On the Agenda

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Down to Earth and Down From the Mountain

After an excellent summer in Montreat, N.C., I'm now back to the good ol' rolling Piedmont, and the good ol' brainy Triangle. Before the mountains there were the islands, the ones on the other side of the ocean and just west of Scandinavia. If you want to learn any about that adventure you should check here.

But now it's another year (my last at this place), and one more attempt to get this blogging thing underway. As with any other summer in the mountains, I've had much time to read and at least a little bit of time to contemplate. And I've been reading more non-fiction than is customary for me. So like last year, I think I will start with a review of some "Things I've Read, Listened To, or Enjoyed."

At the top of the summer's reading list is Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which was read soon after the also-amazing Prodigal Summer. AVM (my acronym) is part memoir, part journalistic reflection about Kingsolver's family in their quest to spend one whole year eating only local food. The writing is funny and beautifully descriptive, the stories are equally funny and beautiful, and the informational and investigative parts are eye-opening. Reading this during the summer -- already six months removed from my favorite farmers market -- got me really excited about getting back to school and getting into the food scene here.

This book, along with The Omnnivore's Dilemma, which I'm readying for a class, have heightened my food senses, and particually my sense of ethical, healthy, environmental food. And this morning I got my first shot at a local food year at the Carborro Farmer's Market and Weaver Street Market. Just to mention a few of the more flavorful things I picked up, I got:
- sungold tomatoes -- Amazing! These are cherry-sized and bright orange, and they have more sweet tomato flavor than I've tasted in a long time.
- rayan melon -- Very sweet, white melon. Not as melony as cantalope, which is think is a good thing.
- Larry's Beans Mightier Mocha Java -- I finally got a smaller single-serving French press, so I got some great chocolaty coffee to go with it. No, there's not real chocolate in it, but it still tastes like it.

In case I haven't mentioned it before, you should definitely check out Air Traffic. They're from Bournemouth, England, and if they ever start over here I'm sure they would do very well. They're doing great things in England, and I had the good fortune to see them in concert twice when I was in London. They played at South by Southwest in the spring, so there is a foot in the door. I'm just waiting for them to show up at Cat's Cradle. Any time now would be great...

My friend Andy Black, pianist extraordinaire and member of the band Supermarket Radio, tried to give me directions to this great restaurant about two years ago. He kinda forgot about the part where you have to get off the interstate, and so my friend and I ended up most of the way to Tennessee instead of where we wanted to be. We finally got to Rosetta's Kitchen just this past week, and I really wish I had made it sooner. The menu has a symbol for those dishes that are not vegan, and there is no meat served at all. It's open late, painted in bright colors, has a diverse clientele, and the food is absolutely amazing. I got the Buddha Bowl with rice, gravy, tofu, seaweed, and salad, and it was wonderful. I highly recommend it.

I think that's enough for now... I can't run out all at one time. Cheers.

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