Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day

Just a quick post to let you know that today is Food Revolution Day. You may have heard of Jamie Oliver’s show Food Revolution in which he tries to change school lunches and encourage people to eat more healthy. You may also have heard of his foundation, the Jamie Oliver Foundation, which he founded in 2011 to educate, empower and inspire people about food.

I have to admit that I have never [gasp] watched Food Revolution or tried any of his recipes, but I do identify with his message. I used to volunteer in primary schools in college and was horrified to see what American school lunches involved (at least in the schools that I visited) – a few pieces of nuggets, a couple sad looking tacos, or a slice of pizza for the students while some of the teachers ate those packaged cheese crackers that you can buy in vending machines. And all of this had to be gobbled up in 10 or 15 minutes so that the next round of students could take their seats. It made me sad for the students that they didn’t have better options and didn’t have time to learn to enjoy food.

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30 Before 30 – A Bucket List

Have you heard of this? Trying to complete 30 things before your 30th birthday?

Well, I’m almost 30. And each year, time seems to be slipping by faster and faster. I do think that I’ve been very fortunate so far in what I’ve managed to do in my life. I’ve traveled a lot, I’ve lived abroad, I’ve climbed Mt Fuji (twice), I’ve bungee jumped (in China), I’ve ridden on camels (in Tunisia and Mongolia), I’ve eaten a lot of strange things and along the way, I’ve met some truly amazing people. Not to mention I managed to marry the most wonderful man in the world (not sure how that happened).

Yet there is still so much more to do. So many more things to learn. So many more places to go!

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A couple months ago, I got struck by inspiration. I had just brought pearl sugar back from France, imported specifically to make my beloved chouquettes. A recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated (one of my all-time favorite magazines) had featured a recipe for croissants. And while perusing La Tartine Gourmande’s archives, I came across her brioche recipe. Like Beatrice Peltre, brioche is probably my favorite viennoiserie along with pains aux raisins. And the recipe looked so simple, so accessible.

It never occurred to me that I could make my favorite French viennoiseries, pastries and breads in my own kitchen at home. Any of my close non-French friends can tell you that I am somewhat of a dessert snob. I despise overly sweet American desserts, don’t care much for cupcakes and frosting, lament the state of croissants and eclairs in this country, and generally speaking would rather go for savory snacks rather than sweet ones. But I love French baked goods. And if I could really make them at home, why not?

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