Oct 28, 2013

Bob Evans Bathroom Blunder

After church we went to Bob Evans for a little lunch or as the kids say: to eat the "little farmers breakfast." Campbell and I decided to visit the ladies bathroom. I looked at the sign and charged right into the bathroom. I opened the door and I saw a man washing his hands.  He glanced at me and read the embarrassment on my face and half smiled. I backed out of restroom looked at the sign again  and it said "Women’s." Campbell had to go to the bathroom so I opened the door again and entered the woman’s restroom that had a man in it. Campbell was not sure what in the world was going on. I said hello (kind of awkward I must admit) he still was not sure what I was doing in the Men’s restroom. Campbell whispered, "Why is there a man in here?" I told her I was not sure but it was probably an accident.

The poor man finally figured that he was in the wrong restroom. He laughed, I laughed and he quickly exited. When I left the ladies room, I walked out and he was still waiting to be seated laughing with a face a red as could be.

I think we have all accidentally entered the wrong bathroom at one time or another. The last time I did that was back in 2000 when I was the Ohio Lamb and Wool Queen speaking at a banquet in Union County. I was wearing my crown and sash and was the speaker at the dinner. I walked in on four little boys who squealed. Then when I got up to speak at the banquet one of them said very loudly, "that is the lady who uses the boys bathroom."

I am just glad Campbell did not point out the nice gentleman who accidentally read the sign wrong at Bob Evans!

Oct 25, 2013

Campbell's Cans and Parkers Puppies

Raising kids is not easy task. Just when you think you have it down pat, they go and pull the wool over your eyes. Raising a little lady and a rough and tough boy are completely opposite. We have great days and some not great days. Just when you think you have raised little monsters, you see a glimmer of what you thought you have been teaching them all along when they go and do something so thoughtful.

We have tried to make sure our kids are very aware of where their food comes from and provide them with many hands-on experiences, even at their young ages of 6 and 4. The kids enjoy gardening and even trips to the local food pantry delivering their produce for those less fortunate than us. As a mom I deal with food every day. We raise food, sell food and cook with food. Campbell and Parker know where food comes from, but I also want them to value what an abundant food supply we are blessed to have. We raise food and what we do not raise we have the means to go to the grocery and buy what we would like to eat. If we want to have turkey burgers for dinner we put it on the grocery list (which I never remember to take with me) and next trip get turkey burgers.

A friend (Kara McCarthy) posted something online that really made me think with the upcoming holidays rapidly approaching. She raised the question “Have you ever been so hungry that you could not sleep?” I have said many times I am starving and I listen to the kids say how hungry or thirsty they are about 5 times a day. I cannot recall ever being so hungry I could not sleep. I am grateful that I have not had that hunger and I never want my children to experience that either, but I know it is out there. While we are blessed with a roof over our heads and a freezer and pantry full of healthful foods, there are many who do not have that luxury.

While some of us are worrying about eating non-GM crops or Organic foods, there are some who just want food. I heard a great quote on a recent trip from a biotech researcher: “I want a 'What will we have for dinner?' society, not a 'Will we have dinner?' society.” By doing research and involving GM crops as a part of becoming a more sustainable country, I truly believe we can work towards eliminating hunger, be more naturally resourceful and provide a safe food for our families and food for our animals.

We talked  with our kids about other little children who truly experience real hunger. The kids came up with the idea that we would challenge our friends and family to donate and volunteer at a local pantry, shelter or find a family in need for the months of  November and December.

Campbell loves to cook so she will be donating to the food pantry and Parker loves his puppies so he will be donating to the local animal shelter.

Many already make donations or volunteer. If you do not already do so, think about involving your children, family and friends and give back to those who need it.

Oct 23, 2013

My World View: One thing we all have in common

What does food mean to you?
To me food is a celebration of friends and family who worked hard to not only cook the food but the rugged hands that grew the ingredients too. When I go to bed at night I usually fall asleep to a foodie website or a stack of food magazines that I am reading to get ideas, mark recipes and learn about new techniques I want to try. I have food on the brain all the time. I am constantly thinking of new ways to make food better or new ways that will be fun and healthful for my family and customers. I love to cook and eat! Someone asked me if I ever get tired of cooking. My answer was, "Not really." Cooking is the one area that I can go full force and experiment try new things without any worries. Have a tough day...I go home and bake away! The worse case is that the chickens will eat one of my inventions if it turns out terrible (not that this happens often but it does happen occasionally).

There was one time when I made this beautiful pumpkin roll and sent into Matt's office. I nearly poisoned Bart Johnson publisher of Ohio's Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net with fermented pumpkin roll...turned out not to be such a good recipe, or I just didn't follow it correctly!

I have had many food conversations with friends and total strangers and I am always learning something new. Some have the passion for food much like I do, but have no connection to where their food comes from other than the grocery. Others hate the thought of food because food costs money and that can be the cause of stress. There are so many options, cost differences and confusion over what is best and safe for their diets or families.  I happen to have the great privilege of being to my rural roots and our farming community. Over my journey, I have had the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing farmers from across the country and world. I have never met a farmer who does not love their job of growing a safe healthy food product. We raise crops and livestock because we value our food system and where our crops end up which is on our very own tables.

I want to say that no matter what food choices you make for you or your family, whether it is Local, Vegetarian, GMO Free, Free Range or just normal food from your grocery, you can feel confident in the safety of our food system and the care of farmer who had a hand in raising it. We are blessed to have SO many food options. There are countries where children are starving, food and water are no where to be found, yet we find it so easy to condemn a certain production practice or personal preference when we are so fortunate to even have food.  When I think of all the choices we have it makes me very proud to be part of the farming community that can provide ample safe affordable food supply.

No one should ever be ashamed or guilted into a food lifestyle. Respect people and the decisions that they make. While your opinion may differ, at least we have food and choices.

This is a recipe that has had many requests. For all you Bacon Lovers out there this recipe is for you!