Sandy Spring CSA eat Healthy, eat Local

The pleasures of eating

September 9th, 2009 · Click here to add a comment · Jen

September 9, 2009: This week’s featured fruits and vegetables are: sweet corn ( it is coming to an end), sweet potatoes, eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, white potatoes, and apples.

A few words from Farmer Pam:

We are really enjoying the cooler weather – makes working in the fields a little less harsh.

The boxes will appear to be a “little less full” this week – the items are dense and heavy instead of light and fluffy.

Tired of that corn????????????

Please be sure to cut and freeze your corn for future corn chowder and soup – a few cobs of corns are a jewel in the freezer for later in the winter!!!

Recipes: Dreams of Chowder

With the weather turning cooler, my mind begins to turn once again toward soup. For those who (like me) can’t wait until winter for the corn chowder that Farmer Pam suggests, here are some fun – and very different – ideas for sweet potato and corn soup.

Corn and Grilled Sweet Potato Chowder looks both tasty and easy – the vegetables are tossed in oil, then either grilled (with smoky wet chips, for charcoal-using purists) or cooked in a foil packet in a hot oven. Slow-Cooker Stew with Beans, Sweet Potatoes and Corn is also easy (though I would substitute fresh tomatoes for the canned ones in the recipe, if possible). Sweet Potato, Corn and Kale Chowder has a nice variety of vegetables – one could use not only last week’s tomatoes, but this week’s peppers. Sweet Potato and Roasted Corn Soup has a novel mix of spices – ginger, allspice, and turmeric – plus a nice twist in using roasted corn. And Sweet Potato, Corn, and Shrimp Chowder with its chicken stock, bacon, and shrimp, is anything but meatless, but looks hearty and delicious – and won a sweet potato recipe contest, and so can’t be bad!

Happy chowdering!

Food For Thought: Wendell Berry’s The Pleasures of Eating

I’ve just discovered Wendell Berry, wordsmith and farmer, who calls urban eaters to eat responsibly in his thought-provoking essay, The Pleasures of Eating.

“Eaters…must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used.”

Berry points out that, for many city dwellers, food has become an abstract idea until it appears in the store or on the plate. This divorcing of food from its agricultural roots – making it into a blank commodity – has consequences: with the current industrial food system, people are more and more passive consumers. They do not ask about how a food is grown – with what chemicals or additives, or suffering on the part of food animals, or consequences to the soil. They do not ask how fresh or pure or nutritious or chemical-free it is, or how it was transported or packaged.

For Berry, we risk some of our freedoms with our increased passivity, but beyond this, we also sacrifice not only a lot of the pleasure of eating, but a lot of the pleasure of living. Berry calls on people to eat with pleasure, one that does not depend on ignorance, but is instead informed by understanding and gratitude.

Berry’s recommendations:

  1. Participate in food production to the extent that you can (even a windowbox)
  2. Prepare your own food
  3. Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your own home
  4. Whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist
  5. Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production
  6. Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening
  7. Learn as much as you can, by direct observation and experience, if possible, of the life histories of the food species

For anyone who wishes to read Berry’s essay, this link will open a PDF containing the entire text, or this link will open it in a browser, with search terms highlighted.

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