Five actions food lovers can take for Haiti


Image: Creative Commons/Robert Huffstutter

(Cross-posted from my site)

With aftershocks still rocking Haiti, Washingtonians struggle to grasp the losses the earthquake has claimed. Deciding how to help is yet another challenge. Why not start with food? Here are five ways to take action as a food lover in the D.C. area.

5. Go to one of the establishments owned by D.C. restaurateur Ashok Bajaj. As The Washington Post’s Going Out Gurus and the DC Restaurant Examiner Lisa Shapiro report, Bajaj is offering a month-long fundraising deal at his seven restaurants. He will also match any donations his employees make to relief efforts. Stop by 701, ArdeoBardeo, Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca, The Bombay Club, Oval Room, or Rasika. From January 19 to February 19, and one dollar from the sale of each featured menu item will go to American Red Cross relief for Haiti. Continue reading


Can Judaism save the planet?

Readers, yesterday The Washington Post‘s On Faith blog published a piece of mine inspired by the Hazon Food Conference. Entitled “Can Judaism save the planet?”, it presents one perspective that answers the question with a resounding “Yes!”

Many thanks to my “free range” writers group at Hopkins for encouragement with submissions, and to my excellent editor and mom, Marji.

Check out the article–and feel free to comment here or on the site. Thanks for reading!

Valentine’s Day film fest loves local foods

Nora Pouillon selects veggies at a farmers market.

Washington D.C.’s FRESHFARM Markets’ new year started with good news: A mini documentary about the organization would be part of Yachad‘s Our City Film Festival slated for February 14 at D.C.’s Goethe Institute. Not only that, but the film would appear alongside “Nora!” featuring a restaurateur who embraces local and organic food.

“I’m thrilled to have a film about FRESHFARM Markets and to document in some way how the markets were created and what vision was behind it,” said FRESHFARM co-director and co-founder Ann Yonkers.

Yachad, which mobilizes the Washington-area Jewish community to repair and rebuild lower-income neighborhoods, selected 14 films for the third annual festival and divided them into four categories—Our Body, Our Mind, Our Heart, and Our Soul. “FRESHFARM Markets” will appear in the body category and is, of course, about FRESHFARM and its nine producer-only markets in the D.C. area. Their markets include such favorites as the Dupont Circle farmers market and the farmers market at the White House.

Read the whole story…

Retro recipe: Co-op injera

On my trip back from the West Coast, I finally got around to reading the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association alumni newsletter. What a joy! All the characters and the nutty news you’d expect from student-run living and dining appeared on those pages: A current Obie fresh from a national co-op conference related the perils of dating in the Twin Oaks intentional community, while a past president recalled the OSCA of the early ’80s and how he got the office moved from a tiny garret to a proper room in the student union building and launched a filing system. A recent president announced that the lactofermentation revolution had hit the co-ops.

Of course, the supporters of this fermentation trend follow radical OSCA fashion, and some of the Yogurt Makers now walk the line between dedication and health code violation by sleeping with their cultured milk. Hey–you’ve got to keep the stuff at a constant 100 degrees if you want it to be good.

In honor of OSCA, I reach back now to my Head Cook days and give you a (fermented) recipe. I think I included this in a cookbook back in the day, when I took a semester off from supervising lunch for 70 to become the Harkness dining co-op’s “nutritionist.” This is written to serve a whole co-op, but I’ve scaled down the quantities so you can make it at home. Continue reading