This morning I had a chance to finally watch the YouTube shorts and trailers for Ian Cheney’s (King Corn) new documentary short Truck Farm. It details Cheney’s adventures in planting an urban CSA farm in the bed of his 1986 Dodge pickup truck. I watched King Corn in the early stages of my interest in local and urban food production; it certainly was influential in shaping how I felt about our food system.
This new documentary has me considering how I define “garden space” and the ways I could be more innovative in finding places to grow. Our town home certainly restricts growing in a yard, and our patio was a great place last year. Now I’m looking for my version of the “truck farm” (and have the catchy theme song stuck in my head!)
Last week we finished bottling our first home winemaking experiment. I say “we” in the fondest sense because Greg is by far the wine expert in our domestic partnership. I simply drink what he pairs with my food and visit the wine shop with his notes on what to buy.
Either way, we have had great success in winemaking with our friends at Vine Park Brewing in St. Paul, however thought it was time to go at it alone. End result: 29 bottles of German Müller-Thurgau and a full wine fridge. Müller-Thurgau was described to us as a mild white wine; it was the most popular grape variety in Germany before the Riesling became popular. The directions call for aging the wine in the bottle for at least 30 days, with better results around 90 days. We are planning the first opening for Easter Sunday brunch.
I am finishing up my first draft of my final for my Women in Leadership course and have decided to write about Julia Child. I’ve been reading My Life in France as well as a new collection of her correspondence with Avis DeVoto called As Always, Julia. Both books have helped me in the writing process and in realizing how much can be attained from studying the life of my favorite culinary legend. What Julia has taught me today:
1. Be patient. Julia’s greatest achievements came well into her 40′s which runs contrary to my anxiety that because I haven’t “found my calling” by my mid-twenties I have essentially failed. She was patient and listening to her life story enough to hear it calling when it came to her.
2. Live your passion. Without a doubt, Julia was enamored with French cuisine. Her passion was for taste and empowering others to learn the art of cooking. Once she understood that, she lived it through her profession, her hobbies, and her relationships. So why aren’t we all living our passion? Life is far to short to spend time on things I am not deeply motivated by, especially when there is a world of things (local food, sustainability, gardening, marriage) that I am excited by.
3. Surround yourself with mentors. Throughout her career Julia was surrounded by people who supported and challenged her to achieve. Her relationships with Chef Bugnard at Le Cordon Bleu and fellow authors Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle helped shape the legacy we all know and love. Surrounding myself with supporters (and the constructive critic) is important going forward.
4. Bon Appétit. Most importantly…if it’s not good food, why bother?
Welcome to my personal writing on how I utterly adore all things in the kitchen. I have many plans for this site and hope that you’ll return often, leave your unguarded comments, and enjoy what I love most about cooking: the people I share it with.
Things to look for in the future:
Updates on what I am cooking and learning in the kitchen.
Recipes & Guides to Kitchen Technique
Foodie Adventures (visits/dining/interviews with other local foodies)
Food photography I am a total amateur and will post as I learn.