This Past Week on Cooking Up a Story…
When Manuel Recio and his wife, Leslie Lukas-Recio, had the sudden opportunity to buy her family’s farm on Grand Island in Oregon, they saw it as an opportunity to work for themselves as well as a way to include their love of food and the culture of Spain. And so began Viridian Farms.
Tucked away in a nondescript section of downtown Beaverton- a stones throw from Portland, Oregon- there’s a small, cozy restaurant that is known for its Central American cuisine. It’s aptly named Gloria’s Secret Cafe’, where El Salvadorian native Gloria Vargas prepares her signature tamales. As Vargas explains in the video, it’s not that hard to make authentic tamales, and true to her word, she shows us just how to do it.
It’s a mad, mad, mad mad world of Basque peppers featuring a virtual who’s who of the pepper variety kingdom. Manuel Recio of Viridian Farms takes us on a guided tour of the star-studded attractions peppered throughout his farm. Check out this related story on Cooking Up a Story about Recio: “Peppers: A Love of Spanish Food and Culture.”
Coming Next: Halloween
A Spooky Decorated Fondant Cake
Robin Hassett of The Dessert Tray sets a spooky graveyard scene on a seven layer fondant decorated cake. Hassett shows us how to work with this sweet play-dough like material to produce a frightening result that is sure to delight the child in all of us.
Harvest Time on the Farm
What started as a project selling corn from a small farm stand turned into a full-scale farm store that critically supports the farming operation of the farm. Harvest time is naturally their busiest time of year, not only for the harvesting of their food crops, it’s their public celebration, The Pumpkin Patch event, that celebrates the end of their growing season. We take a behind-the-scenes visit as they prepare for this event, and include a look at their 7-acre corn maze.
Urban Development and the Local Community Farmer
As cities grow outward, developers want more land to accommodate this growth. But what about the local farmer whose property once was in ‘the middle of nowhere’ but now faces a busy road and the ultimate possibility of being rezoned out of business? Are growing more homes and businesses in agricultural areas more important to a community than preserving working farms?
The Weekly Roundup
- Organic poultry certification: An insider’s look (Cooking Up a Story)
What overlap exists in organic certification between the natural behavior of chickens, the farmer’s ability to earn a living and consumers’ expectations that the birds won’t be cruelly confined, fed a compromised diet and medically mistreated?
- Grass-fed beef in more pastures and on more plates(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Even in the Midwest, where Walmart is king, more consumers are asking where their meat comes from.
- How food stopped being food (Leonard Lopate Show)
Frederick Kaufman investigates the connection between the global food system and why the food on our tables is getting less healthy and less delicious even as the world’s biggest food companies and food scientists say things are better than ever.
- Interactive GMO Map (Center for Food Safety)
This map of the world shows which countries require labeling of GMOs.
- DIY Halloween Candy (From Scratch Club)
Make your own lollipops, peanut butter cups and maple sugar candies with these easy recipes.
- Climate change alters the face of agriculture (All Africa)
Specific examination of how climate change is impacting farmers in Zimbabwe.
- Pro-GMO coloring book aimed at kids (Urban Times)
- Why knives and forks matter (The Telegraph)
And how the existence of knives and forks is impacting our teeth.
- The high cost of cheap food (Cooking Up a Story on YouTube)
“Eating pleasurable, sustainable food is a lot more interesting than going to the hospital,” says Paul Hawken. “And it costs less.”
- Sauerkraut 101 (Homegrown)
Recipes and DIY videos.
- In Vermont, an outcry over oxen (VPR/NPR)
Students at Green Mountain College are not happy about a plan to put down and serve up two oxen, but the farm manager says this is what being sustainable is all about: “It’s not a petting zoo.”
- Turn Halloween candy into gingerbread house bling (Spoonfed)
- Growing Sustainable Food (Cooking Up a Story playlist on YouTube)
Twenty-two videos about everything from backyard chickens to honeybees to micro-greens.
- The island where people forget to die (NY Times)
Residents of Ikaria, Greece, live long, happy, healthy lives. Perhaps their sustainable lifestyles and seasonal diets have something to do with it.