Category Archives: InCity Feature

Worcester FOOD HUB meeting today at Hanover Theater! FREE! Please attend! Fight for food justice! Fight for economic development in Woo! ALSO: ICT Food Hub story by Congressman Jim McGovern

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Food hubs grow our local economy, especially immigrant and first-generation endeavors, and they bring produce at affordable prices to inner-city kitchens! 

A FOOD HUB FOR WORCESTER!

Once again, from REC …

Building A Sustainable Worcester: Taking Regional Food Hub from Vision to Reality

TONIGHT!

FREE!

HANOVER THEATER

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

We invite you to attend a free presentation TODAY,  Thursday, February 19, co-hosted by the Regional Environmental Council, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts

Come learn more about the role food hubs can play in promoting Food Justice while fostering economic development.

FREE tickets can be reserved by calling the theater box office at 877-571-7469 or register online.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Regional Environmental Council of Central Massachusetts [aka REC] has received a planning grant from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts to explore the feasibility of establishing a Worcester Regional Food Hub in partnership with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Food hubs are broadly defined as facilities that manage the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution or marketing of locally and regionally produced food.

We are thrilled to explore opportunities with diverse community stakeholders to dramatically increase access to healthy, affordable, local food in Worcester, while helping local farmers access new markets.

FOOD HUB Advisory Committee members include:

Central MA Regional Planning Commission

Central MA Workforce Investment Board

City of Worcester Division of Public Health

Clark University, Community Development & Planning Program

Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Smart Cities & Wellness Project

Lettuce Be Local

Northeast Organic Farming Association

Office of Congressman James P. McGovern

UMass Memorial Medical Center

UMass-Amherst Stockbridge School of Agricultural Extension

Worcester County Food Bank

Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Council

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Sustainable Food Systems Project Center

Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

REC – Regional Environmental Council

P.O Box 255

Worcester, MA 01613

To learn more visit: http://www.recworcester.org/

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InCity Times is passionate about FOOD HUBS! Here’s Congressman Jim McGovern’s InCity Times kick-ass Food Hub cover story! He wrote it for us in 2013.     – R. Tirella

WORCESTER COULD BE HOME TO STATE’S NEXT FOOD HUB

By Congressman Jim McGovern

What if I told you that within a quick drive of Worcester lies an incredible agriculture community you have never seen, touched, or tasted?

In 2010, there were nearly 8,000 farms in Massachusetts, according to the United States Census—the highest number in the state dating back to at least 1978. And that doesn’t count hundreds of additional community and personal operations that fall below the size threshold.

That’s thousands of farmers, right in our backyard. It’s a testament to the long endurance of some family farms, as well as a sign of the returning, growing impact of farms on our local economy and society.

It’s a move that parallels the so-called “locavore movement” towards locally-grown food over the past decades; a demand that has grown as we have all learned about the economic and health benefits to buying and eating local.

Yet, despite the breadth and increasing number of farms in Massachusetts, in our urban centers such as Worcester, there remains a huge physical and emotional disconnect between the producers (the farmers) and the consumers (us).

Despite the presence of some truly admirable local farmers markets, there is a gap in our food infrastructure that prevents food produced in the state from getting to the consumers who want and would benefit from it the most.

As I’ve travelled around the 2nd Congressional District, visiting farms across Central and Western Massachusetts, the most oft-cited challenge relayed to me by small to mid-sized farmers and producers is a lack of processing, packing, and storage space to get their products ready to sell and ship.

It leaves us with a major question: What if we could drastically improve the economic output of local farmers, allowing them to grow their businesses, while simultaneously making good, fresh, healthy, locally grown products more available to consumers who want them in cities like Worcester? It’s clear that if we could bridge that gap, there would be a huge impact on our local, regional, and state economies, as well as a huge societal benefit.

I believe that Worcester can be the epicenter of that impact by being the home of an innovative concept known as a “food hub.”

The word “Food Hub” can encompass a variety of operations, both in terms of size and scale, but the National Food Hub Collaboration defines regional food hubs as “a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.”

In essence, food hubs allow small and midsized farms reach markets and consumers they’ve never had access to. They provide a central collection point for products from a variety of farms; they provide space and equipment for processing, packing, and storage. And they provide an economy of scale, allowing smaller local farms to pool their products and sell to larger consumers, such as grocery chains.

In many ways, food hubs are a return to the traditional economic values that made Massachusetts and New England so strong. Food hubs allow for a stronger local food economy based on closer relationships between farmers and consumers. They allow institutional buyers, such as hospitals, a greater opportunity to provide the healthy, local food they want to, but can’t always access.

Though food hubs are relatively new, there is a demonstrable positive economic, social, and environmental impact where they are located. Based on the 2011 National Food Hub Collaboration Survey, food hubs gross nearly $1 million in annual sales on average, with many reporting double and triple-digit annual sales growth.

That same survey reported that, although the majority of food hubs have been in operation for five years or less, there is a clear and immediate impact on job opportunities. For example, the Local Food Hub in Virginia, which opened in 2009, had already created 15 paid jobs at its distribution and farm operations. And that says nothing for the spin-off job growth at the farms that utilize the hub. Green B.E.A.N Delivery, a food delivery business that serves Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, estimates that since 2007, the company has invested more than $2 million in local food economies and helped create more than 100 jobs in the Midwest.

I look at those stunning numbers, combined with the growing demand for local food, and it’s clear that a regional food hub belongs here in our city. This is an idea I am passionate about, and one that I plan on continuing to talk about with local, state, and national partners in the coming year.

Food hubs must be a critical piece of how we think about our broader economic development strategy in Massachusetts, and I believe that Worcester is the right location. We have strong local leadership on local food issues, through groups such as REC, and we have a geographic location that makes us an enviable location for any statewide distribution network.

The question for me isn’t whether we’ll see a food hub built somewhere in Central Massachusetts—it’s when and where. We’re a state with agriculture resources beyond what many of us have traditionally realized, and a consumer base chomping at the bit to take advantage of those resources. If we can only build the bridges, we’ll be healthier food wise, and economy wise

A letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Parlee Jones

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– MLK, Jr.

Dear Dr. King,

As we prepare to celebrate your 86th birthday, and also, the 50th Anniversary of the Selma marches, I thought I would write you a letter, to let you know what’s been going on.

I have been thinking a lot about the civil rights movement and the protests that have been happening since the no indictment verdicts came in Ferguson, Missouri, after the murder of Michael Brown and in the murder of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD.

Some people are asking, why are they protesting, what do they want? What do they think protesting and shutting down city streets will do? My response: What did Dr. King and his supporters think a bus boycott would do? What did they think a 50-mile march would do?

The bus boycott lasted 381 days. For one year and 16 days Black people in Montgomery, Alabama, did not use public transportation! Needless to say, that hit the city in the pocket-book. City officials resisted a long time. Them good old boys did not want those Black folks in the front of their buses. Really!

“Initially, the demands did not include changing the segregation laws; rather, the group demanded courtesy, the hiring of black drivers, and a first-come, first-seated policy, with whites entering and filling seats from the front and African Americans from the rear.
Although African Americans represented at least 75 percent of Montgomery’s bus ridership, the city resisted complying with the demands. To ensure the boycott could be sustained, black leaders organized carpools, and the city’s African-American taxi drivers charged only 10 cents-the same price as bus fare-for African-American riders. Many black residents chose simply to walk to work and other destinations. Black leaders organized regular mass meetings to keep African-American residents mobilized around the boycott.”

This is so powerful!

And then Selma, 10 years later!

Even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade discrimination in voting on the basis of race, efforts to register black voters met with fierce resistance in southern states such as Alabama .

In early 1965, you and SCLC decided to make Selma, located in Dallas County, Alabama, the focus of a voter registration campaign.

As you well know, Alabama Governor George Wallace was a notorious opponent of desegregation, and the local county sheriff in Dallas County had led a steadfast opposition to black voter registration drives. As a result, only 2 percent of Selma’s eligible black voters (300 out of 15,000) had managed to register.

You won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and you drew international attention to Selma during the eventful months that followed.

On February 18, white segregationists attacked a group of peaceful demonstrators in the nearby town of Marion. In the ensuing chaos, an Alabama state trooper fatally shot Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young African-American demonstrator. In response to Jackson’s death a massive protest march from Selma to the state capitol of Montgomery, 54 miles away was planned. A group of 600 people set out on Sunday, March 7, but didn’t get far before Alabama state troopers wielding whips, nightsticks and tear gas rushed the group at the Edmund Pettis Bridge and beat them back to Selma. The brutal scene was captured on television, enraging many Americans and drawing civil rights and religious leaders of all faiths to Selma in protest.

You also led another attempt to march on March 9, but turned the marchers around when state troopers again blocked the road.

That night, a group of segregationists beat another protester, the young white minister James Reeb, to death.

Alabama state officials (led by Walllace) tried to prevent the march from going forward, but a U.S. district court judge ordered them to permit it. President Lyndon Johnson also backed the marchers, going on national television to pledge his support and lobby for passage of new voting rights legislation he was introducing in Congress.

Some 2,000 people set out from Selma on March 21, protected by U.S. Army troops and Alabama National Guard forces that Johnson had ordered under federal control.

After walking some 12 hours a day and sleeping in fields along the way, they reached Montgomery on March 25.

Nearly 50,000 supporters-black and white-met the marchers in Montgomery, where they gathered in front of the state capitol to hear you and other speakers including Ralph Bunche (winner of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize) address the crowd.

“No tide of racism can stop us,” you proclaimed from the building’s steps, as viewers from around the world watched the historic moment on television.

A movie based on the events of SELMA has opened this month. Can’t wait to see it with my children, family, friends and their children. Because this is a piece of history from which we need to learn.

“We are faced with marches, protests and boycotts as we face the continued brutality of the police force against young people of color, who end up dead instead of in jail. Not only people of color, but the majority are.
We are developing a network of organizations and advocates to form a national policy specifically aimed at redressing the systemic pattern of anti-black law enforcement violence in the US. We are demanding, that the federal government discontinues it’s supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement. We are advocating for a decrease in law-enforcement spending at the local, state and federal levels and a reinvestment of that budgeted money into the black communities most devastated by poverty in order to create jobs, housing and schools. This money should be redirected to those federal departments charged with providing employment, housing and educational services.” www.BlackLivesMatter.com

Dr. King, the exposure of the injustices via the internet is world wide. It is so hurtful when these police officers are not found guilty of murder, when the murder took place in front of millions of people.

We are still striving to do this non-violently, but the blind are still so blind. We have our demands and are voting and trying to work through the system. A lot of our friends are still silent. We are trying to help our White allies understand their privilege. We are tired of burying our children. Things have improved since the 1950s and 1960s but, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King! Your words still ring true in this day and time. We need your spirit with us, to help guide us, more than ever! Please stay near.

Peace and Blessings,

Parlee Jones

InCity Yum Yums! Recipes to savor this holiday season! For under $5

CAM00454Chef Joey – self-taught and brilliant!!

By Chef Joey

Dare I say the weather is changing and looks like we are going colder, folks! But that can be a good thing.  With the colder weather the yearn for hearty food goes up and, believe it or not, you can cook up some delicious fare this holiday season for cheap!

Using beans as your protein source not only reduces the cost of your meal, it actually is healthier for you.  We so often look to short cuts, a quick “dollar” meal, frozen microwave meals, or all out dining.  Investing in a $15 crock pot makes cooking a breeze, so you come home to a prepared meal.  On the flip side, 45 minutes to an hour will also yield a delicious soup or stew made on your stove top.

You can make over 1 gallon of homemade tomato or cream of tomato soup for under $5.  It’s easy fast and delicious – all you need are onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, garlic, water and a soup base – I prefer “Knorr’s” or “Better than Bullion” veggie base for the flavor.  The wet bullion base will cost you upfront – but the yield is amazing.

So, Joey, how do I make that soup?

It’s easy! Get a big pot, slice up 2 large onions and add to the pot with 1 -2 inches of water and let those puppies heat up – the water softens the onions and does not allow them to burn.  N

Now peel and rough chop 4 carrots and 4 or 5 stalks of celery and 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, put them in a blender with a cup or 2 of water depending on the volume and blend until smooth.

Add this to your onion mix, then open a large 6 pound can of crushed tomatoes (called #10 cans your food club stores sell them for under 4$) and stir. It will be kind of thick, so add ½ can or less of water and stir well.

Bring it to a near boil and let it simmer a good 40 minutes.  Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of your bouillon at this point and taste for flavor – now would be the time you salt and pepper.

Add heavy cream for cream of tomato or enjoy it vegan fast and easy.  The carrots add a sweet tinge and give another veggie element to the soup!

Notice how I had you finely chop the onions and cook in water? You can add a little olive oil if you like too –  this helps act as a baby sitter so your onions don’t burn.

Blending celery and garlic is a great way to introduce it to your broth without having to cut it up small small.  This is the basis for just about everything. The carrots and celery need to be pureed for the tomato soup but cubed or chopped is fine for other soups. Garlic however I feel works best in this application.

To make lentil soup – start with your onions then pureed garlic when the onions are soft add about 2 quarts of water – 8 cups and one bag of lentils that have been rinsed off.

To this add 3 peeled (or unpeeled) potato finely diced and 4 peeled and diced carrots and 4 or 5 stalks of celery.  A tablespoon or 2 of cumin or turmeric, it does wonders for this soup

The lentils need a solid 45 minutes to cook.  At the end taste for flavor – if you feel the need for bouillon go ahead if not salt and pepper – you can add fresh lemon juice and a whole bunch of fresh chopped spinach too (blender trick works great).

Substitute the bag of lentils with barley for another great soup and instead of cumin – try turmeric, or curry powder!

1 cup barley goes a long way and it keeps growing-  so don’t use more than a cup per 2 quarts.

Ok – we get it! But I don’t like lentils!

Well, that’s great but I say try them as an adult. But you still don’t like them!!! Ok, then start your base of onions and this time triple your garlic (I LOVE bags of whole peeled garlic and NEVER use the chopped up stuff – you will ruin your recipe) – blend it together and add Cannelli beans or white navy beans juice and everything into your onion base.

Ideally, if you buy a bag of dried beans and soak overnight or quick boil prepare is the cheapest route – 1 pound bags range from 89 cents to $1.50 versus the same price, depending on the brand for cans.

Add your water and base at this point for this soup.  Add fresh washed and chopped escarole to this, and there you have it – Escarole and bean soup! Just add diced carrots and boom white bean soup, or get a package of grape tomatoes, rough blend in the blender with water – add to the beans and you have a variation.

Black bean soup is just as fun! A secret I taught myself when I didn’t have any cilantro is to add a jar of salsa to my black beans.

So basically start your base onions and garlic – then add 2 cans black beans 8 cups water let that heat up – throw in a bag of frozen corn and cup or 2 of diced carrots, a tablespoon of cumin – these old world spices really work – after about a half hour add the salsa – at least a cup stir until hot and there you have it.  All of these nutritious meals costs less than $5.

You can add meat to the barley soup, if you have leftovers.  It is ideal chop it up into little cubes.  One half of a whole chicken breast goes a long way and can feed many.

Chicken pot pie is chicken stew without a crust.  This is easy! Once again the base of the onions – add garlic a little oil on this one, toss in 4 or 5 chopped celery stalks then add your diced chicken and sauté for a few minutes.

Add 2 cups carrots – 2 cups peas– 2 cups diced potatoes then cover with mixture just enough about an inch over the mixture.

When veggies are done, add some chicken base or veggie base – I am gluten free so I thicken with corn starch – 4 or 5 tablespoons mixed with COLD water (1/4 cup works fine) add to the broth and there you have it 20 minute chicken stew.

Pour it in a pan, make a quick crust (1 stick cold butter 2 cups flour – salt and a teaspoon of baking powder – throw it in your food processor – or if you don’t have one mix the dry together – soften the butter – both ways require a little bit of cold water until it becomes pastry like – roll it out on a floured surface – no roller…use a bottle or a can (clean it first) and bake until flakey and golden.

When you go shopping and you see carrots potatoes, turnips etc. on sale BUY THEM – they can last a while in dry storage.  A 10 pound bag of carrots will sell for $3.99 vs 1 pound for $1.99 – always shop for the lowest price per pound.

Notice how I had you finely chop the onions and cook in water? You can add a little olive oil if you like, too – this helps act as a baby sitter so your onions don’t burn.  Blending celery and garlic is a great way to introduce it to your broth without having to cut it up small small.  This is the basis for just about everything. The carrots and celery need to be pureed for the tomato soup but cubed or chopped is fine for other soups. Garlic. however, I feel works best in this application.

To make lentil soup start with your onions then pureed garlic when the onions are soft add about 2 quarts of water – 8 cups and one bag of lentils that have been rinsed off.  To this add 3 peeled (or unpeeled) potato finely diced and 4 peeled and diced carrots and 4 or 5 stalks of celery.  A tablespoon or 2 of cumin or turmeric, it does wonders for this soup The Lentils need a solid 45 minutes to cook.  At the end taste for flavor – if you feel the need for bouillon go ahead if not salt and pepper – you can add fresh lemon juice and a whole bunch of fresh chopped spinach too (blender trick works great).  Substitute the bag of lentils with barley for another great soup and instead of cumin – try turmeric, or curry powder!  1 cup barley goes a long way and it keeps growing so don’t use more than a cup per 2 quarts.

Ok we get it but I don’t like lentils – Well that’s great but I say try them as an adult..  But you still don’t like them ok then start your base of onions and this time triple your garlic (I LOVE bags of whole peeled garlic and NEVER use the chopped up stuff – you will ruin your recipe) – blend it together and add Cannelli beans or white navy beans juice and everything into your onion base.  Ideally if you buy a bag of dried beans and soak overnight or quick boil prepare is the cheapest route – 1 pound bags range from $.89 to $1.50 versus the same price depending on the brand for cans.  Add your water and base at this point for this soup.  Add fresh washed and chopped escarole to this and there you have it escarole and bean soup.  Just add diced carrots and boom white bean soup, or get a package of grape tomatoes, rough blend in the blender with water – add to the beans and you have a variation.

Black bean soup is just as fun, and a secret I taught myself when I didn’t have any cilantro is to add a jar of salsa to my black beans.

So basically start your base onions and garlic – then add 2 cans black beans 8 cups water let that heat up – throw in a bag of frozen corn and cup or 2 of diced carrots, a tablespoon of cumin – these old world spices really work – after about a half hour add the salsa – at least a cup stir until hot and there you have it.  All of these nutritious meals costs less than $5.

You can add meat to the barley soup if you have leftovers it is ideal chop it up into little cubes.  One half of a whole chicken breast goes a long way and can feed many.

Chicken pot pie is chicken stew without a crust.  This is easy is once again the base of the onions – add garlic a little oil on this one, toss in 4 or 5 chopped celery stalks then add your diced chicken and sauté for a few minutes.

Add 2 cups carrots – 2 cups peas – 2 cups diced potatoes then cover with mixture just enough about an inch over the mixture.

When veggies are done add some chicken base or veggie base – I am gluten free so I thicken with corn starch – 4 or 5 tablespoons mixed with COLD water (1/4 cup works fine) add to the broth and there you have it 20 minute chicken stew.

Pour it in a pan – make a quick crust (1 stick cold butter 2 cups flour – salt and a teaspoon of baking powder – throw it in your food processor – or if you don’t have one mix the dry together – soften the butter – both ways require a little bit of cold water until it becomes pastry like – roll it out on a floured surface – no roller…use a bottle or a can (clean it first) and bake until flakey and golden.

When you go shopping and you see carrots potatoes, turnips etc. on sale buy them – they can last a while in dry storage.  A 10 pound bag of carrots will sell for $3.99 vs 1 pound for $1.99 always shop for the lowest price per pound.

Speaking about carrots… peel 3 pounds of carrots, run them through the food processor or blender with water to purée them.(if you don’t have one use the side of your box grater – or dice very fine.  Start your soup with the onion base add garlic then add your carrots – cover with water add a tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger and let it cook for a good 30 minutes on medium –a tablespoon of curry powder will add another dimension.  Salt pepper and add base if needed..

You can find many different spices in the ethnic sections of your supermarket – fennel, curry, turmeric etc. are way cheaper in the Indian section versus the spice section of the market.  Look for the big Goya displays most yearly supplies are under $5.  Use chick peas with your onion and garlic blend add water when it boils add a cup of pasta!  Pasta Cici – and if you soak your own beans – you’re talking $3.00 soup for 10 or more – that’s $.30 cents a serving and no additives.

Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Remember the book stone soup?  I don’t like to admit it much either because it shows our age, but it is true – you can make soups and stews with anything – adding mashed potato will thicken the case nicely.  Save your leftover veggies no matter how small the portion and after a couple days well stored – “add them to the pot”!

If onions bother you, I feel bad – use leeks instead and make sure you wash them well as they can collect dirt between the layers – they enhance soup wonderfully.

Toss some cubed butternut squash in with your lentils or barley soups or even chicken stew at $.79 a pound it’s inexpensive and just one will add 3 or more servings!

Carrot soup …. Speaking of carrots… peel 3 pounds of carrots, run them through the food processor or blender with water to purée them. (if you don’t have one, use the side of your box grater – or dice very fine.)  Start your soup with the onion base, add garlic then add your carrots.

Cover with water, add a tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger and let it cook for a good 30 minutes on medium –a tablespoon of curry powder will add another dimension.

Salt pepper and add base, if needed.

You can find many different spices in the ethnic sections of your supermarket – fennel, curry, turmeric etc. are way cheaper in the Indian section versus the spice section of the market.

Look for the big Goya displays!  Most yearly supplies are under $5.  Use chick peas with your onion and garlic blend add water when it boils add a cup of pasta!  Pasta Cici! And if you soak your own beans – you’re talking $3 soup for 10 or more people – that’s 30 cents a serving – and no additives!

Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Remember the book stone soup?  I don’t like to admit it much either because it shows our age, but it is true – you can make soups and stews with anything – adding mashed potato will thicken the case nicely.  Save your leftover veggies, no matter how small the portion, and after a couple of days well stored – “add them to the pot”!

Enjoy the cooking! I would love to hear your new recipes! (editor’s note: email them to Chef Joey, c/o incitytimes@hotmail.com)

Please! This Tuesday Vote YES on Question 2! For the environment, your kids, the animals …

 

Yes on Question 2! Sona said it BEST! I’m Reposting this great ICT letter …

Please be aware that your vote [Tuesday] will affect Mother Nature, children and their world.

Not everyone recycles and ACCESS TO RECYCLING DOES NOT ENSURE IMPLEMENTATION.

While 80% of beer and soda gets recycled, only 23% of non-deposit bottles get recycled.

BILLIONS of plastic bottles end up in landfills water systems, curbs, and parks. Deposits on bottles are picked up more often.

Plastic pollution is a severe worldwide problem, with 1,500 un-biodegradable bottles flowing into the ocean each second into 5 garbage patches. Google “ Pacific Garbage Patch” – the largest is twice the size of Texas. Your grandchildren may someday swim in this water.

Please look at the bigger picture.

It takes 700 years for plastic to decompose, adding to our growing ecological debt.

We need the Clean Environment Fund to be created by unclaimed container deposits. Only 47 % of towns have curbside recycling.

We can’t afford to wait for cities and towns to fund and adopt modern technology. Don’t cave in to bureaucrats, and big businesses who want your vote.

Any increase to you will be a returnable deposit.

Teaching children to respect, recycle and refill is never outdated. It’s worth a little hassle and a few bucks.

You can do it for them and their future. Please support question 2.

Sona Aslanian-Hargrove

Worcester

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VOTE YES on Question 2 – expand the bottle bill.

Keep on (food) truckin’!!!

DISCOVER THE EXCITING WORLD OF FOOD TRUCK CULTURE AND RECREATE THE COUNTRY’S FAVORITE FOOD TRUCK DISHES with …

FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP — A COOKBOOK

More Than 100 Recipes Collected from the Best Street Food Vendors Coast to Coast

by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, Terri Phillips

Page Street Publishing / November 2014

Reading a good cookbook is like a food journey. Each recipe is a culinary experience that can transport you to a different place and the process of cooking can connect you with cooks from all over the globe. For bloggers Kim Pham and Philip Shen, of the award-winning BehindtheFoodCarts.com – named Best Culinary Travel Blog by Saveur magazine – and food writer Terri Phillips, their love of food has literally taken them on a journey—a journey across the United States as they try out famous food trucks in various cities and have documented their meals along the way. The result is their new book, FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK [Page Street Publishing, November 2014, $21.99 US/$23.99 Canada].

Part cookbook, part photography book, and part history book, FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK has it all! The chapters cover all the food truck favorites, from soup and sandwiches, to American comfort food, to Latin American, Asian and fusion foods from all corners of the Earth—plus drinks, sides, desserts, and snacks. And every recipe is accompanied by gorgeous photographs taken by the authors, both trained photographers, as well as the history of the food truck, its owner, and the story behind the spectacular food.

“We’re humbled by the opportunity to tell a little bit of our story, but we’re more excited for you to hear the stories of these chefs and owners who have inspired us to make this book.” says Philip Shen.

With FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP home cooks can explore and enjoy amazing recipes from all over the U.S. Recipes include:

Jalapeño Corn Cakes – Bid D’s Grub Truck – Dennis Kum, New York, NY

Fopo Cristo – The Egg Carton – Sarah Arkwright, Portland, OR

Oxtail Mac N’ Cheese – Flat Iron – Timothy Mark Abell and Caleb Patrick Orth, Los Angeles, CA

Fried Chicken Sandwich with Fennel Slaw – Doc’s of the Bay – Zak Silverman, Oakland, CA

The Matador – American Meltdown – Paul Inserrra, Durham, NC

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders – Nola Girl food Truck and Catering – Dannielle Judie, New Orleans, LA

Seafood Soup – Fishey Bizness Seafood Co – Dennis White, Austin, TX

Santa Fe Black Bean Burger – Mix’d Up Food Truck – Brett Eanes, Atlanta, GA

Roasted Roots Salad – The Moral Omnivore – Ross and Linnea Logas, Minneapolis, MN

Brisket Barbarcoa Empanada – Taco Mondo – Michael Sultan and Carolyn Nguyen, Philadelphia, PA

Japanese Curry with Chicken Kara-Age – Japacurry – Jay Hamada, San Francisco, CA

Coconut-Cashew Kaffir Lime Trout with Fresh Pineapple Slaw – Carte Blanche – Jessie Aron, Portland, OR

Rosemary Olive Oil and Blood Orange Cake – La Bella Torte – Joe Glaser, New York, NY

FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK allows readers to travel all over the country without leaving their kitchens and gives them the tools to re-create favorite food truck dishes from cities such as Raleigh, New Orleans, Austin, Los Angeles, Portland, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and New York. This book is ideal for every foodie, traveler, and story-lover out there.

About the Authors:

Philip Shen and Kim Pham are the creators of BehindtheFoodCarts.com, which has over 200,000 subscribers and was named Best Culinary Travel Blog by Saveur Magazine in 2013. They live in San Francisco, California.

Terri Phillips is a freelance food writer who lives in Portland, OR.

Sample recipe from FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP — A COOKBOOK:

CRAB A HOLD OF ME

MELTS MY HEART—WES ISIP—SAN JOSE, CA

Makes 1 Sandwich

Owner Brian Aflague’s love of grilled cheese came from homemade childhood meals in his grandfather’s kitchen. It was a nostalgic meal that never quite gave up its spot as his #1 favorite food. At Melts My Heart, Brian pays tribute to the classic grilled cheese by constantly looking for new ways to offer up the cheese and-bread combo. His favorite place of inspiration is his own crew, often putting their ideas into practice and creating instant favorites. One such favorite is the signature crab melt made with fresh crab, mild Cheddar cheese and a touch of Old Bay.

1 (16-oz [454g]) can premium quality super or jumbo lump crabmeat (not imitation)

1 stalk celery, diced

¼ red onion, diced

1 scallion, chopped

Old Bay seasoning to taste

Black pepper to taste

2 to 3 tbsp (28 to 41g) mayonnaise

Butter

2 slices fresh sourdough bread

3 slices mild Cheddar cheese

2 slices tomatoes

Combine the crab, celery, red onion, scallion, Old Bay and black pepper in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly again.

Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place both slices of bread buttered-side down onto the skillet. Add the cheese to both slices of bread. Scoop 4 ounces (112g) of the crab mix on top of the cheese on one slice of bread.

Place 2 slices of tomatoes directly on the pan and grill for a few seconds on each side. Place the tomatoes on the other slice of bread and toast for 3 minutes. Flip the slice of bread with the tomatoes onto the other slice of bread with the crab mix. Press down firmly and toast both sides for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

Recipe from FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, Terri Phillips.

Halloween is just 3 days away! Let’s look at this “spooktacular” day’s origins …

CAM00454By Chef Joey

Well, it’s that time of year again!  This, of course, can mean a plethora of things: Beautiful leaves, cold-, or like this year, warm-weather spurts.  With Columbus Day behind us, we look forward to events like Halloween, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving … dare I mention the “Holiday Season” that launches that Friday?

Let’s go to a fun spot!! Mine is Halloween! I threw parties back in the 80’s with DJ’s prizes galore, and every year they got bigger and bigger and more creative.  I used to transform my house into Kansas corn fields, of the Sputter Inn from Moby Dick.  I had carnivals, pirate themes, even ancient Rome … so much fun.  Then there are the creative costumes:  I had a swarm of Bees – Do Bees, Don’t Bees, Spelling Bees – even one with “Double D’s.” Memories for a lifetime.

So I know what you’re thinking … What’s Halloween really about?  Glad you asked!  It’s a centuries-old tradition that was originally called Allhallowtide, basically encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’) and All Souls’ Day, which last from October 31 to November 2 every year.   Allhallowtide is a time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints.  The word Allhallowtide was first used in 1471, and is derived from two words: the Old English word halig, meaning saint, and the word tide, meaning time or season Oh Yuletide! DUH.

So real old stuff here, folks, and our now a days Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (Nov 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (Nov. 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.

The custom of wearing costumes and masks at Halloween goes back to Celtic traditions of attempting to copy the evil spirits or placate them, in Scotland for instance where the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white.  Go back to the late 1800’s where this was  called “Guising” – this practice was recorded in 1895, where masqueraders in disguise were carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.

The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, reported children going “guising” around the neighborhood.

The term “Trick-or-Treat” has traces back to 1927, Aland just about all pre-1940 uses of the term “trick-or-treat” are from the western United States and Canada.   Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, but was seriously stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947.

Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given that year in the October 1947 issues of the children’s magazines Jack and Jill and Children’s Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948.  Trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip for the first time in 1951. So all this made the custom become firmly established in popular culture by 1952.

Although some popular histories of Halloween have characterized trick-or-treating as an adult invention to rechannel Halloween activities away from vandalism, there are very few records supporting it.  Back in the late 40’s children often had to explain the tradition of trick-or-treating to baffled parents, not the other way around.  Post war was tricky too – some families looked at it like extortion, and others were embarrassed to be “begging.”

Well it took off!! The National Confectioners Association reports that there will be $2.5 billion made in candy sales this year!! Statistically, it is people 60 and older passing out the candy.  In addition, shoppers in the Midwest will hand out more candy than any other region, as 79 percent plan to par take in the activity compared with 76 percent in the south, 74 percent in the west and 71 percent in the northeast, according to the Association. IBISWorld estimates retailers will rake in $7.6 billion from the spooky holiday this year, with $1.4 billion going to adult costumes alone!

Well, there you have it, folks!  Insight on Halloween and its origins.  No matter how you celebrate, do it responsibly – and take lots of pictures!!  For some really neat Halloween snacks for parties visit:  http://www.picshunger.com/pictures/halloween-snacks – lots of easy ideas and healthy things to make!

Go meat-less this holiday season!

Holiday time doesn’t have to be turkey-, pig-, or chicken-killing time! Besides, why gain all the extra holiday weight by eating animal fat?

Since I’ve pretty much stopped eating meat/animal fat, I’ve lost weight, feel “lighter” … and last week my yearly physical results came in: This old broad’s cholesterol level, BMI, blood pressure, sugar level, thyroid, iron, vitamin D, etc, etc normal to excellent!!

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Rosalie – old vegetarian broad!

Everyone’s always amazed that my blood pressure level is excellent, what with InCity Times, Jett and my screwy life in general. I say to them: GO VEGGIE and you can do ANYTHING!

I really believe vegetarianism/MUCH LESS ANIMAL meat and fat is the way to go for all us middle-aged folks! It keeps us trim and healthy! Without all that much work!

Here are protein sources to be wolfing down if you go meatless!

 – Rosalie Tirella

From PETA.ORG:

proteinPunch-v2.NT

Vegans are constantly asked where they get their protein, when, in fact, protein is one of the easiest nutrients to find! These are just some examples of foods with a high protein value but no cholesterol or cruelty to animals. Not only are these foods easy to find and affordable, they’re also delicious!

1. Black beans

Black beans can be served alone or as a side. They also taste great in burritos, enchiladas, homemade patties, soups, or chili. They can even be added to baked goods!

Try these black-bean veggie burgers.

2. Tofu

You can marinate it, sauté it, grill it, mash it, bake it, and even blend it. Tofu will absorb any flavor that you put on it, which makes it suitable for many recipes. Add it to tacos, sandwiches, salads, or baked goods. It can also be used to make sauces, creams, or smoothies.

Try these Thai tofu lettuce wraps.

3. Nuts

There is a large variety of nuts, and they are all versatile and delicious. You can make vegan cheese sauces, nut milks, nut butters, and even faux meats from different types of nuts.

Try this nacho recipe using cashews.

4. Tempeh

Tempeh absorbs any flavor, just as tofu does. It can also be fried, baked, sautéed, or grilled. Tempeh can be used in pastas, sandwiches, tacos, chili, and many other dishes.

Try this tempeh Reuben sandwich.

5. Garbanzos

Garbanzo beans or chickpeas are a versatile legume. Add them to salads, soups, or wraps. You can mash them to form patties or blend them to create hummus.

Try this sandwich with mashed garbanzo beans.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli is a lean, green protein. You can add steamed broccoli to stir-fries, salads, or pastas. You can also add it to soups whole or blend it for a healthy green soup.

Try this tofu, rice, and broccoli dish.

7. Quinoa

You can use quinoa anywhere that you would use rice—as a side dish, mixed with veggies, inside a burrito, or on a salad. It can also be used to form faux burger patties.

Try this quinoa salad.

8. Lentils

Lentils can be added to tacos, burritos, soups, stews, and salads and can also be used to form faux meats, such as lentil burger patties. They’re quick and easy to make, too.

Try these lentil cakes.

9. Potato

Potatoes get a bad rap, but they can actually be good for you because of their high protein content. Dice them, and add them to your burritos, tofu scrambles, tacos, and stews. Or you can cut them lengthwise and bake them for a healthier version of French fries.

Try this creamy dill potato salad.

10. Mushrooms

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There are various types of mushrooms, and they can be sliced or served whole. Use them in pastas, stir-fries, or tacos or on pizzas or serve them in a burger.

Try this mushroom risotto.

These are just 10 of the top protein sources, but there are many more! The number of recipes that you can make with these foods is endless, so get creative!



Read more: http://www.peta.org/living/food/top-10-vegan-protein-sources/#ixzz3HM6vNP79

My inner-city neighbors are the best!!

Text and photos by Rosalie Tirella

Sure the Canal District and surrounding area seems to have become a dumping ground for garbage galore and shooting gallery/stabbing/gun hot-spot! I am  on the horn almost every day with city officials and state reps asking for the garbage to be removed, the extra Worcester Police Department foot patrols to be deployed  …

But then there’s this HEAVEN-SENT stuff happening …

… A wonderful garden in my back yard (right where I found the used junky syringe!). Here’s Jett getting nosy with a lovely squash!! We’ve got tomatoes, too! And (had) sunflowers!

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… My downstairs neighbor is the sweetest! She gives me her cool clothes and pocketbooks! She’s quite the fashion plate and gets bored with her stuff real quick! So … Here I am several days ago, heading out the door to run InCity Times, wearing one of her pretty blouses!  Now mine! Thanks, in-city gal pal!

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My other downstairs neighbor came upstairs and gave me some Halloween cupcakes and cookies, along with this BEAUTIFUL card! I love the message PEACE FOREVER EVERYWHERE… This was after I went down to her place and gave her and her roommate a thank-you gift for a gift they had given me! How awesome are these people? Right in the middle of all the shootings and stabbings … all this love!

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And today I am making a Halloween fun gift for the kids across the street because they helped my roundup a homeless street kitten that needed a good home! These boys were the best! Here is Jett back at my shack being nosy (again) with their pumpkin I am about to fill with candy!

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The time to make up your mind about the hood is – NEVER!! 

Vegan Halloween candy? You’ve eaten a ton of it!

Why eat cows’ bones (in gelatin) this Halloween (now that’s scary!) when you can indulge your sweet tooth with this junk?! From PETA.ORG: –  R.T.

25 Vegan Candies for a ‘Spooktacular’ Halloween!

Don’t forget to check the following list when you stock up for trick-or-treaters. It’s the perfect mix of classic and contemporary vegan candy, and each of these treats is sure to hit the sweet spot this Halloween season. When in doubt, beware of these three cruelly obtained ingredients: gelatin (cow’s bones), carmine color (crushed beetles), and confectioner’s glaze (made from female lac beetles).

1. Airheads

Vegan Halloween Candy Airheads

2. Bottle Caps

Vegan Halloween Candy Bottle caps

3. Chick-o-Sticks

Vegan Halloween Candy chick o stick

4. Cry Babies

Vegan Halloween Candy cry baby

5. Dots

Vegan Halloween Candy dots

6. Dum Dums

Vegan Halloween Candy dum dums

7. Fireballs

Vegan Halloween Candy fireball



Read more: http://www.peta.org/living/food/25-vegan-halloween-candies/#ixzz3H9DJyYi4