Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pumpkin quesadillas

Tonight I canned three quarts of raw-packed San Marzano tomatoes. And then I slow-roasted some more. But that's not the story I'm telling right now. Not after being on my feet for a couple hours (after work even!), diligently removing the skins from many, many tomatoes.

After all that hard work, I made dinner. Two corn tortillas with cheddar cheese, canned pumpkin, and a sprinkling of cumin. On the side, yet more tomatoes — turned into salsa, in this case — and a dollop of organic sour cream, which is so tasty I want to eat it plain with a spoon. (And occasionally, I do.)

Then I sat down, dinner on the table and the canning pot bubbling away behind me.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Trick or treat?

This year, I bought my trick-or-treat goodies from Whole Foods. And not just because I'm a food snob. Even though it would have been easier and cheaper to grab a bag of mini Hershey bars or Tootsie Pops from Target, I opted to go the route of Annie's organic fruit snacks and Snyder's pretzels. Both came in smaller, "fun-size" versions, just right for little kids in costumes who might come knocking on my door. Was I trying to impose my healthy, organic lifestyle on some unsuspecting neighborhood kids?

Not really. What I was trying to do was avoid buying chocolate. The largest producers of chocolate, including Hershey's and M&M/Mars, use cocoa sourced from West Africa, where child slave labor is used in the plantations. Seeing as I'm against child slave labor, I am therefore against chocolate (or anything!) produced by child slave labor.

There are a few companies, particularly ones that make organic, fair-trade products, from which I'm happy to buy chocolate. Dagoba, Green and Black's, and Endangered Species are my favorites. Yes, these bars are more expensive than your typical Mr. Goodbar. But isn't it worth spending the extra money to ensure that your chocolate comes from socially responsible sources?

The one child who stopped by my apartment with her father got a little packet of bunny-shaped fruit snacks on top of her mini Reece's Peanut Butter Cups and snack-size Milky Ways. Is it fair to impose my anti-conventional-chocolate beliefs on an innocently trick-or-treating child? Well, is it fair to the child about her age who was forced to work in the cocoa fields just to produce some inexpensive Halloween candy?