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Gearing Up for Campus Kitchens

June 3, 2011

Hey everyone!

I decided it was time to contribute to the weekly blogs, as our orientation is in FOUR days!! Craziness. I can’t believe this is actually happening. I’m pretty much all packed to peace out of Minnesota on Saturday and fly back to a place that doesn’t have days where a 65 degree high is considered swimsuit weather. Let’s bring on that sun everyone has been promising!
But back to the job. Besides getting frustrated at the ongoing struggle of explaining exactly WHAT I’m doing for a summer internship to my friends and family, I’m pretty excited to get things started. I went to the library a few days after I got back and picked out a bunch of books on everything from composting, to canning, to food sustainability and totally nerded out. I don’t know about all you guys, but this stuff is FASCINATING. A whole book on the Local Foods Movement? I call that a great afternoon of entertainment. I’ll probably be dropping names of books throughout my blogs, as Campus Kitchens really encompasses many different parts of social and environmental justice, and each topic has copious amounts of opinion-packed literature associated with it. Not to mention it’s just great to read books about people who are proactive in the fight for (what should be the universal right to) healthy, SAFE food, strive for sustainable farming practices, and express a passion for the making people realize their own power in changing the way food is grown, distributed, and sold.
I know for sure that there is going to be an attempt at a composting bin complete with worms and everything— But don’t fret, German House, I shall keep my bin outside– as well as some hilarious (and quite possibly slightly dangerous) attempts at canning and preserving. I’m determined to figure out some ways to preserve all that produce everyone has been promising me. Canning scares me. The book I read on it was so happy and positive on the cover, with old ladies happily holding their assorted jams and pickles, and yet every single chapter came with its own disclaimer warning the reader of all the risks that canning can bring about. They’re warning against food poisoning (if the can isn’t sealed properly or if the can itself is damaged), burns (you have to submerge these cans in huge basins of boiling water to seal ’em), to other awkward food-related illnesses that can be brought about if the canner doesn’t do it properly OR even if the food is too ripe. It’s a slightly terrifying process, but I feel like my lady-hood is being challenged, and I’m determined to show those cans who is boss of the kitchen.

So I’m all set. Ready to move in with some pretty awesome girls (and Carter) and get this Heston experience started.

Until next time,
Em

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