The beginning is a wonderful place to start

Thanks for joining me in this collection of my thoughts, recipes, and miscellany.  I’ve started this little blog as a way to channel some of my enthusiasm about food–both as an academic subject and as that tasty stuff I shove in my mouth.  I’d expect to see here documentation of my latest food adventures (in canning, baking, pickling, and dining), and my ideas about being an ethical eater.  I’ve been a vegan for nearly eight years (when did I get this old?!), and I’ve recently become pretty enthralled of the local food movement.  I can’t really call myself a “locavore,” because I’m really not there (yet?).  I do the majority of my grocery shopping at Wegmans.  I still buy some processed foods (I’m looking at you, Daiya!).  I’ve been guilty of buying tomatoes in the wintertime.  I swear I’m getting better, though, and I’m hoping this summer to try to take some more steps towards food self-sufficiency (more on that another time, though).

I began canning because I read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and I became obsessed with the idea of reducing my food dependency, both on other regions and on other people.  I began just by trying to do more of my own cooking, from scratch!, than eating out or eating processed foods.  But I’ve always been a crafty person, and I love diy-ing, so when I tried a family friend’s homemade pickles, I knew I had a new project.  I made my own pickles, which were a little too salty perhaps, but otherwise a success, I asked my facebook friends, “If I can pickle, can I can?” and received a lot of encouragement from my foodie facebook friends.  The journey began.  I borrowed Ashley English’s Homemade Living: Canning and Preserving with Ashley English from the local library.  My first project was the Peach and Lavender Butter pictured in the header of this blog, made with the help of my mother.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

So what’s in my pantry now?  Well, I have one jar left of that Peach and Lavender Butter, which I’ve decided to save for late winter/early spring as a treat for the coming summer.  There’s one jar left of the amazing Herbed Pickled Asparagus I made with Michael in the summer, another item being saved for an early taste of spring.  There’s a jar of Pickled Cranberries, and at least one left of Spiced Cranberry Jam, which came out a little thicker than intended, but is still very tasty.  There’s one last jar of Apple Cider Jam, which I gave out as Christmas gifts to great acclaim.  I’ve also just started a sourdough starter a few days ago, so I’m hoping to try my hand at sourdough bread in the coming week.

So pull up a chair and a cup of hot tea.  There’s more to come!