I was in NYC for a quick jaunt last week, and in the ~24 hours I was there I not only managed to hit the Guggenheim, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and tour Park Slope, but I also spent a quality amount of time wandering the TriBeCa Whole Foods and the Union Square Greenmarket. I know it’s fairly common knowledge that both looking at and creating artwork is therapeutic and provides a host of positive, calming benefits — this might be weird, but I feel a similar sense of warm fuzzy when I wander through heaps of fresh produce. Same goes for salt water.
Union Square Greenmarket asparagus, NYC
Before I go on a tangent about my various happy places, back to food. Such close proximity to delicious, local produce inspires me to buy my weight in goods and spend the rest of the day on a cooking rampage…but then I remember that I live in a Boston shoebox where cooking (despite Mark Bittman’s best assurances that I can cook in a small kitchen, my current setup is too small for even his strongest encouragement) in any proper sense is sadly not possible. I make do with not subsisting on processed crap or takeout galore but there’s serious room for improvement in the realm of practicing what I preach with respect to taking more culinary control. Continue reading
It’s one of life’s mysteries how in some families certain talents pass from one generation to the next, while in others the offspring are woefully inept compared to mom or dad. The Van Campen family is one of those lucky clans where both parents are artists and the two apples (Molly and Greta, as it were) didn’t fall far from the tree, whose patriarch is Tim Van Campen. Continue reading
I will write more about food things soon, but sometimes I will talk art. Like now. So heads up: Jenny Prinn is a delight of a Maine-based abstract artist (well, I don’t know for sure that she’s a delight…but I have to think a person that produces work like hers is nothing but a gem of a human. And she lives in coastal Maine. I’ll take my chances.). Check her out! Continue reading
On a recent work trip to Philadelphia, I was lucky enough to stay near Reading Terminal Market, a place I’d never visited in many a visit to the city. It was so fun to have in my backyard for a few days; anyone that knows me well knows I love a good market — farmer’s market, natural foods market, supermarket, you name it — and I’m the weirdo that likes to walk up and down the aisles to see what’s on shelf (…or what’s new if it’s a regular haunt. Sometimes I really wonder why I don’t pack it in and go work at the Portland Whole Foods. I haven’t ruled it out.).
Anyway, Reading Terminal Market is awesome and includes everything from cheesesteaks to Amish women slinging fruit butters to green juice to cannoli. And in my meandering I came across the Fair Food Farmstand — and a wall of seeds from Happy Cat Farm. I recognize that this is a total case of judging a book (er, seed packet) by its cover, but for good reason. Just look at them! Continue reading
If you’re looking for a food-related #longread, you’ve come to the right place. A few weekends ago, the Portland Press Herald published this magnum opus, “How the farm-to-table movement took root in Maine” by Meredith Goad and Mary Pols, as part of the launch of Source: Eating and Living Sustainably in Maine, a new section in the paper.
In conjunction with the Source launch, the PPH hired a powerhouse food editor, Peggy Grodinsky, held what looked to be a great party (at Urban Farm Fermentory!), and has begun to churn out respectable coverage on what it’s calling as “farm-to-table” topics. This pleases me greatly. Continue reading
My dear, smart-as-a-whip-and-passionate-about-sustainability friend, Clare, recently sent me this article from ASAP (aka the Asheville, NC-based Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) that talks about Walmart’s involvement in food hubs — wanting to create new ones, scale existing ones, and otherwise work with “small- and medium-sized farmers” here in the U.S. and globally — and how that’s probably not a good thing. Clare asked my opinion of the piece, and because I can never seem to be succinct when asked a question like this, below is a version of my rambling response.
Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market, summer 2012
Before I go on, a little background. I do not think Walmart is perfect — far from it — though a) I worked at the company after business school (if you go back far enough in blog time you’ll see there are some Arkansas posts; maybe I’ll do a #tbt AR post…) and b) I do not think all of the issues Walmart gets criticized for are exclusive to it, but because it’s such a big target it ends up in the crosshairs (I was going to say bullseye but I suppose Target should get to keep it) more often than not. Continue reading
Happy spring. Winter was a long one, no? I for one not only went into a bit of a hibernation with respect to the blog (oops) but also with life in general…but it’s hard not to burrow a little deeper under the covers when winter persists as it has this year. In my defense, I *did* do my fair share of braving the cold and experiencing the great outdoors (I like my sanity, and cabin fever is a disease best kept at a distance), though I’m quite happy to see green things pushing their way out of the ground today. This year more than others I feel like I really earned my spring and summer sunshine; now let’s just hope it’s a banner year in the good weather department and we’ll ride out 2014 a-OK.
The seasonal change to spring brings yet another feeling of new beginnings, but this is different than the fresh start vibes that accompany back-to-school time or January 1. Spring calls for new life more than other points in the year, and even though it’s my least favorite season I’ll be happy for this moment to think about things not starting anew, but starting from ground zero.
In the spirit of new things, here are some previously not-in-my-feedly-feed blogs I found over the past few months that are worth sharing (and if they really prove their mettle, maybe they’ll make it to my blogroll if they haven’t already? I know, I know, The anticipation is really killing you.):
- Grace Atwood of Stripes & Sequins – who is also coincidentally from Cape Cod, so she gets extra gold stars – lives in NYC but went on a short but relaxing (and WARM) trip to the Papaya Playa Project in Tulum, Mexico. I want to go (see aforementioned commentary on this year’s all-too-recent Siberian winter) asap.
- Lindsay Souza of The Pursuit of Style reminds me of my past life in DC with her regular ‘Doors of DC‘ features (don’t put away those gold stars yet – she’s from Cape Cod, too) and other nation’s capital comings and goings.
- Sarah Dussault of Sarah Fit (not from Cape Cod but definitely logs some serious time there) gives me great ideas about what’s going on in the fitness world in Boston, but also shares healthy recipe ideas, including her take on the delicious ginger sauce from Cambridge’s Life Alive Cafe. Thank you x1000.
- Serena Wolf of Domesticate Me serves up solid recipe ideas – including this root vegetable salad that my dear friend, Amo, made for a girls’ dinner – but I sometimes wonder if Serena’s way of writing is the real reason I read this hilarious blog that also includes a ‘Dude Diet‘ (and for the record, she goes to Maine and not the Cape, lest you think I’m totally biased to my stomping grounds).
Spring has sprung! Get your read on, shake off the dust, scrape off the rust, and be happy you can feel your toes again.