A couple of food related articles I read recently.

1) Gleaning is a new word to me.  It’s a tradition that goes back to biblical times.

Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleaning

Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system. For example, ancient Jewish communities required that farmers not reap all the way to the edges of a field so as to leave some for the poor and for strangers.(Lev. 19:9–10., Lev. 23:22, Deut. 14:28-29, Peah).

While I must admit I have a spare bedroom full of stuff I will likely never use again, like old exercise equipment, I will give something away, old computer equipment, books, clothes,etc, before I will throw it away.  I can’t remember the last thing I did throw way.

What was the last item you gave away to charity?

A young women in Vermont, Corinne Almquist is reviving this tradtion to help feeding hungry familes in the area.

MALMQUIST_P1

From a Christian Science Monitor article:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1102/p07s01-lign.html

Cornwall, VT. – Clusters of plump, wine-red Empire apples hang from sagging boughs, yearning to be picked. A small group of volunteers is obliging, quickly filling a truck bed with wooden boxes of fruit.

They’re led by a smiling, energetic young woman, her red hair pulled back and practical rubber boots on her feet, ready for tromping in an orchard on a day that threatens rain.

Later that afternoon Corinne Almquist will deliver some 20 bushels of apples, about 1,000 lbs., to a food shelf for free distribution to hungry local residents. Sunrise Orchards in Cornwall, Vt., where Ms. Almquist and her helpers have been gleaning, can’t sell the apples: Most have cosmetic blemishes caused by being pelted in a late summer hailstorm. Though grocery chains won’t buy them, they’re still tasty and nutritious.

2) The best desert receipe I have seen recently.  Maple Pear Upside-Down Cake.

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What is your favorite desert? –

From the NYT

Maple Pear Upside-Down Cake

11 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 to 4 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat; add maple syrup and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for another 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. When mixture has cooled a bit, pour it into a 9-inch baking pan and arrange pear slices in an overlapping circle on top.

2. With a handheld or standing mixer, beat remaining 8 tablespoons butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one egg at a time, continuing to mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches, alternating with milk; do not overmix. Carefully spread batter over pears, using a spatula to make sure it is evenly distributed. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and edges begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 45 to 50 minutes; a toothpick inserted into center should come out clean. Let cake cool for 5 minutes.

4. Run a knife around edge of pan; put a plate on top of cake and carefully flip it so plate is on bottom and pan is on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

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