Arguments and Attempts to be an Awarenivore

Arguments and Attempts to be an Awarenivore

August 31, 2010

A change is gonna come...

I recently came to the conclusion that is it difficult for me to change. Change is hard for everyone, or at least the cliche says so, and though I feel as though I have always sought shift and movement (travel), there are a lot of deep set habits that are really hard to break ( or begin....)

Most relevant for this blog is to write about how I eat. I grew up in my parents' garden, and they even raised their own pigs and chickens for meat. I knew about good food, but I wasn't then taught about 'bad.' 'Bad' foods consisted of basically gushers or fruit snacks from the store, and even then I think I only thought they were bad because they were too expensive for my parents to purchase.

I drank milk by the gallon, impressing my mom's friends when I would order it with dinner. I still love the stuff, but noticing a different affect on my body now, I am not sure how much I believe in it anymore.

Gluten-free cooking blogs bore me. The way they're written can seem a bit defensive, even apocalyptic. I have been telling myself for a few years now that I probably have a gluten allergy. As of yet, the only successful cut I have made it to stop drinking beer. And since gluten and dairy go so well together, I am still consuming the two evils in one greasy 2am slice (though less often I'm sure.) At least in NEw York I had an excuse, pizza was cheap eats I could afford, now it's just weak will power. Though, at the same time as I showcase my failings, I do feel as though I have made some permanent moves this year.

A year ago I started the September localvore challenge. I have kept most of my grocery receipts since moving in, and September was a pretty high month at first. I did have my own garden, but I had planted a lot of tomatoes last year, and the blight effected all of them, sadly. I experimented with fried green tomatoes - delicious, but time consuming. So I was purchasing a lot from Paul Mazza's farm stand, and meat from Jericho Settler's Farm ($$!). I still have olive oil, so I stayed with that rather than buying sunflower oil, which would have been local, but I even cut out coffee and most teas....for about two weeks anyway.

That small experiment ignited a passion. I permanently try to purchase mostly locally made or grown things now. I preach it (hopefully it doesn't sound too preachy) to family and friends, because it's an easy argument! Most everyone can relate to some aspect of this economic crisis, and we can participate actively by buying products that benefit our communities. It's not necessarily the extremists who make the most change, it's the small, regular things we do that every day. Buying organic, fine. Buying free trade, perhaps locally roasted or ground coffee and chocolate (things tough to give up) thoughtful. Buying something from your neighbor, delicious (probably organic) and life saving.

I have had many conversations with friends who seem passionate about buying local foods and putting good things in their body, Then I see their grocery receipts and cupboards, and it's mostly pasta, cheap chicken, packaged sauce. Maybe it's just boys. Are there still home-ec classes in high school? Maybe we should change them to food-network themed cooking classes, and kids would like them more (and learn more).


Well back to myself :P I'm lucky to be in Vermont, I'll say it again. When I leave, I am lost, lost in the grocery store. I have no idea what is local, and no idea where to start. I suppose I start with organic, but it's not what I want. I want that farmstand on the side of the road. I want easily labeled local foods (like city market, yay!) and to know that even while traveling, I can go and participate in their economic system....more than just paying tolls on the highway and such. I also want to eat good food, since it's hard to do that while your on the road.

I like to eat, I like to talk about my food, I want my food to talk....ahem. Let us eat poems.

August 26, 2010

A quick appetizer

It's been a while, and I have a lot to write! Coming soon - today I just want to share a quick recipe that I am proud of...

It's that kale salad, then wrapped in zucchini shavings and pinned with a toothpick.

Wilt raw kale in lemon juice and salt (1 or 2 tsp)

Throw is some fresh herbs - parsley is ggrrreat.

Shave a zucchini with a veggie peeler

Roll a tiny bit of the kale up in each shavings - like kale sushi.

Pin with a toothpick - eat! Salty, tangy and satisfying (also healthy!)


We picked potatoes today. GOLD!

August 18, 2010

Help me out!

I just entered the Anthony Bourdain Medium Raw Challenge - it's an essay contest, and I hope mine can hold it's own. The winner gets 10 grand and their essay published in the next printing of Bourdain's book. Please help me by voting for my essay here.

I love you.

August 14, 2010

Meteor Showers

I believe that observing the moon cycles connects us with our natural world. These huge and seemingly otherworldly objects are surrounding us continuously, and perhaps even affecting our daily lives (or our fate) yet our viewpoint is literally closed off to them a majority of the time. Most of the time we don't turn our mind away from the small, petty details of our human lives to look up, or inwards or well, really, shift the focus from the usual distance of skin to skin, human to human.

I'm trying to sound positive, really :) This is natural to us. It's still humbling and strangely comforting (and healthy) to take some time to feel tiny, insignificant, even, and feel the connection to the large and beautiful movement of the universe!

Back to the moon cycles, I enjoy being around Scott and the studio because in the tradition of Ashtanga as taught by Pattahbi Jois, we observe the full and new moon. We do not practice Mysore on those days, partly because the energy around them is auspicious for rest, and to make this part of the cycle more sacred. Of course, any mention of moon cycles make me think of menstruation - this is the second month I have decided to stay off of my birth control. I am definitely not trying to have any sort of babies any time soon, but I have been serious about detoxing my body, eating better, practicing yoga, so why why why throw in synthetic hormones? (Plus, having a healthy/non-manipulated reproductive system seems like common sense in a world where fertility drugs are becoming more and more prevalent.)

I have lost 5 pounds just from going off of it - and I really do not usually fluctuate. Also, I'm still regular, and still seem to be on the full-moon cycle. OK, that's enough info :P

Wednesday and Thursday of last week was the Perseid Meteor shower! Jamie and I pulled some blankets out on the lawn both nights and looked up or hours. We just put our hoodies and sweatpants on, and cuddled under an old comforter. Shutting out all the lights, of course, we then blasted VPR's broadcast with the 'an eye on the night sky' guy out of the windows. We even fell asleep out there on Wednesday, only waking up once the dew began to settle - it became pretty darn cold by 2:30 am.

It's times like those where I feel most connected to what's real. I'm participating in the passing of time, not just noticing later how much has slipped by. We all need more of the moments where we live in the pool of awareness. I desire to dip my toes in more often.

August 06, 2010

Recent Recipes and more to try

Zucchini exploding season. We have our own coming from the garden, and last night I picked up a CSA share from Jericho Settler's Farm because a friend was out of town and was nice enough to give it to us! So, herein I am drowning in the zukes. I secretly desired this overload after reading Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. :)

I finally got to make the recipe I was tortured with during my fast. :)

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

I made it alongside a local chicken (left from our Applecheek farm meat share) flavored with sage and oregano from the garden. The meal was 95% local, and 50% from my own garden. Lovin' this kind of pride :)

The cheesecake (savory) recipe calls or just the right amount of lemon zest and dill - you can taste each element on it's own.

I get so many recipe ideas from - her photos are what do it. The recipes are usually simple, or at least she makes them seem so, and her photography just places me in a quiet kitchen, surrounded by wood and ceramics...lovely.

Recipes I will be trying soon...

Spiced tomato gratin

Garden update - tomatoes have also begun to turn red, baby delicata squash on the vine, carrots ready any time we are! Ah, let's throw more parties/potlucks, i want to cook for you all!

Armageddon - Are we riding the crest of the next Agricultural Revolution?

Photos of the latest yummies.

Jamie and I were in New York City last week - I was called down to meet with my boss and tripwolf COO, Sebastian. (Meet Seb.) He was in the city that week because his fiance lives there at the moment.

We spent two nights in Jersey, and one between Brooklyn and Queens. Its so fun to get a taste of the different neighborhoods and boroughs one after the other, and enjoy the differences and similarities. We were also so lucky and happy to visit old friends. We had a roof top cook out in Astoria with Britt and Arezki (recently married, love them) and spent the night on a blow up mattress in Williamsburg, only about 3 blocks away from my old apartment in Greenpoint. It's here we met Jamie's long-time friend Johan, and I met him for the first time.

Johan works (perhaps he is even the director) at a CSA in New Jersey. He has the opposite daily commute to I think probably every person who lives and works in or around New York City - he leaves Brooklyn every day and drives south to work the land.

First I want to point out that his apartment is beautiful - one of those long, skinny railroad style that dominate Brooklyn. It's only a one bedroom, perfect for him and his girlfriend, and everything is mise en place (can I use this meaning like everything has it's place? Well, that is what I mean.) The apartment is all wood and reds and ceramics. Jamie and I both loved the place, but really can't imagine moving away from our place and into an apartment - or ever desiring that kind of move - just the word apartment feels inhumane. (We've been spoiled.)

The decor was more farm-y than Brooklyn-y (these two things are becoming oddly intertwined), and from my experience, the young people I find myself surrounded with seem to need a combination of both urban living and idyllic country realness and connection. I am one of them, so I am on this train. We want to be connected, we desire to learn constantly, be in the 'center of the universe' in the sense that cities give us - moving forward, being surrounded by creative and (perhaps even) ambitious energy, while creating our desired life shaped by a different belief system. The belief in the good and the crafted and the grown. Cities are good, crafted and even grown in their own way, though the urban emphasis usually seems to be on things that are faster, cheaper, newer etc.

A few of Johan's coworkers were visiting as well, and talk came around towards current events, the Gulf Oil Spill and... Armageddon, of course.

I had drank only slightly less than a bottle of wine before this conversation, so I was int he perfect mood to sit quiet and listen to his interesting theories. The first was about the apparent methane pocket that was tapped with the same leaky line as the oil well. And that it is still leaking, and no one seems too urgently worried about this. He continued to say that if the underground pocket emptied enough to where the pressure of the water on the surface increased to be more than what was inside the pocket in the earth, the pocket could potentially collapse, and potentially create a giant tsunami, or series of tsunamis, and destroy much of human life and development on earth. ***OOoooOooOOOooo*** But I don't mean to make fun, it was thought provoking! Have any of you heard his theory before? Thanks.

Another idea of his that was a lot less destructive was the theory that we are on the crest of the next Agricultural Revolution. Coincidentally, Jamie and I were listening to an interview with Michael Pollan on the way down to the city in which he said exactly that we were NOT yet quite in what he would call a revolution. I do think we're on the edge of something like this, or at least this kid and us in Vermont are definitely feeling it. Vermont embraces this because it's farms and this system had luckily not been completely disintegrated before the majority of people started to re-embrace them. Plus, we have a small, interested and aware (smart) population.

Maybe most of my friends are foodies, but I spend a lot of time talking about food with them. We are an aware generation - aware by choice or not. Ideas are constantly thrown at us. We're also better at forgetting because of this, I believe. We are constantly on the spot, asked to filter out the crap from the truth. This truth-seeking trait drives us to find the real things - we've been enlightened to the fact that we have been fed fake foods - fake FOOD!? Even the stuff that looks and feels real, like produce, can be effed with on the inside. We don't want to be effed with, we don't want to feel like fools.

Along with this comes a desire to feel slightly in control of our choices, our lives, a feeling of independence. Feeding ourselves, (see an old post) even if it's only to be able to make the occasional caprese salad, means we are winning.

Agricultural revolution? A revolution usually grows out of necessity, and there are so many different sides to arguments about what we need...or what sort of priority we should even give to this idea of 'good' or 'real' food. I think we've reached a scary precipice.

Rooftop farms are trendy (this is way better than anything American Apparel will sell you), and home gardens have never left us - Let's see where this all goes.....