Several weeks ago, New York Times columnist Ariel Kaminer created a contest asking people to argue that eating meat is an ethical decision. Kaminer was pleased by the response. Judges included carnivores, vegetarians, and perhaps the most thoughtful and compelling vegan living, Peter Singer (and it’s worth clicking the Kaminer link for the judges’ overall responses to the many essays they read). They chose as winner an article by teacher Jay Bost. It’s no secret that I am a vigorous and unapologetic carnivore. After visiting the above, Schmidt Family Farms, where Bradley Cramer not only processed more than 100 chickens but also trained Burmese refugees how to do it so that they, relocated to the Midwest, might try to earn a living farming, I’ve decided to weigh in on a subject I’ve been thinking about for Read On »

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There are lots of ways to change the food system, and you and I aren’t likely to do it. It’s going to be our kids who do it. Two weeks ago I threw together a quick chicken curry and both the kids liked it, so I asked, “Is this a keeper?” and they nodded, chewing hungrily. So, last week, when 12-year-old James got home from school, I said, “We’re having chicken curry tonight.” He said, “Yes.” I said, “You’re going to make it.” He didn’t respond. “I’ll do all the prep and you’re going to make it.” He said, “OK.” An hour before I wanted dinner on the table, I diced an onion. I’ve already taught him how to hold a knife and halve, slice, or dice an onion; tonight I wanted him to see Read On »

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A while ago I wrote about Aaron Miller (above, photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman) and his grassfed beef, which I’ve found to be astonishingly succulent for 100% grassfed (it’s all in how you treat the grass, he says; you are what you eat, even if you’re a cow). We cooked his turkey at Thanksgiving.  He also raises excellent pigs. And now he’s started a lamb program,  available by order from their site.  I cooked some for Jonathon Sawyer, chef at The Greenhouse Tavern, and he took one smell and said, “You can smell it’s grass-fed!” Aaron and his wife Melissa are part of growing number of small farmers raising animals on grass. I’d love for more bloggers to post links to livestock farmers in their area raising animals for food, sustainably and well. If you Read On »

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Wow, what an amazing glimpse into what people are eating.  A lot of stir fries, a lot of curries, pastas, pot roasts, and eggs, American and international.  There are so many ideas in the previous post I feel like I should do something with them, make them more accessible. Of course, people who read this blog are people who care about food and who love to cook already. My goal has always been to encourage people who don’t cook, to know that cooking is not as difficult as people too often think it is.  All these great suggestions are more proof of this. Thank you all for reading and posting and sharing your meals. I’m currently in Key west cooking for a gang of sailors, big family meals, pots of beans and Carolina barbecue, a Read On »

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[Update 1/16: Winners have been chosen; their dishes are at the bottom of this post.] Two and a half years ago, I wrote a post on staple meals because I’m fascinated by what people eat at home when they don’t want to think about what to make, what their go-to, middle-of-the-week meal is, because they are invariably quick, efficient, economical, and well, good enough to eat once a week forever. (I think they also tell us a lot about who we are). The woman who has been cutting my hair for 12 years, three kids 16 and younger, husband not always at home, an “I don’t have a lot of time” mom. She makes chicken legs on a small rotisserie, and will do lamb or steak, with beans and rice.  Soup once a week with what’s Read On »

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