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Buying It

How to get more veggies into your diet

Aunt Toby is NOT here today to flog y’all with the ‘you ought to eat more green stuff’ message.

We all know it. It’s like flossing your teeth. And we don’t do it and we don’t do it and we feel guilty and then we go to the doctor and the doctor tells us we need to eat more fruits and veggies and we go round and round and do that dance and in the end… it’s still burgers and fries, right?

Right. And if we have kids in the house, it’s even worse.

So, here’s the deal — let’s start with what works, especially if you have kids.

First Principals: If you have kids at home and you don’t eat veggies, they will not eat veggies. If you have babies at home, then you have your best shot at getting them to eat veggies by feeding them veggies off your plate. Mommy and Daddy eat veggies – it’s safe for YOU to eat veggies. (more…)

Dinner for One: Vegetarian Style

One more time into the kitchen my friends! And this time, we are going hard core vegetable, with lentils. (ok…all of you heading for the doors, just give us a moment to go over this, please)

Something I learned recently is that for those of us who have been discouraged from making dried beans because of the ‘sort/rinse/rinse/rinse again and again and again and then cover with water overnight and boil up and drain and replace the water’ stuff, lentils are the one exception to that rule. (more…)

Apples of my eye

We tend to take apples pretty much for granted here in the US. We grow a lot of apples here and except for the deep deep South and the southwest, we’ve pretty much got apples covered. And we have our own mythology in terms of the spread of apples in the US – John Chapman, America’s “Johnny Appleseed” (who was literally a legend in his own time) spread nurseries of an apple from Massachusetts called the “Rambo” which probably was brought here from Sweden. Rambo is an ok apple – general purpose, really (which is what would have made it popular in the 18th and 19th century since if you could only afford one apple tree next to your house, you wanted it to be hardy and something you could use to make everything from cider (Colonial America’s #1 drink) to sauce to dried to pies. Which is what Rambo was good for. Not a great shipping apple mind you but when America ate it’s apples, it was not going down to the Safeway(tm) to buy them.

But people have never been able to let well enough alone with apples. (more…)

Why Where You Get Your Food is Important: The Glow in the Dark Edition

photo: State Library of New South Wales via Flickr

I get rather annoyed with people who say ‘I hate to be an alarmist, but..’

At Chez Siberia, we LIVE ‘belt and suspenders’ because I hate it when I’m right – but I’m really upset when I’ve not taken the precautions. So, here’s Aunt Toby’s take on the nuclear situation in Japan right now.
Being a food person (and if you were standing behind me, you’d see evidence of it all the time — I not only stand on my nutrition principals, I sit on ‘em too), the first thing I thought about when I heard that the Japanese would be doing a release to lessen the pressure was – oh, shit – America’s fruit and veggie supply is based on the West Coast. At the moment, what they are talking about in the atmosphere is Cesium (if you live in the western half of the US, you might want to call up your physician or local health department (if the Republicans haven’t budgeted them out of existence) to discuss Potassium Iodide to block your thyroid from taking up the radioactive iodine, especially if you have infants, children, lactating moms or pregnancies in your midst. (more…)

Picking a Cantaloupe

There is nothing, as far as I’m concerned, that illustrates how separated we have all become from our food as the anxiety people experience when they are facing a display of melons and trying to decide which one to buy. “Let’s see now – is it you press in on the end where the stem attached and if it goes in, it’s ripe? How far in? What about the smell? If it smells like cantaloupe than it’s good? How strong? Forget it; I’ll just buy apples.” (more…)

Getcher Pears NOW!

A yellow pear is a pear that when you open it up…is going to be starting to turn brown at the center – it’s rotting from the inside out. Sorry to tell you that – I’m sure the American Pear Council (or whoever their promotional group is) will rise up and protest but it’s true. (more…)

Aunt Toby Takes A Cooking Class

Anyone who knows me knows that Aunt Toby reads and participates in probably more blogs than she probably has time for, but what the heck. One of them, Fab Over Fifty has a site associated with it (interestingly enough, also called, which always has lots of terrific contests and giveaways (plus great articles about what women over fifty years of age are doing, creating, running, operating, challenging, combating, changing, winning and so on). I usually don’t enter contests but I did enter the one to win a free cooking class with Jyl Ferris, she of . (more…)

So, You Want a Farmers’ Market

I was reading a post on Facebook the other day with regard to farmers markets and one commenter wrote that every town needed one and that her city did not.

On the face of it, that sounds like something out of a ‘say wha?” sort of experience. Doesn’t every place have a farmers market? Someplace? (more…)

Kids Belong in the Kitchen

Like many folks out there, I’ve been watching the new reality show on ABC, “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”. And no matter how I feel about how this has been constructed as a program (because it is 6 episodes long and they have to set up the dramatic conflicts and show Jamie suffering and not being successful at first so that they can have the victories later), there are a couple of things out of the two episodes that I have seen which I would like to discuss here that I think are very important (no matter who says them or where they are from): (more…)

You don’t have to be Jewish to love Passover

But if you are trying to get high fructose corn syrup (or corn or grain products) out of your family’s diet, foods that have been produced specifically for the Passover season (March 29th through sundown, April 5th this year) are your friends. I went to my local ‘large regional supermarket chain’ and found that the Passover display was already up: matza, coconut macaroons, breakfast cereals, baking mixes, potato flour, you name it. These are products that although you will want to read the ingredient labels just to read them, it is not as if you will have to read them to catch the manufacturer in putting corn products into them. Corn and other grain products are forbidden for Passover, so products are manufactured specifically with that in mind and the manufacturers’ premises are rigorously cleaned and inspected by religious authorities before the manufacturing process takes place to make sure that there is no ‘chametz’ (grain products) left behind to contaminate the manufacturing processing equipment. (more…)

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