“I…am not…a cook…”

June 1, 2007

…but I do enjoy a good dinner, whether a friend fixes it or at a restaurant. Friends who know me well know that I nuke. It isn’t that I can’t cook, it’s simply that I’m either lazy or lack motivation. However, give me a good reason, like company’s coming, and I can fix a passable chicken and rice casserole, grill, or other average dishes.

spaghetti by artvex.comAssuming, that is, I can remember where various cooking utensils are stored in the kitchen. (One time many years ago, upon a tire blowout keeping me from getting to an international folk dance where I was supposed to perform in Richmond, VA, a friend volunteered to cheer me up by coming to my house and making spaghetti. Arriving with all the fixin’s in tow, he expected me only to pony up a couple of pots and pans. Alas, it took me about a half hour to figure out where everything was…)

Anyway, this is all by way of saying I’m getting involved in another interesting project of the Sierra Club. It’s called the True Cost of Food and is intended simply to promote sustainable food choices. Currently in the DC Metro area, folks meet at a restaurant and discuss related topics, perhaps even including a chat with the restaurant chef or owner about local sources for specialty ingredients. In the past year, the one and only Suburban Maryland location/date conflicted with something else on my calendar, prompting me to contact the organizers to find out about additional locations/dates in my area. The response was a query if I’d like to take that on myself.

(Note to self — be careful what I ask for…)

Couple of places I have in mind right off the bat. Just need to follow up with the organizers and settle on a date. This should be fun. I’ll add blurbs in the future about our experiences.



  1. Hi bj –
    any updates on this? having started my own vegetable garden this year and encouraged a few others, i like to hear how others are promoting sustainable eating. this is such an important topic because it touches so many things: good nutrition, decreased use of fossil fuels (for transport), know-how to maintain healthy soils, are just a few that come to mind easily.

    thanks for keeping this website going – it softens a little bit a heart hardened with cynicism.

  2. We had our first gathering last night, at Mark’s Kitchen in Takoma Park! Originally 28 folks RSVP’d — 8 more than our limit — but the final tally after cancellations and no-shows was a very comfortable 13. I understand from the coordinators in Northern Virginia and DC we can do farm tours, cooking demos, book discussions — all manner of things that help us live more sustainably. I’m impressed to hear about your vegetable garden, Christy — what are you growing?

  3. I’m lucky enough to work at a company that provided about 100 garden plots on our new campus to employees. So, at my work garden plot, we grew zucchini, butternut squash, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, and beets. And at home, we grew okra, more tomatoes, strawberries, summer squash, cucumbers, jalapenos, cayenne peppers, orange and red bell peppers, parsely, cilantro, sage, chives, thyme, blue berries, rhubarb, chard, green beans, lettuce, spinach, arugula, and onions. I’ll probably shorten the list a bit next year, planting more plants of fewer varieties, but it was good to try alot of different things to see what grew the best.

    I also helped out with a couple community gardens, to varying degrees of success. I find it hard to make a good match with volunteering – what does my schedule permit vs what does the organization need. No matter how nicely they ask if I can come in on weekday mornings, I simply can’t…

    Anyway, in addition to more vegetable gardening of my own next year, I’ve purchased a share with a couple CSA’s – one for veggies and another for eggs and goat cheese. So, we’ll have veggies coming out of our ears, which will be a good reason to give canning a try.

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