Food & Drank: Intro to the Food Column

By Abbie Shain

Welcome to the Food & Drank column. If you haven’t met me, here’s a quick introduction. I’m Abbie. I’m a sophomore who likes food, anthropology, farms, poetry, food, religious studies, and food. Did I mention food? I like everything that has to do with it, from growing it, to shopping for it, cooking it, cleaning it, and then there’s eating it. Can we talk about eating, for just a minute? You know that feeling, when you eat local, farm fresh spinach sautéed in some extra-virgin olive oil and a little bit of sea salt, served along side just-picked tomatoes from that garden? You know that feeling when you eat Tony’s cheesy eggs from the Grill at Cafe Mac to fortify you for a Spanish test? You know when you trek on the 84 to the 16 to go your favorite tiny Vietnamese restaurant for that first bite of salty-sweet noodles? You know when someone bakes cookies as a surprise the day a bike rolls through a puddle and splashes your new shoes? I think that good food makes life better. This column is a celebration of food in all of its amazing permutations. I look forward to writing you reviews of fun restaurants (and directions to get there!). I cannot wait to write you recipes for simple or fancy or exotic or dorm food, whatever your taste, pleasure, or capacity may be. Maybe I can even chronicle some of the people to bring us our food, from supermarket workers to chefs and farmers. I think that all self-respecting food lovers get into food in their own way. My way was definitely cooking. I remember cooking with my parents from the ripe young age of five, with a dull plastic knife and a bright pink cutting board. I remember the first time I cooked dinner for my family at 13. I love taking ingredients and making meals out of them. I love eating good food with people. I love sitting around a table and telling stories while I put the world back together and watch peoples faces brighten as their stomachs fill. I don’t need to tell you that many people do not have access to food. This column will also discuss food justice, from who eats, and who eats what, to how food goes from seed to table. I hope to learn and report about farmers and farmworkers, about hunger and hunger relief, about nutrition and empowerment through food. Do you love food as much as I do? Do you have family recipes you want to share? A favorite panini to make in Cafe Mac? Do you have opinions about food justice? Have you found the cheapest AND most delicious Chinese take-out shop in the entire world? Let me know at [email protected] “Cardamama” Oatmeal Recipe This recipe was born in the Veggie Co-op, where I happily live. I was bored of my usual oatmeal for breakfast, so I decided to throw in some of my favorite spice, cardamom. It was a resounding success. Servings: 4 Time: 10-15 minutes Ingredients (you need not measure super carefully): 3 1/2 cups water 2 cups rolled oats dash, salt 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon cardamom 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon brown sugar OPTIONAL: raisins, apple slices, walnuts, etc. a pinch of cloves, a pinch of allspice 1. Boil the water in a medium-sized pot on a stove. 2. Sprinkle in the oats and add all of the ingredients, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed, 3. Enjoy with a little maple syrup or extra brown sugar!