So, this week we finally got past most of the sicknesses that have been making the rounds in our house. Frankly, between politics and germs (which, now that I think about it, have a lot in common!), it’s been a rough month, and while almost everyone is feeling better, we have all been tired and more than a little cranky. I figure we could use a little good cheer right about now, so here it goes:
My first star is dedicated to my husband, whose other true love, after me, of course (right, honey??), is beer. The online music site, Pitchfork, will be branching out into the world of beer with a brand-new website named October. It will feature articles, videos and podcasts, all dedicated to this favorite subject. It is a timely appearance with the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, though my husband will tell you that any time is a good time for beer!
I, for one, am not a beer drinker. In fact, I used to say that I was not a consumer of any alcohol product… perhaps until now. This article describes a start-up company that will be repurposing the “spent” grain leftover at the end of the beer brewing process and turning it into granola bars. Apparently, every six pack of beer leaves about a pound of grain leftover. It was assumed that this grain was just to be discarded as most of the sugars in the grain had already been used up in the brewing process. But, it turns out that this is a good thing, as far as the health food industry is concerned. The grain maintains its high protein content, smells and tastes pretty good, and contains far less sugar. Personally, I’d rather eat granola bars than drink beer, especially if they have chocolate chips in them, so my second star goes to them.
And, finally, since, alcohol seems to be the theme of the week, my third star goes to this article describing how seed saving and conservation efforts are protecting the future of gin. Yup, that’s right, gin. It seems that juniper trees in the UK, whose berries give gin its distinctive taste, were blighted by a fungus, almost wiping out the species. So, for those of you whose drink of choice is gin, it sounds like your future of drinking has been secured. Can’t help but wonder if it were something like, say… cauliflower or lima beans being wiped out by blight, would anyone even care?? For gin, it’s an emergency, and conservationists got right on that problem!
And now for the wish…
Ok, I know I promised not to talk about Trump every week, but given this week in politics, I’m sure you can all understand why I’m perseverating! The ban on immigration from seven Muslim countries is, to me, a shameless act of prejudice. There is no logical rationale for this, and I, in no way, think that it will help protect us from terrorism. I also believe that most prejudice stems from a lack of knowledge, and hence, an unhealthy fear of “the other”.
When my husband and I travel, one of our favorite ways to explore new places and learn about the local culture, is through food. (Yes, I am both proud and a little embarrassed to admit that we have eaten our way across many a country!) I often see food as a bridge between people from different places, cultures and backgrounds. Thus, when I saw this article posted on Twitter, I knew I had to include it in this week’s post. It is a list of favorite cookbooks featuring the cuisine of those parts of the world targeted by the Trump administration. While travel is certainly difficult, I think it is still possible to gain an understanding of others through cooking and food. My wish this week is that you will take this as a learning opportunity, choose a recipe, and, in some small way, show your support, by making a dish or a meal that represents one of these cultures.