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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

I have a confession. This will not be news to my friends or Ash but I will still confess it: I am a picky eater. VERY picky. I don’t eat anything with mayo or red sauce. I won’t eat lettuce or anything a pepper has come in contact with. If it has basil and cilantro in it I won’t go near it and if I think it is a day past the expiration date or it’s been around for what I consider “too long”,  I will gag if Ash suggests that we consume it, and don’t even get me started on Jello.. once it’s in its creepy wiggly form, No Way!

However, In addition to being picky I am also a bit of a foodie. In fact when I’m not reading Preservation blogs I am reading Pioneer Woman, Gingerbread bagels, Lady Gouda, Delicious Dishings or one of many other great Food Blogs out there.

Now, I know your wondering what this has to do with Preservation so stay with me, food blogging is very big right now and with all this attention to food also comes a lot of attention to being a localvore (for those who don’t know being a localvore is  eating food that is grown locally and is thus in season, fresh, whole and healthy (until you fry that local cheese into mozzarella sticks) now being a localvore isn’t a new thing, in fact. Unless you were born less than 20 years ago it was something that your parents may have grown up with, and the only way of life that your grandparents knew until they were nearly middle-aged!  It is something we as good Preservationists should go back to and I’ll tell you why. 1.) Being a localvore means that you are eating healthier, non-processed foods that are better for you, and better for our planet. Who doesn’t think that’s a good idea? 2.) Being a localvore adds to your local economy, which in turn provides more money to your towns and counties which then in turn leads to a trickle down that will eventually lead to more money to fund local Preservation projects and 3.) Being a localvore will create business demand for local shops and markets to sell local goods and those businesses will need locations (which create jobs as a bonus). The demand for local foods and products will lead businesses to seek out a central location and thus this will cause a vacant space in an historic downtown to be filled with a business, thereby revitalizing your downtown!

See how easy it is to drive Preservation just by eating?  Now, I know that these are very broad generalizations, but come on, it’s  common sense and there are tons of studies out there that show how shopping locally helps local economies. Though… I don’t know of any that directly link it to Preservation, but if you do know of some research or a study, then please let me know!

And on that note, I will leave you will a yummy little recipe link to Tasty Kitchen for some great Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Frosting because we’re just coming into Strawberry season here and Chocolate and Strawberries go together like Olmstead and Vaux.

-Etta

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Good day all.

When I was visiting family and friends for Easter  I met a new person. To explain exactly how we ended up in the same house at the same time is rather complicated, so let’s just say she was my best friend’s’ brother’s friend’s uncle’s cousin… got it? Good.  Anyway, exactly how she came into my life for this passing moment isn’t important, but what she said WAS because it made me re-evaluate my dedication to Preservation, although at the time I didn’t know it.

We started of with the usual,  “Hello, I’m __ ,and then moved on to, Where are you from?” That is when we found out we  both live in the same state. After a little small talk about places we had in common in said eastern state, we then moved on to, “What do you do”? Well, for a Preservationist this can be the 100,000 dollar question, a chance to get people on-board the train (yes I know there is a difference between a train and a trolley… It’s my blog I can make bad  link segues if I want!) to tell them why they should love old houses as much as you do! To gush on and on about historic molding and architectural details that didn’t come from a Home Cheap-o. Oh sweet Christopher Wren!

So I get ready to preach! Cue the Hallelujah Chorus, and heavenly light….I start slow with my title and a general list of my duties, testing the waters… her eyes didn’t glaze over, she may be receptive. Excellent, continue! Move on a little to how old buildings are green (it’s an “in” topic so surely she’ll want to hear more about this!) and how satisfying it can be to live in a house that has supported generations before you and, if loved, will continue to for generations after because it was built with good quality materials that were meant to last, not fall apart in 10 years! So, she listens and nods and makes comments about how interesting my field is… and how knowledgeable I sound.  Yes, excellent another convert! Then suddenly the mood in the room changes… her children seek her out for food and hugs and suddenly the magic is broken… after her children leave her side she turns back to me and shakes off the magic of our encounter and looks at me and says…..

Neat, but Old House are creepy… I’m not really into them!

NOOOOOOOOO

At the time I just kind of brushed it off, but now “the incident” has slowly been eating away at me (ya know like how I was a bad Preservationist and didn’t push my cause) and now suddenly I’ve burst like  Mentos in Diet Coke . And so now you’ve heard the story of how I was unable to sway a suburban soccer mom. At first I was ashamed. I felt like I should have fought tooth and nail for my righteous cause but after further discussion with my husband (who has decided he needs a name on this blog so will here-after be known as Asher Benjamin, or Ash for short) I have come to the decision that it’s not ME that needs to change it’s this Levittown fueled  “American-dream” (Yes we are ignoring the fact that Levittown is probably NR eligible now) that now you too can go “Somewhere That’s Green” and that your little cookie-cutter house can look just like your neighbors (“now, when your coming make sure you remember it’s the 26th house on the right”). I’m not wrong for wanting an Inglenook and rope molding it’s this world of planned obsolescence and if I can plant a tiny seed of that love in every suburban soccer mom I talk to maybe, just maybe that seed will take root in one or two of them and my enthusiasm will grow into a mighty oak and add another accidental Preservationist or two to the world.

So do any of you out there ever feel over-whelmed by our daunting task of saving the world one window at a time? If so I’d like to hear from you!

-Etta

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