With the 2008 presidential elections rapidly approaching, we thought it was time for Kitchen Caravan to get a little political... You can make these "Be Like Barack Bars" for an election party, bake sale or inspirational treat. They are a simple bar cookie with carrots for vision, ginger for energy & zing (ginger is also anti-inflammatory, so hopefully the effect ginger has on our muscles will be similar to the effect Barack has on the rest of the world), oats for even blood sugar and sustained energy throughout the day (you will need that to run a country), and grated chocolate- one of our trade goods of choice- to remind us of the importance of foreign relations... enjoy!
•1/2 c. butter
•1 c. brown sugar
•1 c. grated carrots
•3 tbl grated ginger
•1/2 c. chopped dark chocolate
•3/4 c. spelt flour
•1/2 c. oats
•1 tsp. salt
Mix spelt flour, oats and salt in a small bowl.
Combine butter and brown sugar, once fully mixed add the egg and beat well. Add grated carrots, ginger and stir until completely combined.
Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients, once that is fully mixed add the grated chocolate.
Put in a greased baking pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350˙
On Thursday Sophia and I went to a fundraiser for Obama in Park Slope. It was organized in part by some of our new friends from Umami Mart (our preserves pantry was happily placed next to Umami Mart's table at The Last Supper last week... we enjoyed the proximity to Payman's delicious and inventive Caprese Cocktail). The fundraiser was a lot of fun- food photographer/ hostess Erin Gleeson had an amazing spread of food from the green market-- how often do you get to go to a party with roasted mini-eggplants, yellow and purple carrots and simply grilled vegetables? Not often enough! Stay tuned on KC for a video of Payman's latest cocktail creation: The Baroque Obama....
Wendell Berry makes me want to do everything slowly and to make sure that I do it well. I'm reading The Unsettling of America right now, a book that has been on my father's shelf since long before I was born. After hearing Mr. Berry speak at Slow Food Nation a few weeks ago, I went back to my dad's apartment and scoured his shelves to find it (my dad claims his books are organized into categories, I have yet to find the key that breaks the code of this organization, but looking through them is always a fun journey). This is the first time in a long time that I have read a book slowly, not just going for essence, but making sure that I am aware of every sentence (I'm still only on page 80).
Thinking back to the panel Mr. Berry spoke at I wonder if maybe he has this effect on everyone; he prepared some opening remarks for the culminating panel of the weekend (the all-star one with Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, Eric Schlosser, Wendell Berry, Alice Waters and Carlo Petrini). After reading these remarks, Corby Kummer (the moderator) asked him to re-read them so that the audience could more fully digest. Within the context of the weekend this resonated with me. I was glad that not just food was valued as something to be prepared, enjoyed and discussed with integrity, but also the ideas and exchanges themselves. I had never seen anyone take the time at a panel like that to allow something to be respoken, to just get to sit with it for awhile. Now that I'm actually reading Wendell Berry's work, I see that this is the effect he has. I want everyone to read his book, and maybe we can all start doing less a little better.
His remarks from the panel were about the neccessity of local adaptation, I've transcribed them here:
"For too long humans have been spared, mainly by the cheapness of the fossil fuels, from the universal necessity of local adaptation. It is ultimately an inescapable biological imperative that human land use economies should correspond as closely as possible to the ecological mosaic. To this we no longer have even the illusion of a second choice. The increasing cost of energy and the vulnerability of long distance transportation in an age of violence show the importance of local food and forest communities and the reasonable extent of local economic self-sufficiency everywhere. This would require:
1) Diversity of locally adapted domestic species, crops and animals, increasing the acreage of perennials.
2) Conservation of land and water involving the proper use of woodlands and wetlands.
3) Fences. Fenced roads, permanent pastures, farm woodlands, boundaries and edges, which would increase the diversified populations of wild species.
4) More farmers, foresters, and other workers in land economy.
5) Local facilities for processing, distributing and marketing local products.
6) Propriety of state. And I want to include in that propriety the necessity of scaling down in our confidence in our own intelligence. We obviously have to be fairly smart to contrive imposing mechanical, chemical, electronic, genetic and nuclear technologies, but we have little evidence that we can deal intelligently with the results. All these remarkably intelligent, beautifully engineered technologies leave messes behind."
Sophia and I are in upstate NY. Yesterday we were filming at Eve's Cidery in Ithaca-- we will be posting the video we made with Ezra, Autumn and James of Eve's Cidery the last week in September so stay tuned! Now we're in Cooperstown, we're going to spend the weekend canning and preserving foods, next week we are participating in The Last Supper, a multimedia arts show in Brooklyn on September 20th. We are doing a food installation- a recreation of a food pantry so we are busy bees this weekend getting prepared for the show.
Since we've been filming for the past few days I had a lot of editing to catch up on so that was most of the evening. As I was editing away in the kitchen, Sophia was cooking us a tasty dinner-- she was testing a recipe we will be posting next week, a low-sodium soup for Senator Harkin.
This is how we like to work, cozily traveling, good company, good food- cooking and creating as we go.