|Wednesday, November 12, 2008|
On Saturday, Nov. 1, the farm hosted a good food festival. I simply invited “foodies” over to give workshops on food. A “foodie” is someone pleasantly obsessed with good food. They like to prepare it, share it, and enjoy it themselves. All good chefs are foodies, and the recent upsurge of interest in organic and local foods indicates an increase in people’s awareness of the value of good food.
Laura runs the business “Journey to Bliss”, which produces interesting raw foods. I call her a cook, but I am wrong. She doesn’t cook, she prepares. We made cheeses out of nuts. Laura substitutes pistachios for beans in chili. Raw foods are very healing, and are used a lot to fight diseases like cancer.
Sandor Katz wrote the book “Wild Fermentation”. We walked through the garden, with me blabbering away (about compost probably), and harvested bok choy, celery, daikon radish, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage and other greens. Then we chopped them up, mixed in salt, and pressed it into crocks and jars. A weighted lid keeps the vegetables below their brine, and in a few weeks it is sauerkraut or Kim chi.
The fermentation of foods has several advantages. It is a way to store food for the off-season. The food becomes more digestible, too. Many folks love the flavor, and fermented foods are a delicacy. He touched on cheeses, wines, miso, and other fermentation processes.
Pauli does cook, and does a great job of it. He brought his chef skills, and enthusiasm, into the outdoor kitchen and created a wonderful dinner. Stuffed squash, butternut bisque, miso soup, and a lovely salad appeared and disappeared. Coree’s homemade bread perfectly rounded out the meal.
Alan took on dessert with his usual flair for perfection. Explaining and then making flakey piecrusts, he proceeded to fill up one with apple, and the other with pumpkin, and soon the house filled up with wonderful aromas.
Matt then led us through the art of home brewing. This sparked quite and interest, especially after the sampling. There is no doubt you can make a superior beer right in your own kitchen.
Sandy finished up the formalities with an excellent slide show on chocolate. He has been making healthy chocolate for years, using only three ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic raw sugar, and coconut oil. “Don’t call it candy,” he admonishes, “It is health food”. Chocolate has good nutrition, and the oil he uses is also good for you. The samples were quickly gobbled up, despite the fact that we’d been eating all day.
We will do this again. Food preparation is a big deal at conferences, but at this one I didn’t have to do a thing. Food is important and we all make choices daily. I love to grow it, and it’s a pleasure feeding foodies.