Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category
As part of the Reverb10 writing project, I answer, sort-of, today’s prompt: What (or whom) did you let go of this year?
With both my hands full,
I let fall what cannot fit.
I will come back soon.
This has been such a year of picking up new things. There is so much I want to hold and have and do with these hands of mine (mind of mine, heart of mine). Each thing I pick up enlarges my capacity, but I am not without limits. I cannot do it all and I will not live forever. Try as I might, some things must fall from my hands. But they’re not gone. They’re at my feet and one day I will scoop some of them up again and other things will fall. I am a juggler, hands full, air full, floor full of colorful balls in slow motion.
I’ve been craving a prompt to get back into the swing of writing my blog – just to get ideas flowing again and redirect myself to this project that means so much to me. With my final exam for my (first ever!) college course just a couple days away, I feel a sense that I will soon have back some time to write. In addition, thanks (NOT for the first time!) to my blogging guru for bring “Reverb10″ to my attention. You can learn more about the project here, but in a nutshell, it’s a series of writing prompts intended to help you look back at 2010, and create intentions for 2011. I’ve liked the prompts that Amanda has posted in her tweets, and today’s got my writing juices flowing again. Note: I should be studying. *wink* I’m taking this on as my December “blogathon” – but without the pressure to actually post every day, just the prompts to keep my mind alive to the possibilities.
December 4: “Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?”
Amanda tweeted this while I was standing in a metro station this morning. I pondered a little, and my reply was: “Not deliberatly, but I could say that summer nights on the balcony with wine were the moments most likely to infuse me with a sense of wonder.” She tweeted back, “Say more! Why wonder?” (more…)
Posted in blogs, Food, Inspiration, recipes, tagged eating, food writing, recipe developmentMonica Bhide, soup recipe, Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup with Lentils on October 2, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
I had a great experience at the Smithsonian Resident Associate’s program Food Writing Class with Monica Bhide. I first came across Monica and her talents as a writer and chef at Svelt Gourmand (and made a little post about it) back during the May Blogathon.
Monica’s class was part honing our food writing skills and part creatively marketing our work to viable sources. The day ended with a fantastic panel discussion with DC area food writers and publicists that has sparked a few writing ambitions in my little heart.
Monica also spent a little time on the subject of recipe development, which inspired me to take my own recipe creations a little more seriously. A few tips I learned from Monica on recipe development:
- Eat and drink a lot of different things and be curious! Develop your palate by cooking and eating many different things.
- There’s really no such thing as an original recipe. For a recipe to be yours, you must have at least 4 ingredients different from other similar recipes, and use a different method of preparing or combining them.
- If your recipe is adapted from someone else’s, say so – there is nothing wrong with working from a proven recipe and adding your own touches.
- If you tasted a recipe and then figured out how make something very close to it, use the term “inspired by” and credit the place where you tasted it.
- Get bored with the “same old”, and be willing to try almost anything! (more…)
From American Institute for Cancer Research‘s summer newsletter- a great story about a fine chef who found the wellspring of her recovery from colon cancer in eating high-quality plant foods and enjoying a variety of physical activities.
Sarah Lanzman says she feels better now than before she was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer six years ago.
An award-winning chef for 30 years, Sarah started out as a community organizer in Southern California. “I’d make pots of bean stew and different breads to go with them to feed 150 people,” she recalls.
Sarah travelled the world as a student, living in Kenya for a year and learning about African and Indian cuisines. Then she moved to Europe, studying Italian and French cooking and living in Germany for 10 years.
Settling in Charlottesville, Virginia, she and her husband raised three daughters and started Lorelei Caterers. Sarah won awards for best desserts two years running against other area chefs in a city known for its fine restaurants. Sarah and her husband grew 90 percent of the vegetables and herbs they used in catering on their 10-acre farm. [Click here to read the rest of Sarah's story]
I recently posted 25 things I want to do before I die. Number 16 was “Have a well-equipped, spacious, welcoming, and well-worn kitchen where people come together over great food.”
That got me thinking about what this kitchen might look like. I collected a few pictures to illustrate my daydreams…
I love the island and the open shelving of this kitchen. The pots and pans hanging underneath are a nice touch. I also really like the sofa and table nearby. It’s a good use of a small space, and feels welcoming as well as functional. (more…)
If you think choosing the best food for yourself and your family is tough, try being poor. Put aside any thoughts you might have in your head about why the poor are poor and all the things you think they should be doing to better their situation, and just think for a minute about the day to day reality of getting food on your table if you live where most poor people live.
You will probably picture yourself in a city, on a block identical to the blocks around it, in apartment housing, a project or a single family home in need of repairs. There has not been a grocery store in your neighborhood in twenty years or more – the stores followed those with money when they moved to the suburbs in the 1970s. What you’ve got are liquor stores and corner stores, each stocked about as well as a suburban gas station might be with a few quarts of milk, some lunch meat and a selection of canned items and breakfast cereals, and an aisle of candy as long as the food aisle. Within a few blocks is a bus stop, but it’s not a line where a bus comes by every ten minutes, it comes once an hour. You are not likely to have a car, but maybe someone you know does. When it comes time to buy groceries, you can ride the bus (or more likely a couple of buses) to a real grocery store, or ride the metro, but either way, you can only buy what you can carry back yourself. All together, the trip may take you 3 or 4 hours. And you’re lucky to have brought back food for a week. And because American food policy rewards the overproduction of corn, the affordable things you can bring home are killing you, and the fresh fruits and vegetables are too expensive to buy enough to keep your family full for a week. (more…)
While editing and picking favorite honeymoon pictures, I also caught up on my blog reading (adult onset ADD). Lots of things to make me happy are going on in the world, and I wanted to share a few with you. Who knows what bright ideas might spark the next step in our dream of abundant healthy food?
“Urban edges” can be small-scale farms for city dwellers! Outside of San Francisco, nonprofit Sustainable Agriculture Education, directed by Sibella Kraus, has partnered with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to create an 18-acre Agricultural Park where several small-scale farmers lease land and farm – feeding their own small communities or selling food back to markets. The site also serves as an educational center where school children can visit and learn more about where healthy food comes from. Kraus is working on developing such sites in other cities. I would love to see UDC’s new Urban Sustainability program try something like this! What would you grow, if you could run your own small farm?
One of my favorite sustainable food writers, Katherine Gustufson, writes that craft beer is ideologically merging with the sustainable food movement. Craft brewers (defined by the Brewer’s Association as those who brew fewer than 2 million barrels per year) are transforming the American beer landscape. I already knew microbrewers were fighting a battle against archaic distribution laws that favor the mass producers like Budwiser and Michelob – and have been mulling over a post on that subject for a while now, particularly since the Monkey and I have started playing around with simple home brewing lately. Brewers are taking the sustainable food link a step farther by including a Farm-to-Table pavilion alongside the Craft Brewing pavilion at the September 2010 Great American Beer Festival (let’s add that I now know where I want to take vacation next year). It makes sense: craft brewing is, like sustainable farming, an attempt to bring authenticity, quality and community back to the table. Do you love any microbrews? Watch for a post from me soon on my personal craft beer addictions.
Food trucks are becoming a fun link in the chain of replacing cookie-cutter, artery-clogging, earth-burning fast food with real food made by people who care about the food they serve. DC is getting its share with the Fojol Brothers, Sauca, and Curbside Cupcakes (reviews of DC area food trucks on Yelp, for interested locals). While in San Diego, my life was saved by a well-timed food truck outside the Ballast Point Brewery Tasting Room, and I ate two amazing lentil tacos. This Grist.org article highlights food trucks across the country, notably those deliberately serving up grass-fed/organic/local/seasonal goodies. I’d love to see food trucks put Micky D’s outta business! Do you have a local food truck that you love?
Posted in change, farms, Food, Food Films Club, Inspiration, tagged ana joanes, Food Films Club, food politics, food sustainabilty, FRESH! the movie, grass-fed beef, joel salatin, Michael Pollan, will allen on August 3, 2010 | 2 Comments »
FRESH! was the first film screened by my newborn Food Films Club.
Produced and directed by Ana Joanes, FRESH! highlights inspiring players in the food movement – folks who are key because they’re successfully challenging the status quo and making significant differences on a local level. The message of the film is that these efforts can be supported and replicated by everyone who cares about the safety and wholesomeness of the food we, as a society, have to eat.