Monday, January 10, 2011

The Foodist 2011 Resolutions!

No Knead Bread - Baked in a Mussel Pot!

Happy New Year All!  I don't know how you are feeling, but I am convinced that 2011 is going to be a very good, positive Foodie/Green/Sustainable year for urbanites.  But in order for that to happen, we all have to be positive and sieze every day and do the best that we can with it.  OK, that was an Oprah moment, admittedly - but it is heartfelt.  My optimism is driven by what I see happening around me:  more urban folks trying in so many ways to live in a sustainable, green way; friends deciding to "grow their own" - or at least some of their own - as well as so many folks learning to can (or "put up" as we used to say).  The frequency of urban dwellers composting continues to rise and we all have happily watched the increase in the availability of Farmers' Markets in almost every neighborhood.  I have to say I also love the Recycle Coupon program - rewarding neighbors for getting their recycling out and not hiding it in the trash yields coupons for all sorts of things from discounts at our fabulous Reading Terminal Market (and Fair Food Farms within) to discounts at local restaurants as well as lots of other local private businesses.  A great incentive to recycle!

For me, in the coming months, the issues along with my first love - Local and seasonal food and cooking - are going to be living in a more sustainable, sufficient manner.  I am going to be exploring what I can't do for myself or my home that I think I should be able to do - thus my own issues of self-sufficiency. I will continue to pursue ways in which we can cut down even more on the amount of real "trash" that our home produces; and, of course,  I plan to find as many ways as possible to continue to share information about Food:  where it comes from, how it's raised, good local stores, markets, restaurants and purveyors, and of course, creative, fun and delicious ways to cook.  I am also interested in what it is we really need.  I will be looking at the issue of "stuff" from every angle:  the kitchen, the garden; the home; and of course, personally.

So far, along with filling up our basement larder with tomatoes, tomato sauce, peaches, salsa, and other foods that we, and others, have canned, we have also filled up the freezer with fresh vegetables and fruit, along with assorted locally raised chicken and beef and pork, and some seafood.  We have been working on finding the best area in our basement for storing potatoes and squash and we have been developing a number of recipes for "make your own" staples that I will be posting here throughout the year.

The compost is having its first winter - so I think we are doing OK by it; I have already seen the fabulous rich, black loam that will be available to us in volume as we start up the gardens - can't wait to use it!

In the coming weeks, I will share our experiences here in our winter urban landscape. We will soon be planning  our "urban farm" for the coming season; I will share ways we are discoverying to keep our energy costs down; and I will be posting recipes that may intrique you - like making organic butter at home; making your own nut "butters",  and making a variety of easy breads and other foods that we use frequently ourselves.  And, of course, we'll discuss these things in terms of the time and the resources required. 

The challenges to sustainable living and self sufficiency can be off putting for the city dweller.  We all live busy lives and we appreciate that "busy-ness" as a part of what city living is all about.  It is very easy to "turn it over"; to always take what we perceive to be the easy way - usually meaning the fastest way - to get what we need and want.  I hope we can discover that we can in fact take more of a lead in our own lives, in what we eat, how we shop, what we cook, how we maintain our homes and our neighborhoods, and, in general, be more "in charge" and happier and healthier as a result!

So that's the plan - I look forward to the discussions and to hearing from you as well.

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