I’m only about halfway through, but I’m so into this book I can’t help but share some of my favorite quotes thus far. Have you read it already? I think it’s an awesome mixture of America’s food culture, life on a farm, and food policy. The hook: Kingsolver and her family decide to move to Virginia and eat only local, seasonal foods (primarily ones that they themselves have grown). Think chickens, heirloom tomatoes, broccoli and much more. Here goes:
“No cashier held a gun to our heads and made us supersize it, true enough. But humans have a built-in weakness for fats and sugar. We evolved in lean environments where it was a big plus for survival to gorge on calorie-dense foods whenever we found them. Whether or not they understand biology, food marketers know the weakness and have exploited it without mercy.”
“What the fad diets don’t offer, though, is any sense of national and biological integrity. A food culture is not something that gets sold to people. It arises out of a place, a soil, a climate, a history, a temperament, a collective sense of belonging. Every set of fad-diet rules is essentially framed in the negative, dictating what you must give up. Together they’ve helped us form powerfully negative emotions with eating….A food culture of anti-eating is worse than useless.”
It isn’t all negative, but it certainly forced me to take a look at how we got to this place where farmers can barely support themselves and consumers have no clue about what foods are actually in season.
The clincher for me: “Career women in many countries still routinely apply passion to their cooking, heading straight from work to the market to search out the freshest ingredients, feeding their loved ones with aplomb….Full-time homemaking may not be an option for those of us delivered without trust funds into the modern era. But approaching mealtimes as a creative opportunity, rather than a chore is an option.”
Kingsolver’s book also includes a lot of super simple, seasonally sensible recipes.
This one caught my eye:
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
3 CUPS STRAWBERRIES halved
3 CUPS RHUBARB chopped
½ CUP HONEY
Mix together thoroughly and place in an 8”x8” ungreased pan
½ CUP FLOUR
½ CUP ROLLED OATS
½ CUP BROWN SUGAR
(or a bit more, to taste)
¾ TSP. CINNAMON
½ TSP ALLSPICE
1/3 CUP BUTTER
Mix until crumbly, sprinkle over fruit mixture and bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden.