Friday, July 3, 2009


Well folks, the time is drawing near for me to pick a name out of the hat, so I thought I would try to pique your interest even further. The book I am giving away this month covers a year in the life of one family - a year in which they made every attempt to feed themselves animals and vegetables whose provenance they really knew, and to wring as much petroleum out of their food chain as possible. The chapters follow their progress through the seasons, telling you what they ate and why. At first you might feel a bit sorry for their two children, when you hear what they had to give up in order to participate in this experiment, but it won't be long before the tables will turn, and you will be envious of what all they gained.

In each chapter, you will get not only a glimpse behind the scenes of modern food industries, but also a glimpse into the author's family life, kitchen, and garden. For every food that she spoils your enjoyment of, by telling you disturbing facts about how it was raised or produced, she will more than make up for it by sharing numerous tips on how to eat and live well, using local ingredients that were produced in a safe, sustainable manner.

Take chapter nine, for example, which covers a period in late June. First you are offered a bit of philosophy - a discussion of why the author believes that dinnertime is the cornerstone of her family's mental health, and that the willingness to learn basic cooking skills is the great divide between good eating and bad. "Households that have lost the soul of cooking from their routines may not know what they're missing: the song of a stir-fry sizzle, the small talk of clinking measuring spoons, the yeasty scent of rising dough, the painting of flavors onto a pizza before it slides into the oven. The choreography of many people working in one kitchen is, by itself, a certain definition of family, after people have made their separate ways home to be together."

Next, the author tells you a bit about the dairy industry, and why you might be concerned about modern dairy regulations (some pediatricians suggest that if you can only afford to put one organic choice in your shopping cart, it should be dairy - the industry claims growth hormones in milk are safe, but doctors are seeing way too many young girls going through early puberty). She also profiles an amazing artisan, Ricki Carroll (aka The Cheese Queen) who founded New England Cheesemaking Supply, wrote several books on the subject, and has had over 7,000 people attend cheesemaking workshops in her kitchen.

To wind up the chapter, the author teaches you, the reader, how to make your own 30-minute mozzarella, then she shares with you three of their favorite ways to use the homemade cheese: Summertime Salad, Eggplant Papoutzakia, and Friday Night Pizza. Imagine, all that in just one chapter, and each of the other nineteen are just as packed! And if that isn't enough of a temptation for you, I'm also throwing in wonderful treats from two of our Bountiful Sprout vendors: a precious oilcloth market bag from Simple Pleasures Granola, and for you Dr. Pepper lovers, a jar of Texas Tea Jelly from Harvest Time, made with original recipe Dr. Pepper from Dublin, TX. using pure cane sugar.

So, leave a comment any time between now and Sunday, to have a chance at winning these three wonderful gifts!


Stephanie said...

So when are you going to start making cheese???? I know you have such wonderful places around you that you don't need to go to all that trouble!! LOL Now you have me waiting to make pizza dough with toppings from my garden. yum!

lexlane said...

Oh man, making my own cheese would be awesome!

Hill Country Hippie said...

Well, you two are just going to have to come to Wimberley for a big family cheese and pizza-making fest! Steph, do you know if Kevin and Goya ever tried making any cheese from their goat's milk? I sent them one of the books by the Cheese Queen a while back.

Stephanie said...

No Kevin and Goya have their hands full with all their animals. Their doing good to collect all the eggs. He has like 70 chickens now! He was showing me the magazine you got him and how he really likes it. That it had a lot of practical tips and ideas. Mother Earth I think is what it's called.

Stephanie said...

That would be so cool to do our own version of Sibby's cooking class with just our families. Pizza with homemade cheese sounds like heaven!