Last Saturday was part three of the beginnings of our little philanthropy group. Kelly overdid herself creating wonderful authentic dishes made with fresh ingredients. I learned a lot of new foods such as chorizo, which is a Mexican sausage that was used in the New Mexican chicken dish shown below. I also learned of a new root vegetable called jicama that she used in a salad called Guaymas Salad. I loved this one, it also had avocados, oranges and olives with a homemade avocado dressing. There was of course real tacos and for dessert she made Flan, which is something else I'd never had before. Now these foods might not be new to many of you, but I don't get out much. Oh, and I can't leave out the best Margarita ever. (We were good and only had one each.)
Our groups central focus is children and nutrition. With this in mind, Kelly invited a professor, Dr. Arunas Juska, from East Carolina University to join us. Besides information he shared with us in our dinner conversation, he also brought with him a documentary. Through this we learned how commercial farming is not only running independent farmers out of business, but is also affecting the nutritional quality of our food and the health of the environment. The film we watched dealt with the hog farming industry. While it was a bit disconcerting, it was also very enlightening. I will share this in another post, if I can handle rehashing the memory of what I saw. Arunas, being from Lithuania, also brought a traditional Lithuanian poppy seed cake. Hmmm, two desserts. What else could I do but have both :) .
For more on Dr. Juska see the following sites:
For our next gathering we are trying to get our act together and start the community garden we've planned to be the foundation for our educational program (we are pushing it time wise for NC weather). To be better prepared, Pam and I have been taking a horticulture class since February. Most of the other ladies know more about vegetable gardens than me, but I'm learning. I hopefully will get around to sharing some information and pictures from our class in an upcoming post.