Archives for the month of: May, 2015

 

A friend just posted this marvellous how-to video on Facebook.  Such a pleasure to watch and listen: the ancient, fiery oven, the kneading, the young people, the old people, the singing, even if your Spanish is as bad or worse than mine.  What really thrilled me though was learning the word for “sourdough” in Spanish.  Levadura Madre.  Yeast Mother / Mother of Yeast.  Or perhaps a better translation would be Leavening Mother, referring more to quality of help to raising the dough. But the madre is madre whatever the case, and I like the way our teacher in the film refers to it as “Masa Madre” –fermented flour Mother– and sometimes just “Mother” by itself being the colloquial. Maybe in English we only remember this concept of generation and regeneration in terms of Kombucha, and vinegar. Can you think of anything else?  Or any comparable phrases in English that refer to bread?

 

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I’ve written about Fire Cider as a kind of folk medicine popularised in contemporary herbalism, and that a particular company is trying to trademark– in other words, to claim ownership of — the term. Now this company is suing herbalists for using the phrase Fire Cider, which is essentially a generic term, which is another way to say, common, or something that is held for common, mutual benefit, rather than private ownership. Here’s a site that is raising money to help the herbalists who are being sued. I’m going to give a little money.  And I’m going to write some emails to the addresses in the video linked above. If you are on Facebook, you can join this group to keep informed.

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.” Of course the more soil that is living soil, the better for any hopes for the climate as well.

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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