Showing posts from September, 2013

Homemade Bread Love

I've written before about gifts of food and how powerful they are in conveying love.

I got to experience a dose of this the other day when I came in to my office to find this note on my desk:

And this beauty:

It was such an unexpected treat, and one that made me feel cared for in ways that went far beyond just the bread itself. It got me to thinking about how closely tied food and love are, what it means to feed another person, how we convey a deep sense of investment when we sustain others in that way--whether it's a volunteer shift at a soup kitchen or a mother breastfeeding her own child.

I, for one, would almost always prefer a gift of food to most others. It is edible, temporary, supportive.

So I took that beautiful loaf and turned it into a beautiful sandwich, savoring every bite:

Here are a few others' takes on gifts of food:

BBC: Love bites: Is food the risk-free gift?
29 Homemade Food Gifts from Martha Stewart
And a great big Pinterest board of food gifts


Vegetarian Korean Burritos

I'm pretty proud of these beautiful jars of kimchi that I made with a friend a few weeks ago:

We used the recipe of David Chang, founder of Momofoku, though we cut the garlic in half (and I went light on the dried shrimp). Here I am, with the sliced, over-nighted napa cabbage in my right hand, and the other veggies and flavorings in my left hand.

Although the kimchi is delicious in its own regard, the real reason it's blog-worthy is that it is a crucial ingredient in one of my new favorite foods: the [vegetarian] Korean burrito.

Picking up on the Korean/Mexican fusion trend that has made it so big in Los Angeles through the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck, my friend TY and I came up with this winning combination of flavors, all wrapped up in a burrito. I'm constantly craving them these days, and am pretty much always ready for more. Here's a rough attempt at a recipe, though it's very flexible. Let me know how yours turn out!

Vegetarian Korean Burritos (serves 6-8) 1 block firm…

Chipotle vs. Big Food

Chipotle has come out with a great little film that I'm totally saving for use in future classes. It's called "The Scarecrow" and is worth three minutes of your time:

Eliza Barclay over at NPR's The Salt has a great article on this video: Taking Down Big Food is the Name of Chipotle's New Game.

She offers a review of the commercial, and of the aesthetic that Chipotle is trying to convey with its alignment with small food vendors and against the sterile corporation.

It raises fascinating questions about what "Big Food" actually is, and how Chipotle does and does not fit under that label? Does being "Big" make a food company part of "Big Food"? Does "Big" here stand in for all kinds of other values that Chipotle does not espouse.

What do you think?

Vermont Valley CSA Food Preservation

The flavors of summer are my favorite. Crunchy cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, sweet corn, juicy watermelon, rich basil! All leave my salivating and wanting more.

The only problem with these flavors (like all seasonal treats?) is that they're fleeting.

So when we heard that our CSA farm, Vermont Valley, was offering U-pick tomato and basil events, we jumped at the chance to load up on extras that we could preserve to have a hint of those summer flavors later in the year.

We drove out to beautiful Blue Mounds, WI to wander through the fields and gather the bounty. I forgot my camera, though, so some images from the Vermont Valley website will have to do. You can see the tomato fields on the left and the basil fields on the right:

 These images all from
We picked alongside lots of other CSA members, overhearing snippets of conversation about the differences in basil varieties, how people would prepare the tomatoes that night for dinner, …