Food, glorious food

Food has come up a lot this past weekend (well really, food is one of my favorite things, and it does manage to come up a lot). Mark Bittman, author of many wonderful cookbooks and intelligent commentator on the politics of food, had a good piece in the NYT Sunday Review: 25 reasons to give thanks for, as he put it “people and organizations who’ve been prodding American food back on a natural, sustainable, beautiful track.”

The Sunday Providence Journal, which I read for local news and because it only takes an hour or so to get through (unlike the Sunday NYT which can take a week), had a good news/bad news AP piece. McDonald’s and Target are dropping one of their egg suppliers—Sparboe Farms—because of animal cruelty in at least five of their facilities.

My sister attended a shiitake mushroom course on Saturday and was so jazzed about the people she met there…young people becoming farmers, studying environmental law, loving food and caring about where food comes from. She was also excited about growing her own mushrooms. For some time now I have been interested in growing crimini mushrooms, so perhaps there might be a sister mushroom business on the horizon?

On Saturday, Cherisse and I went to the first Mount Hope Winter Farmers’ Market in Bristol. Someone we know was one of the organizers, and we wanted to help with the first-day turnout—plus, we love going to new farmers’ markets to see what is available, and to talk to people supplying our food. It was 11 a.m. when we got there (it ran from 9-12) and it was packed. Someone was directing traffic, and there were cars—and people—everywhere…and chickens walking around the entrance to the barn where the market was held. We talked to shoppers while we waited on lines, and they all expressed delight at the market; one person said she had no idea it would be so lovely. The vendors were equally delighted, and surprised, at the crowds and were already making plans for next weekend. We purchased a gorgeous selection of vegetables (including cheddar cauliflower, which I love), a pork roast to try in the slow cooker, and stew beef from Windmist Farm, coffee from a very cheery roaster called The Coffee Guy, and a couple of delicious baked treats from Provencal Bakery.

This is an especially good food week. Tomorrow we pick up our turkey from Pat’s Pastured (we will freeze it to enjoy a bit later in the winter). Thursday will be my Aunt Nancy’s wonderful feast. And Saturday we get another fantastic meal at my sister’s. So really, this could be my favorite week of the year. Except perhaps for my birthday/Christmas week.

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