Archive for the 'The Carrot' Category

Chasing the Carrot: Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz’s 2nd annual Jewish edible garden bike tour

Last Sunday, July 25, 15 people gathered at Oregon’s Museum of Science and Industry for Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz’s 2nd annual Jewish edible garden bike tour. Portland is laid out in grids, like Washington, D.C. Last year’s tour covered NE Portland; this year we set off to explore neighborhoods in SE.

Our ride leader, Tuv member Beth Hamon, is an old-school bike geek. Last year she created spoke cards for our ride (when you do something for the first time, it’s an innovation; twice is minhag) So of course she made a new one for this year’s ride. Here’s a picture:

Vote for the Cuteness of The Jew & The Carrot (I.E., Me)

Last week, I wrote about how I, dressed as “Chris P. Carrot,” had led the Veggie Pride Parade in New York City under my dual Jew-carrot identity. Now you can vote for a photo of Chris P. Carrot (with his “wife,” Penelo Pea Pod) from the event as the cutest photo in a PETA contest!

A post on PETA’s blog announced, “Calling all connoisseurs of cuteness: We need your help deciding which of the following pics from recent PETA demonstrations is the most aww-inspiring.” (Note: Although PETA owns the costume that I borrowed, the event was not a PETA demonstration.)

The Jew & The Carrot (i.e., I) Led a Parade

Yesterday, I embodied the dual identity of the Jew and the carrot once again to lead the third annual Veggie Pride Parade through the streets of Manhattan. Trailing a police escort and walking in front of hundreds of enthusiastic herbivores, I frequently shouted “Eat Your Veggies, Not Your Friends!” while dressed as Chris P. Carrot.

Fast Food Rebellion


While reading the opening portion of this week’s Parasha, the Rabbi in shul saw me and said, “You can’t be zolel ve’soveh (approx: gluttonous) on Wolfgang Puck cuisine.” This statement promptly blew my mind. Here’s why.

The statement in question comes from the passage in the Torah about the rebellious son, who, if certain conditions are met, is to be seen as completely incorrigible and must be put to death by the community. One of these conditions is that the child must eat and drink copious amounts of food in a gluttonous manner in a public area and this activity must be decried by the community leadership. According to the rabbinic authorities, the money used to purchase the food must have been stolen from his parents and he must commit this act in front of his parents’ home. Not easy to achieve.

The Jew & The Carrot – in Icing


I’m feeling sluggish today. It’s rain-ish (not exactly raining, but close) this morning, which doesn’t help – and Yosh and I spent the last week on an engagement party tour – Tuesday and Wednesday in Silver Spring with his family, and Friday-Sunday in Chicago with mine.  There’s really nothing to complain about (both celebrations were great), but I am feeling a little bit “Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday” today.

While I pull myself together, I thought I’d share a picture of the amazing cake that Yosh’s sister made – complete with fondant icing carrots (for The Jew & The Carrot, of course) and a treble clef for Yosh.  It was hard to cut into such a masterpiece, but the carrot cake inside was worth it.  Check out another view below the jump.

Rebbe Pollan vs. Rebbe Industry

groceryJust a thought, but could the new food credo of “Eat food not too much, mostly plants,” be a threat to the Kashrut industry as we know it?

I just finished watching a promotional video from the OU. Targeted to the food industry, this video demonstrates the process by which a product receives certification. Using a fictional cake made by Drakes (of Seinfeld lore), the OU rabbi shows how, early in the process the ingredient list of the new cake is sent to the OU to ensure that all ingredients are kosher. Some of the ingredients are found to be problematic, the red sprinkles on top and the emulsifiers that in the words of Rabbi Moshe Elefant “make ingredients mix when they normally can’t.”

According to Rebbe Michael Pollan, food is defined as something your grandmother would recognize. I would bet a big bunch of kale that your grandmother didn’t use emulsifiers to make sure her cake was delicious.

Chef Laura Frankel: Pure Kosher


Laura Frankel is not your typical kosher chef. For those of who have been reading her recent posts, she has little tolerance for fake foods and refuses to kowtow to clients who demand kosher versions of otherwise unkosher food. I recently had the opportunity to sit and chat with her about her thoughts on food and the nature of food in Jewish society.

Poultry and Penitence

The recent controversy regarding the custom of Kapparot (see article in the Forward) made me realize that Kapparot is virtually the only remaining ritual that uses an animal sacrifice as an atonement for human sin. In Temple times, any inadvertent sin had a corresponding animal sacrifice that was intended to cause the sinner to contemplate the nature of sin and how this animal is now losing its life instead of the sinner. pretty powerful stuff, if your environment is agrarian and animals are preciously traded commodities. Today however, things are much different.

A Blessing of Rain

rainblessing.jpgTwo long months with hardly any rain. That is the dire situation we have been facing this season. Our CSA provides shares to 85 families in the Washington, DC area.  Long ago this past April, we missed a month’s worth of rain, kicking off a season of high and dry windy weather. This has been tough on everything and everyone around.  During this season’s severe extended drought we’ve been dealing with a 2-pronged “war”. On one hand, we must keep every new seedling and translant happy and moist, on the other, we must keep the deer at bay.

The deer come out around mid-August every year as their food runs out in the forest. This season, they were here in July. Entire plantings of green beans, sweet potatoes and edemame, were gone. Badly eaten were the new and still tender tomato and cucumber plants.

Earlier in the season we cought 6 groundhogs over the course of a month and a half, and safely transported them to a wooded area a few miles away. Now we have an early deer problem, and a drought like we’ve never seen before.

Bloggers Choice Awards

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog posting to bring you this brief announcement: “The Jew and the Carrot” has been nominated for two Bloggers Choice Awards! If you have a moment and are so inclined, please vote for us in the “Best Food Blog” category and the “Best Religion Blog.” You can do so by clicking on the Bloggers Choice images in the sidebar, or by clicking on the links below:

* The Jew & The Carrot totally rocks! I’m voting for them in the Best Food Blog category. Click.
* The Jew & The Carrot is the best! I’m voting for them in the Best Religion Blog category. Clickity click.

You Know You’re Addicted to Blogging When…

You know you’re addicted to blogging when, despite spending much time on your own site, you jump at the opportunity to also blog on someone else’s. That is my story, and this first post on JCarrot is an introduction of sorts – which is another way of saying that Leah asked me to write a little about myself and my mind promptly went blank. Ahem.

Why I Am Not A Foodie

Recently, a friend asked me if I was a foodie, a question which caught me thinking quite a while for an accurate response. “Well, I used to be” was the only thing I could think of. Reflecting back on that answer, I found myself questioning what and how I eat and how that differs from what one many think of when they think of a foodie.

Typically your average culinary fan tends to place a high value on taste and other palate-based pleasures. Different tastes and cuisines are prized and much is made of importance of the finest ingredients. Star chefs, award-winning cookbooks, and the finest tools become things to live for. But, I like food. I like to eat good food. What makes me feel that I am different that this? I pondered this and came to the conclusion that perspective was key.

Seder con Salsa

seder-plate-cropped.jpgThis evening, as my roommates and I were finishing up an exhausting round of stripping the dirt and chametz from our kitchen, I found it unfortunate that I had to throw several jars of salsa and tupperware of chiles down the garbage disposal. I wondered if the disposal could handle this amount of “hotness,” as an American garbage disposal would presumably not be accustomed to such intensity. On Passover, probably spurred on by the choice of packaged foods available and promoted by the local supermarket’s “Passover Aisle,” American Ashkenazi Jews traditionally retreat into the deepest recesses of Jewish culinary tradition; to me, it seems completely unnecessary to eat cold fish jelly or kishke for 8 days straight.

What (some) farmers do in the ‘off-season’

The most popular question we’ve been asked by far is: So, what do you do in the ‘off-season’? True, the person asking often has the intention of continuing the conversation. But implied is the idea that farming is our ‘day job’ and that among other hobbies and past-times, we enjoy a long ‘off-season’, searching for something fun and exciting to do. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Show me a farmer who spends months traveling the world during the ‘off-season’ and I’ll say, That is not what farming is about.