Uchiki Kuri Squash. A Japanese Squash?

A long, long, time ago……squash was cultivated by the peoples living in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Like, really a long time ago.  Ten-thousand years to be not quite exact but in the ball park, according to an article in Science.  “Squash seeds, peduncles, and fruit rind fragments” were re-analyzed after being dug up in the sixties, placing the date of squash cultivation longer ago than maize and beans in the Americas. Before reading Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, I thought vegetables were vegetables (never-mind the vegetable that’s technically a fruit thing.)   I never considered there was a difference between a native vegetable and a non-native vegetable.  But really, many of the vegetables we commonly eat today wouldn’t be here unless their seeds had been carried with immigrants crossing oceans.  Maize (corn), beans and squash, are vegetables that were already here. I was humming along pretty well with this new knowledge until I saw squash advertised as Japanese squash, from Sun Gold Farm. ...more

The Only Good Oyster is a Safe Oyster

It never ceases to amaze me how business interests have more sway with Congress than good, protective food safety measures. ...more

Alternatives to the average turkey

It's time to get serious about turkey. Thanksgiving is approaching, and this is a great opportunity to make the centerpiece of your holiday table a local and sustainable bird. I'm no stranger to alternatives to the traditional industrial turkey from the grocery store. Last year, I hosted Thanksgiving at my then-fairly-new Oakland apartment. It was just me and my parents, so I announced an Asian twist on the poultry theme. "We're going to have Peking duck," I said. "Not turkey." ...more

Prophetlady, you're totally right re: the energy use required to cook up the Thanksgiving ...more

Monday Dose of Market: Two of Every Vegetable and Veggie Storage Tips

Well, I’ve been in Colorado all of three hours and haven’t had time to go exploring for vegetables.  So, for this week’s Monday Dose of Market, I thought I’d show you which vegetables I took with me on our move from Portland to Denver.  Yes, I took vegetables with me.  At least as many as I thought I could get away with until my husband started mumbling about how we were never going to fit all our stuff in the car.  (The veggies were too precious for the moving truck.)  ...more

Cristin (aka the veggie ignoramus)

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No-Calorie Snacking Tips From Me & Stephen King

We’ve all discovered a few tricks for keeping calorie intake low while eating favorite foods.  Here’s one of my snacking rules:  If you eat it at a different time of day, it’s calorie-free.  Pizza for breakfast.  Leftover steak with Bearnaise sauce as  a mid-morning pick me up.   Another rule:  Pie anytime you feel like it, except maybe not for dessert.  (Only dessert contains calories.) And so on.  ...more

Monday Dose of Market: On Guard!

A bucket of bright red crawfish caught my eye.  I used to chase these little guys in the brook at the end of the street where I grew up.  Didn't eat them until I got a lesson in an oyster bar in New Orleans.  ...more

Swiss Chard Doesn't Have To Be Hard

Just saying the word “chard” is enough to keep many people from eating this vegetable.  At least that’s what happened in my case.  Say it with me. “Chard.” It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. ...more

Sharing local foods with the wider community

As October comes to a close, the Eat Local Challenge is thinking bigger and looking for ways to spread locavorism beyond our home kitchens. Week Four (October 24 - 31): Taking it to the Community Week four will focus on eating locally within our communities. We can host potlucks and eat local parties, we can check in with our schools to hear whether they are supporting local farmers with their buying decisions. ...more

There are some great ideas here. I attended a slow food feast last weekend that benefited a ...more

Monday Dose of Market: Weird Fall Vegetables

Here I thought vegetables would start to get boring with shorter days and cold weather.  Nope.  Totally wrong.   Don't ask me what to do with any of these because I have no idea, though a few of them I have noticed in the fall recipe section of Ivy Manning's Farm to Table Cookbook.  I'll  do some perusing this week, then see if any of them come back  to market next week.  Market visited this week = Portland Saturday Market at Portland State University. Exhibit A: Romanesco...more

Blogging, Emails and Etiquette

  I admit to being a new food blogger and I admit that I am an avid commenter of food blogs I love to read and find stimulating.  I hope that the blog owners appreciate my comments: I don’t make a comment when a post is uninteresting or un-appealing, therefore my comments are either always positive or there is a question involved regarding the contents of that post.  A relative question I believe. ...more