Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer - a great time to try new things

In the size of a typical back yard my parents are growing what we call the "family CSA." Isn't it great that food wants to grow. I just can't get over the fact that every seed has exactly what it needs (except sun and water) to create something beautiful.

Why are we so afraid to try new things? We might lose some ingredients, we might "waste" time, we might not achieve the desired result...we might be disappointed.
In the pursuit of trying new things like planting a garden, preserving summer produce, or using a new recipe there is a chance of disappointment. We gain experience even if we "lose ingredients." We gain confidence even if we feel like we "wasted" time. We need to try again even if we don't get the desired results.
"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing."
-George Bernard Shaw
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."
-Oscar Wilde

...enjoy the experience

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Colors of Summer

My husband's family has about 60 cherry trees on their property. Here are a few pictures of us picking to our hearts content!

Here Paul and I are showing our bounty with my little brother-in-laws

There is something so rewarding in picking food directly from its source and eating it moments after its plucked! Over the span of two days we (along with family and friends) picked over 130 pounds of delicious cherries.

Enjoy the colors (and flavors) of summer!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book for Food Group on July 30th

Yesterday, Paul and I took a little downtown Portland date and started at Powells. I wanted to peruse the Sustainable Eating section to see if there were any books that stood out to me for Food Group. Out of all the hundreds of books sitting there nothing seemed to jump out at me. I definitely did not want to choose something “just because” so I kept on looking.

My browsing took me upstairs to the Red room and into the nutrition section. As I was proudly noticing the respectable collection of “Nourishing Traditions” cookbooks, I recognized the title of a little book on the bottom shelf. If you were at the very first Food Group meeting back in November you might recognize this book that Jodi recommended called

“French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano

I picked it up and haven’t put it down since. At first glance it looks like a self help diet book, but once you start reading it, you’ll realize that Mireille’s whole premise is enjoying food and finding a food lifestyle that celebrates its taste, culture, and experience. As we strive to eat locally and sustainably, I think this book is a great reminder not to lose the pleasure of food while we’re at it. Whether you want to lose weight or are perfectly content, this book will show you the importance of slowing down, savoring, and selecting a lifelong healthy food relationship. I know in this past day I’ve learned so much about my own eating habits. I think this is a nice light summer read for the group. If you get a chance pick up a copy and read it with me for food group!

*Powell’s had several hard cover copies for only $5!!

I admit, this choice is somewhat selfish because I'm really enjoying it, but I figured if I enjoy it, maybe everyone else will too!

Happy reading and eating!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Food Group Recap ~ Fruit Season in the Willamette Valley

Thanks, friends, for another terrific Food Group! As always, it's nice to swap resources and encouragement. We feasted on fresh, local cherries (many thanks to the generosity of the Pastor family), blueberries (thank you, Andrea), and raspberries (straight from Lisa's side yard...). Also, it turned out to be quite apropos that Lisa brought her lovely homemade tortillas and refried beans on the evening that we watched The Future of Food and saw the segment featuring Oaxacan women making their beautiful indigenous fare...

For those of you who couldn't make it and would like to view the documentary, I own a copy and you are welcome to make arrangements to borrow. Otherwise, it may be found at Movie Madness here in Portland or rented through Netflix. We did not watch the bonus features tonight, but the second disc contains some interesting pieces on farmers markets, CSAs, seed saving techniques, school farm programs, and more.

A few resources shared tonight:
Full of Life Farm in St. Paul, Oregon for small scale, ethically raised poultry and livestock
Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice (coin-er of the term, "Locavore" as it turns out...)
Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

Keep an ear out for details on peach-canning in mid to late August, and mark your calendar for the next Food Group meeting: Thursday, July 30th, 2009 at 7:00pm at Lisa's home. Emily will soon be circulating notice about the next book title up for discussion.

Stay cool...


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