Just learned about this group called Depave.  They de-pave and spread the word.  “Asphalt be gone”: reclaim and reimagine community life; storm water absorption as climate chaos brings record rainfall; play areas; growing beds; “a better urban environment for all living things.”

Sing it. switching the lyrics thus: “Depave parking lot, put up a paradise”

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Upcycle your sprouting potatoes by growing potatoes.  Maybe this is completely obvious to many of you, but doing it last year really drove home this possibility for me.  It was all small-scale — buckets and barrels and nothing too big, but it would be possible on verges and in any space, containers, or ground you might have, at whatever scale is called for.

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Today is Nakba Day, a day organised to remember the “displacement, dispossession, and dispersal” of the people of Palestine, an extremely unhappy part of the history of Palestine/ Israel.  Reading stories and accounts, really sitting with the agony, violence and dislocation, has surely given me an empathy to Palestinians, even, perhaps especially, from my point of view as a person of Jewish descent and cultural identity, in the specific ways I grew up understanding what these were.

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If I had a grandmother, I’d love to take part in this project.  If my children still had their grandmothers, I’d so support them to make a film.

A filmmaker, Jonas Pariente, is raising money to finish films, and post them on an interactive website. Anyone can make and submit them. Film your grandmother, get a recipe from her, and the rest– style, concept– is yours to be creative with.  I love this idea so much.  I wonder if I could do a conceptual, fictional one?

Here’s his Kickstarter campaign to donate if you are able to.  And share.  And interview your grandmother, if you are blessed to still have one, when the time comes.

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The Nettle Sorrel Soup was so delicious, I considered it a gateway to Schav, a purer use of sorrel that by never having sampled had become a little mythic. You eat it cold.  And yes, that’s the true colour in the photo above, what we might have thought of as pea-green, a little dreary, a little khaki. I resisted the photoshop urge because I want to speak the truth about Schav.  I placed the spoon in this position so you too could imagine picking it up and experiencing a spoon-full.

It’s what the real old-timers ate, the ones who gesticulated with their hands and ate intense, heavy food like … Liver and Egg Salad, or Chopped Liver in moulded, perhaps grotesque shapes, maybe with strawberries, maybe with pineapple.  Or at least such recipes appear in my all time favourite Jewish cookbook Love and Knishes, along with loads of dishes with schmaltz and lima beans and kasha– these kind of ingredients.  So the book was a natural first place to look for an “authentic” recipe for Schav.

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Love and Knishes is a charming book. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate change, agriculture, food security, ecology, sustainability, social behaviour, policy and distribution.  So much to learn!

I am going down to clean the kitchen and make supper for the family.  Just chanced upon this interview on Geoff Tansey’s blog and am going to listen to it while I do my thing.

There are loads of other interesting food politics interviews on Geoff’s Soundcloud page.  A great resource.  We can keep learning, questioning, and getting smarter (and thank you world-wide-web) as we continue working for a better food system– our long and important slog that we just can’t give up on.  Tally ho!

“I wanted to be kissed by hummingbirds every day,” says Ron Finley.  “I wanted to see butterflies.  I wanted to smell lavender, and jasmine, and rosemary. That’s where it started.”

In case you missed it, as I somehow did, you can watch his amazing TED Talk on his website.

“Funny thing, the drive-through is killing more people than the drive-by.”

He’s got a vision of cities and how people and plants can live in them.  He is all about health for people, for ecology, and for beauty.

“The problem is the solution.  Food is the problem, food is the solution.”

“Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus you get strawberries.”

“The funny thing about sustainability, you have to sustain it.”

Ron Finley has the gift of energy and the gift to inspire, and a boundless supply of fantastic one-liners.  He’s the kind of DIY-meets-Social Change that brings hope.

This is a great educational tool about land grabs and the corporate approaches to “development” and climate change response that are used to justify them.  You can learn about this graphic novel and read it at the Oakland Institute site here.  Please share!

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Sweet Nettle and Sorrel Custard Rough Puff Tartlets — what a mouthful for these novel, mouthful- size morsels, made from all good things… Inspired by Penelope Casas.

Crema De Espinacas en Canutillos:

“At the beginning of the [20th] century, this most unusual dessert of custard and spinach was popular in Bilbao; it continues to be featured at some of the city’s finest restaurants, either in a tart shell or as a filling for pastry horns,  It is said to be a vestige of the medieval custom of sweetening just about every kind of food imaginable….”

So wrote Penelope Casas in her truly exciting collection of regional Spanish recipes Delicioso!

Nettles are everywhere now, growing taller before our very eyes. The wonderfullest of weeds, the most delicious, nutritious and ubiquitous –why aren’t they the national food of Britain, as Frank Cook asks in this video.  Am just determined to use them as frequently and creatively as I can.

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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 »

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