Top | Newsletter 2011

Culinate Newsletter November 16

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,
 Is there anyone more revered in our culture than a grandmother? Mom, maybe, but after all, what is a grandma if not a mom squared? Growing up, I was lucky to have four grandmothers, three of whom I knew well. (Talk about a blended family!) One had no garden and was not particularly concerned with matters in the kitchen. She would rather have been painting in her studio than making masterpieces at the stove, and I looked forward to visits with this grandmother because often that meant we would go out for dinner, a treat at the time. 

 Another was adept at cooking, having mastered a handful of dishes that everyone loved, and she grew tomatoes and rhubarb beautifully. This grandmother could preserve applesauce and fry a trout with the best of them, but she didn't relish it. Instead, she'd prefer to serve a grilled beefsteak alongside a buttered baked potato and a simple salad, and call it good. (If she felt ambitious she'd bake a cherry pie for dessert, and yes, those tart cherries came from a tree in her yard.) 

 Which brings us to the third grandma, the most industrious of the three — an absolute ace at gardening, preserving, and all-around cooking. She tended all kinds of vegetables, as well as strawberries, raspberries, plums, and apples. She baked bread once or twice a week and made nightly dinners with wild game, foraged mushrooms, and fish from sea and stream. She taught me to clam. She showed me how to fry doughnuts. And her larder looked a lot like Marilyn's, which [/mix/dinnerguest/lifeandfoodlessons "Harriet Fasenfest discovered"] on a recent trip to Vermont. 

 In this week's [/mix/dinnerguest/lifeandfoodlessons blogpost,] Harriet hints that she's looking for a way to bring a group of grandmothers together and give them a platform from which to teach, to help us all learn how to feed ourselves better. Having gained important life lessons from each of my grandmas, I'm all for seeking out the wisdom of elders — whether or not they were expert cooks and gardeners, or merely good enough.

 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

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story1id: 358707
story1text: "Thursday: Josh Viertel and Jennifer Maiser join Kim O'Donnel to discuss a local-foods Thanksgiving."
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story2text: "Meredith Bethune shares eight tips for buying fresh whole fish — an economical way to go."

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recipe1text: "Claudia Roden's version of dulce de membrillo is easy, elegant, and incredibly fragrant." 
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recipe2text: 'This tasty dish from Debra Daniels-Zeller is great to make ahead for Thanksgiving.'

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