FOOD & FRIENDS & FREEDOM . . . OH MY!
While we often have food at our events, until this past Saturday, we had never had an actual food preparation WORKSHOP. Sure, we’ve had plenty of meetings, workshops, and events where we TALKED about food but had never had a real “roll up your sleeves and get chopping” sort of gathering. It dawned on us over time that it’s one thing to “talk the talk” of regaining food sovereignty by canning and fermenting our own food, but altogether different to “walk the walk” by yes, renting a church basement equipped with a good kitchen, gathering high quality ingredients, bringing interesting people together and well . . . CHOP, CHOP!
The very best part of the workshop? These folks:
(Prepping apples for applesauce)
(students putting finished kimchi into jars)
(Learning about the canning process from Gwenne Baile)
We had such a happy time together elbow to elbow, coring, chopping, slicing, chatting, sharing stories, getting to know one another, sharing warmth. And I will tell you this much, the energy in the room was so rich that you can bet our finished products will reflect the lovely time we had together.
But, applesauce and kimchi? Could we have dreamed up a more contrasting food pairing? If there is a food spectrum these two couldn’t be much further apart; warm, comforting applesauce sprinkled with a little cinnamon on a chilly autumn night next to the fire vs. “hang onto your hats folks, we’re opening the kimchi jar!” You won’t be curling up in front of a crackling fire with a jar of kimchi, but after eating it you will certainly feel a LOT more fiery. Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented side dish made from Napa cabbage. It is really easy to make and only takes three days to ferment. There are thousands of special recipe variations according to season, region and family traditions in Korea, and now there is an official GMO Free NJ kimchi recipe.
Why applesauce? Aside from the wonderful variety of yummy, crisp beauties that are now in season, we say “why not applesauce?” It is the ultimate comfort food and everyone should have a jar on the pantry shelf.
But, isn’t GMO Free NJ all about GMO education? The primary goal of GMO Free NJ is to foster good relationships with the people we meet. We strive to grow our communities and strengthen our relationships with members of those communities. As our community grows we make new friends. And “friends help friends” learn skills that were lost to the industrialization of the food supply. And “friends help friends” find great resources for healthy, nourishing foods. We always encourage each other to “know your farmer, your grocer, and other food providers.” We want to support those who are committed to transparency in labeling, sustainable agriculture and a safe nourishing food supply.
On that note, Whole Foods of Marlton generously donated the crisp, flavorful apples for the canning portion of the workshop. We want to extend a huge thank you to Whole Foods for their donation and for sharing our commitment to a safe, sustainable food future & our freedom to choose.
After having tasted this heavenly applesauce while curled up in front of a fire I strongly recommend that you get to Whole Foods, pick up some apples & follow the instructions below . . . um, maybe I’ll see you there.