Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Omnivore's Dilemma report

Despite the frequently unappetizing and disheartening nature of this month's book, we were still able to have a delicious potluck along with our thoughtful discussion of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. Not everyone finished the book due to the dense writing and gloomy subject matter. One person recommended trying the young reader's edition instead, The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat. Personally, I really enjoyed the audiobook of the original.

Most of us found we ate closest to Pollan's industrial organic model, but were very interested in either raising our own food or supporting local farmer's markets. Some of us avoid certain foods (I don't eat octopus, because it is so smart), but most of us still eat pretty broadly.

A dvd that was recommended was Woody Harrelson's Go Further, where he learns how much pus and blood is in non-organic milk!

For our potluck we decided to eat either corn related items (oh, the irony!) and try out different types of beef sliders, cooked on some Foreman grills.

Dawn – yard raised organic deviled eggs

Denene – mini buns

Katie - oven roasted asparagus with sesame oil

Heather - corn on the cob slathered with butter, salt and pepper, plus Dried Apple Spice Cake with Sherry.

Karen - homemade buns and a delicious corn casserole (containing corn starch, corn meal, creamed corn, canned corn and corn bread mix!)

Julie - Maurice the organic, free range ground beef (with spices added)

Katie – regular ground beef, Rachel's Asparagus, Pea and Basil salad

Everyone brought a variety of burger toppings :)

My favorite discovery of the evening was Katie's cousin's yummy salad recipe:

Rachel’s Asparagus Pea and Basil Salad

• ¼ - 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots (about 1 large)
• 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 ½ - 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Handful of torn basil leaves (about 3/4 cup)

Melt butter over medium heat. Sauté shallots until soft but not brown. Add asparagus and stir until just warmed and tender, not mushy. Season with salt and pepper. Add peas and basil. Stir and cover. Turn off heat. Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Next month we go back to pioneer days and revisit everyone's childhood favorites, The Little House on the Prairie series! Who can forget all that salt pork and biscuits? To make it a easy on the group, everyone is going to read Little House in the Big Woods, but you are welcomed to re-read them all!