photo awaiting name of photographer to credit :)

My twitter feed is mostly a combination of opulent food posts with gorgeously styled photos, and dire information about ecological and political calamity resulting in hunger.  I can feel both the discordance and how actually it’s a reflection of truth, how people live such very different realities in relation to food and eating.

As a food blogger, obviously I have an interest in delicious food, but I cannot forget inequality or environmental vulnerability, and social issues that concern me, and I most respect other individuals and groups who juggle these same concerns and yet passions.

When I learned that the Crystal Palace Food Market in South London was up for a BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Award in the Best Food Market category award, and that they sought to use the opportunity (as winners or runners-up) to give voice to its aspirations and principles, I felt immediately willing to step up.   Read the rest of this entry »

Kitchen-Counter-Culture:

Reblogging food work I find very powerful and moving. R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Bristol Skipchen. Here’s another piece about it on Wonky Veg.

Originally posted on the bristol skipchen :

The Bristol Skipchen: a Real Junk Food Project will be teaming up with Embercombe Apprentice Mission 2015 on a Solidarity Trip to Calais Migrant Camp – to deliver hot food and supplies along with songs, play, companionship.

Why we are going:

A significant part of the Skipchen ethos is supporting communities in the struggle against the structures that prioritise profit over people.

We recognise that food waste is a symptom of the capitalist neoliberal system that simultaneously allows millions of tonnes of edible food to go to waste at all points along the supply chain, and causes resources conflict and war that deny humans the basic rights to a decent life free from oppression.

When thinking about our wider role in society and what we can do with our food waste niche to create a better world, we believe that recycling food waste ( the majority of which came from…

View original 330 more words

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Another quick must-share, yesterday’s Nettle Sorrel Green Soup, an easy and good Sunday supper and dish to discuss in my new anti-recipe, pro-technique zeal.

And I’m now polyamorous, sharing my passion for Nettles with Sorrel, because that lemony zing on the side of the tongue is a wild and captivating sensation. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is for my friend who asked for recipes that I might imagine too simple and obvious: an easy Waldorf Salad variation if you are empowering your digestive microbiota with fermented foods in as many dishes as possible.

Read the rest of this entry »

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La la la la la la la LA LAAAAAAAAAH.  La la la la la la la.  LA.  LA.  LAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

Sing along with me, the Rhubarb Kimchi Song.  As Plum Kimchi heralded autumn, Rhubarb Kimchi will greet the spring. La La lalalalalalahhhh.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Grub Street in London last year republished one of my, hmmm, I’d say 15? favourite cookbooks of all time– The Everyone Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook, by Ruth Waerebeek with Maria Robbins.  This is a presentation of Belgian cuisine written to honour the author’s great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother within historical backgrounds and as individual personalities.  It’s a collection of recipes that feel definitive yet friendly, elegant but possible to accomplish, familiar yet novel.

At first I was taken aback by choices the publishers made in the redesign of the book.  The original edition of 1996 has headings in cursive and charming line drawings and sidebars with historical and cultural tidbits.  I’d grown attached to this book in this style.  Grub Street’s republish has striking, stylised “food-porn” quality photographs and a very close and expert attention to lettering style and layout, colour and design. The Taste of Belgium, as it’s been renamed, feels as important as the book is, which is a good thing, even if I miss the cosier quality of the earlier edition.  But I’m happy, out of print as it was, many more readers and cooks will be able to explore the delicious and savoury comfort dishes that tempt one, page after page, of either version. And the new one is beautiful indeed, masterfully designed, a book to really look at, to visually take in.

Read the rest of this entry »

If you enjoyed that clip, the whole film can be watched here, on the filmmaker’s page.  I watched it last night, and was moved by this portrait of the remarkable, utterly individual Juliette de Bairacli Levy, a majorly original and influential British herbalist.

Her life attests to living with passion, love, curiosity, a sense of being free. Read the rest of this entry »

Ah yesterday was National Garlic Day but who knew until today? So I’m posting this fabulous film which seems to be online if only temporarily, by the wonderful filmmaker Les Blank who died just over two years ago now. And yesterday it was that I heard something, via an old friend’s daughter’s friend’s German grandmother: a clove of garlic simmered in milk cures anything.  OK, maybe!

Postscript 30 April: Just noticed this video has been taken down for copyright infringement.  I guess this is where you would buy it.

I’m not a keeper of bees (though maybe someday would like to be).  It requires so much attention and knowledge. Especially in this time of colony collapse, it’s a sacred task you need to do with all your heart and mind.  A wonderful friend of mine who has tended for years to bee-hives remarked that now it’s a kind of scientific job, whereas in the past it was “wild-crafting.”

But I’ve been peripherally following the phenomenon Flow™ Hive, and feeling the enthusiasm and relating to the critiques alike.  Flow™ Hive offers a plastic comb that can be turned from outside a box for the easy release of honey in a manner that does not seem to upset the bees.

Reading this article this morning — “Don’t Go With the Flow™, Go With the Wax” — however, my enthusiasm has vanished. This to me so far has been the most compelling argument against Flow™ Hive, something about the objectification of the comb– so many lessons I’ve learned from Feminist critiques of body representation should have alerted me to this as an ecological issue.

“One must realize that a hive and its honeybee population is essentially a superorganism, and that the wax comb that the bees build via extrusions from their body isn’t simply a widget that can be nonchalantly replaced, but is rather an essential part of the wholeness of the hive.”

This is just a quick post. Wanted to share this article.  Read it.

and PS: My friend Sarah Nelson at Killer Pickles has written a multi-part article on the state of bees in the US, not just honeybees but native bees as well.  May I recommend it? She’s very smart indeed.  Here’s Part 1, and you can follow from there.

24 April 2015  Just read the following from Permaculture Magazine, a very balanced approach that places Flow Hive within conventional beekeeping, and objects to it only insomuch as general objections like there.

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“Climate Emergency.” Well, yes. That’s why, whoever we are, when we know with our minds, and feel the conviction in our hearts, we need to work towards the transformations that will allow a better, or less bad, future.  This is top down work, changing systems and methods, and landscapes, and bottom up work, regarding what we consume, tolerate, and accept as acceptable.

So: peat bogs, mushrooms, climate change.  I’m a food blogger, and I want to talk about this. Read the rest of this entry »

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