We are so very honored to have Spoons Founder, Julia Jordan, share her memories of food, eating from the land, and family with our community. As you read, you’ll see that Julia learned about healthy eating (in its largest definition) from her family. Where did YOU first learn about eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle? Take this very quick poll, and the Kashi REAL Project will donate $1 to Spoons Across America. Join us as we raise $35,000 to support our nutrition and food education programs for children.
1950’s Food Memories at the Bolands and the Founding of Spoons Across America
Mulberries, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Olives and Romano Cheese … Lettuce, Cabbage, Spinach and herbs from our kitchen window garden … basil, parsley, and garlic too!
I grew up in a family in which we didn’t know the terms seasonal or healthy eating … what other kind was there! Truth be told, out-of-season meant we went to the fruit cellar in the basement and brought up the clove-speared pickled peaches to dress the ham. Or the Concord grape jelly, made during the 2 weeks in which grapes were picked and sorted, boiled and hung in layers of cheesecloth … dripping juice into a big pot over night … waking up the next day to complete the task … sugar and pectin to the mix … and boiling jars and lids and …. filling ….. and waiting overnight to make sure the lids popped … so the seal was secure … and then waiting again .. the longest time …. Then, in mid-winter, peanut butter and Concord grape jelly sandwiches for school lunch.
Winters of quart jars of thin-skinned tomatoes w/salt and basil … a pre requisite number would get us through the winter months of weekly family meals: Thursdays– spaghetti and meatballs, Fridays—meatless pizza with mushrooms …. And on family festive occasions manicotti or lasagna … hand rolled paper-thin noodles… That was the norm.
Summer meant picking sour cherries from the neighbor’s tree and making scrumptious pies, out maneuvering squirrels to get the best of the ripe peaches and Bartlett pears. Annual Father’s Day celebrations at Grandpa’s … a mulberry feasting frenzy … invariably another white dress was permanently purple stained … a mark of deliciously fragrant and sweet eating.
Fall meant living in a pungent, pickling spice environment for 4 days in September every growing-up year … mandoline at the ready … Mom slicing the cucumbers just so for the tastiest bread and butter pickles on the planet … just the right amount of onions mixed in with that vinegar and …. the bean relish, sometimes more yellow and orange, sometimes more green and red … depending on which farmer had the best beans and carrots and bell peppers on the day we went to the farmers market down in the Flats near Distribution Terminal in Cleveland, Ohio.
This is why Spoons Across America was established … a group of folks who were as passionate as me about food and how it weaves its way from farm to table (our official 501 C3 name), got together at a moment when no one understood that children and families and teachers had lost their connection to the land and its bounty, to its rhythms and cycles and no one seemed to care about the consequences …. Luckily today there are many organizations working tirelessly to get us reconnected and Spoons is one that serves to influence and create the joy, magic, and power of a food-centered life. One in which food memories are filled with love and compassion and awe and interdependence … where we teach children to be stewards of the land and its limited resources.
With fond memories,
Julia Vita Boland JordanPosted by Ali | 0 comments