Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cooks Needed--Chefs Need Not Apply

Marcella Hazan, the respected cookbook author, has an op-ed piece in The New York Times about the importance of home cooking and home cooks. I especially like her point about how well-prepared food cooked at home can bring families closer together than a restaurant ever could. Read it here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Buffalo News has a nice opinion piece today by a woman from the American Farmland Trust about the important of supporting local farms. You can read it here.

If you were able to incorporate anything local into your feast this year, we would love to hear about it.

Best wishes to everyone, and I hope that you have much to be thankful for this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Other Food Folk and the Future

I have recently started spending some tie scoping out other food blogs, just to see some approaches other people are taking to blog about their food experiences and get ideas for making Locavore better. In my internet perambulations I came across two really standout sites, both based out of New York City.

1. Smitten Kitchen has amazing food photography and a lively, conversational writing style.

2. Not Eating Out in New York started out as one woman's "brown bag" chronicles, and has now developed into a site filled with delicious recipes, a practical rating system, and a fun take on cooking--especially highlighting local and sustainably produced foods--in a city known for its amazing restaurants.

Buffalo Locavore has been up and running for about 4 1/2 months. Like any collaborative venture, the site has experienced some growing pains, but I am excited about the direction we are taking. We started this as a way to share our experiences finding quality local foods and sharing our food adventures, even if it is just something as simple as me remembering the small joys of cooking or Ann reporting about what was in her CSA basket for a week. Winter will present some posting challenges in terms of sourcing food, but the challenge is part of the fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vote for the Edible Communities Local Awards

I received an e-mail from Edible Buffalo about voting that is currently going on for the Edible Communities 3rd Annual Readers Choice Local Hero Awards. If you get a chance, visit their site here to place your votes. According to the e-mail I got from Lisa Tucker of Edible Buffalo:

Anyone from the 8 counties is eligible (Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Wyoming and Genesee).

Here are the categories you can submit nominations for:

Beverage Artisan
Food Artisan
Non-profit Organization

You can only vote/nominate once, so please forward this to friends, family and associates! The winners will be announced at the upcoming Edible Communities publishers conference in January and all of the winners will be featured in the spring issue of Edible Buffalo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Curbside Croft an Urban Farm

I have had a couple of conversations with a great group of people namely, Justin, Emily, Matthew and Brandon who are working to start an Urban farm on the West Side of Buffalo. This will be, a far as I understand, a for profit venture which is very exciting! It will be located at the corner of West and Vermont Sts. They plan on using a permaculture model which will allow them to grow organically and will also use Small Plot Intensive (SPIN) cultivation which will allow them to grow more food than normal on a small parcel of land. The plan is to sell the produce from the site and also to bring it to local farmer's markets. This is an exciting development for the West Side! If you are interested in learning more about this group contact Brandon at 716-982-2327 or email at

Friday, November 7, 2008

Root Cellaring

The New York Times had a great article yesterday on maintaining a root cellar and the return of home food preservation methods that always seems to happen during economic downturns. Interesting stuff. You can find the article here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why New York?

I took a long weekend and drive down to Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame with a couple of friends from Pennsylvania. It is about 280 miles from Buffalo, over to Syracuse, down to Binghamton, and then up a little bit toward Albany. What does this have to do with food?

Well, the bulk of the drive goes through rural New York. Particularly on I-88 from Binghamton to Cooperstown, the roadside is dotted with wide acres and picturesque farmhouses. Signs of previous farms are also scattered on hillsides in the form of falling barns and decrepit outbuildings. The Southern Tier has already had their first snow, and some of the structures were dusted with the new snow--it added to a very Halloween-creepy feeling in some areas.

Whenever I drive in rural areas like that I always wonder the same things: if you are not a farmer, where do you work to earn income; how do you do your shopping in the winter if there is a snowstorm and you are running low on the basics like milk; and, do the people who live in these small towns long for the hustle and bustle of city life the same way I often want to trade in my Cape Cod and conveniences for fields and a farmhouse? When I was in college in very rural Allegany County I knew that most non-farmers worked for the local colleges, many residents had big freezers and 4-wheel drive, and escaping to Wellsville or Hornell often filled big city needs. It was an idyllic town, where the colleges brought entertainment to campus and life was very rarely boring. But I wonder how life outside of college towns in rural areas is shaped.

Overall, I will say there was one stunning thing that struck me with every new mile I drove--New York is a beautiful state. I saw a lovely variety of rolling hills painted umber and russet with dots of green and swaths of brown, cows and horses roaming happily on gentle slopes, and many areas that were perfectly suited for picture postcards. I always thought my home state, Missouri, was filled with natural beauty (especially because of the Ozarks), but every time I travel in New York State I am struck anew by how much I love living here. It is often the same for me just driving around Buffalo.

What does this have to do with food? Not much (aside from seeing a good number of farms, anyway). However, it did remind me why thinking local is important to me. These are real farms and real lives in our own state that we are supporting every time we choose something that wasn't shipped here from Chile or California. For me, it makes me feel more connected with my fellow New Yorkers, and proud that I live in an area of such bounty. It just gives me one more reason to appreciate the small joys of where I live, and why I have chosen to call this place home.