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Archive for June, 2009

Not So Common Sense

Cooking is confusing, difficult, and not worth the effort.

No, I did not just commit foodie blasphemy. Friends, family, and the better part of America share these anti-cooking sentiments—and it breaks my heart.

I decided to counsel my single, hard-working mother and her high blood pressure boyfriend about cooking, eating healthy, and most importantly how to think about where food comes from and how that will impact the mind, body, and soul. I am going to produce a weekly newsletter with recipes, nutrition facts, sustainable eating, and motivational quotes. The method I’m using doesn’t involve deprivation, artificial sweeteners or calorie counting. It’s just eating the best of whats in season and indulging in your vices- bacon, ice cream, hamburgers, fries. After all, it worked for me. I’ve lost 25 lbs. in the past year without exercising, dieting, or depriving myself of indulgences. I hope I can inspire others to make these small changes for themselves. It’s really just about living a better lifestyle for yourself, the community and the environment.

If you have any ideas or would be interested in living a more holistic lifestyle, let me know.

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Finest Foodies Friday

And I’m one of them! Thanks to Foodie Blogroll for your recognition and support.
Every Friday, Foodie Blogroll chooses the elite in blogging and recognizes them for their superior blogging skills.

As always support local and sustainable farms. Peace and love!

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Wild Blackberries

Originally uploaded by SnapShotStrawn

I’ll begin with a lovely lyric that epitomized the never-ending chill that lingered during the Tennessee Spring.

Cold spell started yesterday
Nearly freezing in the month of May
But spring is still here, she hasn’t surrendered
She’ll come through this blackberry winter
Saw a fox down in the meadow
Looked like he was running for his life
Maybe he’s confused with the change in the weather
Wish I could tell him everything’s all right

– Dulcie Taylor

So, why am I still pondering the coolness of spring, when the hot trepid summer is raging? Well, it all started on my morning walk. The dogs and I were trekking down our usual path nestled by the Tennessee River. My mind tends to linger as the yards dwindle behind me. But today as my mind was wondering as I was wandering down the winding path, I did a double take. There isn’t much that distracts me from my thoughts other than drooling wet dogs, big mud puddles, or hot shirtless men. But today I saw a tiny red blob amongst in a briar batch. My mind quickly realized the red blob must be a berry. After a quick one-eighty, I began to examine the glistening jewel to discover it wasn’t just a berry; it was an unripened blackberry, my favorite. But, alas, it was only one….what a tease. So I carried on my merry way, but this time my mind was engaged, my body alert and my blackberry radar was full force.

After half a mile or so, my hope dwindled. I did see a mushroom the size of my head, beautiful golden wildflowers, and my dogs run through a huge mud pit (bath time!). Because I was feeling down and didn’t want to retrace my steps of blackberry failure, I followed a new path home. Although I consider myself a realist (not the same as a pessimist), I tried to be positive. If I am supposed to find an undiscovered blackberry thicket amongst this suburban meadow I will or every time I think a positive thought a blackberry magically appears in the woods ahead. I’m not sure if it was the positive thinking or shear luck, but sweet Jesus there they were, and they were abounding. The red berries, the sweet luscious and juicy treasures that would soon ripen to purple perfection were all mine, as soon as they ripened of course. I let out a gleeful squeal. To those who may have seen my 100-watt smile, they would have assumed I won the lottery, not found a wild blackberry bush. But for me, the discovery was a lucky diamond in the rough, one that nature so kindly bestowed on me and that I discovered all on my own. I quickly walked away inauspiciously trying to conceal my excitement so another traveler would not discover my secret that was between me and Mother Nature. During the remainder of my walk, or should I say skip, because there was definitely pep in my step, my mind swam through blackberry recipes… cobbler, duck, jam, ice cream…just thinking of the smell of caramelizing berries wafting through my apartment is enough to make me scream, “I’m the luckiest girl in the whole world.” Now I just have to wait until they ripen and hope they aren’t discovered before then.

My soon-to-be blackberry booty reminded me of something my grandmother said during the drive to our family reunion. With the windows rolled down, we smiled at the beautiful white blossoms saturating the Virginia mountainside. Memaw said they were blackberry blossoms, and the massive quantities were attributed to the Blackberry Winter that was coming to an end. Blackberry Winter…sounds like something out of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie. In all reality, a blackberry winter is a late-in-the-season cold snap arriving as the blackberries bloom. Dave’s Garden gives the following definition: “Oldtimers also knew that blackberries (Rubus fruticosus) need a cold snap to set buds on the blackberry canes, so as sure as night follows day, there will be a cold snap when the blackberries bloom, called Blackberry Winter. ”

May all your blackberry dreams come true

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