March 30, 2008

The thing about vegetables

I have this theory about kids and vegetables. You know, how they don't eat them? Some of it is just flat out not liking them whatsoever, period. Some of it, though, has to be preparation. I think we're still entrenched in the era of low-fat thinking when it comes to our veggies, so we're feeding our kids steamed, crisp, fat-less, salt-less vegetables and scratching our heads when they won't eat them.

Not any more at my house. We've embraced healthy fats and I've seen vegetable consumption skyrocket.

Tonight? Tonight at the table my four year-old says, complete unprompted: "Thank you for making these! I love them, they're my favorite!" The "these" he was referring to was cauliflower, sauteed in butter and olive oil until slightly carmelized. He's not one of those kids, either: some goodie two shoes, saying things just to delight adults. Au contraire. And in the early years, despite my best efforts, I thought he might go the rest of his life with out a vegetable.

But tonight, he loves them. I'm going to bed happy

March 29, 2008

Tip #1

Are one of those lucky people, just subscribing to a CSA or similar farm share for the first time? Here's a tip:


I didn't have one before I started, because all my spinach and lettuce was coming thrice washed and in bags. I never washed it a fourth time, even after the unfortunate deaths from bagged spinach and email warnings that there may be a frog in my salad (did you ever get that one?).

Now, this advice may sound really obvious - but make sure you get yourself a GOOD salad spinner. One that has a solid outer bowl. I used Freecycle to get my first one. After two trips across the city to pick up my free salad spinner that someone wasn't using anymore, already canceling out any good I was doing the environment by not letting that woman throw hers in the garbage, I realized I had the worst possible kind. The outer bowl acted like a strainer, so I was never able to really soak anything in it. Not until about 6 months later did we break down and buy a new one! Life has been much easier since then.

March 17, 2008


We bought sardines for dinner tonight.  The current local salmon crisis has us rethinking our new source of omega-3 fatty acids :)   These babies come right out of the Monterey Bay.

So, guess who got to clean the @#$#% sardines?  Yeah. Me.  
Guess who was totally grossed out by it?
I thought the first one would be the worst part, but really, it didn't get better as I kept going.

I have a newfound respect for hunters and fishermen and butchers....

They sure were tasty!  It's a great weeknight meal - we just cooked them on the grill pan and finished with coarse salt and lemon juice.  

March 13, 2008

Green Garlic

I had never heard of green garlic before I moved to California. And then, even though it was something I would see on restaurant menus, it was never something readily accessible in a 'regular' grocery store.

My first encounter cooking with it was last March, when the first bunch arrived from the farm. I thought it was a bunch of scallions - they look extremely similar. Green garlic is just another term for young garlic. The skin is papery like a scallion, but the color is more dull and sometimes has a blush to it. The flavor is not exactly mild - but mild compared to a raw garlic clove. It is definitely one of my top 5 favorite items in the CSA box!! If you can find it at your local farmer's market, or maybe know someone who has some growing in their yard - get your hands on some and put it in scrambled eggs. You won't be disappointed.

[Try doing a search for recipes in other blogs by using the little 'food blog search' box here. Many of the food blogs you will come across are not as amateur as you think, and recipes I have used from others have almost always been successful.]

Other ideas for green garlic:

More information & recipes from
Mariquita Farm
Knoll Farms

March 9, 2008

Rec: Eating Well magazine

I totally dig Eating Well.

The April issue was especially interesting to me as there was a full spread on grass-fed beef and wild salmon (pros of wild vs. farmed). Reading the salmon article was especially interesting in light of the wild salmon situation around these parts.

There are always pretty great recipes in Eating Well, too. This month I made their beer braised chili beef (brisket) - it was great!

March 5, 2008

Breaks My Heart

If you want a simple, front line explanation of what is wrong with our food system, read this short article by farmer Jack Hedin of Minnesota:

My Forbidden Fruits (and Vegetables)