Tuesday Top Ten: Food from Cuttings

IMG_7565

With just a quick perusal of pinterest, you can find hundreds of grow-it-yourself instructions. As I surfed around DIY gardening sites, I quickly realized that some of the projects don’t result in edible food. You can grow beautiful avocado trees or carrot tops, but they won’t make much of a dinner. Here are our top ten edible items that we’re going to try to start from cuttings this year:

  1. Green Onions – from 17 Apart
  2. Ginger Root – from Tropical Permaculture
  3. Garlic – from A Veggie Venture
  4. Sweet Potatoes – from The Garden of Eaden
  5. Celery – from Deep Roots at Home
  6. Rosemary – from Geek Gardener
  7. Basil – from Garden Therapy
  8. Tomato Plants – from Vegetable Gardener
  9. Peppermint – from Mother Earth Living
  10. Lemongrass – from Backyard Gardening Blog

Tuesday Top Ten: Cheap Dates and Fresh Basil

IMG_8229

We have some simple, practical goals for our family meals. We want our meals to be:

  1. Delicious
  2. Inexpensive
  3. Healthy
  4. Easy to Prepare

Our fifth goal is more difficult to pin down. If I write, “Good for the environment” or “Good for the rest of the world,” it sounds like we’re on a positive track, but ultimately I don’t believe that any of our current food choices are truly good for the environment or the rest of the world. Our default shopping spot is Safeway (a traditional U.S. grocery store that seems no better or worse than any other chain). We buy packaged and processed foods, out of habit and because they seem less expensive. We haven’t done much with our backyard garden, except grow a lot of mint. We’ve become typical American consumers, and we think we’re too busy and too lazy to reform our habits.

In the name of reform and in the spirit of taking small steps to create big changes, we’ve got ten ideas to try, to get us back on a greener track.

  1. Buy in bulk – this week we bought cheap dates, pecans, and shredded coconut.
  2. Do part or all of our weekly shopping at Sprouts, or seek out the organic sections at Safeway and Costco.
  3. Shop the Sprouts sale circular and take advantage of their coupons.
  4. Try buying some items through a Frontier co-op.
  5. Make a plan to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group, or a Neighbor Supported Agriculture (NSA) group. I just found out about a new NSA in our ‘hood called Little Raven Farms.
  6. Make a plan to share herbs and spices with friends.
  7. Stay on top of meal planning – when we make a plan and buy the right ingredients, we’re less likely to fall back on prepackaged meals.
  8. When grocery shopping, stick with the list. That goes hand-in-hand with the old maxim…
  9. Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Or kids with empty stomachs. And definitely not hungry spouses.
  10. Keep our little window-sill basil alive, and make a plan to start more indoor edible plants.
  11. IMG_7844

What ideas would you add?

Two for Tuesday

IMG_7879

In the spirit of being more present and focused this week, I have just two super-fantastic resource recommendations to share.

rd1Photo from Leafcutter Designs web-site

The first came my way via Lisa – a link to Lea Redmond’s Recipe Dice. Lea has found a way to combine Story Cubes and Iron Chef, and I’m very excited to try the combination at our house. I think the dice might be a great way to pull Sam back into an interest in cooking and eating homemade food (he recently declared that the only homemade food he likes is cake). If you’re checking out the dice, you might want to lose your focus for a few minutes, or hours, and peruse more of Lea’s projects and quirky inventions at Leafcutter Designs.

51Vgaos6WHL._SS500_

My second recommendation is The Food52 Cookbook: Volume 2,  by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. I hadn’t heard of Food52 until I found the cookbook at the library today, but I’m already sold on the concept. The book is a compilation of 52 seasonal recipes, that were the winners of weekly contests on the Food52 web-site. The Food52 community is still going strong, and is an excellent source for inspiration and endless eye candy.

I hope you enjoy both of these recommendations as much as I am!

Tuesday Top Ten, Twice!

IMG_8028

Tuesdays are for sharing great resources, web-based or otherwise, that support our exploration.

Today we’ve got two lists to share – the first is our ‘dinner and dishes’ playlist. We’ve been taking our party-on during dinner mandate very seriously, as you can see. Music has been a key factor. Here are ten of our favorite songs of the moment, in no particular order:

  1. Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
  2. He’eia – Hapa
  3. Friday I’m In Love – The Cure
  4. Lost In My Mind – The Head and the Heart
  5. 10/10 – Paolo Nutini
  6. Mother and Child Reunion – Paul Simon
  7. C’mon Let’s Go – Pure Heart
  8. Fall of ’82 – The Shins
  9. Dyslexic Heart – Paul Westerberg
  10. All You Need Is Love – Lynden David Hall

And here’s a list of ten interesting family-meal-related blogs or web-sites we’ve been checking out (again, in no particular order):

  1. eatdinner.org
  2. Time at the Table
  3. Jamie Oliver
  4. Nigella Lawson
  5. Flavia’s Flavors
  6. Mad Hungry
  7. Mother Earth Living Food & Recipes 
  8. The Family Dinner Project
  9. Lick My Spoon
  10. Smitten Kitchen

What would you add to either list?