It's a miserable rainy spring day but we pulled on our waterproof boots and other gear anyway and headed out into it to trek to a farmers' market across town. We had missed the smaller market closer to us this past weekend and rumor had it the asparagus are at long last here. Rain can't stand between me and my first of the season goods. My 3-year-old knows the depths of my passion for real local food and indulged me this soggy trek, even though it meant she was stuck in her stroller for longer than she likes.
I've been thinking a lot about food lately, for many reasons. The arrival of the spring onions, mizuna, and other gorgeous greens at the farmers' markets coincides with the editing of my next book, a total guide to sustainable food and kitchens, due out from Clarkson Potter next year. I'm busily testing recipes, and my daughter is truly helping me as a sous chef - kneading dough, tearing herbs from stems, tasting everything, and offering her (pretty hilarious) opinions. I've been eagerly awaiting this moment, for her to be old enough to really be my kitchen companion, rather than her just sitting there and eating while I work. It's the best Mother's Day gift I can think of. I spent a lot of my childhood (and adulthood) next to my own mother in her kitchen. The three of us have even tested a few of the recipes together, including one I'm (mentally) referring to as Three Generation Noodles with herbs. Beyond fun.
Mother's Day in general makes me think of food - it's a day I often cook for my own mother, or at least spend eating with her. The first Mother's Day I spent as a mother, my daughter wasn't yet eating solids, but she was at the table as I lunched with her grandmother. The subsequent years she ate what we ate. This year I have a feeling I'm in for a culinary treat made by the offspring with help from her dad. I'm dropping liberal hints for those asparagus to make their way into a risotto.
There are other things I wouldn't mind for Mother's Day this year - besides the simple regulars like sleep, fresh cut lilacs, and enough time to finish the front page of the newspaper uninterrupted. Like how about giving me the gift of stopping magazines and newspapers from folding already! Not only the ones I work(ed) for, but also ones I read. I'm just not much of a consumer (unless it's edible) but in the spirit of helping out a bad economy by spending some green, here's my now second annual fairly random organic mom-as-consumer wish list:
1. A NatureMill Composter. It's worm-free and fully automatic. Perfect for city apartments. And pricey.
2. A copy of Nina Planck's new book, Real Food for Mother and Baby. I'll be reviewing it soon here. Check back.
3. A Fair Trade farmer to farmer coffee share, offered for the first time this year from my CSA farmers at Stoneledge Farm.
4. Pretty much anything from Suki Pure and/or Dr. Hauschka, and any of the treatments I also wanted last year.
5. These are edible (as is that coffee) so I hope they count. Chocolate and truly natural wine. Cases are always lovely.
Related: Some of Our Favorite Organic Red Wines
6. A true splurge would be a truly organic mattress. I'll admit it: the natural cotton futon is hard. I wouldn't turn down a new set of organic cotton sheets or pjs, either.
7. A stainless steel pressure cooker to start reducing both the time and energy I use in the kitchen. Beets in 20 minutes instead of an hour!
8. This ceiling fan.
9. As long as I'm fantasizing, this $650 water filter is pretty gorgeous.
10. More practical but very needed: someone to come clean the filthy wool rug in my daughter's play area with truly eco-detergent. Or just steam with a machine that never housed un eco-detergent? Why is that so hard to find? Did I mention it's white? I bought it when I was pregnant and before I knew better.
11 (for good measure). Also practical: recycled paper business cards with soy ink, plus similar marketing materials for my eco-consulting work.
For more on Mother's Day wishes, check out this post at Yahoo! Green.
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