HandPicked 8–Stuff That Matters

Craig McCord

Craig McCord › Craig possesses 23 guitars and cannot play any of them. He likes fresh grilled sardines with a ...


The HandPicked 8 is our quick overview of stuff that matters. There’s always a lot going on in the space we call ‘real food’, but not every story generates a whole post on its own.

That’s why we’ve created The HandPicked 8, to give you a quick idea of some of the things happening in food.

We’re constantly cruising the web, listening to people and generally keeping our eyes and ears open to information we think HandPicked Nation will find useful.

Well, it’s finally here–spring! Where have you been, Spring? While we wait for warmer weather, check this week’s HandPicked 8.

1. As usual, the folks over at The Salt have something smart to share. You think you know all there is to know about asparagus? Not so fast. How about these five ways asparagus can still surprise you.

2. Deborah Madison’s award-winning book, Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening With Twelve Families From the Edible Plant Kingdom, reminds us spring and luscious vegetables is on their way, maybe.

3. Food & Wine has compiled a tremendous collection of spring recipes. From their site: From a beautiful spring vegetable stew to a lemon poppy cheesecake with rhubarb, here are delicious spring recipes.”

4. It’s maybe a tad early for ramps, but it’s never too early to start fantasizing about foraging, cleaning, chopping and cooking with the pungent gift of the woods. Food Republic has put up our video with food writer/photographer, Peter Barrett and ace keyboardist, John Medeski. Check it out.

5. According to BloombergBusinessweek we are buying more fresh food. Fresh food sales grew 5.4 percent from a year earlier, to $134 billion. Good trend. Let’s keep it up and go for even more. Fresh is better.

6. This is pretty cool. Each spring the Hudson Valley Seed Library commissions artists to illustrate their heirloom seed packets. Beautiful seeds, beautiful packets, and eventually beautiful herbs and vegetables coming out of your garden.

7. The New York Times gives some good ink to the idea of farm-to-table living. Have you heard of agrihoods? They’re residential developments where a working farm is the central feature, in the same way that other communities may cluster around a golf course, pool or fitness center. Maybe things are looking up for local food.

8. And finally … Grist, that beacon in the smog, has this: pictures of spring flowers that will melt your frozen heart. Everyone, spring is about to burst forth. Hang in there, before we know it the temperatures will be in the nineties! And we’ll all be complaining about the heat.

And that’s some of the stuff that matters, March 20, 2014!

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Photo credit: Craig McCord