15 minutes on… my heroes


The past 30 days, 22 hours, and 45 minutes have been a National Blog Posting Month (aka NaBloPoMo) dedicated to heroes. I did not post every day this month, and I have yet to type a word about the people I look up to. But still I will embrace the last minute (my favorite time of day) to give a shout out to some important–yes, I’d dare say heroic–foodies.

Alice Waters – Big mama of the local and slow foods movement. I like her so much, I named a goldfish after her. She’s one of the few survivors.

Wendell Berry – A dude dedicated to both small-scale agriculture and beautiful writing about it

Arden Andersen – An MD with the audacity to say that nutrient-dense food, grown in good soil, is the best medicine

Mollie Katzen – A woman who started with a simple cookbook and an ernest little restaurant, and grew a huge & veggie-loving following. I also named a goldfish after her, but the poor gal (or guy?) didn’t make it.

Bill McKibben – Advocate of a locally-based economy. I need to read his latest book!

In the remaining hour of the month, I shall be reflecting on these wonderful people. And cleaning my fish tank.



15 minutes on… incidental wonders

11:54 p.m.
Wild strawberries

Wild strawberries: one of the small, sweet pleasures of my home town. These berries shine from patches of grass and forest without any cultivation or any say-so by any human.

Black caps

Black raspberries, aka black caps (they are a deep purple when ripe. The pictured berries aren’t quite there). Yet another serendipitous find. When I was a kid, they were curly wigs on my imagined finger people, or crowns or coins or cakes.  Unfortunately, they love to grow near poison ivy. Almost every summer, those insidious oils found me and laid me out with oatmeal compresses on the backs of my legs or calamine lotion covering one swollen eye. Even the plumpest of these berries won’t fit on my finger anymore, but I still savor them whenever I’m willing to hunt — and court itchy disaster.

Mulberry close-up

Mulberries. I still feel a smile every time I walk by a mulberry tree. Whether it’s in someone’s back yard, or along the exhaust-laden sidewalks of 16th Street, I’ll halt my purposeful D.C. walk to pick them. The older trees give you the sweetest berries, my dad used to tell me. I know people who have special shirts just for picking mulberries because of the stains, my mother said.

Perennial wild berries: You could walk by and not even notice them. Or you could notice them.

12:09 a.m.