Archive for the ‘Local food’ Category

downtown-1This weekend was a great weekend. On Friday night, we (and the gallery) surivived our visit to the munchkin’s first art gallery. In the car on the way home she kept asking, “Why couldn’t I run in there?” Really?

Then, we drove through a freak monsoon and had dinner at Jeni’s. (You can have ice cream for dinner, right?)

We also had out-of-town family in for the weekend, and we took them to some of our new favorite places in Columbus. Every place we went this weekend was kid-friendly – as we had a two-year-old and a six-month-old with us.

We went to:

Jeni’s – Everyone loved Jeni’s ice cream, of course. And, yes we went there twice in one weekend. My new favorite flavor is Queen City Cayenne (new to me, not Jeni’s). The munchkin usually eats at least half of my ice cream, but I had to explain that this was chocolate with hot sauce, and she couldn’t try it. Her comment was, “I’ll eat hot sauce when I’m a big girl.” Yup, in our house, only the big girls eat the hot sauce. (This is a conversation we have a lot, as I put hot sauce on a lot things.)

Ying’s Teahouse and Yum-Yum in Clintoville – This is my new favorite Chinese restaurant in Columbus. Everything that we have eaten here has been amazing. Our favorites are the crab ragoon and veggie/tofu dumplings. The staff were also very nice and accomidating with the kids.

North Market’s Artisan Sunday – This was our first Artisan Sunday, and we will be back. They are the first Sunday of every month. We got cute hair scarves from Emily Kitturah-Westenhouser and an adorable apron and cupcake hat from Circa Circus. Every mom needs one of Emily’s cute hair scarves. Perfect for bad hair days.

Corner Cafe – We loved their sandwiches and their patio. It was the perfect weekend for an outdoor lunch too. We got three different sandwiches and shared them. They were all amazing. My favorite was the Fig & Proscuitto

We had a great weekend showing off our city and hanging out with our family.

[Photo credit: Columbus]


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Once my daughter was born, I began to think a lot more about food. I had no idea what would be best for her to eat.

So, I starting reading a lot of books about food. Here is a list of my favorite food books:

What to Eat and Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition, and Health by Marion Nestle. If you only have time to read one book, read What to Eat. The book is broken down into categories and Nestle explains the reasons for purchasing one type of food over another. For example, why buying local can be better than buying organic. 

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. This book completely changed the way I thought about food. I love Pollan’s writing style. 

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matters by Peter Singer. This book helped me to see how my food choices affected myself and the larger world. 

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser – Before you give your children any fast food, read this first. This was the first food book I read, and it is incredibly enlightening. 

Eating Local:

Both of these books are lovely narratives of two families’ adventures in eating local. After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, I was ready to move to the country and buy a farm.    

Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

All of these books changed the way I thought about food. Reading any of them will open your eyes and start you thinking about what you and your family eat. 

[Photo Credit: AnimalFast Food Nation]

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I love going to farmers’ markets and I try to eat as much local food as I can. Why? Because I believe it is a better way to eat and feed my daughter. I know it can be more work and more effort to eat local, but it’s worth it. 

Here are my reasons for eating local:

1. It’s so good! Have you tried Jeni’s Ice Cream yet? It is the best ice cream I’ve ever had. And after eating Jeni’s, no other ice cream will compare. The fruits and vegetables at the the Worthington Farmers’ Market are much better quality anything you can buy in the grocery store. Local restaurants are also more fun and tasty than those awful chain restaurants. Some favorites of mine are Starliner Diner, Surly Girl Saloon, and Northstar Cafe

2. Supporting the local economy. When I buy local, I’m supporting a local small farmer or small business person. I’m keeping our money in the community that I live in because I want my community to prosper. 

3. Reduce fossil fuel consumption. Local food hasn’t been shipped half way around the country or the world. The food also doesn’t have to be able to withstanding being shipped around the world. 

4. Fresher food. Eating local gives me access to fresher food, particularly produce, that does not need to be sustained by chemical or other enhancements to ensure a longer shelf-life. I buy Snowville Creamy milk, which is produced in Pomeroy and is excellent. We buy it once a week from Greener Grocer at the North Market. I love that I know where my daughter’s milk is coming from. On Fridays, we always buy the Candied Rosemary Walnuts the Greener Grocer makes every Friday – they are amazing. The munchkin loves them!

5. It’s fun. I love meeting the farmers at the farmers’ market or the local business person I am supporting. They care about the food that I am buying. We develop relationships with them. When we go to the farmers’ market on Saturday, my daughter says we are going to meet our farmers. I love that! 

Read more about the Worthing Farmers’ MarketStarliner Diner, and some great local bread from Great Harvest Bread Company.

[Photo credit: Ice Cream]

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Once a week, or at the most every other week, my daughter and I go to Great Harvest Bread Company in Upper Arlington.  

Their bread is fantastic. The secret to their bread is that they mill their whole wheat flour at their store, which makes their bread really fresh. A loaf can sit out on the counter for two weeks and still taste great. 

I buy their Honey Whole Wheat. The bread only has five ingredients in it – whole wheat flour, water, honey, yeast, and salt. The bread is great for toast and grilled cheese. We also use it for French toast on the weekends.

I have also tried other breads there, such as the Cinnamon Chip Whole Wheat bread, and they are all very good. They also sell great brownies and cookies. Basically, anything that comes from their store is terrific! 

Visiting the store is always a pleasant experience. All the employees are helpful and polite. Every time I’ve walked in the store I have been offered a slice of bread from their sample board. The slices are generous, and the munchkin loves getting to eat the slices slathered with butter as we run errands. The UA store also has a basket of toys on the floor to occupy her while I pay for our bread. Sometimes it is a little hard tearing her out of the store. 

They don’t make every kind of bread every day. Although, they do have the Honey Whole Wheat every day. Their schedule of breads changes monthly. You can pick up a copy in the store or at their website

Location: 4723 Reed Road, Upper Arlington. They also have locations in Pickerington and Newark.

Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.

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Columbus has some great farmers’ markets. My two favorite farmers’ markets are the North Market Farmers’ Market and the Worthington Farmers’ Market.

During the summer, I try to go to at least one farmers’ market a week, with my daughter in the stroller. She loves watching all the activity and people. I like supporting local farmers and the food is always great. 

The North Market Farmers’ Market is usually less crowded and chaotic than the Worthington Farmers’ Market. Although, the Worthington Market has a larger number of vendors and more selection. Other buyers tend to get pushy and glare at us as I try to navigate the stroller down the sidewalks in Worthington. People are more friendly at the North Market. We usually try to get to both markets as early as possible to avoid crowds and get the best selection.

When: Both markets are held on Saturdays from April to November. The North Market Farmers’ Market opens at 8 am. The Worthington Farmers’ Markets opens at 9 am. 

Where: The North Market is located at 59 Spruce Street, Columbus. There is usually parking available in the North Market parking lot. Make sure you have one of the vendors stamp your parking ticket. The Worthington Farmers’ Market is located on High Street in Old Worthington. A great place to park is the Methodist church one block south of the intersection of High Street and Route 161. 

What to Take: Take reusable grocery bags to carry your purchases. A stroller is great because you can put the goodies in the basket under the seat. However, a stroller makes it hard to navigate crowded sidewalks. When my daughter was younger, I put her in the Baby Bjorn, which freed up my hands. Cash – vendors only take cash and they always appreciate small bills. Take your sense of adventure – try a vegetable that you have never had before. You might be surprised that you like it. Last week, I bought turnips, which I had never cooked before. I sauteed them in a little olive and they were fantastic, even my little munchkin loved them. 

For more information about finding Farmers’ Markets near you, visit Local Harvest.

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