Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Milk-Drinker's Dilemma

My second article for Flagpole was printed today. This one was a bit of a doozy to write (it took me several weeks and it took me away from TwinYolks for a spell). It's about raw milk vs. pasteurized milk. I thought many of you would enjoy reading about the issue - which is, I soon discovered - kind of a controversial one. Let me know what you think! It is right here waiting for you. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Crafty Little Housewife.

I'm writing in honor of a friend of mine, Lauren Anne, who was married this past April to her husband, Zach. Shortly after their wedding, they moved together into a little stone cottage in Athens. The cottage was a dreamy, cozy little place down a gravel road surrounded by fields and rustic barns. It is a magical place tucked away in the woods - a hidden gem in this crazy city. They had everything a newly wedded couple could want: privacy, peace and quiet, a stone fireplace... The only downside was... the kitchen, or lack thereof.

For months my dear friend - who loves to bake - has been cramped up in this little hallway with no oven, a refrigerator the size one would find in a hotel room, and a two-burner stove. Needless to say the situation was less than ideal, especially for a brand new bride who has to stifle that ever incessant yearning to entertain, show off some of those registry items, and of course feed Zach.

She managed to do all of the above - and even succeeded in inventing a recipe that works for those who either don't have an oven or don't have much affection for their kitchens (you'll note she doesn't have a dishwasher, either). And she managed to do it all with locally grown food from ALG and the Farmer's Market.

(Look at her showing us all up in that lil' kitchen!)

So, thanks to ingenious Lauren Anne, we have an easy, local, end-of-summer recipe. These quesadillas are delicious, and I daresay you'll enjoy making it in whatever kitchen you have. (Although if you are displeased with your home kitchen setup, or if you just feel like drooling over magnificent kitchens, check out my other friend's design blog, Nest Egg, for some amazing design tips!)

Also, I'm pleased to announce that this story has a happy ending. Lauren Anne and Zach are now homeowners and she'll have to suffer no longer in her teensy weensy little cottage kitchen. Though, as thrilled as I am for them I must say I'm going to miss that gorgeous barn...


Zucchini Quesadillas with Whole Wheat Tortillas

Olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped


4 cloves garlic , minced

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 cups grated pepper jack cheese


In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute more.

Add zucchini cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.

Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining tablespoon oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal.

Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, top with fresh salsa! ((adapted from

Friday, September 25, 2009

Full Of Good Things.

The season I love most has always been - and always will be - autumn. And every year, toward the end of summer, fall starts seeping into the air and it makes me crazy with delight. I put on courduroys and sweaters far too early. Also, I fill my head with thoughts about how fast time flies... and I wonder if it's just me or does everyone get so reflective around the coming of this season. I love that it isn't distinguishable by the tree's color change yet, but you can still smell its subtle approach - especially in the mornings. It's in the air somehow, and it grows, this feeling...

And it's full of good things.

I'm waiting for the perfect day to make this... and am excited about squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes... all the yummy fall foods that are rolling in. I'm not quite ready to let go of the summer foods yet (I might cry when tomatoes are gone...), but right now is that perfect in-between stage, where you can enjoy a little bit of both.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite thoughts on fall, by George Eliot, who was actually a Georgina, but no less poetic.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns."
- George Eliot

Delicious Autumn indeed.
Happy weekend, happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First Publication - Hooray!

Remember our stint out on Greendale Farms?

Turns out all that pig feeding and egg collecting paid off! I was given the opportunity to write about it for a weekly magazine in Athens called Flagpole. The story was published today and I just had to share it with you. (It is, after all, one of the reasons, for my spotty appearances over the summer. And you, after all, are to be credited for all the writing encouragement you've given me.) Hope you enjoy the read!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Purple Rain.

The weather in Athens has been about as dreary as weather can be. The rain keeps falling, and the forecast keeps predicting more rain. John wakes up in the morning, peers out the window and sighs. As I drove to a local coffee shop (Walkers, my favorite) to get some writing finished, the DJ announced thunderstorms for the rest of the week, and then decided to commemorate the weather with a rather depressing tune by Tom Waits.

When I heard the song I realized I wasn't feeling as miserable about the weather as most people. Secretly, I love the rain. Nothing validates a cozy visit to the couch and with an alluring novel and a hot cup of tea quite like an overcast backdrop. However, I realize that some people (my husband included) get a little stir crazy with all this rain about, and so I have decided to commemorate what may end up being over two full weeks of scattered thunderstorms with a nod to the eggplant.

"Why the eggplant?" you ask. The obvious answer is that it looks - with its plump arresting figure - exactly like a raindrop. And right now it is fully in season. I love the way it sort of dangles down on its stem like a giant sized raindrop waiting to fall from a child-size umbrella. I also love to touch its glossy-slick exterior. The skin itself looks refreshing and clean, like it's just been polished by an adoring housekeeper.

Though it isn't the kind of vegetable people line up at market stands for, those who do know how to prepare an eggplant aren't the sort who would pass it up. One of the most popular presentations for it is the ever-delicious Eggplant Parmigiana. John and I made this dish on a sopping Saturday night, and have found it to be a perfect recipe in its entirety. (The link will take you to the Kitchen Bible's recipe, which is the recipe we used). As an aside, I'd like to gently insist that you never buy any of your cheeses pre-shredded. I've learned (the hard way) that the flavor evaporates quickly once cheese is shredded so it's best to buy the block and shred yourself.

You won't be sorry. And believe me when I tell you that the results of this Parmigana are divine. And right now is the time to snatch up the last of the tomatoes and pluck a few sleek eggplant from your farmer's market - along with some fresh basil - and make this adoringly sweet, fragrant, mouth-watering dish. Play your own homage to the rain - and to the eggplant (Purple Rain, perhaps?) with this dish, because before you know it, the rain will clear out and it'll be gone.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Mexico, I Love You.

OH that we all could just eat delicious food and travel to exotic lands.

(Sometimes I wish that were what life was about...)

I've been at the beach, it's true, but I also packed up my husband and snuck away to Santa Fe for a visit with my brother and sister-in-law. You've met them before, I believe. They are the ones who I admire so much in that little sister kind of way.

They're out west, living the dream, or at least their surroundings are the dreamiest one could ask for. New Mexico is full of astonishing beauty,




and an amazing, farm-fresh salad bistro called Vinaigrette that John and Bea help grow for. (Their slogan is "Saving the Planet...One Salad at a Time." Does it get more wonderful than organic salads? Just the thought of their deliciousness makes me want to go start shaking olive oil and balsamic like a celebratory rattler in a Mariachi band. Clearly that's my cup of tea, but my guess is that if you love impossibly fresh salads combined with decadent wine, it's yours too.)

John and Bea also took us to the Santa Fe Farmer's Market, which is a spectacular market. People were flocking around the pepper roaster, vying for samples of the different flavored peppers, which were also strung in hefty clumps looking electric and bright, like Christmas lights. There were people selling downy sheepskin rugs, a man fire-roasting mild green peppers over a spit, sausage links hanging languidly for sale from the top of the sausage tent and happy bright sunflowers peering out at you from all over the alleyway. It was blissful.

I don't have a recipe for you today, but I do have a little expression of admiration for Santa Fe, and its Farmer's Market. Not to mention my dear brother and sister-in-law, who are out there relentlessly farming, growing, contributing, and being wonderful examples to us all.

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