- You've been tasked to cook a four course meal for the President of the USA. What do you make, and why?
Broccoli, because he hates it. Dodgy meats cooked rare from the slaughterhouses and feed lots that are allowed to continue to operate without sanctions … side of Peter Pan … Chicken processed in China and shipped back here ... a few bits from a dumpster for those in poverty.
Okay, I am not a fan of George W. but I will do my patriotic duty to what shred of respect is left for what the office of the presidency should stand for.
The meal would need to be comprised of nearly all-local ingredients as a lesson in sustainable agriculture for him. Let’s say the president is coming to my table just so I have the home advantage.
First course: Sweet potato and root vegetable soup with roasted pumpkin seeds, balsamic reduction, topped with crisp sage and a swirl of cream from my favorite grass-fed dairy.
Second course: Roasted beet salad on fresh-picked spring greens with fennel, savory pecan praline, with rosemary-balsamic vinaigrette, and locally produced goat cheese.
Third course: We’re a beef town. But I would go with local, grass-fed beef and do a Filet Mignon cooked bleu (very rare) with a local port wine reduction and dried cherry sauce. Purple Asparagus with Creme Fraiche on the side.
Fourth course: My Vanilla-Sweet Potato Pie with Brown-Sugar Pecan crust and a side of homemade Honey Ice Cream.
The other guests at the table would be the farmers and ranchers who grew the food. We would discuss the state of agriculture, the farm bill, what’s happening to the bees, and some other pertinent issues. Mr. Bush would have to listen to how hard these people struggle to provide safe, healthy food to our community. No press or cameras would be allowed. Mainly I would be cooking my best to show the farmers my appreciation.
- Out of everyone in the world, who would be the 3 people you'd love to gather around the table for a good meal (all must be living).
Jane Goodall. Joan Didion. George Clooney. I would never have said him years ago, but his work of late as a director and his activism as well as his sense of humor put him on the list. I figure after dinner with Dubya, I am going to need some intelligent conversation and a good laugh.
- You've been named Secretary of Nutrition. What is the dietary standard you'd impose on meals in public schools?
I tip my hat to Alice Waters on this one. No more processed foods, soda or junk foods. Every school will have its own garden. The kids will work in the garden and learn about the food they are producing. There will be a real cook in the kitchen and kids will also learn how to prepare fresh foods and how to eat healthy. Meats, eggs, and dairy will be sourced locally from naturally-raised animals, no antibiotics or hormones.
- If you could take a cooking class from any one person, who would it be?
Julia Child, but that breaks the rule that he/she must be alive. So, Mario Batali. He has a passion for simple good food and a love of life and people that is inspiring.
- Since I am overdoing the food theme, I'll shift it to something else. You have 1 million dollars. How do you spend it? (it must be spent rather than saved).
Well, you tried to get away from food. I have a plan with a local farmer where he does a CSA. The CSA also provides farm access for walking trails and fishing ponds to the members as well as hands-on time growing the food. On site is a kitchen where we teach how to prepare all the seasonal ingredients and teach classes for kids as well. The kitchen can function as a restaurant as well. Proceeds and part of the produce go to local soup kitchens and shelters. The money allows for all this to be put in place, and for me to quit work and staff it full time.
Friday, April 06, 2007
These questions were kindly sent to me by Jen at One Plus Two. If you have not stopped by this blog, you should. And you should plan on staying a while. She's a good writer, but more than that she is a good soul and has a lot to say. I am happy I stumbled across her site. She sent along her five questions to me, and here I will post my answers. If you would like to see her post on answering five questions, they are here. Okay, here goes: