This is Mary Baker's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Mary Baker's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Mary Baker
Recent Activity
Image
Birds and squirrels appreciate these nutritious pumpkin bowls with seeds and dried fruit. It's January, and I just realized I still have some post-Thanksgiving mini-pumpkins on the windowsill in my office. Outside the window, there's snow and hungry, hungry birds. Here's out to make a bird (or squirrel) treat out of your post-autumnal display. Save your decorative pumpkins and gourds for winter bird treats. 1. Cut the top off the pumpkins and discard. Scoop out the seeds and put them in a pie pan. 2. Scoop out the seeds and put them in a pie pan. Don't worry about strings of pulp. Do not put oil or salt on the seeds. 3. Put the pumpkins on a cookie sheet--do not add oil or salt. If there's room on the cookie sheet, you can set the pie pan of seeds on it as well. 4. Bake at 350 F for an... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2017 at Glean Me Lewis County
Image
You can help us get started harvesting hundreds, even thousands of pounds of fresh produce every year! We organize teams of volunteers to harvest (glean) fields and orchards where food might otherwise go to waste or be plowed under. We deliver this food directly to the smallest and neediest homeless shelters, safe havens, and table ministries first. Extra produce goes to food banks and churches. We make sure that nothing we glean is wasted. Excess produce and even field fodder are fed to our chickens and pigs, which produce eggs and pork. Anything that can't be fed to our animals becomes compost and mulch for our Hunger Garden. Here is a list of our current and start-up needs. In addition to harvesting supplies, we also plant, grow and maintain a 20' x 30' garden for feeding the hungry. (This is in addition to our farmhouse gardens and orchards.) Your donations... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2016 at Glean Me Lewis County
Image
Residents of Chehalis Manor next to one of their new raised beds, courtesy of St. John's Lutheran Church. Recently the residents of Chehalis Manor, which is situated across the street from R.E. Bennett Middle School in Chehalis, were gifted with some raised garden beds by St. John’s Lutheran Church, and invited to participate in caretaking and harvesting the R.E. Bennett instructional garden, located on the school grounds. The Manor is home to about 30 low-income seniors. Resident Jean Fairgrieve said, “Many of our residents are trying to live on $700 a month, so fresh produce is sometimes scarce, especially near the end of the month when funds are running low. However, we all love to cook and we always appreciate and share gifts of produce.” The idea was the brainchild of Mary Baker, founder of National Foodcycle Week, and creator of Glean Me Lewis County. Baker was first contacted by... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at Glean Me Lewis County
Image
Asian pears and green Bartlett pears The Bartlett pears in our orchard are getting heavy, so even though they are still green, a few fell off. No matter, they'll make fragrant and delicious pear-honey butter. Ingredients: 4-6 green pears 1/3 cup butter 1/4 cup honey 1 tsp cinnamon 1. Core and peel the pears. You may need to slice the peel off with a paring knife instead of using a peeler, as the skin will still be thick and stubborn. Chop the green pears into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces. 2. Place pears in a small saucepot with just enough water to cover, bring to a boil, then simmer until very soft and most of the water has been absorbed or evaporated, about 20 minutes. 3. In a small food processor, puree the pears until the consistently of loose applesauce. Return to the pan and add honey, butter and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2016 at Glean Me Lewis County
Image
As an offshoot of my last lard rendering project, I had some chunky bits of lard and meat that just refused to melt, so I scooped them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside for bird and chicken treats. I gathered up some chicken scratch from the coop, along with some fresh clover and purslane, and a windfall apple. I chopped the greens and apple, added everything together, mushed the mixture into balls, and froze them on a cookie sheet. Purslane is a flat, succulent-looking weed often found in northwest driveways and gardens. Chickens LOVE it! It is very nutritious—high in Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids. It is also edible and can be served in salads and stir fry. (Pick well-watered, voluptuous plants that have not been sprayed with herbicide.) It has a tangy, citrusy flavor. My brother said he would never eat anything that grows in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2016 at Glean Me Lewis County
Image
Chickens like a bit of green in their diet, and the added chlorophyll and nutrients results in strong shells, larger eggs, and deep yellow yolks. Sprouts give chickens up to 40-50% more bio-availability, and the enzymes released during the sprouting process aid in digestion. They especially appreciate sprouts in winter or mid-summer when fresh grass is scarce. And besides, chickens get bored too and a tasty treat is always a welcome distraction. I've been experimenting on a small scale with growing sprouts for the chickens at Cooking Up Faith Farms. The first batch of oats, I soaked overnight in a one-gallon bucket of water (about 2 lbs. of oats) and spread over fine mesh screen. A larger batch (about 5 lbs. of dry oats) were also soaked but spread over greenhouse trays lined with newspaper. Oats sprouting on fine mesh screens Using greenhouse trays to grow sprouts The oats need... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2016 at Glean Me Lewis County
Image
One of the products that Cooking Up Faith Farms provides to Hub City Mission and Lewis County Gospel Mission is fresh pork. And nothing makes flakier pie crusts than snow white, fresh lard. If you can get your hands on some pork trimmings, the process is very simple! 1. Trim off as much meat as possible. (Meaty ends and bits can be frozen and fried up later to go into soups and stews.) 2. Fill a large pot no more than 1/3 full with clean fat. The melting process will go a little faster if you cut the pieces up, but as you can see in this picture, I just put the whole pieces in. 3. Add about a cup of water. No need to be precise, as you'll be adding more later. 4. Bring the pot to a very low simmer. It doesn't take a lot of heat to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2016 at Glean Me Lewis County
Image
A patch of broccoli growing at Cooking Up Faith Farms. GleanMe.org is a project dedicated to gathering healthy, nutritious food for redistribution to small food ministries and safe haven or homeless shelters. Many small charities do not have the necessary cold storage or equipment to receive or even qualify for food deliveries from the larger food banks and distributors like Feeding America. Our mission is to create a local movement that welcomes farmowners, landowners and volunteers to come together to get food that would otherwise lie neglected in fields, lawns, gardens and orchards and get that food to the needy! Anyone can participate! Even if you have a single fruit tree, you can register it and arrange for a crew of volunteers to come pick it for you. Volunteers and food donors can find more information and register on our website at GleanMe.org. I hope you will take a moment... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2016 at Glean Me Lewis County
Image
The authors of the Vermont bill do not appear to have sought the advice of anyone familiar with label design, label approval, or product distribution. The final Rule (the Act as it was passed) is so incomplete that the Grocery Manufacturers Association sent the Vermont Attorney General a list of 32 questions, to which a frequent answer is, "There is no guidance from the State on this issue." Some answers were sent by email as a current judgment or interpretation from the office, and are not actually included in the Rule. While these questions may not seem relevant to consumers,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2016 at GMO's: A Quick and Dirty Guide
Image
In the course of researching GMO's: A Quick and Dirty Guide, I've gotten my hands on quite a few books about GMO's, food production and food safety. Some of them seem to be written by highly-qualified individuals. But when I dive into them, I find myself really, really disappointed by the caliber of the reporting. This is one of the books I would NOT recommend. eat, drink, & be wary If you want to read an endless metronome of possible ways you can die from eating food, have at it. Although it's not the reason for my giving this book... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2016 at GMO's: A Quick and Dirty Guide
Image
Insect pests, blights, rust, viruses and disease kill between 10% to 90% of our food production each year, with average losses often totaling 30-45%. And this is not new. The struggle to protect crops has been going on for millennia. Pesticide use is not a recently invented tool of greedy monolithic corporations like Bayer, Dow and Monsanto. Pesticide use did not begin with the advent of genetic engineering. Pesticides have been with us since Biblical times and have been relied on to protect families and their farms. No Wine For You! The loss of an entire crop can signal famine... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2016 at GMO's: A Quick and Dirty Guide
Image
Take our Survey Monkey poll and see the results here: How many countries ban imports of GMO Food? The answer is—three. That's right, only three countries ban the import of foodstuffs possibly containing GMO ingredients. They are Benin, Zambia and Serbia. All over the web, at social gatherings, at schools, you will hear people saying things like: "Why have all these countries banned GMO's and the US hasn't?" "Look at the EU—they have banned all GMO's!" "India, China, [insert country of choice] have all banned GMO's because they care about the health of their citizens!" Well, none of that is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at GMO's: A Quick and Dirty Guide
Image
Geez, people. What did a happy little locavore ever do to you? Authors Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu have set up the entire concept of their book The Locavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000 Mile Diet, as a shooting gallery against the locavore lifestyle. The entire table of contents is set up as Locavore Myth #1, Locavore Myth #2 and on through Locavore Myth #7. As someone who likes to eat local and support local producers, I find that very insulting and off-putting. However, the "locavores" that the authors are really referring to are the politicians and poseurs (Oprah... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at GMO's: A Quick and Dirty Guide
Image
Here's a sneak peek at the full Table of Contents from my forthcoming book, GMO's: A Quick and Dirty Guide. Preamble Where to Find My Sources and Information Introduction What does ‘Quick and Dirty’ mean? Why is there so much confusion surrounding GMO’s? Why do we need this book? What is at the core of the GMO controversy? Why should I read this book if I have already made up my mind? What will I find in this book? What are GMO’s? How are GMO’s created? Do all GMO’s have herbicides and pesticides in them? Do GMO plants have animal... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2016 at GMO's: A Quick and Dirty Guide
Image
Briskets are less expensive per pound than more tender cuts and are an affordable choice for braising, slow roasting, pit roasting, barbecue and smoking. Any technique that requires time and patience can turn this otherwise tough cut of meat into juicy, flavorful mouthfuls of beef. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at Rustica
Image
A refreshing, crunchy green salad is fast and easy to make. You can make a salad that reflects your individual preferences by choosing additions and toppings that you like. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at Rustica
Image
Rosé wine is a semantically loose term for any wine from palest pink to pale rose-red. Rosés are common in the warmer areas of southern France, where there is local demand for refreshing dry wines that can be chilled and drunk young, but which still retain some of the character of the Frenchman's beloved reds. Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2015 at Rustica
Mary Baker has shared their blog Glean Me Lewis County
Apr 19, 2015
Image
Today's article on Food Politics by Marion Nestle calls for an update on the status of mandatory calorie posting by chain restaurants. New York, she says, has had them for years. Well, with advance apologies to my friends who live in New York, on the West Coast, we don't consider... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at Rustica
Image
A Facebook friend who works in agriculture recently posted this comment on her wall, "I just had someone write and tell me how appalled they are by learning how much water a pound of fruit or nuts requires." I can imagine. Many people seem to think that peaches and walnuts... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at Rustica
Image
The beekeeping team at Sonora Cohousing suits up to open the hive. A friend asked me this today, and the following is a copy of my somewhat rambling reply. I guess it's a little odd to post this on my culinary blog, but I don't have a "cohousing" blog. If... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at Rustica
Image
What to do with over 12 pounds of cherry tomatoes from my tiny garden? My late November end-of-season pick includes green, red, yellow and orange cherry tomatoes, and a few last minute heirlooms of random descent. I decided not to make sauce because of the high skin to juice ratio.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at Rustica
Image
This is an excerpt from an ebook I have been commissioned to write on brand messaging. It's both a lesson on the importance of branding correctly, and a personal indulgence in nostalgia. At one time I was on the board of directors of a winemaker and winegrowers’ alliance. It was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at Rustica
Image
The following article by the late Israeli wine writer Daniel Rogov was originally published on one of my blogs, the Women's Wine Critic Board. Unfortunately, that site no longer exists so I thought I would republish this article here. Mr. Rogov's article is controversial and thought-provoking. Neither this article nor... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Rustica
Image
A combination of sweet peppers and colorful cherry tomatoes, brought together in a sweet orange dressing. A sweet, crunchy, and colorful accompaniment to Thai Fire Chicken. 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and coarsely chopped 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and coarsely chopped 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at Rustica