Archives for posts with tag: Corn

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Corn as “Bio-Artifact.”  Corn through which to understand the relationship between humans and a biological seed, through the dynamics of history.  Corn as a lens to view the tension between Food as a Commons and Food as Commodity.  Corn as a brilliant idea for an art exhibition.  Beam me to Oaxaca, Scotty!

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PLANTING CORN, NOT PIPELINES : Kitchencounterculture gets fascinated by people in Nebraska reminding us of the importance of corn as a central and a symbolic food… linking climate, water and food movements … bringing together unlikely allies.   The Cowboy-Indian Alliance protests in an exciting new way.  Read on…

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People in rural Nebraska are protesting the Keystone Pipeline running through their lands, and doing it in an exciting way, reflecting agricultural history and a vision for the future.. Thanks to the internet, one can live halfway across a large yet small world and find oneself piecing together a story that makes important connections between food and climate movements. Watch this local newscast:

The Cowboy Indian Alliance represents the fact that new coalitions and allegiances are necessary to a diverse Climate Movement.  Read about it via 350.org and in this link, with great photos.  The symbolism of the alliance, two groups so mythically/historically/stereotypically opposed, speaks loudly against the dangers of the Keystone Pipeline, and of the Tar Sands project too, regarding climate instability as overarching and destruction of water supplies and communities as immediate..

Climate Access describes the healing aspects of movement building that the Cowboy-Indian Alliance represents.  This link shares positive, meaningful lessons.

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A beautiful song and homage to corn tortillas and women who make them. I hadn’t heard of Lila Downs and now I’m a fan.  I love that she sings in lots of the languages of Mexico, not just Spanish. And I love that all the women in this video are beautiful, not just the lead singer herself!  I’m intrigued at the balance between pop music and something more serious and interesting.  And I like the sampling of different musical styles. Here I am, dancing in my chair.  I hope you will enjoy this too.

I saw this on Root Simple, a wonderful blog “about back to basics, DIY living, encompassing homegrown vegetables, chickens, herbs, hooch, bicycles, cultural alchemy, and common sense”– I reckon many of my readers would like it too.

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“What’s for dinner?” Once you have kids, that question becomes part of your life. Even my mother-in-law, growing up in the 1930s, in the deep country in a large family as a child of a coal miner, remembers asking her mother, who would flatly respond, to which many of us can empathise, “Crickets and soot.”

Someday I want to make Crickets and Soot for dinner.  Not a fancy Heston Blumenthal take on it, but literally…

Yesterday I decided to take my menu cue from this wonderful Carolina Chocolate Drops song and make… Cornbread and Butterbeans.

cornbread, butterbeans

I liked the idea of a meal constructed differently, perhaps more simply, than the ones I often belabour– this one felt like a variation on Dal and Flatbreads, an easy, nutritious, cheap meal my children do enjoy.

What did I learn:

The Lima Bean of my American childhood is reborn in the dried Butterbean (in this case, a lazy tin) of my adulthood in the UK.

The “stew” I made with butterbeans was really good and simple and kind of universal: leeks, onion, carrot, celery sauteed in butter/ olive oil, the beans, some added liquid, salt and pepper and thyme and a bay leaf– and at the end lots of fresh parsley, which is still growing happily in this rainy but mild winter.  The dish reminded me of the Marcella Hazan Italian recipe for a very garlicky white bean soup with loads of parsley.  There’s a mildness to these beans and a slightly mealy texture that one child did end up rejecting, even as both of them continue to open up to new foods, thank goodness, because not being able to be fully creative in my cooking is tiresome.

Cornbread:  I used some kefir in place of buttermilk.  It was a bit on-the-edge and so sour that it instantly reacted to the baking soda/ bicarb in the recipe that it frothed over the jug.   Because it was SO sour I decided to use the full amount of sugar in the recipe, in some attempt to please, i.e. not disgust, those same children as above.  The result, having got in the habit of always reducing sugar in any recipe, was a taste way too sweet for my liking.  And I used the duck eggs that I’d bought for the birthday cake that ended up being eggless.  The cornbread tasted like cake to me, and not gritty.  But still was fun to mop up the beans with it.

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