Get Me Outta That Box, Take a Stab At Creative Recipes
Brown Sugar Kumquat Mojitos
Brown Sugar Kumquat Mojitos
Makes 5 cocktails
1 cup kumquats, sliced medium
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1 ¾ cups ginger infused dark rum (recipe follows)
In a small bowl mix together kumquats and brown sugar until the sugar is all over the kumquats. Set the kumquats aside for at least 2 hours. In 5 large beer glasses or tall Collins glasses, divide up the kumquats and place at the bottom of the glasses. Next tear up all the mint leaves and divide them up amongst the glasses as well. Muddle the mint and the sugared kumquats in each glass until the kumquats begin to break apart. We want most of the kumquats to remain intact and just slightly muddled. Fill the glasses with ice and place about 3 ounces of ginger infused dark rum in them. Fill the glasses with seltzer water and mix well, keeping the kumquats towards the bottom and allow the mint to float to the top.
Fresh Ginger Infused Dark Rum
Makes 1 quart
1 cup fresh ginger, sliced thin (does not need to be peeled)
1 quart dark rum
In jar place the fresh ginger slices. Add the dark rum and let infuse for about 4 days. Remove the ginger and store in a dark place for up to 3 months.
The thing that exhilarates me about life and love is that what you need always seems to appear if you are aware enough to recognize it. I’m a pretty upbeat, positive person with an almost limitless energy supply, but I too suffer bouts of sadness, loneliness, insecurity and all the rest of the emotions that all of humans suffer from. The good news is that when I do, it usually doesn’t take me long to remember all the positivity in my life and how living as you are destined to live here on earth is difficult and confusing at times. But with love and loving friendships we can easily be reminded to keep moving through life with passion, determination, kindness and an overall hunger for the sustenance life offers. In my recent bout with confusion and lack of clarity of direction, I was blessed with a number of appearances of what I needed to help guide me. One of these positive direction movers was my dear friend Danielle, who often times appears when I need her, sometimes when I summon her as well. I have known Danielle for over 15 years. She has been an amazing friend, one of my dearest of all my loving friendships. We have been through much together and witnessed much in each other’s lives. We struggled with our relationship some during the height of my struggle building my business. Through it all we always seem to be able to get back in touch with our love for each other. She is wise beyond her years, a huge goof ball and always seems to give me or point out something to me that makes positive change. So after my birthday when I was feeling a little lost, she reminded me of the wisdom this world has by sending me this video of Maya Angelou, who of course is just brilliant and admirable for all things! I was reminded who I was again and put back on track, sometimes we just need a nudge.
Germany is one of the leaders in the consumption of organic and sustainable foods. They have more organic grocers than any other country in the world and in Berlin organic and sustainable eating and consuming is a normal lifestyle for most. They reject the idea of industrial foods altogether and have strict national laws on what goes into the food they put into their bodies. As a food model for what is offered to consumers Germany is the leader in healthy foods for our bodies and our planet; organic, sustainable, fair-trade, local ,pesticide and GMO free, antibiotic and hormone free meats, to name just a few. Here is a little snap shot of life in Berlin and what the food movement is all about.
Eliminate it from your diet, and do your part to help the planet
One of the things I have rarely budged on in my life in the past 5-10 years is eating factory farmed meats. I’m a strong organic advocate eating mainly organic foods and a true believer that producing food organically is better for the planet and our bodies; however, I would like to state for the record that I would rather eat conventional produce than factory raised meats. My 2011 Food Matters journey will now exclude all factory farmed meats which means that when I go to a restaurant or travel, I will eat vegetarian unless I am absolutely sure the meat is ethically raised.
This is one thing that is really almost impossible for me to understand why it still exists and perhaps one day more people, Americans, will realize that a huge part of their diet exists because of big corporations. We don’t need much meat to live well, so eliminate most of it, save money, and help your planet! I try not to be too preachy about things, but this one is tough not to be preachy about. I vow to do a better job of it as well!
One of my favorite things I get to do while in Fair Grove, is venture out to Mutton Holler to hunt for the Christmas tree for my brothers family. This year we did a lot of wild foraging out there, rosehips and watercress and due to some rains we were unable to cross the river to get to the good Cedars, but we found one and my brother decided that it would be fun to “shoot” it down, again balance shows up in my life, as I’m not a gun person by any means but shooting down our tree was a fun time for sure!
Help empower small farmers & growers all over the world, learn the principles of Fair-Trade and look for the symbols that represent this system of accountability within our food system.
Fair price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.
Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.
Now, I am certainly no Steven Spielberg, but with all due respect to him, this is my first little movie so with a little bit of practice I may just find out I have an eye for it!
The Shuk Carmel Market in Tel Aviv is by far my favorite place in all of Israel! Now I am an open air market fanatic so this doesn’t surprise me, my first open air market was in Managua, Nicaragua at age 13 and I have been in love ever since! The energy of open air markets is so invigorating and gets my blood pumping in a way most other places don’t. I especially like the fact that everyone is speaking and yelling in Hebrew so there is a sense of panic in me that I can’t understand them and don’t know what they are saying. And never mind shopping there and the difficulty or purchasing in a language you can’t even read! I can speak a little and understand the numbers pretty well but I have no idea what the price says on the price tag so there is an element of trust one must go by and I find myself getting more and more comfortable the more often I go.
The market sells, fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, spices, meats, fish, flowers, plants, sweets and household goods and clothes. Its open every day but Saturday and has the same energy each and every day with Friday being absolutely insanely crowed, but I go every Friday I am there as against the energy is amazing.
So I am going to try to give you a taste (visual and sound taste!) of the market with my video made on a hot day in Tel Aviv! Take it all in look at all the displays, here the yelling and selling and witness the people living life in this amazing open air daily market! I wish we had one every day in NYC!
Inspiration at its best comes by the example of others. There is not a greater feat to witness than a fellow human being using life to enhance the lives of others. While this part of life is not unusual at all, the fact remains we are less likely these days to catch sight of it as our hectic modern lives often leave out the ability to take notice of such feats and gestures.
It’s important to note that these inspiring people are all around us affecting many layers of our lives as well as the lives of others, in small and grand ways, begin to take notice and be inspired to do the same.
Dennis Derryck is a 70 year old mathematician and professor at The New School in NYC. He teaches Management & Urban Policy. He has started a new model of CSA in the south Bronx, effectively creating a new way in which farmers and local residents see each other in general. With a 92 acre farm in Schoharie County (about 2 hours away) he is undertaking a feat that is not so easy yet being welcomed by many, adding to the ability for the model to be successful sooner than expected.
For those of us in the food world, excitement about the local, sustainable, organic movement can cause us to forget the low income families here in the USA are often overlooked. Here at Ger-Nis, we have been focusing on the low income families of our fair-traded goods abroad by bringing attention to what we do here and how it affects the poor who grow our food elsewhere. However, we often find that in our own country people forget about including the poor in our local food revolution.
Mr. Derryck did not forget. The South Bronx neighborhood is the poorest east of the Mississippi, filled with low income families with little or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The obesity rates in the Bronx are at an all time high, as is childhood diabetes and almost every poor diet food related disease that exists. This is why his CSA follows a new model. Most CSA programs that have sprouted up all over our country have focused on the more affluent, higher income neighborhoods. Mr. Derryck’s CSA operates on a sliding scale and even has many subsidies for many families. Since Mr. Derryck’s farm is not fully up and running in full yet, he has had to rely on the generosity of neighboring farms, farms who are the closest in proximity of the Bronx and farms who have taken initiative in the system in order to cause change and improvement in their communities. Farms like that of Richard Ball & Schohaire Farms and Frederick Wellington of Wellington Herb & Spice Farm have donated fresh produce so that the program get reach more people sooner. We expect the amount of farms who are donating and participating to increase as the system just seems to work and inspiration just keeps breeding more.
Mr. Derryck envisions a future CSA where the member share economic citizens voting and running their CSA as their community needs. It’s a truly remarkable story happening right here in our own back yard, one which has inspired me to take a new direction, and hopefully causing more inspiration to flow down our paths of connective-ness!