Categories
Notes from the Kitchen

Cooking Matters San Francisco: Teaching Kids to Cook Real Food

http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/news-content/cooking-matters-teaching-kids-to-cook-in

As this year winds down for another year to commence, out come the goals that might get recycled each year with the regularity of abandoned pine trees on curbs the last week in December. Let’s face it, we look forward to new beginnings. When the clock completes the circle toward midnight on New Year’s Eve, a page is filled and turned so we may begin jotting on a new one.

Cooking matters. In 2013, I had the privilege of teaching 12 San Francisco children some cooking skills in the kitchen with 18 Reasons and am already conspiring when I will get to do it again in 2014. Jamie Oliver has become synonymous with taking the real food revolution to new levels, especially with getting children in the U.S. excited about real food. I am sending them a gigantic thank you for the work he and his team are doing to create a groundswell in the real food movement and also for the opportunity to  share on his blog why cooking matters in San Francisco. Please pop over there to read about the experience and share a comment about why real food and cooking matters to you.

 

NEW IN 2014 – NEWSLETTER
Food, poetry and art will be coming soon to your inbox. The previous sentence would have ended with an exclamation mark if I hadn’t already used up my allowance for the year. If you peruse The Food Poet regularly, consider signing up for sporadic updates with subscriber only recipes, city travel guides and book reviews. I promise not to bombard your inbox, but plan on keeping a few choice nuggets for newsletter subscribers to mix things up a bit on a quarterly basis. Also, if there is anything you would like to see more of, leave a comment below and we can see about finagling it into the newsletter.

Categories
Spirit

Hunger in America: Have You Ever Gone Hungry?

Did you know that 16 million children live in households that struggle to put food on the table?

Put another way, that’s 1 in 5 kids.

It’s absurd isn’t it? The number confounds with its profundity. It feels so big as to be out of reach.

It requires a groundswell of people involved to make their voices heard, to shout if necessary, to keep eyes open for the invisible hungry in our midst and see how we can be the change in our communities and by urging our senators to hear us and reverse this disturbing trend through legislation and programming. It needs all of us to get involved and share our strengths to end hunger in America.

FBAH Logo

 

Food Bloggers Against Hunger
Today’s kind of a special day. My friend Nicole Gulotta, who you may remember a few weeks ago, contributed a guest post for Sesame Crackers with Smoked Salmon and Chive Creme Fraiche along with the food poem that inspired the recipe has done something kind of wonderfully grassroots. It’s even gotten the attention of the New York Times. Over 100 food bloggers today are dedicating their blog post and recipe to talk about hunger and how together we can make a difference and bring hunger to the forefront of peoples’ minds. After all, have you ever gone hungry? Have you ever questioned where and when you would find your next meal? This intrinsic need isn’t something a lot of us have to think about. I hate wasting food and yet find myself guilty time and again. Addressing and curing hunger is not about pointing fingers, but about finding sustainable solutions.

Share our Strength / No Kid Hungry
The past five years, I have volunteered with No Kid Hungry, a national non-profit with the belief that if each of us shares our strength, together we can eradicate hunger among America’s children. Working with them, I have advocated as a sponsor for their Taste of the Nation San Francisco program, helped lead the marketing initiative for Taste of the Nation and finally gotten into the kitchen, teaching cooking classes as part of their Cooking Matters classes, teaching nutrition and cooking to kids in low income communities. Hunger is something I have seen firsthand, working at the Living Room, a homeless street-kid drop-in for three years. It is something I hear about through the hunger cycle of community plays in Cornerstone Theater’s current run of Lunch Lady Courage in L.A.

What Can I Do?
This is a question I ask myself often. The enormity of the problem makes me creative to find ways I can help. Here’s the good news, you can dive in and help too.

Hunger in America- A Place at the Table

  • PARTICIPATE IN YOUR OWN HUNGER CHALLENGE: Subsist on the California daily SNAP budget of $4.72 per person for a week. Write about it. Share your experiences with others. And if you decide to go this route, let me know so I can cheer you on!

The Hunger Challenge
Two years ago, the San Francisco Food Bank invited local food bloggers to live for a week on a SNAP budget and blog about their experiences. My husband and I took their hunger challenge, made more challenging in that we were trying to do it gluten-free. If I was to attempt it again, I would also put an added challenge of making it GMO-free. What we found through our experience is that it is doable to live off of $4.72 per person per day on a SNAP budget, but requires a helluva lot of planning, prep and cooking that a mother working two to three jobs to pay rent may not easily be able to master.

Hunger in America: Assembling Your Hunger Challenge Provisions DAY 1: Time and Shopping List
Hunger in America: Lemon Pepper Tuna with Apple SlawDAY 2: Lemon Pepper Tuna with Apple Broccoli Slaw
Spinach Quiche CupsDAY 3: Cravings and Spinach Quiche Cups
Hummus Veggie TostadasDAY 4: Support and Hummus Veggie Tostadas
Green Smoothies 
DAY 5: Fatigue and Green Smoothies
                                DAY 6: Getting By
Hunger in America: Black Refried Beans DAY 7: Take-Aways and Black “Refried” Beans