If you are choosing to spend your evening in front of the computer instead of in the kitchen, at least spend that screentime reading about food! My favorite articles of the last week, with summaries so you don’t have to actually read the articles. If you get hungry, I recommend making a blackberry dutch baby, maybe with a little chopped chocolate bar sprinkled on top.
Ex-Trader Joe’s Exec Wants to Use Expired Food to Get People Cooking on Civil Eats — The Daily Table, a new grocery store opening in Dorchester, Boston, aims to inspire people to cook healthier food by offering safe food that has been discarded or is close to expiring and selling it at prices that compete with fast food in low-income areas. The Daily Table will source from wholesalers, farmers associations, manufacturers, supermarkets, fish suppliers, and restaurants, and be able to accommodate huge amounts of the goods, more than a food bank or soup kitchen. There is a federally enhanced tax deduction for restaurants and grocery stores that donate their surpluses, allowing them to recover up to 50% of their lost margin and encouraging food donations to nonprofits like Daily Table. Daily Table will sell raw ingredients, partially prepared food for “speed scratch cooking”, and fully prepared meals – but no soda, candy, or chips, not even chocolate-coated protein bars. They will provide recipes with the partially and fully prepared items, cooking classes, and recipe contests. Wowza, awesome!
To Save These Pigs, Kentucky Farmer Says We Have To Eat Them on NPR — Ever wondered why organizations like Slow Food of Greater Olympia is encouraging you to eat the very heirloom and heritage species we worry about becoming wiped out? This article showcases the successful efforts of Travis Hood to raise a threatened species of pig with a meat known to be exceptionally juice with rich texture. Yum! It’s the basis behind our Ark of Taste at Slow Food (think Noah’s Ark) – vibrant, locally-poignant species for which demand needs to increase in order to preserve the existence of said species! Check out the over 200 items in the USA and over 1200 species internationally here. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have many items on the Ark of Taste, including the Olympia Oyster (grown by the Evergreen Shellfish Club) and the Silver Fox Rabbit (grown by Crosstown Farms and Rabbitry)
From Scratch Or Not? French Restaurant Law Stirs Controversy on NPR — What exactly does homemade mean? Or from scratch? Organic waffle mix is more from scratch than organic frozen waffles, but would you call that homemade? What about a mirepoixmade with pre-cut onions? A high-end prepared beef bourguignon purchased by and heated up in the restaurant kitchen? Where is your personal line and how much does that distinction matter to you?
Temple Grandin Urges Meat Packers to Livestream Operations — I don’t know about you, but I would watch that all the time! Probably wouldn’t be as nice to look at as these gorgeous slaughter photos by photographer Sheri Giblin; so necessary for a healthy relationship with eating meat. “We need to educate people that when we put that bull in the pasture with the cow the intent from that point forward is to produce food, not a 15-hundred pound lap dog.” – Dr. Dan Thomson, a veterinarian with Kansas State University.
Unlike Chicken and Pork, Beef Still Begins With Small Family Ranches on NPR — A great overview of life as a cow intended as conventional beef. Not the whole life is spent on a feed lot! At the early stages in a cow’s life, it can be hard to tell a conventional farm from an organic farm – they’re not all thunderbolts and manure.
Making School Lunch Healthy Is Hard. Getting Kids to Love It Is Harder. This Lady Did Both. on Mother Jones — I worked as an administrative assistant for Whidbey Island nonprofit Experience Food Project a few years back and got a detailed look at the strict rules and immense paperwork required in the public school lunch system. I am so impressed and inspired by the innovation of Jessica Shelly, the director of food services of Cincinnati’s public schools, where 3/4 of the 34,000 students receive free/reduced lunches. She put in salad bars and spice stations to encourage customization, invited teachers to the lunchroom to model healthy eating, paid attention to the names of menu items, replaced the long tables with second-hand restaurant booths, took extra care to source appealing healthier alternatives at comparable prices, and talked to parents about the healthy changes being made to gain support. While lunchroom attendance is declining across the country, her cafeterias have turned a $2.7 million profit!
Crêpes upon Crêpes
Still hungry? In the last two weeks, my house has been going bananas for crêpes! We’ve had rabbit/pesto/brie/blackberry crêpes, smoked salmon/egg/pesto/hollandaise sauce crêpes, blackberry jam/cinnamon sugar/yogurt crêpes, and egg/brie/pesto crêpes. Crêpes for dinner, crêpes for breakfast, crêpes at midnight. Unfortunately, none with bananas. We have a surfeit of blackberries and pesto and I just discovered how blasted easy they are to make! There are many recipes out there, so I will refrain from a specific post and instead direct you to David Lebovitz’s buckwheat crépes (he recommends a blender to mix and refrigerating the mix overnight) and a Google search for “crepe recipe”which brought up this recipe for brown butter crêpes!
DO NOT BUY A CRÊPE MIX! It’s the same amount of work, I swear. You can mix the batter in a blender. Takes fifteen minutes! Make a double batch, refridgerate, and eat nothing but crêpes for days! For those attached to perfection, go whole hog with these tips from a Chez Panisse pastry chef.
Hint: Don’t be intimidated by the hat on crêpe’s “e”. It's a French accent symbol called an accent circonflexe, and it is option-i-e on your keyboard. You, too, can seem worldly and hip!
There's a lot of bad food in the world. Let's talk about the good food.