Introspection

There's just something about this date.

It was on this date 7 years ago that my family and I began this crazy journey - to leave the big city with all its hustle and bustle and thriving food scene in order to move four generations under one roof.  The goal: live life together, start a farm together, run a business together, get through it all together.

Today, looking back, I see many successes and a few lessons learned. We've raised a lot of plants and animals, served thousands of meals, and taught several dozen people how to cook something new.  God has added to my family as well as called loved ones home.  I've begun to make a name for myself both here locally and around the world.

There are many challenges I have yet to face - some are easy to spot, others may still hide around the corner.  There are goals still unmet, opportunities that require careful planning and pursuit.  In spite of the stumbling blocks, I feel like I am on sure footing: both because I have a loving Creator and people who value me and appreciate what I can do for them.

So here we go: it's time to see what I can do to help make up for lost time, when those of us who wanted to cook couldn't, who wanted to learn to cook didn't, and who wanted someone to share a meal with hadn't.  Let's get together.  Let's cook together.  Let's laugh together. Let's learn and grow together.

Family Heirlooms – When Life Gives You Lemon Cucumbers, Make Yellow Pickles

Family Heirlooms – When Life Gives You Lemon Cucumbers, Make Yellow Pickles

They say that necessity is the mother of invention.  Well, a few seasons ago, we needed to do something with cucumbers – bushels of Boothby’s Blonde cucumbers to be exact.  Apparently, most folks at the farmers market were unfamiliar with yellow cucumbers and were too resistant to try them. 

The Start of a Farm – how a chef, a teacher, a preacher, a manager, and a retiree came together to start a multi-generational family farm.

The Start of a Farm – how a chef, a teacher, a preacher, a manager, and a retiree came together to start a multi-generational family farm.

I suppose it began innocently enough: a few plants on a fenced-in ¼ acre lot in back of a Cape Cod on the Northeast side of Columbus.   That’s when we got the itch: what if we scrap this big city life, get out into the country, find a place with some land and really grow some food? 

Quinoa – What Makes This Super Grain So Super (though not really a grain)

Quinoa has gone from complete obscurity to a household name in just the last few years.  What was once an ancient South American grain only mentioned in history books is now found in cooking magazine, restaurant menus, and the bulk grain section of neighborhood supermarkets.  It begs the question: why?  What’s so great about quinoa?

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Let me try to summarize the reasons that I believe factored into the rapid wide-spread adoption of this recently unknown ingredient:

·         It’s incredibly easy to cook.  If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa. (If you can’t cook rice, please go directly to the class schedule and sign up for some training immediately!)

·         It’s nutritious.  Quinoa has it all – fiber, vitamins, minerals, and all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein all by itself.

·         It’s gluten free.  Increased awareness of celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and other special dietary needs have put quinoa in the spotlight.

Now that you know why you should be cooking with quinoa, it’s time to learn how to cook and serve this amazing grain that technically isn’t a grain.  I have a hands-on session that goes into detail about the benefits of quinoa, the many ways it comes packaged in the store, and the variety of methods you can use to prepare and serve it to your friends and family.

Soup – An Overlooked Art Form

Soup – An Overlooked Art Form

Just about anyone can combine a bunch of ingredients in a pot and boil them for an hour or two, but that doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a great soup.  That only guarantees a dish you can eat with a spoon, so long as it's edible.

No, a great soup presents all if its components in the best way possible: juicy meats, tender vegetables, toothsome starches, and flavorful liquids.