World Kindness Day–begins with you

Today is “World Kindness Day”–and I’m thinking that that kindness begins with us, to and for ourselves, around food. There’s a lot that goes into making the “right” food choices–for ourselves, for the planet. First up, though, is the inherent goodness in the food itself–and just how nourishing it is.  But eating is a social…

A FoodWISE moment: Organics, carbon, climate change, and the future of food

“Is organic food really better for the environment?” That was the title of a recent blog post recent blog by Anuradha Varanasi writing for Columbia University’s Earth Institute. This is a great question, and it refers to a study reported on in Nature in 2018  (See original article).   Dozens of commentaries have been published…

Fall, light into dark: Michaelmas season

  We marked Michaelmas tide,  end-of-September, with a traditional celebration–a reenactment of a dragon-slaying and a festive eating of the giant dragon bread. Fall is here. WHWS, Bellingham, WA In the shadow of the Goetheanum, in Dornach, Switzerland, events in Waldorf schools are festive, too. But much of the dragon-exploration occurs in nearby woods. In…

Trailing of the Sheep Festival–Sustainability challenges in the wool industry

Trailing of the Sheep festival in Wood River Valley, Idaho: For some, it’s on the bucket-list, but for me—it’s just part of FoodWISE thinking and living. Attending the festival, I was able to do some research on the wool industry—while enjoying the sagebrush-covered rangelands, with their dramatic mountain-scapes. The festival is all-things-sheep, including a celebration…

Food as Culture (Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Wood River Valley, Idaho)

Mark Kurlansky’s led the “Food as Culture” talk on October 11 with a beautiful reading from several of his books. He spoke about the cherry-filled Basque cake and the enduring culture that created it, but also the need to dig deep into others’ cultures, to really understand where food comes from. His story about the…

Italy Ecogastronomy 2020

This is our eleventh year for the program, which to date has hosted over 100 students. We are taking 13 more this year. Pre-departure session dates: Finals week, spring quarter 2020  Travel dates: Florence: June 16 – July 5, 2020 Includes Switzerland  Program Details This food studies program begins with culinary intensives in Bellingham, then…

FoodWISE…….Whole, Informed, Sustainable, Experienced

I wrote my new book, FoodWISE (out in January, 2020 with North Atlantic Books), in Dornach, Switzerland these past 6 months. Immersed in a landscape — both physical and cultural — of immense beauty. Some of that beauty can be seen in the images below. There, I was duly inspired to produce the two drafts…

Lovely Chèvre

Pretty little Deruta dish, with the creamy goat cheese, from Jewels and Fauna This beautiful chevre has a unique texture – neither creamy nor overly dry. I milk into a pail or cup and then empty the milk into a ½ gallon jar that already has a minute bit of culture in it (about 1/16…

Global Learning: Intensives in the United States and in Switzerland

Summer in Switzerland is a tremendously enriching time. Our destination is invariably a most mystical place — Dornach, Switzerland. To prepare for the Europe trip in general, students read and then respond to questions in a classroom at our university, Western Washington University. This, and potlucks, is how we begin to form our learning community….

Mozzarella supreme

I make cultured mozzarella, but in this picture, you can see a kind of hybrid long method-less long method — with citrus acid (I use lemon juice) added to increase the acidity. Critical to achieving a good mozzarella “stretch” is the appropriate pH. Recipe from Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking by Gianaclis Caldwell. Unsalted version.