Friday, February 12, 2010

Monday, November 16, 2009

Simple living and simple cooking

Before entering the Peace Corps I had a period of wonderful cookery experimentation at my home.  This may or may not have been a direct effect of my unemployment at the time.  I cooked a bunch of great meals, some failures, and I had an endless list of new things to try...
I have carried over my interest in experimenting with recipes to the campo of Nicaragua.  But, as my life has been simplified a bit, so has my cooking.  I am amazed at some of the things I am cooking in the third world; and I am always impressed by the products that the natives make using very rustic kitchens.  Upon my return to the States I hope to continue producing great food ideas with fresh, local should feel SO EASY to have all the tools of a luxury kitchen.
Yesterday I prepared my first attempt of a cheddar style hard cheese.  I helped milk the cows and brought 4 L of fresh, raw milk straight home to curdle.  The cheese is currently dripping dry in a make shift mold using part of a used plastic soda bottle, a can of tuna fish, and a bottle of rum.  Haha.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

food industry news, always love it.

Two food industry blurbs passed through my inbox this week, and since they both relate to public health, I decided a post might interest others.
It seems that the debate continues about raw milk products.  Now that I live in Nicaragua, I often think about this because fresh (and not so fresh) raw milk products are very common.  Presumably this is the case in most of the world in small agricultural communities.  For this reason, I recently initiated a workshop with some local dairy producers to teach preferred milking practices and cattle sanitation. //  In the States I often thought about the ins and outs of raw milk because of my job selling artisan cheeses.  There is certainly a market for old world style cheese, made with all the flavor factors that [many people say] only raw milk can provide. Aqui en Nicaragua, tomo mi cafe con leche directo de la teta!  Vamos a ver si me hace dano...
The raw milk debate: Economic opportunity or legal liability?

Many states have recently passed legislation to expand the sale of unpasteurized milk, allowing farmers to sell larger quantities of unpasteurized milk and thereby enhance economic opportunities in these times of severe economic challenges for so many dairy farmers. In the latest ePerspective post, Catherine Donnelly, Professor at the University of Vermont and Co-director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, asks the question: Should economic opportunity be met at the expense of public health? Despite claims of health benefits associated with raw milk consumption, raw milk is a well documented source of bacterial pathogens which can cause human illness, and in some instances, death. Has raw milk legislation created economic opportunity or legal liability for farmers engaged in the sale of unpasteurized milk? Share your opinion today on Food Technology's ePerspective!


Kellogg discontinues immunity statements on Rice Krispies cereals

Kellogg Company has announced its decision to discontinue the immunity statements on Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereals. Last year, Kellogg started the development of adding antioxidants to Rice Krispies cereals. The company began advertising the change with large labels on cereal boxes that read in bold letters: "Now helps support your child's immunity."

While science shows that these antioxidants help support the immune system,given the public attention on H1N1, the company decided to make this change. Kellogg, based in Battle Creek, Mich., said it has heard very little concern from consumers about the claim, but is responding to concerns in the media about the timing of this front-of-the-box claim and the H1N1 flu outbreak. Kellogg said it will take several months to phase out the packaging but it will continue to offer the increased levels of certain vitamins in the cereal.

Really society?  REALLY?  Would some people actually, perhaps, purchase more rice crispies in as a preventative measure for swine flu?  Hehehe...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Avocado sorbet in the campo

Another treat that I enjoyed alone in the Peace Corps...por eso, I share the idea on my blog.  I hope others will try it.

I read a book about Citrus last year and it includes a quick recipe for a treat using avocado, lime, and sugar.  It is like a sweet gaucamole.  It is a Brasilian recipe and I imagine these ingredients are abundant there!

In rural Nicaragua I am in avocado paradise compared to the States.  I can sometimes by 3 or 4 large avocados for around $1.00 (USD); sometimes I can pick an aguacate from the tree. I recall spending around $1.00 on a single avocado in the States.

So, the other day, with a sourish lemon that fell outside of the door to my room, I whipped up an avocado, sugar, and lemon juice.  Since my house is super fancy, I actually have a fridge with a freezer (most homes in rural Nicaragua have no need for a fridge...if they have electricity, they do usually have a television however---this home has a fridge because it is owned by a city family that sells fresh cheese--it is fresh because of the refrigerator).  So, I froze this creamy mixture and the next day enjoyed rich, healthy, and delicious creamy sorbet!!