Remembering Carlos Guardado

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There was a sweet article in the Post today, made the front page. It’s about Carlos Guardado, a food truck vendor who sold burritos at 17th and K for 20 years and then died suddenly of a heart attack. Regular customers wept into their tailored suits and perfect strangers hugged one another in the spot where Guardado’s truck used to sit, the reporter wrote. I found myself sniffling as I read my newspaper on the Metro, but then I folded it up and pretty much forgot about it. Continue reading

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The Fear of Raw Ingredients (my latest post on The Jew and the Carrot)

My generation was raised to fear cookie dough. Salmonella could lurk in every rubber spatula, and terrible things would befall the child who ate a bite of a raw confection. Only baking could render the dough safe.

Thanks to the recall of millions of eggs from Iowa’s Hillandale farms and Wright County Egg this past summer, the fear of uncooked eggs has intensified. According to The Washington Post, an estimated 2.3 million of the 47 billion eggs produced each year — by my calculations, one in about 20,000 — are contaminated. I worry that pretty soon even a well-cooked kugel will go the way of the Rocky Balboa-style smoothie.


Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-the-carrot/131763/#ixzz11LzHdrRG

Here–drink this

I never drink soda, usually prefer red wine, and one beer takes me an hour. But my drinking habits have diverged from the norm lately, as my food adventures broke off from this blog and my usual topics. I still slurp the juice from farmers market peaches, yes, but I quit my gig writing about it for Examiner.com (farewell post here) and took the summer to try a few new concepts.

White wine was one. Drinking beer two bottles in one sitting (or boat ride) was another. And if you want to know more… Continue reading

Keswick Creamery reaches to save business

Family farms often face an uphill climb just to reach level ground. For Keswick Creamery, that hike just got steeper. Rather than give in, the popular artisan farmstead cheese makers who sell at six area farmers markets have devised a way to keep their livelihood going.

Mel and Mark Dietrich Cochran, who run the creamery, recently learned that they have until September 1 to raise $300,000. If they do not hit the goal, Mel’s father will opt to continue with his plan of selling off the equipment and shuttering the operation. The Dietrich Cochrans have looked to a community-supported agriculture (CSA) model and an online ordering tool to sell shares in their business. Each purchase of a Keswick Creamery Cheese CSA share brings them closer to continuing the family business.

Read on at Examiner.com.

For more information about Keswick and the CSA, visit the Keswick Creamery website.

Columbia Heights marketplace opens

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The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace opened Saturday, June 5, with a kickoff that hit more than a few hallmarks of a community event. The market, which debuted its regular time of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in its home at 14th Street and Park Road NW, brought together individuals of different political stripes, shoppers of varied tastes, and members of several generations.

Eight sellers offered everything from strawberries and garlic scapes to bratwurst and blue cheese, with some sunflowers, wine vinegar, garden-ready plants, and French pastries as well. Not only did mayoral race foes Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray stand on the same stage, but nearly the whole City Council (as well as the Ward One representative to the school board, Dotti Wade Love) turned up to make an appearance or sent volunteers to collect signatures get them on the ballot. A gravely-voiced resident who had lived on Kenyon Street for 55 years stood yards away from a pint-sized poet who had barely been walking for five. Dance and music, from performers of every age in between, rounded out the entertainment.

Click over to the full article, including video and a photo slide show.

Hanukkah in June

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June lies precisely at the midpoint of the year between Hanukkahs (Hanukkim?)  This fact, paired with the realization that the first publication rights to a few of my recipes has expired, got me thinking about oil. Coconut oil, to be specific.

Coconut oil figured into all of my baking experimentation for my “Cupcakes for Hanukkah” article on My Jewish Learning last December. (Including the recipe that served as a base for deep-fried cupcakes. Yum!)

More about coconut oil and a recipe after the jump. Continue reading

Cheverly Community Market opens Saturday, May 29

Cross-posted from my Examiner.com farmers market site.


Cheverly Community Market

8am to Noon

Cheverly Community Center

6401 Forest Road, Cheverly, MD

Market dates: May 29

June 12, June 26,

July 10, July 24,

August 7, August 21,

September 4, September 18,

October 2, October 16, October 30

The Cheverly Community Market opens Saturday, May 29, with old and new favorites. Unique offerings include fresh-brewed coffee, wine, and seafood.

The market has announced a tantalizing list of vendors and performers:

ChvBrew is back, providing hot coffee.

Charles and Kelly of Cheverly’s Hot Noodles will be back from last year to entertain as the market’s own house band.

Cheverly Breadbasket will have chips and fresh salsa for those who have been missing them all winter. This is in addition to the regular selection of freshly baked, organic breads and baguettes. (Organizers recommend you come early to get first choice of your favorite pastries). In addition to the wildly popular chocolate espresso cookies, the Breadbasket will have coconut macaroons and lemon cooler cookies.

Cookies to Cocktails is back, and Liz Esposito has had all winter to perfect her cookie creations. Continue reading

Two farmers markets focus on food access

Cross-posted from my Examiner.com farmers market site.

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As a recent American Prospect article made clear, not all farmers markets are geared toward shoppers who need fresh fruits and vegetables the most. Yet two markets in the District have opened or expanded this season to address that critical constituency.

The Howard University Hospital (HUH) began hosting a twice-weekly farmers market Tuesday, May 11, and will continue to feature produce from Pennsylvania and North Carolina farmers each Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the hospital courtyard. The hospital is located in Ward 1 at 2041 Georgia Avenue NW, near the Shaw/Howard University Metro and steps off several Metrobus routes. The market accepts WIC and Senior CSFP vouchers. Continue reading

D.C. Vegetarian Cooking Group to hold farmers market brunch

brunch spread

The D.C. Vegetarian Cooking Group has announced that it will put local fare at the center of its June event. Jack Zahora, who heads the group that meets once a month for a pot luck meal or restaurant outing, is encouraging the members to shop at an area farmers market the weekend of June 5, whip up dishes based on the ingredients they purchase, and show them off at a brunch on June 6. The event will take place at the grill-equipped Columbia Heights home of one of the members.

This event comes at an opportune time, as the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace is slated to open that weekend, and the home-hosted brunch is becoming all the rage  in D.C.

Zahora, a D.C.-based journalist, has given a preview of the spread. He plans to make a vegetable frittata, baked mostachioli, mimosas, and grilled tomato sandwiches. Other items on the menu include vegan quinoa salad with vegetables, Belgian waffles, and sorbet.

D.C. Vegetarian Cooking Group Farmers Market Brunch

June 6, 1 p.m.

Columbia Heights

For more information, go to the group’s website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. To join the group and find out the particulars of the brunch location, email Jack Zahora.

Local arugula for a global cure

Wow. It’s been a month since I posted. In that time, I led a Shabbat event about global hunger, finished that enlightening cleanse, sat in on my first farmers market board meeting, interviewed for an article on farmers markets in a major progressive publication, and–just yesterday–put on a brunch fundraiser with locally-sourced foods.

I have a lot of catching up to do! For now, though, I’ll just say THANK YOU to the 18 folks who came out to the brunch, and the others who gave remotely (I owe you guys apple-cinnamon pancakes!). …And I’ll tell you that my donation thermometer is bubbling with happiness about my reaching 100+ percent of my goal. …And I’ll post the menu to the brunch.

Thanks again, everyone!

Black River Café Brunch

Menu

Hashbrowns

Twin Springs Farm potatoes and onions

Pancakes

  • Mixed Berry-Chocolate Chip (Many Hands Organic Farm raspberries, Frog Eye Farm blueberries)

  • Apple-cinnamon (Twin Springs apples)

  • Strawberry-Banana (Virginia strawberries) – gluten/dairy-free available

Scrambled Eggs

Local veggies and Smith Meadows eggs

  • Tomato-Basil-Arugula-Provolone

  • Summer Squash-Chard-Cheddar

  • Spring Onion-Asparagus-Arugula

Yogurt and Fruit

Keswick Creamery yogurt, local fruit, bananas, local honey

TO DRINK:

Orange Juice Mimosas

Coffee (fair trade and organic, with grass-fed cow milk)

Teas