Saturday, May 23, 2009

Country Mouse City Mouse

Over 2,000 years ago there lived a man named Aesop. He created fables that to this day provide a moral lesson. Aesop's fable, The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse, is a tale of two mice. They live opposite lives, one in the country and one in the city, under different living circumstances and experiencing distinct food palates.

Their tale really isn't that different than today's living arrangements and food cultures.

The city mouse visits his cousin only to turn his nose up at the paltry bland meal provided. He insists that his pauper cousin come visit the city and experience a broad spectrum of tasty delights. The country cousin takes this journey into the busy city and dines with his cousin, only to discover that eating in the city is dangerous. Eating a variety of tasty food could cost him his life. For when the mice venture out onto the kitchen table, they become vulnerable to the resident predator, be it a cat or dog.

Thus, the country mouse declares with wisdom,
"Better beans and bacon in peace, than cakes and ale in fear."
This tale is all too relevant in light of society's processed, prepackaged, and prepared foods; ease of quickly medicating pain instead of dealing with the root problem; and the toxic chemical concoctions we bring into our home with the goal of "being clean."

Often, I hear comments, "I don't have time to bake like you do," or "That is just too much work to cook from scratch." Sometimes people comment on my cloth diapering, "I couldn't stand to do all of that laundry!" or "Do you really have to dump the poop out in the potty? Disgusting!" There is a bit of curiosity as to how clean my home is since I make my cleaning products from common elements and essential oils. Many think I am nuts for choosing to deliver my children naturally without mysterious drugs. Or I am simply a bit freakish because I nurse past the one year mark of my child's life.
But like the country mouse, I say, "Better {sprouted} beans and {turkey} bacon in peace, than Fruit Loops and Diet Coke in fear {of cancer}."

I have modernized this fable only to let you know that we went to the farmer's market this weekend, in search of beans {Roma tomato plants} and bacon {local, seasonal fruit}. As you will recall, I have anxiously been looking forward to bumping shoulders with other local granola people.

Our taste buds were delighted with delicious strawberries and Mag's Pimiento Cheese Spread that my high school friend, Erin sold to us. She and her sister, Katy, are the proud owners of Country Mouse City Mouse. We happened upon Erin's booth and were greeted with the opportunity to sample many of Country Mouse City Mouse's culinary delights, of which you can do too! (More on that later.)

Now I probably wouldn't have read Aesop's Fable yesterday, had it not been for bumping into Erin. I like to read, but typically only have time for bedtime stories, parenting issues, and some other granola related topics.

I am glad that I have had a multi-sensory experience with Country Mouse City Mouse, through reading with my eyes (Aesop's Fable) and tasting with my tongue (Chimichurri Pesto). I am convinced in both body part locations that only the best ingredients must have entered Erin and Katy's culinary creations. I was able to eat their food knowing that the majority of the ingredients were grown locally and created without added unnatural substances. However, I must admit only now as I write have I begun to think about the contents of their recipes. At the time, I was swept away by the explosive tastes of their Chimichurri Pesto, Mama J's Romesco, and Nyona Lake Jezebel . (Yes, I am being dramatic. But I am excited by what good chef's Erin and Katy are and for their fun local business.)

Well, for being faithful to read my entire blog post, you have the opportunity to take home a 4 oz tub of Mama J's Romesco that will rock your taste buds off and make them beg for more. Simply, visit either the Broad Ripple or Carmel Farmer's Market and mention my blog post. Easy. Free. Multiple winners. I do have to add that Erin will hand out her tasty treat only while supplies last. Hurry to the Farmer's Market Saturday, May 30th, 2009!

On a personal note, I have known Erin since I first learned to cut paper with scissors. Crazy how time flies. Throughout the years, our paths keep crossing and it is always fun to catch up. Erin always welcomes me with arms wide open and a deliciously warm greeting. I am encouraged by her creativity to be at home with her son, yet use her talent of cooking to help provide for her family. Please support her and her sister's amazing, local talent and visit them at the Market this weekend!

On a more personal note, here is some of the fun that we had that Willow was able to capture. . .