of that, chiffonade a whole bunch of basil. This is easy to do: just stack your basil leaves on top of each other, roll them up into a little cigar, and then slice the cigar cross-wise to make long, thin strips. If you "fluff" them a bit, they will separate, and you can toss them in with your melon and cheese, then stir the whole thing up. If you have a big container with a lid, so much the better, because then you can just snap the lid on and shake.

Altogether the salad is cool, sweet, and juicy, with some nice tang from the cheese and a little accent from the basil. This could also work with mint instead of basil, although we haven't tried that yet.

My herbs are growing like crazy this year! So if you have ideas for ways to use mint, catnip, basil, sage, or cilantro, feel free to let me know. They grow faster than I can seem to eat them.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

About a year ago we made pumpkin pancakes and we're only getting around to writing about it now because I'm a horrible procrastinator.

Our pancakes were made with pumpkin butter from Hillside Orchards, but you can also use canned pumpkin and spice it yourself if you're feeling ambitious. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice all make good pumpkin spices.


You'll need an egg, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of pumpkin butter (depending on how pumpkinish you're feeling), a cup of flower, half a cup of milk, one tablespoon each of packed brown sugar, vegetable oil, and baking powder, and a quarter teaspoon of salt.


Beat the egg, and mix in the rest of the stuff until smooth.  Heat up a griddle (or frying pan if you're a griddle-less savage like me), melting a little butter in the pan to prevent sticking.

Pour a quantity of batter in congruent with the size of pancake you desire and cook that sucker until the edges are dry and the top is bubbly, then flip and cook other side til golden brown.

The resulting pancake is best served with real maple syrup.


I don't remember, man, I made this like a year ago. I assume it was good, or we wouldn't have taken these photos and set this entry up. Certainly sounds good. And who doesn't like pancakes? Terrorists, that's who.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Treating our Bodies as Sacred

Thought this was worth sharing, especially for this:

" ...[H]ealth is not just about weight.  It is about treating our bodies as sacred.  It’s about what we put into our bodies and making sure that they are in the best condition possible for the long haul.  It’s about putting things into our bodies that were created by nature or the gods, not by putting synthetic replicas into our bodies as a substitute. It’s something that not only Pagans struggle with, but health is a consideration for all humans.  When we are at the height of our possible health (which is different for all of us because of genetics, injury, etc.), we improve the quality of our life.  We reduce disease.  We prolong life.  We feel better for longer."

This is a discussion that a lot of people shy away from.  In our eagerness to be kind and accepting of each other — which is, indeed, important — we forget that ignoring preventable suffering and physical harm is not kind.  It's touchy, yes.  It's hard to find a proper balance.  I think, most importantly, it relies on people being willing to be kind to themselves, rather than putting others in the awkward position of figuring out whether or not to speak up.  Treating your own body carelessly is not treating it as sacred.  Your mind and spirit are important parts of you, and deserve your attention, kindness, and development.  But your body is no less a part of you, and it deserves no less.

Take care of yourselves.  All of yourself.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rhubarb Muffins

Rhubarb is one of those vegetables that can be tricky to work with, but is really rewarding. After our current supply had been all but used up, we decided to use the last remnants to make some muffins. Muffins are awesome.


For our muffins we needed a cup and a half of flour, half a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt, three-quarters cup of brown sugar, half a cup of buttermilk — or use sour milk, or milk mixed with a half-tablespoon of lemon juice — three-quarters cup of vegetable oil, an egg, a teaspoon of vanilla, and half a cup of chopped nuts.

To this we added the last of our rhubarb, one cup's worth chopped.


We're going to use a topping made from a quarter cup each of brown sugar, chopped nuts, and oats, and a half-teaspoon of cinnamon.


After preheating the oven to 325 and greasing up the muffin pan (we use a 6 large pan, but a 12 small works too), we combined the flour, soda, and salt, then added brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla. This was mixed together until it was moist, and then we stirred in the rhubarb and nuts.

The batter was scooped into the tray, and then sprinkled with the topping we prepared earlier. After about half-an-hour our muffins were done.

Diagnosis: Delicious

The muffins came out moist and sweet, with just a bit of tang from the rhubarb. Definitely a recipe worth keeping around and making again the next time we get our hands on some rhubarb.