An Ode to Peanut Butter

An Ode to Peanut Butter

[[I can’t write poetry, so this won’t be a true ode in the literal sense.]]

I. Love. Peanut. Butter. I know this might not come as a surprise, seeing as I’m a
college student and, as one professor put it, “peanut butter’s practically a food group for
you kids.” I had this professor during freshman year but thought he was just being funny.
After all, I’d always enjoyed peanut butter. I could (and still can) eat peanut butter and
jelly sandwiches every day for lunch for weeks at a time. My favorite Christmas cookies
were always Top Hats – the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey’s kiss pressed into
the top. And, until I understood just how un-Slow Food-like they are, Reese’s were my
favorite candy.

But it was only after this professor’s comments that I started learning more about
peanut butter. I learned that peanuts are the most pesticide-intensive crop grown in the
United States. NOT COOL! That’s when I decided to try out organic peanut butter.
Suddenly I was a convert – no more of that partially hydrogenated crap for me.
Peanut butter is now one of the greatest things in my life. When it’s real and awesome,
then you have to refrigerate it and mix it before you use it. But perhaps the best thing
about now eating real peanut butter is how it sticks to the roof of my mouth. I’ve always
been a bit of a bookworm, and I remember reading childhood books that contained a
scene in which the characters would complain of peanut butter stuck in their mouths. But
I ever really understood this phenomenon, and now I realize that was because I was never
eating real peanut butter!

Now, real and organic peanut butter is the only type I buy. I’m so lucky that I live
with my best friend since when I’m running around making idiotic noises because I went
a stuck peanut butter all over the roof of my mouth (and hair and clothes and furniture;
I’m a bit messy when I eat), she just knows to act like nothing abnormal is happening.
What a gal. Meanwhile, while she’s calm and collected (or pretending not be weirded
out) I am jubilantly crowing “Book I hab peeub ubber ib my moub!” to anyone who will
listen (usually, she’s the only on in hearing distance…).

In short, I love peanut butter, and you should too.

Also, I just found out that National Peanut Butter Day is January 24th!!! This is
just as cool as Hobbit Day!

 

By our very own Mara Scallon 🙂

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Slow Food NU Joins HOWL

Slow Food NU is proud to announce that it is a member of HOWL, Huskies Organizing With Labor.

Since January I’ve been working with a group of student organizers working to make the student body aware of the countless human rights abuses of intimidation and harassment, of poverty wages and of bad food being prepared in the dining halls.

I could tell you more about those things, but I think that is best left for the workers. It is time we finally hear their voices. And you can, tonight Campus Cafeteria Workers Speak Out from 7-9pm in 10 Bk.

I’ve had the opportunity to hear the workers to stand behind them as they step up to the administration. I admire their strength and courage as they take a serious risk in forming a perfectly legal union. How sad is that? Luckily, they have numbers on their side and I’m honored to be just  one of those many numbers. Slow Food NU is honored to be part of the organizing coalition.

Slow Food NU believes if good, clean and FAIR food. 

We know the workers are not being treated fairly.

We know the workers are not being paid fairly.

We know opportunities for workers to advance are not fair.

We know that administration’s stance on neutrality is not fair. They say they will allow Chartwells and the workers to engage in constructive conversations. You think after years of abuse Chartwells is interested in being constructive? In being polite? In being courteous, understanding, accommodating?

We know. We know what’s going on.

Show your support for the cafeteria workers. Like the HOWL page and don’t forget to sign the petition.

Written by Slow Food Executive Director, Erin McIver

Soup Swap

Squash and matzo, minestrone – at a soup party you’re never alone!
On the eve of the coldest night of 2012 in Boston yet, my friends and I gathered for our First Annual Soup N’ Swap. Hosted by the lovely Marie and Hannah, the get together was 1 part soup potluck, 1 part clothing swap, and a whole lot of friend-loving. “I like the idea of sharing:” said Hannah in between spoon-fulls, “food, clothes, ideas and friends. Good company is all you need.”Ah, the mentality of slow foodies.

Lauren used a metal herb cage to keep her herbs safe during boiling

So what inspired the soup swap? “My family always has random themed parties, and growing up we had soup parties” said Marie, ladeling out bowls of a butternut squash soup, “I knew our friends would enjoy this tradition!” Marie and her roommate Hannah whipped up a delicious version of the winter root vegetable puree. Their thick and creamy butternut squash soup had a distinct sunset orange color and warmth. Elise and Megan brought a yummy motzo ball soup, which friends enjoyed either cold or warmed up. Paige and Lou made sure to keep the spotlight on leafy greens with an awesome mixed salad, dressed with gorgonzola, caramelized shallots and walnuts. All disappeared in seconds from the stove.

My dear friend and Slow Food NU member Lauren just returned from a semester abroad in Australia, which she rounded out with a backpacking trip through Asia. A cooking class in Thailand inspired her contribution to the swap. Lauren’s Tom Kha Gai, a tasty Thai coconut soup, was a welcomed out-of-the-ordinary addition to the potluck. The distinctly sweet aroma from the coconut milk masked a nice spicy kick creating an addictive taste that almost had me drinking the tangy broth straight from the pot. Lauren’s version omitted the chicken stock in favor for fish stock to satisfy the majority of our pescatarian tongues. Discovering baby corn -one of my favorite veggies- in my bowl of Tom Kha had my mouth doing somersaults.

Rounding out the array of soups was Dave’s minestrone. A hearty brew in all the senses, the minestrone filled my nose and mouth with smells and tastes that reminded me of my mom’s version. Dave’s ‘strone included chunks of potatoes and a variety of beans that served well to thicken up the soup. What I initially thought was spinach turned out to be kale, a commendable ingredient to any dish.

Irresistible!

With our bellies full of homemade soup and our souls warmed by the laughter of reuniting buddies, it was easy to forget that it was below freezing not so far outside the kitchen. “I think in today’s world of canned soup it’s inspiring to see people taking the time to brew their own stew” said Lauren. Indeed- let us always reject the condensed, microwaveable versions of life’s beauty. Whether it’s soup or friendships, we can all afford to take a little more time to give some tender love and care.

Written by Frank Marino
Director of Policy and Advocacy