Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bookworm Challenge - Book Review

Rather than an eloquently written, smart and knowledgeable book review, I am going to do this review of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for the Bookworm Challenge a little different. Hey, I live in the suburbs, remember? We totally find the easy way out... So, I am going chapter by chapter and giving you my favorite little quote that made me change the way I eat, shop, cook or live on this planet. Today is chapters 1-5 and tomorrow 6-10 and so on... you get the picture. Ready?

Chapter 1 - Called Home: Favorite line: "Potatoes have a plant part" and this is something I want my children to know too. Carrots have a feathery, leafy top. Peas come in a waxy, green pod. Cucumbers are really what you have before you get a pickle. So, what did I do? Planted some container gardens with beans, carrots and tomatoes along with some herbs.

Chapter 2 - Waiting for Asparagus: Favorite line: "making with care instead of buying on the cheap" and I want my family to eat more of what I made, with love, rather than what I bought pre-mixed, packaged and labeled at Costco. So, what did I do? Banned premade, store bought cookies from the house. Ouch. That is, until I made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that are now a weekly event, when those boys roll off the bus at 3:15 and can grab a handful of cookies off the counter, I feel proud.

Chapter 3 - Springing Forward: Favorite line: "The Case of the Murdered Flavor was a contract killing" and I was one of the accomplices I think... See, I never thought about buying strawberries in November or broccoli in March. I thought I was doing a whiz-bang job by getting the kiddies to eat some veggies or fruit and even better, much of the time it was organic. Sure, it was organic, but from where? Straight from Mexico, Chile and Californian hot houses and it really didn't taste all that good, I was just going through the motions. So, what did I do? I decided a really good strawberry was worth waiting for and we are doing our best to buy what is in season, from the farmer's market or the U-Pick place. Granted, sometimes our fridge has been pretty bare this month, but berry season is in a few short weeks, so I am certain it will be full and happy once again.

Chapter 4 - Stalking the Vegetannual: Favorite line: Stalking the Vegetannual - enough said! It's kind of funny to picture everything connected in that way, but it is and thank goodness we have bees to make sure everything is healthy and pollinated. So, what did I do? Decided that real honey, from local bee keepers will be the next purchase at the farmers market and to use it as a sweetener in things like oatmeal and snacks. Let's keep those bee keepers in business, shall we? Those bees have a job to do and it's hard to work when you're homeless!

Chapter 5 - Molly Mooching: Favorite line: "I am not one to argue with wild mushroom hunters who claim the distinction of being still alive". This actually made me giggle because for years my parents have been finding morels on their property in northern Michigan and my sister and I keep thinking that their eyesight isn't so great and one day - gulp - that might not be a morel in the dinner dish. They claim they have a "book" and they're sure what they're picking is a morel and they too have the distinction of still being alive. So, what does this mean to me? It's about trying new things and being more adventurous with what is locally available to me. Vegetables that I might have avoided because they look strange, tasted strange or were just plain icky to me as a child, might be worth trying again. We are signing up for a CSA this year and plan to try everything. Even the chard. Really. At least one bite. No plugging my nose either.


arduous said...

What a great idea for a book review!! Love it. :)

Green Bean said...

I love, love, love this idea for a book review. Notice I haven't put up anything "official" in way of a book review yet? That's because I suck at writing a clear, thoughtful one and apparently am not creative enough to think of one like this.

Honestly, this one touched me. I remember some of those lines and some of my reactions to them. It is stuff like this which is why I started my book club and then this challenge. Books have so much power and can guide us where to go. Awesome review!

Anonymous said...

I love this format for a book review. What a wonderful idea! This book, btw, (AVM) is one of my all-time favorites.

eco 'burban mom said...

Thanks everyone, I am glad my down and dirty book review format worked out so well. I have a hard time staying focused with all these kids and dogs underfoot, so sometimes a single line or statement in a book grabs me and is easier to digest. And implement! If I tried to do it all, I would be exhausted and just give up. One or two small changes goes a long way in my book!