Saturday, December 17, 2011

Humane Pig Farmer Gets Ganked By Smithfield in Whole Hog Cookbook

If you haven't had a chance to read the amazing exchange on The Gurgling Cod about the whole Smithfield / Libbie Summers / Caw Caw Creek / Whole Hog Cookbook / Emile DeFelice debacle, with some Anthony Bourdain thrown in for good measure on the Twittahs, you're in for a food nerd treat.

Although having images of your Certified Humane pastured pig farm uncredited in a cookbook branded by Smithfield most decidedly is not a treat.


Here's the meat:
http://thegurglingcod.typepad.com/thegurglingcod/2011/12/the-whole-hog.html

OK, so you clicked on the link above, and you read down to Libbie Summers' comment reply to Emile's comment, right?

In case you are feeling lazy, here is Emile's comment. But go read the story -- it's quite sassy and good. I'm not going to be an A-hole and reprint The Gurgling Cod's story without permission, although I will reprint Emile's comment, which is also sassy and good.



And then LATER on The Gurgling Cod, a savvy commenter, Todd Price, cites a September 7, 2011 blog interview by Mission: Food quoting Libbie Summers thus:




OH, SNAP!

I've done recipe development and such and you pretty much need to specify your ingredients fairly early on (duh?), BUT after a decade on the editorial side of the fence, I'm now a Marketing and PR Business Lady Person, and I can SO see how a powerful brand like Smithfield could just -- *tink! -- pop their name all over something before it were to hit the presses. Happens all the time.

Is that what happened? Is anyone skewering Rizzoli for this? (I did a lil Googling and I don't know if they are? Anyone? Bueller?)

Also, like the Cod and Regina Schrambling of @gastropoda, I too would like to know what the New York Times is doing reviewing a book which hawks Smithfield ham.


It's all horrifying/fascinating to read if you're from Columbia, South Carolina and know Emile DeFelice. (Props to Emile's colleague, Chef Kristian Niemi for having his back in the comments.) Horrifying because I know Emile works hard to walk the walk, every single day, with the whole humane pig husbandry thing, all while running the 100% delightful All Local Farmers Market, which is jammed with sustainable producers of high quality nom.

(In fact, I plan to drop a fair amount of elitist lady cash at that very market in the morning on humanely produced eggs from Wil-Moore Farms, bread baked with care at Heather's Artisan Bakery, locally squeezed goat cheese all fluttered up with lavender (crack) from Trail Ridge Farms, and sunflower microgreens grown at City Roots urban farm by a lovely, progressive family I am proud to call friends and colleagues.)

I shopped at Bi-Lo in Cayce, SC earlier this evening and dropped a bunch of elitist lady cash there too, but I didn't buy meat, fish, poultry or dairy (except for some jalapeno Palmetto Cheese) b/c I know that those high-dollar, high-impact foods A. aren't going to taste as good from a megafarm and B. have a truly bullsh*t effect on small, sustainable, local family farm culture.

Frankly, I am still learning about the whole machine and I'm far from knowing everything. But I do know that a pro-Big Ag attitude ticks me off, and I'm thankful for small, mindful farmers like Emile DeFelice who are also business savvy.

More discussion and followup on the Cod: http://thegurglingcod.typepad.com/thegurglingcod/meat_morals/

There *was* some fun stuff which resulted from the fracas, which is always nice.


Eva's story: http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=1992912064202144&ShowArticle_ID=12301412110936734 

That's @FreeTimesSC News Editor @YesEvaMoore, who alerted me to this craziness via tweet the other day! I love me some Eva Moore.

(OMG, btw, The Gurgling Cod is Clemson, SC-based? I totes assumed it was from further afield. That is so cool. See? South Carolina is rad in all these ways that are secretly absolutely flipping amazing. I love living here and *being* from here makes me feel even cooler. Boom.)

If you live in @ColumbiaSC, btdubs, Eva does this incredible live tweeting reportage from Columbia City Council meetings each Tuesday that is both remarkably informative and impossibly wry and witty. I follow this lion like a lamb on my mobile and I fully recommend.


Full disclosure, of course, is that I write the occasional food article for The Free Times and Eva is my editor, but I think we all have way bigger fish to fry.

Or pork to fry. Preferably the *actually* humanely raised kind.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Southern Living Taste of Charleston, SC coming up!

The Yum Diary is hitting the big Southern Living Taste of Charleston next Saturday and Sunday, October 8 + 9, 2011 at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, SC! (#SLTOC @Southern_Living)

I'm so pumped about the restaurant scene in Columbia, SC; over a dozen chefs make it a priority to buy from small, sustainable local farms on a regular basis. This farm-to-table movement is larger in Charleston thanks to the great tourism revenue down there, so I always enjoy checking out the Lowcountry dining scene to see what cool ingredients are being specially grown for restaurants.


I went to Boone Hall on a lark with my dear friend, filmmaker & food writer Chrissy Loader (@LemonadePie on Twittah), in '09 and fell in love with it. Tis a rad place to visit. 

Boone Hall is still family owned, and it's been "continuously growing and producing crops for over 320 years."



 Beautiful grounds, not too manicured...














 Cool old farm equipment in pristine-ish condition...














 Hidden paths...














A groovy motorized surrey tour through the woods and pastures...













And one of the longest, most beautiful allees of live oak trees in all the land.

The allee is actually on the National Register of Historic Places. Cool, right?









I am quite stoked. (Thank you to Southern Living for the complimentary ticket!) Here are some press images from prior Taste of Charleston events:



















Want more info? Go here: http://www.charlestonrestaurantassociation.com/taste-of-charleston/

If you go, hit me up on Twitter and let's hang out! The Shop Tart is going too, so you can bet that we will be

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Basil walnut pesto! Harvest time. Slow Food potluck today!


Now that it's gotten cooler here in Columbia, South Carolina, I'm ready to harvest most of my sweet Genovese basil!

I've been cutting the flowering tops and seeds off of my plants for months, encouraging them to get bushy and full instead of leggy and gone to seed.







The tops make an easy, fragrant base for small floral arrangements, and the leaves will stay fresh in water for well beyond a few days in most cases.


I've been making these with zinnias from my garden all summer to put on the new communal bar table at Motor Supply Company Bistro in the Vista, in fact!








Just in time to make pesto for the fun, casual Slow Food Columbia potluck at the Indie Grits Festival launch party this afternoon, 4-7pm at Five Points Pub!

Our chapter of Slow Food USA is contributing potluck dishes to the party as part of the national "$5 Challenge" initiative to "Take Back the Value Meal."





Here's a link to a recent Washington Post piece featuring a Q + A on the $5 Challenge with Slow Food USA President Joel Viertel:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-we-can-eat/post/qanda-josh-viertel-of-slow-food-on-the-5-challenge/2011/09/14/gIQAoXU6SK_blog.html

Slow Food Columbia was pretty stoked to get the whole first page of the Life & Style section of The State newspaper recently, thanks to Slow Food-friendly writer Susan Ardis! Did you see it?

http://www.thestate.com/2011/09/07/1960787/throw-down.html

Notably, Slow Food Columbia members and friends try hard to adhere to Slow Food standards when cooking potluck meals for our events. The Washington Post piece sums it up nicely:

"It needs to fit the mission of slow food, which the group defines as 'food that is good for those who eat it, good for farmers and workers, and good for the planet.' As Viertel told me, 'We want to challenge people to cook slow food for the price of fast food."


The way we loosely define "Good, Clean and Fair" food when we're doing potlucks at Slow Food Columbia -- a volunteer-run nonprofit -- is that each dish should contain at least one major ingredient that was locally sourced and, ideally, produced sustainably and/or humanely.

There's an amazing sustainable food scene growing here in South Carolina, so it gets easier and more economical to cook this way each time a farmer or grocery store decides to walk the walk and spend the extra time and money required to be more green, eco-friendly, environmentally sound, sustainable, organic, or however you like to word it.

My favorite pesto recipe comes from The Silver Spoon cookbook. It's simple and super flexible. Good news considering I am a chronic recipe fudger.

Pesto is wonderful in particular for recipe fudgers, as the ratios are very forgiving should you shift them in a wanton fashion.






My Rather Inexact Walnut Basil Pesto Recipe
Makes a sh*tload + freezes beautifully

I make 4 batches at once, based loosely on the above recipe.Then I freeze 1/2 cup - 1 cup at a time in Ziploc freezer bags or freezer-safe jelly jars.

TOASTED WALNUTS, chopped (or any nuts you want: pine nuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, pecans, whatever!)
First, I toast 3-4 cups of whole walnuts, which yields 2 cups of coarsely chopped walnuts. Toasting releases their oils, making them more delicious and delightful. It also makes them more susceptible to rancidity, so use them soon after toasting! Put them in the food-processor and jam down those nuts coarsely.

DECENT PARMESAN, shredded
Then I use the Cuisinart and shred a big hunk of good parmesan cheese to yield 3-4 measured cups. The recipe says to use a lot of parm, but I am a little more conservative and end up using half that. Rosewood Market, Columbia's only independently owned natural foods store and sustainable foods deli (hello, lemon-butter wild salmon on Mondays!) has good prices on better-than-decent Argentine Parmesan, which is way cheaper than the admittedly superior Parmigiano Reggiano.

GOOD OLIVE OIL
The better quality the olive oil, the tastier everything will be. 3 cups or so for a 4x batch. This is proven fact. The crummy olive oil at big-box groceries is nowhere near as floral, green, and delightful as high-end olive oil. THAT SAID, I'm trying to stick to the Slow Food $5 Challenge, so I'm going with the big tin of Earth Fare organic EVOO. It's just fine.

SALT, kosher or sea salt + PEPPER, fresh ground
A good pinch of each
Iodized salt doesn't hold one tiny candle to the subtle majesty of kosher salt. Kosher salt is also cheap as can be! I learned from the Zuni Cafe cookbook (SF institution of New Mediterranean cuisine) that kosher salt is less potent per portion than other salts, so adjust accordingly. Sea salt is lovely, too, but stronger.

FRESH-PICKED BASIL
100-150 leaves, e.g. 12-15 good, loose handfuls
Basil is ridiculously expensive in stores. Happily, it is ridiculously easy to grow giant bushes of it, given that you have a lot of regular sun and are willing to water it every few days during dry spells. I harvest not by pulling or cutting the whole plant; instead, I snip the tops for arrangements and grab bunches of leaves from the sides and pull, leaving the small, baby leaves that are just peeking out of the stem joints to grow into more delightful basil for my table.




Sunday, September 11, 2011

New York City & Columbia South Carolina -- Not So Different After All

Earlier this year, my brilliant business partner, Debi Schadel, started forwarding me a Seth Godin blog post every so often -- when the content serendipitously matched a macro dialogue we had just been having on best practices, client relations management, etc.

Sitting by the pool during a recent strategy meeting with one of our fiercest new interns, Kat Baxter -- a big proponent of reading Seth's Blog -- I was finally convinced to subscribe to Seth's daily posts of macro-view business wisdom.


Today's post on Seth's Blog is great, in particular, not just because of its graceful nod toward 9/11, but mainly because the golden glow emanating from the city of Columbia, SC is a hot topic right now in just about every conversational circle I encounter.


Excerpt from http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/09/its-different-here.html:

"I got to thinking about why New York City attracts so many tourists, more than just about any city in the world. Not because of natural wonders or even outdoor sports activities. It might be because:..."

[And then Seth lists a litany of super cool things about NYC. Click that link and read the whole list! It is quite terrific. After the list, he continues:]

"...The thing is, here can be anywhere. There are New Yorks going on in towns large and small, in companies big and tiny and in families that support and respect at the same time they embrace and encourage difference..."

"...But now more than ever, I believe we have an obligation to stand up, stand out and to do work that matters. Wherever you are, there's an opportunity to be different, with respect."
Think about this in relation to your city, especially if you happen to be one of my South Carolinian brethren.

Image courtesy http://bbcristian.wordpress.com
Are you standing up and standing out? A lot of you really, really are. And it's making a huge difference in quality of life for everyone around you.

I am so inspired by my colleagues, friends, family, clients, mentors and heroes on a daily basis. Something Great is happening. And we're all a part of it.







So what do we do about getting that Confederate battle flag off of the S.C. State House grounds? It's holding up economic progress for our city, while convention after convention declines Columbia as a location because of the flag.

Seriously, y'all. What can we do?

xoxo
TB

Friday, September 9, 2011

Captain D's into Captain D-Licious

Recently, I was hard at work on a project with no time to think about eating. My brother, considerate fellow that he is, brought home extra lunch with me in mind.

He does that sometimes, without asking. It is super cool.

On this particular day, he brought a fried seafood platter from Captain D's.

Now, I am a food snob for sure, so I was like this:

"Meh."



However, I was also starving, having worked through breakfast and now lunch.

Remembering a trick The Shop Tart and I had pulled a couple of times (once for a party with some fried risotto, and once at the beach with some venison burger), I went to the yard and got some shiso leaf.









It's a weird, basily, minty herb they put on spicy tuna rolls out in California (which is why I grow it here, cause I want to be fancy, y'all).

So I figure it's good with anything else you'd put on a sushi roll, like Sriracha chili sauce, tamari/soy sauce, and spicy mayo. (Vegan chipotle mayo from Rosewood Market, in fact.)

Which, let's face it, are all such great condiments anyway that you could put them on a donkey foot and it would be a terrific snack.




So, funny thing: contemplating making donkey foot* sushi  suddenly made the idea of Captain D's sushi bites really rather palatable in comparison.


So I went for it.

And indeed, they weren't bad!



Et voila, the "Captain D's into D-Licious lunch" was born.








*No offense, lil donkey.













P.S. Donkeys = Democrats. Obvi I've started thinking about election season 2012! I'm sticking with my man Obama.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade French fries, mandolin-style!


Um, just found my Borner mandolin slicer. And I have homemade ketchup from last week. And Wil-Moore ribeye steaks. And it's a national holiday.


Sweet.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kelloggs Breakfast Heirloom Tomato Sighting

And I'd ripped out all my other sad, dessicated tomato plants just last week. Why, dear heirloom yellow/orange treat, are you flourishing so nicely?

No matter. Definitely planting *you* again next year!

Big ups to Rodgers Heirlooms in Little Mountain, SC, for the Kellogg's Breakfast tomato seedling!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peace, Love & Rocky Roast opens in Columbia, SC

When a new, high quality small business opens up and fills a need in my life, I can't help but do some shouting from the rooftops.



Happily, I would like to report that the new fancypants, independent gelato shop and coffeehouse in Columbia, SC's Vista district is open!



Peace, Love and Rocky Roast is on Gervais St. btw Park and Lincoln, a block and a half from the SC State House. They're next to the old Mais Oui space, across from Nonnah's and Carol Saunders Gallery.







Here are the bullet points of awesomeness:
  • Organic, fair trade coffee, roasted on site. It is highly delicious and I couldn't be more pleased.
  • Open Sundays. 
  • GREAT gelato. 
  • Wi-Fi. Code comes printed on your receipt. 
  • Giant space. 
  • Open 6am-10pm weekdays, til midnight Fri-Sat.
  • They have a gelato flavor that combines chocolate, pistachio, and amaretto, called "Amadeus Dream," of which I approve quite highly.
  • They have a few breakfast offerings and a smart little menu of simple snacks: scoops of things like chicken salad or Palmetto Cheese on a croissant or over romaine, with sides like pita chips or apple slices.
  • The owner, Butch Allen, is awesome! 

I asked Butch about the provenance of this business, and he noted that he and his lady (a lawyer on the Left Bank [West Columbia]) did a ton of research, visiting Portland, OR and Seattle, WA (fancy coffee Meccas  of the U.S.) to collect best practices.

Seems like they've put a lot of best practices to work here. Excellence in action. Sweet.




Butch said that he trained as a barista at "the Harvard of barista programs" (I forget the name of the place, apologies!) and brought in a big, fancypants coffee roasting machine that he tested in the factory in Chicago himself before shipping it here to Columbia.

The man's got pride in his enterprise. This is cool.


 


Would you like to go and "Like" them*? http://www.facebook.com/pages/Peace-Love-Rocky-Roast/144258435612679

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PL_RR

*I'm not affiliated with this business in any way, except as a happy customer.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Drip Coffee (Five Points!) & Smoked Salmon Bagel (the legendary one)

After a great TV promo spot on WACH Fox for Historic Columbia's big Jubilee: Festival of Heritage, it's time for wifi and laptopping!

Entering the Jubilee Yam Cook-Off this Saturday?

Judges include WACH, KISS-FM, Teowonna Clifton, (@thatteowonna), The Shop Tart (@theshoptart), Exec Chef Tim Peters of Motor Supply Co. Bistro (@motorsupply), and Chef/Owner Kristian Niemi of Gervais & Vine and Rosso Trattoria Italia (@OffMenuKristian). Fun times!

Tomatoes on my bagel at Drip are from Sweet Bay organic farm, + Ethiopian drip coffee by the cup. Awesome.

Columbia, SC just rocks.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Caw Caw Creek Slab Bacon BLT of Champions


The garden arugula is anise-y, the local Caw Caw Creek pastured pork bacon is smoky, the heirloom maters are mine, and the mayo is Duke's. Rarrrr.

Oh, and that's a Bahamian beer, b/c I'm practicing my leisure science version of "The Secret."

If I drink a beer from The Bahamas, maybe I will end up on vacation in The Bahamas sometime soon.

Couldn't hurt.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Truth About Thanksgiving

I just found this golden oldie in my files from 1999 -- it's a flash animation piece for which I wrote the script, and my dear friend Sarah Bereczki did the animation (click to open the Flash .swf file in a browser window):

Go ahead and click the "here" link when you hit a screen reading,

"Download Attachment
Click here to download your attachment."

https://6684044157173471342-a-1802744773732722657-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/yumdiaryfiles/ttf/tta_thanksgiving.swf

(This doesn't seem to work in the IE6 browser, and I don't have the hours and hours required to figure it out today (anyone know?), so use the Mozilla Firefox or Safari browsers if you can! Thanks!)

Was for Spin the Bottle, a VH-1 "Pop-Up Video" spinoff entity that actually still exists!

Fun times.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Green burial at Greenhaven Preserve, Columbia, SC

I am filled to my top with delight at, perhaps, the most morbid thing ever*.

10-acre pond at Greenhaven Preserve, Eastover, SC
At yesterday evening's Wild Summer's Night  game feast and auction at the Columbia Conference Center (benefiting the South Carolina Wildlife Federation), I won a green burial plot at Greenhaven Preserve!

This is huge. Major. Big-time adult responsibility item, now checked off the list. Sweet!

When my mother passed away in 2008, my sense of responsibility was flipped up pretty much overnight. I had to grow up 700% in the space of a week, and as her Personal Representative, I found myself handling all of Mom's funeral, probate, and financial matters.

Inspired by the realization that I had nothing in place should I get hit by a bus, I immediately created a living will for myself. Without my mom's living will, we wouldn't have been able to implement my mom's wishes easily. And it was hard enough making the decisions we did, even with her blessing on paper.

I still need to draw up a formal last will and testament, but at least the living will I drew up in 2009 (after Mom's paperwork maelstrom died down) states that I want to be buried without a casket or vault, straight in the ground, at a nature preserve in South Carolina.

Ramsay Creek Preserve, Westminster, SC
In 2009, the only green burial preserve of which I knew was Ramsay Creek Preserve, hours from Columbia, west of Greenville. So, this is the place specified in my living will, with the caveat that if a less expensive green burial option should arise, then my family should go for it.

I had read about green burial over a decade ago, maybe around 1999 -- in Columbia's weekly Free Times paper, funny enough -- while I was living in San Francisco and researching the American funeral industry for a web animation client, Spinthebottle.com.



As part of my research, I had read The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford, the scandalous 1963 tell-all about the funeral industry. (It's in the vein of exposes like Silent Spring and The Jungle.)

Thoroughly grossed out by what embalmers do to bodies, I vowed never to be embalmed or buried in a casket, vault, or other non-biodegradable structure.

From The American Way of Death (1963):
 "...the blood is drained out through the veins and replaced by embalming fluid pumped in through the arteries...About three to six gallons of a dyed and perfumed solution of formaldehyde, glycerin, borax, phenol, alcohol and water is soon circulating through [the body], whose mouth has been sewn together with a 'needle directed upward between the upper lip and gum and brought out through the left nostril,' with the corners raised slightly 'for a more pleasant expression.' If [he] should be bucktoothed, his teeth are cleaned with Bon Ami and coated with colorless nail polish. His eyes, meanwhile, are closed with flesh-tinted eye caps and eye cement."
 Awful. And it gets so much worse:
"The contents of the abdomen and chest cavity are pumped out and replaced with "cavity fluid," and the face "is heavily creamed (to protect the skin from burns which may be caused by leakage of chemicals)..."

"Swollen necks and cheeks are reduced by removing tissue through vertical incisions made down the side of the neck. 'When the deceased is casketed, the pillow will hide the suture incisions...as an extra precaution against leakage, the suture may be painted with liquid sealer."

So, yeah, I'm pretty much never going to sign on to have *that* done to my body.

And of course, in watching every single episode of the HBO TV show "Six Feet Under," which focuses on a family-run funeral home, I got even clearer on wanting a green burial.

Just put me straight in the earth, wrapped in a natural fiber shroud. Easy-breezy.

Except that kind of burial is considered 100% illegal in most circumstances -- except in the fast-growing green burial industry. (Remember in "Six Feet Under" when Nate went to bury Lisa in the wilderness according to her wishes and it was a really big deal? As in highly criminal?)

Green burial also hasn't been so easy-breezy, price-wise, until recently, now that multiple green burial preserves have started popping up, creating some price competition.


What I learned when I researched it in 1999, and what I learned researching options at my mom's death in 2008, is that green burial is still far, far less pricey than a full-fledged funeral with embalming, open-casket visitation, graveside velvet casket-draping, and theatrical bells and whistles like a dove release or a 21-gun salute.

Recently, I read an very recent, updated piece on green burial in the Free Times by Eva Moore -- turns out more green burial retreats have opened in South Carolina!

One of the newest is Greenhaven Preserve, near Columbia in Eastover, SC, which has an easement to be a wildlife preserve in perpetuity. This sounds really terrific to me.

So, imagine my delight when the winning bid number at last night's SCWF auction was mine! A burial place at a green cemetery! In SC! (Plus I won a pet burial plot, as well. Sweet. As a self-avowed crazy cat lady, I like this.)

Ecstatic at my win, I fell asleep last night with the Greenhaven brochure folder in my hands. Naturally, I'm dying to go and tour Greenhaven.

Ha! Dying!

(Ahem.)

Anyway, loving the section names in the site plan, below. Anyone who wants to posse up for a visit out to Eastover, let me know!




*Is this all just way too morbid? Possibly, but I just don't feel doom and gloom thinking about my final resting place, especially when I know it can be fully in line with my hippie, environmentalist passions.

Plus, it's one of those "adult responsibility to-do list" items that can so easily get put off and put off and put off. You know, cause of the whole morbidity thing. (Not to mention the cost. Ay yi yi.)

Nailing down a post-mortem plan, in advance, is one of the most considerate things you can do for your loved ones left behind -- trust me. My mom knew her health was in decline, and without our knowing, in the final years before her death, she researched** and put into place everything we would need to administer her passing when the time came.

It was such a moving gift.

Thanks, Mom. You rock.

**BTW, as of 2008, the best price in the Greater Columbia area for cremation was at Barr-Price funeral home in Lexington, SC. They were very nice and very accommodating. I would recommend them to anyone going that route.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer random vegetable meal, transformed!


Faux ground sausage, sage-y, (and some fresh-from-the garden Chinese eggplant) sizzled in fresh ground coriander (my pet), then splashed licentiously: some red vermouth.

What in hell, they'll say?

But then spear one, new caramelized bit, and drag your fork through the feta, the basil, the diced Serrano peppers there in the background, and there you go: flavor from the bland.

Glory be!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

An Awendaw dream, from travels hither & thither

This amazing place. How thankful
can I be? Thankful enough to -- dare I say it -- let Gabe win at Anagrams after supper...


Didn't work. He is Just. That. Good.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Monday, July 25, 2011

Grow whole dried coriander seeds in your own garden!

How to grow your own whole coriander seeds, or, How I Learned to Stop Paying Out the Nose for Spices and Grow My Own for Cheap:

1. Plant some cilantro, seeds or seedlings.

2. Clip it as an herb for recipes but leave some greenery each time.

3. Let it produce flowers.

4. The seeds replace the flowers; let the plant get all dry and brown.

5. Harvest and put seeds in a pepper grinder.(By harvest, I mean gently pull off the seeds. That's all! So easy.)

Boom! Best tasting coriander ever. Great w/salt and pepper to prep grilled veggies, meat, shrimp or fish. Yummah.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Backyard garden harvest! Pencil pod black wax beans, zinnias, #maters


An organic garden of one's own sure is worth all that digging and soil amending. Sweet.

Oh, and I have a food article in this week's Free Times! (Columbia, SC's free weekly paper, like a hybrid of the SF Weekly and the SF Bay Guardian):

http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=11001403073598694&ShowArticle_ID=12291907110750085


Pencil pod black wax beans are light yellow and taste hot-diggity good sauteed on high in a cast iron with some s + p, untoasted sesame oil, and fresh-ground coriander (my summer veg secret weapon).

Yummah!

p.s. Zinnias are super easy to grow, and this small variety keeps forever in a vase.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2011 Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival in Columbia, SC = Awesome!

I co-organized this again, and y'all, it was AWESOME. Check out the front page feature in The State newspaper from the day after, as well as lots of great photos! http://www.tastytomatofest.org




Thank you to everyone who supported!