Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Stars in the Food & Farming Firmament

Cathy's Tribute, Toast & Congratulations!

These activists and the character aptitude they represent are true stars in the food & farming firmament.

May their contributions continue to ripple through time and space creating positive impacts far beyond our imaginings.

COMPASSION - Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston A. Price Foundation - Her no-soy prison food lawsuit for the least of us, will benefit all of us when soy-based cafeteria foods fall like a house of cards.

CREATIVITY - Kristin Canty, Farmageddon - Her documentary film will help keep farmers from extinction exposing the heavy hand of government suppressing small farms.

CONNECTIVITY - Kim Hartke, HartkeIsOnline - Her blog gives the raw milk & small farm food movement a professional face and public forum.

CARING - Maureen Diaz, Traditional Foods Cook - Her DVDs gently beckon us back to the kitchen to cook with real foods, from scratch.

CONFIDENCE - Kevin Brown, the author of Liberation Diet - He will remedy the obesity epidemic and have people running to find a farmer - no doubt about it!

CONSISTENCY - Pete Kennedy, Esq. - took over the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund presidency this year, and offers hands-down-best-around guidance for farmers looking to expand their direct sales.

CLARITY - David Gumpert, The Complete Patient Blogger and Author of Raw Milk Revolution -his blog helps clarify the raw milk issues and is a call for government transparency.

COURAGE - Mark Kastel - Cornucopia Institute - he kept at it, and kept the Organic standard untainted.

COMMITMENT - Tim Wightman -President, Farm-to-Consumer Foundation - he stopped farming to start forming the future of farming.

CREDIBILITY - Ted Beals, M.D. & Peggy Beals, RN - Their groundbreaking work with the Michigan Fresh Unprocessed Whole Milk Workgroup explored cooperative approaches to providing raw milk.

CHRISTIAN-LIBERTARIAN-CAPITALIST-ENVIRONMENTALIST-LUNATIC FARMER - Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm - for being Joel and setting the world on fire for fresh farm food, raised right.

CHRISTIAN-LIBERTARIAN-CAPITALIST-ENVIRONMENTALIST-LUNATIC FARMER'S BRIDE - Teresa Salatin of Polyface Farm - for sharing Joel so freely with the world this year.

CREATING BEAUTY - Clare Raymond, my mother - She reminds this activist that the world is a beautiful place, when it often seems otherwise.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

First Footing with Scottish Shortbread

My maternal grandmother, Mamie, told us about the days of old, when our grandmother's grandmother's grandmother took Scottish Shortbread for First-Footing.

I loved hearing the story of the tradition, when on New Year's Day, they'd visit the house of a friend. The first person to cross the threshold would bring tidings of good fortune for the year.

My ancestors carried Scottish Shortbread to symbolize that the family they visited would always have plenty to eat in the coming year.

I carried on the happy tradition of making Scottish Shortbread using my ancestor's special wooden mold. I gave them as Christmas gifts until I became an advocate for fresh farm food and adopted a diet devoid of the "white's" - white flour, white sugar!

I did try to "green" my Great-Great Grandmother's recipe and return it to it's true traditional roots (before the whites!), but it was a hopeless unhappy mess. To be at ease with my convictions, I laid the molds aside, and made soaked/sprouted nut medleys instead.

But, Lass, do not turn your back on tradition for long!

The long arms of my Great Great Grandmothers reached through time on what has been a particularly barren Christmas season for me, full of work and devoid of tree and treats. Years of ancestral urging rose in me and the next thing I knew it I was measuring white flour and white sugar, butter and eggs in the ways I was taught.

I formed it into a 21st century version of the mold, the two-part lids from my canning jars. Pricking holes into the top of the shortbread reminded me of the fun I had as a child participating in this ritual with my mom and sister.

So, I made peace within myself, and created the most delicious Scottish Shortbread in my 54 year memory. My new love of fine food, carefully grown/raised sits very finely indeed with my inner Scottish Lass setting out for First-Footing in the ways of her grandmothers.

I'm relieved, out of integrity (a wee bit), but I feel divinely human, and definately part of my clan.

I took the picture above, and had to take a nibble. It's that good. I'll have to make more for First-Footing Day!

Sorry, I can't share the recipe, it's a family secret. You'd have to marry me (or my sister) to get it!

Thank you to the Real Food Media Bloggers who inspired me to write my very first (and likely only) food blog.