Monthly Favorites

April Favorites

1. No Reservations (Movie) –

I watched this movie with my grandmother after a long day of cooking. We sat down to relax and I watched this movie for this first time and fell in love!!! Before I get into how great this movie is, let me warn that there are some SPOILERS ahead…..

“Master chef Kate Armstrong (Catherine Zeta-Jones) runs her life and her kitchen with intimidating intensity. But after an accident, she becomes the guardian of her young niece, (Abigail Breslin), and also running her kitchen with a brash sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart) who just joined her staff, by no choice of her own. Though romance blooms in the face of rivalry, Kate needs to look outside the kitchen to find true happiness.”

I loved this movie so much because it scared me as well as thrilled me. The thought of running my own kitchen one day made me so exhilarated, while at the same time, the look into my possible future of having no life, worried me. But that is why I know that I am heading down the right career path, because it all seemed worth it.

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2. Farmer’s Markets and Farm to Table Movement –                                                                                            

How great are farmer’s markets? It is a great way to get up and get out on a beautiful day, and it is inexpensive. Farmer’s market are my favorite because they are just starting up full throttle in April and they offer the best produce around. Garden tomatoes, fresh peppers, and sweet, sweet corn. Honestly, does it get any better, all while buying local!

Why Local? and What is Farm to Table?

Reprinted from With an Ear to the Ground by Vern Grubinger, published by Northeast Region SARE, 2004

Local food tastes better.
The crops are picked at their peak, and farmstead products like cheese are hand crafted for the best flavor. Food imported from far away is older, has traveled on trucks or planes, and has sat in warehouses before it finally gets to you.

Local produce is better for you.
The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food.

Local food preserves genetic diversity.
In the modern agricultural system, plant varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen uniformly, withstand harvesting, survive packing and last on the shelf, so there is limited genetic diversity in large-scale production. Smaller local farms, in constrast, often grow many different varieties to provide a long harvest season, in an array of colors and flavors.

Local food is safe.
There’s a unique kind of assurance that comes from looking a farmer in the eye at farmers market or driving by the fields where your food comes from. Local farmers aren`t anonymous and they take their responsibility to the consumer seriously.

Local food supports local families.
Wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell directly to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food, which helps farm families stay on the land.

Local food builds community.
When you buy direct from a farmer, you are engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and grower. Knowing the farmer gives you insight into the seasons, the land, and your food. It gives you access to a place where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture.

Local food preserves open space.
When farmers get paid more for their products by marketing locally, they are less likely to sell their farmland for development. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive to preserve our agricultural landscape.

Local food keeps taxes down.
According to several studies, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most other kinds of development contribute less in taxes than the cost of the services they require.

Local food benefits the environment and wildlife.
Well-managed farms conserve fertile soil and clean water in our communities. The farm environment is a patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds, and buildings that provide habitat for wildlife.

Local food is an investment in the future.
By supporting local farmers today, you are helping ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow.

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The Wild Ramp – this is a farmer’s market in my hometown in West Virginia. The offer local products such as dairy, eggs, produce, meat, baked goods, and so much more. They even have a small restaurant called The Farm to Table Cafe, which is really good. Their menu changes from day to day, and they only use what is in season. It is one of my favorite places from my hometown. They even offer links to guide you towards what they offer in their store based off of what is in season.

Seasonal Offerings


 

3. Real Homemade Butter and Cheese

There is honestly nothing better. I made it for the first time just a week or so ago, and it was perfect. I first featured both recipes in my FOTM – 27 Ways to Use Basil. Just take a chance, and check it out…. #s 5 and 9!


Last, but not least…..
4. Brett!!

During the month of April, my other half, Brett, turned 20. So this would definitely make the “April Favorites”. The birthday party was so much fun, and so tasty! If you haven’t read all about his party, click here to go and check it out!

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