Friday, August 1, 2008
Yay, it's me, I'm back!
My deepest and sincerest apologies for completely disappearing for the last 8 months. I needed to figure out my life and what I wanted to do with it. That was painful at times, fun at others, but all in all it turned out well, I think. Anyway, a lot has gone on in my food life lately so I guess I ought to play catch-up (or ketchup, heehee) for a moment.
Slow Food IU:
Still trying to get off the ground. There is plenty of interest and we have convinced SFUSA to pretty much let us do it our way, but now IU is giving us the run-around. The website for the Student Activities Office is in the midst of a remodeling, I guess, so several of the links are inactive or selectively active, and in this new age of technological savvy of course we are only able to register our group online. So I have been playing email tag with a representative of their office who sometimes emails me back and sometimes doesn't. Needless to say I am quite frustrated by this situation. But I will continue to bombard them with emails and hope they get their act together by the time Fall semester starts in a month.
While I was very excited about having a real kitchen when I first moved into my apartment, I soon realized that it is very difficult to cook anything elaborate in a kitchen the size of a modest closet. I had no counter space, very few outlets, a temperamental oven, and so little cabinet space that I had to keep my pots and pans in an additional cabinet I purchased and placed in my dining room. Add to that a hefty course load, a crazy work schedule, a crazier sleep schedule, and very, very little money, and you can probably understand why I ate a lot of macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly, when I cooked at all. I've gotten very familiar with the Bloomington food delivery scene in the last 8 months. But I'm happy to say I've moved into a house with a great kitchen, plenty of space, and roommates who share a love of good food. My only regret is that I have had to go from cooking with gas to cooking with electric, but I am sure I will adjust. Good food has a place in my life again!
(The photo at the top of the post is of my new kitchen. There is also a wall of counter space and some gorgeous built in cabinets that are not visible in the pic.)
Terre Madre 2008:
I am very excited to share that in October I will be attending Terre Madre 2008 in Torino, Italy. Terre Madre is a Slow Food-sponsored international gathering of food communities to "work towards increasing small-scale, traditional, and sustainable food production." I cannot express my excitement for this venture. I've never been to Europe, so getting to go (for free, no less!) and be completely immersed in Slow culture is a dream come true for me. Terre Madre is running concurrently with Salone del Gusto, a taste festival and food marketplace for food producers from all over Italy and the world. Olive oil and Prosecco and prosciutto, oh my!
It was in the midst of Chemistry-C 117 that I discovered that dietetics was not the major for me. C 117 is the third or fourth math/science class required for a dietetics major that I have seriously struggled with. I've managed to pass these classes, but I am steadily lowering my GPA with the C-range grades I have been getting in them, putting some of my scholarships in danger, and for what? The only reason I chose dietetics in the first place was because IU didn't have a major called "reading and writing about food." I looked at the degree requirements for dietetics and realized I would be taking several more math/science classes before all was said and done, and that to me it wasn't worth it for a major that was a poor substitute for what I really wanted to begin with. So I made up my own major. With the help of a professor of mine who is somewhat familiar with my food writing, I have designed my own major, tentatively called "Culture of Food in Writing." I want to explore and participate in food writing of all genres: fiction, expository, journalism, etc. I am also going to double major in anthropology, to get a broader sense of culture, especially food culture, in general, and to set myself up for a possible grad degree in food anthropology. And, by luck or chance, it looks like I will have the credits to minor in comparative lit. Woohoo!
Since my last update in November I have attended some fun food events. This Winter I attended the Art of Chocolate sponsored by Options for Better Living in Bloomington. Normally I would not have been able to attend this somewhat ritzy event at the IU Art Mueseum, but thanks to the generosity of a fellow Slow Food member I, along with my partner in foodie crime, Sarah, was able to attend. We had a wonderful time, stuffed ourselves with chocolate and wine, and enjoyed the live chocolate artwork.
In early summer there were a couple of fun Slow events. The Bloomington convivium (now called Indiana Uplands?) held it's semi-annual potluck and a good time was had by all, as always seems to be the case when interesting people are gathered around good, Slow food. And at the end of June I worked as a server at the Slow Food Chef's dinner, which is paying for my plane fare to Italy this Fall. That too was an enjoyable experience, though sadly I didn't get to try much of the food.
I am happy to note that I finally got sick of the fast food machine and quit my job at Steak N Shake after three grueling years. One can only sling steakburgers and put up with drunks and self-important a-holes for so long, you know? Currently I am scooping ice cream at Jiffy Treet, which is at least a locally-owned business, and contemplating getting my liquor license and trying to get in at a Slow restaurant once Fall classes begin and businesses around here start hiring again. I will also hopefully (fingers crossed) be getting a food column in the Indiana Daily Student, IU's newspaper, this Fall. That too would be a dream come true for me, so I hope it works out.
Goodness, what a long post. Thanks for sticking with me for an 8-month update of my food life. I sincerely hope to begin updating regularly now. For real this time, haha.
Peace, love, and good food, my friends.