“Beyond Broccoli – A Meat Eater’s Guide to Eating Vegetarian” and “Home Cheese Making”

Okay, I mostly attended the home cheese making seminar. It was interesting, but I got the feeling that I missed most of the stuff I couldn’t just get out of a book or online while I was in the “Beyond Broccoli” seminar.

Now, here’s the deal. The Beyond Broccoli – A Meat Eater’s Guide to Eating Vegetarian workshop description was, “Learn how to prepare vegetarian meals to improve your health and tread lightly on our planet.” I don’t know why, after repeatedly having my workshops not be what I expected that day, I expected advice on how meat-eaters can better prepare vegetarian meals, but I did.

And, maybe, if I’d stayed through the entire thing, that would have eventually happened. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay.… Continue reading →

Antiques Roadshow: The Heirloom on Your Plate

I went to this workshop because the container gardening workshop was over-full. Like, “Glad they didn’t have a fire marshal walk in” full. “Sardine can” does not even begin to describe it.

The “Antiques Roadshow” workshop was really nice, and kind of low-key. I didn’t expect to learn much, because it claimed to be about why preserving the diversity of farmed plants & animals was important, and I’ve already heard a lot about that.

And, truth be told? I didn’t. I didn’t hear much about the importance of keeping a diverse “genetic bank” for a species due to disease or poor adaptation to a climate. I didn’t hear much about flavors. I heard little on cultural reasons to keep diverse food types (something I expect to learn more about as I read Gary Paul Nabhan and Deborah Madison’s book … Continue reading →

The Conscious Carnivore

As a refresher, here’s the workshop description, straight from the website:

How to use the whole animal to promote sustainability, avoid waste, and dazzle your tastebuds.

Again, I wanted and expected direct tips & tricks and ideas. A set of maps to various cuts, with suggestions on what to substitute for what. Ways to cook kidneys or tongue or tripe1. Someone else wanted to know how to get ALL the internal organs. I have no idea what she was planning for the lungs or bladder, but I’m kind of curious.

There was very little (though not none) of these kinds of tips. (Okay, the only one I remember was the suggestion that sirloin flap is a good substitute for skirt steak.) There were definitely some comments on how to use (and store) a whole animal.… Continue reading →

Yes, We Can!

What a cute workshop name. Sometimes, puns are fun. This workshop was about a quarter useful and a half useless (to me) and a quarter, “Well, that would have been much more interesting had I signed up for THAT lecture, but now I’m just frustrated I didn’t get the lecture I signed up for.”

The day before, my twitter exchange with Gardner involved me asking how “hands-on” the class was going to be, and if I should bother bringing my computer. I figured that a specific kind of “how to” would not allow any time for good note-taking and/or tweeting. He responded that the main goal would be “laying concepts for year-round local eating1.” So I figured going in that I could tweet to my heart’s content, but would still get some useful tips and tricks for preserving food.… Continue reading →

The biggest disappointment

AKA Saturday Family Farmed Expo Recap

Saturday was the day that was most geared toward the general public (aka me, in theory), and the one I was most looking forward to. It was a combination of market, Chicago chef demos and workshops. You could get a ticket to just the market & the demos or to all three, or to those three plus a particular lecture (The Sally Fallon Morell lecture).

I chose to get a workshop ticket, but pass on the lecture. Since I wanted to do a workshop in every timeslot, this effectively meant I passed on the market & demos too. I could have attended a bit of the market, but decided sleeping in and breakfast with Bill was a better use of my limited weekend time.… Continue reading →