|"Candled egg" courtesy Chickens in the Road.|
Extra! Extra! is not my first blog to make it past the one-year mark, but I think it's more special than my other blogs in some ways and deserves a special Happy Anniversary (or blogoversary) post.
Thanks so much for reading this blog, first and foremost! Without your interest, I'd be far less motivated to keep going! And it's great to know there are people out there just like me who are ordinary suburbanites trying to make the most of their monthly food budget in a way that's sustainable and supportive of the local economy.
Blogging for me has always been about sharing. You know I don't normally do a lot of product reviews or giveaways (though this month I am celebrating by giving away a cool Locavore apron! See details). My background is in journalism, and when I use the J word here, I mean the Old School variety wherein there is no special relationship between the writer and anyone else besides the reader and the editor (in other words, I'm don't post digital product advertisements disguised as journalism).
It's funny, I just filled out the Food Blogging Survey and felt it was important to point out that some of us aren't doing this to make money or to promote our photography skills. I write Extra! Extra! to share ideas, recipes, techniques and information to help people reclaim their ability to cook from scratch as locally and as seasonally as possible.
Of course, what I do isn't at all selfless... in part, what I do at Extra! Extra! is set the bar for myself. That means I've been cooking from scratch more, figuring out how to make more different kinds of vegetables in more interesting ways and always trying to find a way to keep down food waste, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. I'm starting to think more about local products besides fruits and vegetables, as well, like eggs, dairy, snout-to-tail efforts in local charcuterie, locally caught wild fish and small herd farming of free-range farm animals like cows and chickens.
And with two teenagers heading off to college in the not-so-distant future, I want to be able to pull together enough recipes and resources for them (maybe putting together a family cookbook) so that they can start their adult lives with good cooking, eating and buying habits that reflect the sustainable consciousness that I think will continue to be an important paradigm shift over the coming decade. I was raised by avid home gardeners and foragers. I don't have the gorgeous garden and fruit trees my parents had, but I can still bring those fresh, authentic, wholesome flavors to the family table while they are developing their plates with some confidence that they will eventually choose whole and fresh and organic foods over processed, factory farmed foods.
The original reason for creating Extra! Extra! is still the driving force behind my desire to keep blogging: I want to be able to give people ideas for making the most of their surplus produce (from their kitchen garden, their CSA farm basket, deals at the box store, back-yard or urban foraging, or from the farmer's market). I still believe (and feedback from people seems to confirm) that the biggest hurdle to buying and cooking sustainably has to do with not knowing what to do with a nice harvest of fresh food when it comes all at once... and especially when that harvest includes unusual, unfamiliar fruits, vegetables and other whole foods.
So drop me a note any time you struggle with these challenges. I'd love to hear from you and give you as many solutions as I can find to make the process of turning your home kitchen into a great example of DIY sustainability.
Thank you for visiting Extra! Extra! I hope you'll keep reading the blog as I bring more farm basket techniques, herb gardening tips, scratch recipes and "fresh picked" links to relevant content elsewhere on the web to keep you informed about the way our food industry is changing to meet the growing interests of people just like you and me.
Don't forget to follow me in Twitter as well! @CSA_Foodie
Tamara Kaye Sellman
Extra! Extra! blogger, foodie and locavore in training!