Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Omnivore's Dilemma & A Little Lee Greenwood

Something about my outdoors alter ego must scream, “Oh, bless her heart.” Maybe it’s the outfits – they are indeed whimsically entertaining (i.e. tacky and inappropriate) – or the projects of necessity that I can be seen doing on any given day – cutting tree limbs with hedge clippers, filling a plastic swimming pool for Lucy and Willie, weedeating in absolutely no set direction, stopping every so often to manually pull the line out because I don’t want to read the directions on how to get it to automatically release (and save your asshat remarks about tapping it on the ground; I tried that already). Regardless, over the past few weeks, I’ve had numerous men stop by, introduce themselves, and offer assistance if I need help with anything in the future. And these are not sketchy men hitting on the new unmarried Marrowbone resident in funny outfits. These are men who probably know my parents, who genuinely would help if I needed it, and who simply don’t want me to be freaked out if they drive by fairly often (because of the diesel shop and Carhartt building on adjacent properties). It’s protective and a little old-school, but I don’t mind…my feminist sensibilities are kept in check by my conservative appreciation of small town protocol.

I had a visitor on Monday, however, that fell a bit outside the norm. I was hanging clothes on the line and noticed a gentleman in the driveway in jeans and a navy, American flag-embossed t-shirt (I also noticed L & W’s piercing barks – they haven’t quite developed their conservative appreciation yet – don’t be offended if you ever pull into my driveway and they seem to want to eat you). He introduced himself, saying that he just recently took a position with one of the Mennonite owners of the Carhartt building and would be next door on a regular basis. A resident of Clinton County, he is also running for County Judge Executive in the fall. His initial interest, he stated upfront, in coming over, however, had little to do with my laundry skills or cowboy boot/pajama get up and more so with the bumper stickers on my car (suffice it to say, stickers that are a rarity in Cumberland County; suffice it to say TOO THOUGH that I’m not one of those who has the entire backside of their car plastered with politically- and socially-progressive mantras in an attempt to seem hipster and pretentiously unpretentious). Long story short, we talked for roughly a half-hour about political economy, tourism, and community development. He also offered to bring me vegetables from his ½ acre garden. Perfect conversation.

More so than anything, this gentleman seemed to want a sounding board for some of the initiatives he finds inspiring, yet also completely realistic and economically viable for this area. At the heart of his agenda lay a multi-county commission that works to collectively build and foster a sustainable community (in terms of both economics and the more intangible sense of devotion to place). Here are some of the things that we discussed and on which I would love to have your feedback. Are these viable? Would you be interested in personally participating? What are the benefits and the drawbacks? Do you have corresponding ideas or even ideas that are completely unique, but that work toward enhancing the community?

* Renting garden plots to summer tourists (and also have local workers who maintain when tourists go home)

* Creating an all-inclusive webpage or even virtual community where tourists can book a fishing guide, baby-sitter, event planner or schedule organizer; or can see church attendance options, local restaurant reviews, “where to go if you need XYZ”; basically, a Craigslist designed to promote areas outside of Bowling Green, Lexington, and Louisville

* Creating a website for local residents to market and sell garden surplus; basically an eBay store where local residents who don’t have access to a computer or have no interest in using one can filter their goods through a community agency. This could also be used to market specialty goods – people could request that local farmers grow a particular thing the following year.

* Building and running a co-op that becomes basically a well-organized farmers’ market; have a canning/vegetable processing space available; offer classes on canning, bread baking, gardening, rain barrels, recycling

* Building a meat-processing facility that values grass-fed, free-range, locally-grown, and humanely-treated animals

What are your thoughts?
Here is my latest project...
I'm sure you all don't remember, but several months ago, I posted this picture. I found this at the creek and decided that I shoud turn it into something.
I was getting tired of looking at the landline base, modem, and cords sitting in the kitchen floor, so...

Presenting the highly anticipated-Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad with Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad Dressing!
Makes 6 servings.

1 large, ripe fresh avocado, peeled, seeded, cut in slices
2 Cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked over, well-drained
2 Cups diced fresh apple (two medium apples; peeled, cored, seeded, diced)
2 Cups fresh mango chunks, diced
5 oz package mixed baby greens, or 8 cups mixed lettuces torn in bite-size (I used Red Russian Kale (sweeter than regular green kale) because that is what I had in my refridge)
2 Tbsp chopped chives or green onion
2 Tbsp walnuts, toasted*, chopped coarsely
1 avocado and blueberry fruit salad dressing. (See below for the recipe for Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad Dressing)

Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad Dressing
2 Tbsp honey
¼ Cup plain nonfat yogurt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ Cup fresh orange or grapefruit juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground white pepper (This ingredient surprised me. The only thing I have used white pepper for is my chicken soup and it smells kinda odd. I decided to put just a dash.)

1. Place chopped avocado, blueberries, apple, and mango in medium bowl and toss with 4 Tbsp tangy dressing; set aside.
2. Toss salad greens in large bowl with remainder of tangy dressing, and distribute evenly on each of six salad plates.
3. Place an equal portion of dressed fruit/avocado mixture on top of each greens serving.
4. Sprinkle with chopped chives and toasted walnuts to serve.
*To toast walnuts, place nut pieces in dry skillet over medium-high heat and stir occasionally for about seven minutes, or until pieces are browned lightly. Remove from heat. Let nuts cool slightly before chopping and using to garnish salad.
Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad Dressing
In medium bowl, mix honey, yogurt, and cinnamon together until smooth and creamy. Whisk in juice; stir in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
I found this dish very satisfying and nourishing. Substituting the wilted kale for the baby greens gave it a warmer, heartier feel. I will definitely try it with baby greens, baby spinach or lettuce from the garden (a.k.a. farmers market). Tomorrow for my lunch at work, I will try my left over fruit and avocado mixture with chilled pasta.

This recipe gets 5 avocados on the avocado yummy scale!!!:)


  1. The ideas you discussed are great and as long as they are supported by individuals passionate and knowledgeable about the particular cause, you would think all are viable options. Keep us updated!! :)

  2. People can argue all they want about the existence of God, but weed-eating has pretty much convinced me of the existence of the devil.

    ...and this is why I don't comment on the blog more often.

  3. Lindsey,
    When we open our cafe, we can be the hub for all of these activities:) Hope yesterday went well!

    Well said, Stephen. And I mean that.

  4. We need to remember some of our favorite recipes for the cafe!! :) If you find another "wood structure" at the creek- I would love to have something similar for my patio. Just something to keep in mind as your wadding in the mighty MC.

  5. eyes will be peeled, LD:)