I've got to kill two birds with one stone here, because I've been tagged by Ilva, whose photography at Lucullian Delights is some of the most gorgeous, for a blogging event called "Five Things to Eat Before You Die."
And today is BlogDay 2006, where those of thus doing this for a hobby or for our life's work point you to some good blogs that you might not have seen.
An exercise in contemplation, started by Melissa at The Traveler's Lunchbox.
It shouldn't surprise anyone, but I'm going to keep it related to the farms and ranches I love. I believe with my whole heart that food that is clean and sustainably produced is DEMOCRATIC. Think about it, isn't there something slightly obscene about routinely spending hundreds of dollars on a meal?
I wish everyone in the world could have the opportunity, if they desired, to taste these things, below. And then so many more people would desire them that the demand would grow, and we would have alternatives to factory farms and agribusiness's toxic approach to so-called food.
How wonderful it would be if people could have ready access to these foods in their own homes.
1) Raw milk from a pastured cow who was milked that morning. I have some in my refrigerator right now, from the beautiful Nutmeg, the cow who lives at Deep Roots Ranch. There is nothing sweeter or finer than this milk. It's unbelievable. I had no idea. How the dairy industry got so corrupt is unfathomable, except when I consider the greed of factory farmers and the politicians whose pockets they lined. And I wonder how our parents' generation, who knew the quality of these things, could ever have relented and bought filthy food from a supermarket.
2) Bacon from a pastured pig. I have some of that in my refrigerator, too: it is so clean-tasting and balanced that I will never buy bacon from the supermarket again. This bacon was produced from the pigs who live happy lives, rooting in the grass and artichoke plants out at TLC Ranch. Once you taste it, you could never want to eat Oscar-Meyer bacon, from pigs who breathe the fumes from their feces and urine all day. It infuses their flesh, and tastes dirty.
3) A truly free-range pastured chicken, who eats bugs and grass all day long. Again, the cleanest meat you can imagine. It's (duh) how chicken is supposed to taste. Happy chickens live outdoors. Happy chickens don't taste dirty.
4) A variety of heirloom tomatoes: sliced and served as Insalata Caprese. I do not know a single thing that tastes better in the entire world. My favorite heirlooms are from Love Apple Farm and Happy Boy Farms. And the ones Bob grows in our garden.
5) Sun-cooked strawberry conserve from Vermont, made by online pal GG Mora. I have a religion about strawberries, and mostly avoid them now because none can match up to the berries I had as a child in the Deep South. These Vermont strawberries had as much flavor in a molecule as some berries have in their entire bodies. So many strawberries are disappointing.
Am I just world weary? I don't know. But the tiniest taste of this conserve sent me rushing back to a younger, happier time, and boy, there aren't that many things that make me feel that way.
(GG is out of them for the season, alas, and can't keep up with production as it is, but I had to include them as part of the prayer, you see.)
And I am tagging some people...the first isn't a food blogger, but she is a kindred spirit, and I hope she will apply her thoughtfulness to this exercise: Patricia at 37 Days. (She's appeared on this site before.)
Next, I'm asking Michael Ruhlman for his list, which I hope he'll let me publish here. (Bet you money that pork is on it.)
Next: Tse Wei, who writes so elegantly at Off the Bone.
Next: my buddy, Ore, over at Potential Gold. He spent 10 months studying slow food in Italy, and the kid has some serious chops.
Finally: the lovely and talented Jennifer Jeffreys, at Writer, who just finished up a cookbook...all about gahlic, dahlin'.
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For BlogDay 2006, and here are my offerings:
bighappyfunhouse: found photos
Dirt by Amy Stewart
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That's all for now.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Thanks for visiting.