Friday, April 9, 2010

It's catching on a little bit . . . .

I always hesitate a little to make a post like this, I worry it can seem a little like I'm patting myself on the back. But I want to share what I'm doing because it makes me excited, and it's a step towards my goal of helping people help themselves to cook and eat better. If anyone out there reading this knows of kids or classes who want to cook, please send them my way. I love this stuff.

A few people and organizations have been nice enough to include me in there efforts to better the world. As usual I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into, but head first is how I dive.

I got to go to a middle school in Long Island City and talk to kids about eating better and sustainable foods. We spoke a little about how food is important to them in their lives. When I asked them what's the weirdest thing they had ever eaten, they all just stared at me. I hit them up for their ethnic backgrounds- Dominican, Mexican, Ecuadorian, and so on and so forth around the world. So I tried to muster some ideas of food that would seem normal to them in their homes, but strange to the rest. In Ecuador, a classic Christmas dish is guinea pig, the Ecuadorans present confirmed, and the rest gagged and coughed at the thought.
Then the kids made, on their own but with a little direction, fennel and apple salad with lemon dressing. It was tepidly received, but they all tried something new and they made my day.

I also went to speak with some NYU students (also an international lot) about shopping at the green market and wild food. I heard about the wild foods from their indigenous lands. It was a lot of fun, I brought them ramps and dandelion leaves to try.
Then we tasted dandelion pesto with speck and pickled ramps over mint ricotta. They pitched in on production.

We all stood around munching our samples, and discussing the flavors.

In both instances the individuals who reeled my in are really making a difference. So my props to them, please keep up the good natured endeavors, it's working.
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