2nd Breakfast, Hobbit, International Day of

Holy Middle Earth!

“ideals cherished by hobbits everywhere: camaraderie, companionship and, of course, a love of good food” Um, yes! That’s totally what we are about around here.

I did not make the connection until this 75th Anniversary celebration came about.

Details about the International Day of Hobbit 2nd Breakfast in honor of 75th Anniversary of  the Hobbit.

Tolkien would have been a great member of Our Community Appetite

This looks awesome! From the website

http://www.hobbitsecondbreakfast.com/take-part/

We will be participating. I may even bust out my rusty bread making skills. A selection of homemade jams will be out. Who’s with me?

I’m back

Hello again!

from Natalie Parker on Flickr used under a Creative Commons License

I’ve been eating, working, moving (just across town), cooking more, and generally taking on life. I apologize for the long hiatus.

If you catch this in the next couple days, go to Hannah Marcotti’s shop anddownload the GreenUp for free (code: COLLARDS) http://hannahmarcotti.com/shop/

If that is already been closed into the vault, just go breathe in the peace and clear-eyed acceptance of her blog and business.

Houston Food Swap

I’ve talked to numerous people about this. Friends who also cook, and friends who pickle, both camps are excited about the idea of a swap.

photo credit Patrick Bertolino

Basically, you pickle, can, preserve, your bounty and we come to a central location and trade amongst ourselves. It’s not buying, or selling, but it is building our community’s interconnectedness and stretching our resources. Rarely does that 14th jar of homemade strawberry preserves taste as good as the 2nd jar. With a swap, you can enjoy a wide variety while continuing to only produce a few items. I first heard about this idea on Twitter from Indy Food Swappers (@IndyFoodSwap). Their webpage has lots of good resources, included a link to a food swap etiquette article on CHOW with hilariously negative comments.

A food swap takes the essence of Our Community Appetite- fun, deliciousness, and self-reliance on a group level- out of the kitchen and into the wider community.  I can easily imagine 20-30 folks meeting up and swapping, not only delicious home-made foods, but also encouragement, recipes, and tips.

Are you interested? If so follow the blog to be sure you get all the information. This will be the central information center. I’m sure we’ll need assistance pulling it together and a few sponsors, too.

I’m aiming for an early Spring inaugural  Houston Food Swap!

With that wish, I am off to ring in the New Year.  May your 2012 be full of wholesome, delicious fun!

Bring An Ingredient Quesadilla Party

The Friday before Christmas Lura & I hosted another really successful Bring An Ingredient party.

Simple, good cheer! Pinecone decoration

photo credit Darwin Bell on Flickr

This time the theme was quesadillas. We provided the tortillas and cheese (learned from that from last time- if the host doesn’t provide cheese, everyone else will!). This time folks brought three kinds of homemade salsa, guacamole, ground venison, and so much more.

We had at least two rounds of guests, and the arrival of new ingredients encouraged people to come back through for a second helping.

Build your own! It’s so simple:

  • Pick a theme that can take a lot of customization (quesadillas, pasta, pizza, or stir-fry)
  • Think of it as an open house- set the expectation that people will mill about, and chat while they wait to cook their plate full of deliciousness.
  • Invite a bunch of people- less than half will come and those who do will likely be a pleasantly varied mix (or maybe that’s just my friends).
  • Be sure to provide a couple of non-alcoholic beverages and feature them prominently.
  • You may want to seed the table, by asking one or two confirmed guests to bring a widely popular side item.
  • Relax!

If you do try this at home, please come back and let us know how it goes.

I hope your holiday has been full of good cheer! Here’s to many more delightful community meals and cooking events in 2012!

#Resound11: I create!

Looking back over the year, one nugget (or turning point, or leveling-up experience) stands out above all others.  This year I hatched a project of my own creation.

My older way of being was to leap onto someone else’s bandwagon, putting my energy into another’s project.  Nothing wrong with this approach, I’ve learned a lot by joining in. I’m thinking of capacity building in a refugee agency (you haven’t had Ethiopian food, until you’ve had home-cooked Ethiopian food). I’m thinking stepping up to be the Gal Friday for Central City Co-op, and being given space to evolve into Partner Development Director, then Operations Manager, then President of the Board of Directors. CCC was the brain-child of Pat Greer and her daughter Jennifer. I can’t express how transformative Pat’s trust and guidance have been in my life.

So this year, I looked at my life, and saw what was missing- an easy way to feed myself well regularly, save money on food and entertainment, and spend good quality time with my friends.  This time, instead of going to Slow Food, or Urban Harvest, or some other excellent group, and trying to graft my want onto one of their programs, this time I created a whole new thing.

It’s a real turning point,

and even better- my friends joined in. Not only did I build muscles that I have often neglected, but I have successfully created more fun, better food, and a deeper connection with people I care about- all the while honoring our economic circumstances. How cool is that?!?

What have you created in 2011? What might you create 2012? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

This post is part of the #Resound11 project. My reflections on the prompts will all be through the lens of food, joy, and community, because, seriously folks, that’s why we are here, to whet Our Community Appetite.