Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Wednesday June 13, 2012

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Grace Young

Grace Young touched my heart when I first heard her speak at a cookbook conference in February. When Grace decided to spend time with her Mom and relatives in San Francisco chronicling the family recipes, she got the unexpected - stories, wisdom, lore and love. Her journey to preserve her family recipes yielded a far richer experience. In addition, while the original intent was to keep the recipes alive for future generations, another unintended consequence occurred. Grace's Mom has aged. And it's when Grace makes her Mom a treasured family recipe that her Mom perks up. The smell and the tastes take her Mom back to a happy place. So, a project started to help future generations has actually touched an older generation. And now you see why Grace's talk brought tears to my eyes!! Her cookbooks are an amazing chronicle of not only her family recipes and stories, but also Grace has traveled and collected many other Chinese recipes and stories. Grace, like me, believes that the story is what gives a recipe context. It's what connects us to our past and bridges us to the future!

Grace has shared 2 recipes from her books. Chinese Trinidadian Stir-fried Shrimp with Rum from Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories and Vegetable Lo-Mein from The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen: Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing .

Thank you Grace Young for all you wonderfulness!! I am happy to have met a kindred spirit who shares the same joy of the story!!

Listen to her interview here.

Wednesday June 06, 2012

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Marion Nestle

Would you believe that a person who is among the top 7 most powerful foodies according to Michael Pollan admits to having no real food memories from her childhood other than summer camp in Vermont?  But it was an extraordinary memory and has influenced her to this day. Was it the fresh-picked green beans, still warm from the summer sun? The wild berries? 

Fast forward to adult life and Marion Nestle is, bar none, at the top of the food movement chain!  What I loved about Marion was her optimism.  She's been focused on food studies since 1996 and has seen great strides in the food movement. It's really all about values - what kind of food do we want to feed out families?  So vote with you fork and live sustainably by putting back what you take out.  Seems simple, right - then do it!!  Thank you Marion for all that you do!!

And enjoy Marion's interview. It's Informative and inspiring! Listen Here!

Wednesday June 06, 2012

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Ella Nemcova

Latvian-born Ella Nemcova is a first generation American who witnessed her family straddle their heritage foods with the new American foods and "Good Housekeeping" ethos.  And like many of us, didn't pay alot of attention to food growing up.  She loved Russian Deli food and, in particular, Salad Olivier - a salad of potatoes, peas, pickles, and kielbasa - all cubed in the same shape and size.  Ella spent the beginning of her career in advertising but left that career and began an odyssey that would lead her to her new career as a vegan caterer, teacher and artisanal product creator. Check out The Regal Vegan.  

And listen to her interview here!!

Tuesday June 05, 2012

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Belinda DiGiambattista

You may be able to take the girl out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the girl!  Belinda Di Giambattista is a living breathing example of that quote!  Belinda grew up in North Carolina and was exposed to farming and farmer's markets as a little girl. She went off to pursue her brilliant career in finance and found herself craving  more spiritual and meaningful work.  Belinda still lives in NYC but she has found a way to connect with her farming and healthy eating roots.  She started a business making healthy food for kids called Butterbeans Kitchen.

I aksed Belinda for her grandmother's "Apple Moon Pies" and in true granny form, we got the "non-recipe, recipe!" Here's her note to me:

Hi Carole! My Granny wrote me the following note:

"They were dried apple fried pies, I never had a recipe. If you put a cup of firm pack dried apples in a sauce pan and a cup of water then bring it to a boil turn the heat down to low, you might have to add more water just a small amount depending on the apples, cook to mush, stir often. When cooked enough add spices and sugar to taste, I used bread dough. Take a ball the size of a walnut and roll it like a thin pie crust, spread the apple mix on 1/2 of the dough not to the edge of the dough, fold the other 1/2 dough over the apples with a fork press the crust together to seal in the apples then lay it carefully in a frying pan with some oil and fry that side then turn the pie over cook.  I used to make a big stack of pies and my family loved to eat them."  Izula Fentress

I thought it would be better to leave her version of the recipe as is to preserve how she thinks of it instead of writing it in a traditional style."

I spyed some dried apples at the farmers market last week and will pick some up on Friday and try to create a recipe to share this weekend.  SOostay tuned!!  In the meantime, here's her interview - enjoy!!

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