it’s part of what I’m calling the great communication consolidation of 2011…
Bravo to the Your Local Farmers Market Society and my friends up in Vancouver. Mr Salatin is a big hero of pasture-raised sustainable ag and his presence could only be positive for people trying to make a difference up there.
Friday nights are typically pizza and beer nights around here. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t dreaming of chomping down on pizza already this week.
|7th Mar 2011✧03:241 note|
It seems to me like everyone is drinking coconut water. Obviously a nod to the Marx Brothers’ The Cocoanuts…"Why a Duck?"
Five thoughts on Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life by Kim Severson…
A) Rachael Ray has always been on the front line of celebrity chefs that fall on a steep cusp between annoying self-promoter, and decent showperson in terms of making cooking fun. She’s always been rather annoying to me personally, as I sometimes forget that food and enthusiasm are the basis for one’s food style. Have too much enthusiasm and not enough substance, and you might as well be a life coach who teaches cooking. I should say that I don’t run away from Rachael Ray shows, magazines, products - although I do find her mixing bowl to look like it is is composited from bits of plastic robot vomit. I just never felt like I knew Rachael Ray, and over the course of my life I feel like I have met many Rachael Ray’s…some are genuine and some are just flirtatious in a boisterous way.
When it comes to showing me her persuasive writing then, Ms. Severson punched out for me in one short chapter a story of someone who was genuine. Ms. Ray’s story was interesting to me, like very interesting. I’ve probably heard it on food tv canada (her story). I’ve seen clips and blips in the general media about her personal life, but to read about her from a great writer and one of her fans…was a treat. How you turn my stubborn skepticism that RRay is not for my audience, into a belief that she represents me in the food celebrity world? I don’t know. But it behooves me to say that I did find myself cheering for her over Giada De Laurentiis on their Iron Chef challenge. As for Ms Ray? We’re buddies. If Ms. Severson can change my mind about Giada, then she truly is a language master.
B) I was surprised by how fast of a read this book was. I think I learned that I need to read more memoirs from interesting people. What made the book a quick read was Kim’s honesty - pointing out her flaws, pointing out her food heroes flaws - I didn’t follow up on the press for the chapter on Ms. Hazan, but I would imagine she didn’t read the chapter and then start shining her silverware for guests. She probably felt like a big jerk, or felt misrepresented…and that is where Kim’s journalism background came shining through. She reported the facts man and ma’am. God help you if you don’t try to be friendly when a journalist is doing a memoir of their life featuring YOU!
C) Spoiler alert!!! (hardly) The other ladies that Kim writes about in her personal journey through the world of food are: Leah Chase, Marcella Hazan, Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, Marion Cunningham, Edna Lewis, Rachael Ray, and Anne Zappa Severson (I think that’s it). They are all beautiful women, and I note them down incase you down get a chance to read the book - you can at least wikipedia them for starters.
D) recipes! Holy cow biscuit I forgot to record in some fashion for reference or whatnot the recipes! They are a treat at the end of every chapter.
E) I would read this book again if you plopped it in front of me. I heard that the softcover version of the book has just been released and Kim is doing a talk at Vroman’s Bookstore at 7:00pm next tuesday 3/1 in Pasadena. If I wasn’t in class, I would be there with pen in hand.
|25th Feb 2011✧18:09|
— Lola Sheppard @Foodprint Toronto on a new definition of the role of the architect.
Five thoughts on Skippy Dies by Paul Murray…
A) I did not realize this was three books. I bought this for the iPad and read it as such. I thought it was just three reeeeeeeally long chapters.
B) I am not qualified to review books, but I will say that I found this book from thestaffrecommends.com around the holidays and saved it to read. I would say it took my down an adventure that was 1/3 part Harry Potter written for adults, 1/3 part Freaks and Geeks, and 1/3 part psychodelic Clerks, but at a donut shop. I was left feeling accomplished more than satisfied at 672 some pages. I was also left feeling like my vocabulary was rubbish.
C) The vocabulary = rubbish is a by-product of the iPad. I would highlight and search each word to see its definition - a very cool feature in iBooks. The downside was that I was cutting up plot and story by doing this…some chapters were written with thick descriptive words. It made reading like swimming through bath water that was spiked with guinness and occasionally whipping cream. That is not to say that this is a quick read, nor that dictionaries are lame. I found the chapters varied so much in vocabulary - some chapters written first person easy, others written third person scholarly - that I almost felt this book was written by three different people, and then put together.
D) I still really want a donut after reading this book. Where is a Simpson’s donut when you want one?
E) This is the first book I’ve read this year, which means that I’m on track to read eight books this year. I hope to read more than that, so I’m going to stop writing about this one now. Bo.
I’ll start off admitting this is a bit of a rant, BUT…I thought I’d take a photo of my latest farmers market trip…
Here is what $19.75 got me…
- bunch of french breakfast radishes - family farm
- four medium-small size leeks with lots of stalk - certified organic
- bunch of mixed radishes and turnips - family farm
- one huge daikon
- bunch of baby asparagus - family farm
- grape tomatoes - family farm hydroponic I believe
- bunch of baby bok choy
- bunch of tat soi
- 1 lb bag of heirloom spinach - certified organic
- four baby fennel bulbs with leaves - family farm
- bag full of broccoli leaves - certified organic
The broccoli leaves were free actually, the farmer was cleaning broccoli and as he went he was tearing off broccoli leaves into a box. I asked him if the discards were free and they were. Blanched broccoli leaves are actually delicious and can be added to many things that you would cook broccoli with.
Granted I didn’t buy any protein like chicken or fish, nor did I buy any nuts or baked bread. However, less than $20 has given me a very tasty start to some dishes featuring produce that is very flavorful as it is seasonal (down here). The grape tomatoes are the only thing that were a bit of a dissapointment as the one I tasted at the market was great, but the rest are so so. I’ve already made pad se ew with the broccoli leaves, and a dinner of blanched vegetables with a mustard sauce, all healthy and delicious.
I am not saying that a normal family could sustain off of this food, nor am I saying that you should only eat vegetables. But, thinking that you’ll just be giving away money at the farmers market is bogus. You can get excellent produce, direct from source, at fair market value…sometimes less than what you would buy at the grocery store (where that produce was picked early and sat around in transit for a week). The curmudgeonly way of thinking that farmers markets are just for wealthy foodies is crap. Real people shop there now, and as long as you take a little time to familiar yourself with what is in season as well as what you can cook with what is in season, your kitchen life will never be boring. You’ll learn to appreciate better produce. You’ll probably eat more produce which is right in line with what the USDA thinks you should be doing now.
Shopping at the farmers market doesn’t necessarily teach you to shop for what you consume, but it does relate directly to learning how to save that what you can’t use through canning and preserving and other kitchen techniques like freezing, blanching, and combining into soups or stews. It also teaches you to look for deals by talking to people, instead of just looking for coupons where you end up saving nothing - usually spending more by buying an unnecessary combo or multiple of what you wanted. Shopping at the farmers market also rewards word of mouth - there may be 20 types of tomatoes at your local farmers market, but someone who was there before you has probably tried them all and is buying a lot of the tastiest around. You can ask people where they found that tomato, or what you can do with that tomato.
I think you also learn to appreciate what you are buying because you see the weathered hands of the farmer you are purchasing from. All that sun and dirt is really a positive thing, something that is neutered out at the grocery store. You find that produce is the product of the farmer, not just a commodity or fuel source. If you are thinking about food in its basic form, then it is easy to continue a thought line all the way until you serve it at your table. I mean I even find when I cook from the farmers market, I sit down to eat dinner at the dining table. This is the exact opposite with fast food and take-out, where the couch and coffee table call to me.
So, before I start to only rant, try this on for size. Take $20, almost like gambling money, and set aside at least an hour to go to your local farmers market. See what you get! Maybe it is only some carrots. Maybe you spend it and top the amount of produce I got. Regardless, you will have started something new for this year. You will get to breath in the fresh air, see healthy babies in strollers, smell prepared food, feel the camaraderie between supplier and buyer, taste samples or maybe some good coffee, and start understanding how powerful a farmers market is as a place for purchasing food. It’s as old as a farmer, which is as old as our food. Just remember to save a bit of money to tip any buskers that are there…entertainment at farmers markets is usually by tip money only, and those who bring sunshine to the markets deserve some sunshine too.
Okay I’m out!
|10th Feb 2011✧23:54
|10th Feb 2011✧00:48|
|10th Feb 2011✧00:24|