Hooray for SUNSHINE!

Looks like this Saturday’s weather will be beautiful! I can’t wait! We get to go to the park, have brunch, talk about AVM and fellowship!!! (Geist Park – Saturday – 10am)

Here are a few discussion questions to get your wheels turning…

1.) What did you like about this book? What did you not like about this book?
2.) How would you sum up this book in one word?
3.) Did this book inspire you to explore new ideas or to look at things from another perspective?
4.) Did this book reaffirm or change opinions you hold?
5.) What does this book tell you about how the world works?
6.) Has this book increased your interest in a particular subject?
7.) What about this book surprised you?
8.) Was there too much or too little detail?
9.) What is the significance of the title?
10.) What is one question you would like to ask the author? Would you like to read other works by this author?

Also be thinking about how you would rate this book on a scale of 1 to 10. And why?

Let me know if anyone is interested in carpooling. I’m sure we can do some arranging so not everyone has to drive. (Does anyone need directions??) Don’t forget your plate and or bowl, utensils, drink, brunch-y item and book. (I’m going to bring a crustless quiche.)

See you Saturday!!!


one more week!

First, I’d like to thank Jodi for the wonderful guest blog entry on Farmer’s Markets! I can’t wait to get out there and check them out! It’s exciting to see just HOW MANY are in our area!!

We only have one week until our discussion on Animal Vegetable Miracle! I’m watching the weather and the possible showers predicted for next Saturday, but the plan is to meet at Geist Park at 10am.

Please bring a brunch type item to share and don’t forget to bring all your own plates, utensils, and drink. It sounds like we might possibly have a larger than normal group so if you want to be sure you aren’t bringing the same thing as someone else, just comment on here with your brunch item.

Happy Reading! Hope to see you on the 18th!

The Planned Unplanned trips to the Farmers’ Market

My favorite summertime morning event is just around the corner. The Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market opens May 2nd! In the summer, I usually plan to go the Farmer’s Market starting on a Monday prior to the following Saturday. For some reason, I simply drop hints to the hubby that it sure would be fun to take Mr. Smackdown, Mr. Easy, and Mr. Smiley to a venue where we could support our local farmer. After all, the children need to know where their food comes from. I usually get a grunt and we go on to talk about how the hubby could squeeze a run in on the Monon. I don’t mind this addition to my plan, just as long as I can see local produce.

Saturday morning arrives. And we have not prepared for our field trip. Unexpected deliberation ensues. What Farmer’s Market will we visit? Do we have any cash? Do we take the Lion Hunger, our dog? Is there enough time before naps? What about yard work?

Even though I had planned all along to peruse the farmers market, our departure resembles poor lack of planning, much scrambling around, and a plentiful excess of items placed in the jogging stroller. Nevertheless, we scamper into the Loser Cruiser and plan our morning once road bound. Off to the market we go, with fresh smiles on our faces, windows down, and the sun beating our forearms. In back, Mr. Smackdown and Mr. Smiley giggle over what treat we will purchase.

For me, the best part about a farmer’s market is the people watching. I love to see who comes, who belongs to whom, and what dogs people bring. It is a rich place for an imaginative mind. My engineering husband wants to plan our path through the vendors. I am happy to simply stroll through–often at a distance from the farmers, unless they have a free food to sample. For some reason, I am scared to talk to them, because I feel guilty if we do not purchase their hard labor!

We begin the crowded stroll. Me with no goal and my hubby thinking about what our refrigerator needs to eat. Typically, we take a lap around the market having purchased nothing. Remember, I have no goal in coming to the farmer’s market. I simply want to experience the excitement of all these people traveling to one location for a local flavor. To me, brushing shoulders with people who grow my food and other fellow consumers is enough to make me happy.

But you can’t leave the market without having purchased something! So that begins lap two, and sometimes lap three. We often end up with a muffin from Scholar’s Inn, and the most recent addition to our food trials was some amazing bread called Chimney Bread. Our summer purchases result in locally grown blueberries and blackberries, of which are gone by the time we get home. In the fall, we usually purchase corn and apples. If we happen to go to the Carmel Farmer’s Market, we savor a fruit slushie and munch on hot kettle corn.

However, this year, I am challenged by a recent re-reading of the book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. What would our trips to the Farmer’s Market look like if we made a family commitment to eat only locally grown and raised produce, meat, honey and cheese? Our trips to the market would be much more intentional and we truly would get to know our local farmer if we purchase from them weekly. It would teach our children where their food comes from and who grew it, if it wasn’t from our garden. It would give them a chance to interact with other like-minded individuals and an outing to look forward to each week. To make this easier to accomplish in the kitchen we could then cook from Deborah Madison’s book, Local Flavors.

I think I am up for the challenge. If anything, it will provide candy for my imagination, organic candy, that is. Be sure to check out a Farmer’s Market near you!

Waiting for Asparagus

For those of you who have started reading Animal Vegetable Miracle, you probably know by now this is the title of chapter two.

I just finished re-reading this chapter and thought I’d give you a taste, in case you are still on the fence about reading April’s book.

“A WHOLE chapter about asparagus?!!” you say? Before you moan and continue surfing elsewhere, listen for just a few minutes.

“Waiting for Asparagus” is much more interesting than I’m sure you can imagine! Up until a few years ago I’d never even eating any asparagus. Now, since trying it fresh and reading about Kingsolver chat about it for so many pages, I’m sold. It just might be my new favorite vegetable! Not only is it very informative about the vegetable (like, did you know it’s one of the best natural sorces for folic acid, Vit A, C and K!) we also start to learn about the beginning of their “year”.

After living on the (almost 100 acre, in hilly mountainous area… how’s that gonna work??) farm for a year, in early April they sit down to write their first week’s menu. And, basically, proceed to cross everything off their grocery list b/c it can’t be found local or it isn’t in season. What are they going to eat??? Don’t worry it’s not dandelions or roadkill. 🙂 Camille, her daughter, gives a sample of a full weeks menu! Wait till you see the delicious things they are eating! You just might be jealous!

They do get some treats! Each member of the family gets to pick one luxury item each in limited quantities. What would you choose?! Banana’s? They’re never local in this area. Diet coke? Can’t find that at the local farmers market! After seeing what her husband, 18yr old, 3rd grader and herself chose they made pretty good luxury picks! I won’t spoil the surprise of what they choose… you’ll have to read it and see!

Here’s a sneak peak into chapter three…
SEEDS! Specifically heirloom seeds. Two good companies to get these from are Seeds of Change and Seed Savors. Check them out to learn more about theses seeds that are generations old!

Don’t forget our April get-together is fast approaching! April 18th 10:00 am, mark your calenders! Yes, I know, it’s still March… but that’s only 5.5 weeks from now! Most of you showed interest in reading this book, which is a tad on the thick side with twenty chapters, so please don’t run out of time to get to it!

ALSO, March 21st we are going to have a social get-together at my house, 10am. It will be a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but we will definitely have some yummy goodies and be making magnetic book marks! More details to come very soon! But please let me know if you are interested.

Mama Bear’s

Saturday at Mama Bears was fun and cozy! I’m so excited this location was suggested and can’t wait to go back! I would definitely recommend it to any of you! Such a nice place with a comfy atmosphere and great food and drinks.

This was our smallest crowd yet with just three of us being able to attend. And it was our first meeting since getting my TableTopics so it was neat to be able to pick a question and talk about it. We also had the discussion questions I sent out previously, so we were not short of things to discuss.

Whether you were able to attend or not, please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts about the book!
This next book (Animal Vegetable Miracle –but be sure not to get Animal Vegetable MINERAL… this isn’t the book we’re reading 🙂 ) I can’t even describe how excited I am to re-read this book! I hope you all have a chance to read it even if you aren’t able to attend our next discussion. (on April 18th)

this Saturday

I know most of you said you won’t be able to make it this weekend to discuss Robinson Crusoe so we’ll be few in numbers. But we have settled on a place to meet!

It’s called Mama Bears, click HERE for directions.

We’ll meet at 10am.

Next book: Animal Vegetable Miracle.It’s one of my favorites! I know you’ll enjoy it!

upcoming books

February: Robinson Crusoe on Feb. 21st, 10:oo am at Higher Grounds

March: social get-together! (since April’s book we are taking two months to read) We’ll make magnetic bookmarks have tea and cake and maybe some other fun things too! Date TBD. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

April: Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, on April 18th, 10:00 am at the park

May: The Shack by William P. Young, on May 16th, 10:00 am at the park

June: Suzanna Wesley by Arnold A. Dallimore (and a brunch picnic for the whole family!) on June 20th at 10:00 am, location TBD

July: My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, 10:00 am at the park, date TBD

August: The Code of the Wooster by PJ Woodhouse, 10:00 am at the park, date TBD

February’s meeting

Sorry I didn’t finalized the next meeting date to discuss Robinson Crusoe earlier, I was trying to work out all the date and location issues… as it turns out, it will be simpler than I thought!…

February 21st, 10:00am at Higher Grounds Coffee House.
(directions: here)

Because I’m predicting February will still be too cold to meet outside at the park, I thought it would be nice to support a locally owned Christian company. Also, since this meeting will be at a food/drink establishment we’ll get the morning off from cooking 🙂 and not bring our brunch items this time.

Another note on Robinson Crusoe:
If you haven’t had a chance to start the book or get a copy it’s not to late! It’s is free to read online and listen to at audiobooks.org.

And now… I’m going to reveal the next book! I know several of you try to find copies through different book trading websites so this way you can get a chance to put the book on your list ahead of time.

Drum roll please…..

I read this book in 2007 and really loved it! In somewhat of a journal style, Barbara along with some entries from her husband and daughter, tell about their experience eating only food they raised or grew themselves or bought locally. It’s all about food and very entertaining to read! It’s interesting to see how they handle times when there’s not much to harvest except A LOT of asparagus or when they want to have a HUGE birthday party and need to feed many guests or when Barbara and her husband travel to Europe and continue their goal of eating locally. I don’t know if I’ve done the book justice but, she’s an excellent best-selling author and the book is easy to read and follow and may even challenge your eating habits or encourage you to grow your own garden!

The meeting to discuss this book will be April 18th at 10:00am and hopefully back at the park!

Soon I’ll be sending out the next few books after this one. I’ve gotten a few suggestions and have most of the books for the rest of the year lined up! Several the ones coming up will be one month books too!