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
It gets dark at 4:30PM, it’s dreary, it’s windy, it’s darn right depressing. In fact, on most days in November, curling into bed at 3PM for a nap just feels like the natural thing to do. Hibernation, I think it’s called!...more
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
Simple living through this global economic crisis is becoming popular again. It helps with living a simple frugal life that is also based on sustainability. Two main principles that are becoming the object in today's society. Frugality helps with the economy, and sustainability is something people are incorporating into daily living to help to sustain our planet. Something we all should be participating in. The core principles and teachings of Simple Living are as follows. 1) Simplicity. Simplicity is the simple living core belief....more
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.)
Long rows of mounded dirt with more vegetables growing in one place than I’d ever seen. Hollow gourds hung from trees, birds poking their heads from a carved out hole. A piece of a crisp, juicy, pearl white turnip freshly pulled from the ground, cut with a pocket knife, and given to me as a taste of what the garden had to offer. I must have been six or seven, and I was on a private tour of my Grandfather’s garden. I’ve never forgotten the taste of that turnip, nor have I tasted it since.
Until this week. ...more
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.
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.
It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. ...more
And cheap isn’t always frugal. According to the dictionary, cheap means costing very little , inexpensive, or of small value. It can also mean poorly made or shoddy. Frugal on the other hand, means economical in use or expenditure, not wasteful, though, it can also mean meager or scanty....more