Time to Return

Never before did I experience the disorienting feeling of death in such a way as I have in the past couple of months. The confusing labyrinth I’ve fallen into pulled me away from life, my own life, including this blog and my love for writing about food. But it’s time to come back.

Many things have happened in the world in the past couple of months, besides my personal loss. A new president came in, women marched all over the world, and the nerves of many groups and countries are spilling over, especially as the dreaded changes start to happen. What does this has to do with food you might ask? Everything.

I’ve used this blog for the past couple of years with the hope to make food more approachable to anyone who reads it. I’ve spoken about my shortcomings with food, from the unknown cooking techniques required for artichoke decoding to overcoming my dislike for beets. I’ve approached meal planning and food waste in a attempt to understand them better and open the conversation.
Food is a place where we can unify, we all eat. Granted we all eat differently, something I value deeply, but i trust we all understand the importance of food, good, wholesome food. 

pickled Chioggia beets

The latest news of the new government possibly banning the USDA and EPA from communicating to the public about their research, research that affects our daily lives through food policy, laws and regulations. Or that the Keystone XL and Dakota pipeline projects were called back to reapply worry me. We could agree that it targets our food sovereignty. Especially when we add the conversations surrounding cuts to the school lunch programs that serve low-income children; dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which many states, like Oregon and Denver, have used as a way to recognize the silent problem of food insecurity; and many new moms use for breastfeeding support and lactation supplies. 

I’m not planning on turning this blog on a food policy site, I don’t have the knowledge Marion Nestle or Michael Pollan have on the topic, or the infrastructure and experience of the journalists at Civil Eats. What I do have is a mission to teach people about a simple turnip and how to cook it, or how a beet is not as scary as the millions of corn kernels grown on the U.S. farm belt used to feed cattle {which makes them sick because ruminants aren’t meant to eat grain but grass}, or to become sweeteners, fillers, and preservatives in junk food, amongst other deplorable uses, as you can hear in this podcast from The BBC Food Chain

beet greens and parsley

I’ll continue bringing stories of simple food, of the humble chard, or my beloved lentils. Because as the famous Leah Chase, Queen of Creole, says, “Food is so important, it makes people happy, and if you are happy you think better.” 

xo
~Paula

using carrot greens

 

Fresh English Peas: Don’t Run, They Are Great!

I came home on Thursday with a small treasure, fresh peas still on the shell. My excitement could hardly be contained and I had to tell my boy about my findings. “Peas! Why?” was his answer. I come from the land of fresh peas; where they appear in quick salads, stews, soups and Arroz con Pollo. He comes from the land of frozen and canned peas, where the mushy texture and watery flavor scarred him for life. My job is to tame his fears, to walk with him, holding his hand, to the land where peas are a joy, not a recurring nightmare. shelling peasThe best way to begin our journey was to have him shelled the offending subject (AKA the peas). He worked tireless through a pound of green pods and got about a cup. At least by then he knew they didn’t bite. Continue reading Fresh English Peas: Don’t Run, They Are Great!