Monday, April 8, 2013

Stamp Out Hunger



While we have developed the technology and techniques to produce more food than we need – some say as much as 2500 calories per person per day globally – we have poor distribution of this necessity.  Too much of this production is going into fuel and high fructose corn syrup and being consumed in excess by the richest few in this world.  We must do something to get food to the children – all children – all over the world.  We have hunger all around us, just as we have abundance.  Changing this takes an effort on the part of all of us.

You can start simply by getting informed.  Today…right now…go check out a couple web pages.

The Giving Table at http://www.givingtable.org/
A Place at the Table at http://www.takepart.com/place-at-the-table and see the movie
King Corn at http://www.kingcorn.net/ and see that movie

Then think about what you can do.  Do you live in an agricultural region?  Find a group that voluntarily gleans and donates their collection to the needy.  Work in a soup kitchen or food pantry.  Contribute food.  Educate your kids.  Demand that your representatives – from the school board to DC – act to provide healthy food at our schools. The bottom line - get informed, consider your talents and abilities and then do something with them to help others.

I am sharing the recipe below here and at The Giving Table’s Facebook page today (https://www.facebook.com/givingtable) because I think it is a great example of what can be done with common, inexpensive ingredients.  This is a rich recipe high in protein and carbs that could feed 6-8 on about $8 or less using kitchen staples. Throw together a simple salad and you have well balanced, inexpensive and simple meal.


Pasta alla Carbonara, in easy, inexpensive form…
(makes 6-8 rich servings)

1 lb rigatoni. 
4 egg yolks and one whole egg whisked together. 
8 oz. bacon, chopped.
1 ½ cups shredded Parmesan 
1 tbs olive oil
Pepper to taste, coarse ground – The occasional crunch of the coarse ground pepper adds an important heat and texture contrast
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 dance partner.  Finishing this dish is easiest with two sets of hands.  And dancing while cooking is fun.

1.       Bring a lot of well-salted water to a full boil. 
2.       Meanwhile, chop the bacon into pieces about the size of dimes.  This may be easier if it is frozen or at least very cold to start.  Fry it in about a tablespoon of olive oil and fry until it is almost crisp.  If you have any more than about 2tbs of oil and pork fat, pour some off and discard.
3.       Drop your pasta in the boiling water.
4.       Blend the egg yolks and whole egg well.  Mix in about 2tbs of the cheese and grind in a couple teaspoons of coarse ground pepper. 
5.       Just before the pasta is done take about 3/8 of a cup of the pasta water and blend this into the egg/cheese mixture.
6.       Invite your dinner guests to take a seat.  It’s best that they be seated before you’re done.  Pour them some red wine.  This dish needs to be served piping hot.
7.       Now move quickly with the help of a dance partner… Drain the pasta and quickly pour it back into the pot you cooked it in.
8.       While stirring the pasta pour the egg and cheese mixture over it, stirring vigorously.  The heat of the pasta and the pot will cook the egg.  The cheese and water you added, combined with moving quickly will create a creamy texture.  Moving too slow or having too much heat will scramble the eggs, creating a lumpy mess. 
9.       Just as soon as you’ve poured all the egg and cheese mix into the pasta pour in the bacon with its renderings.  Give it all a good stir. 
10.    Sprinkle in some of remaining cheese and stir. 
11.    Serving Suggestion – Using wide, shallow bowls, place a large scoop of pasta and quickly hollow out the middle.  Drop one egg yolk into the middle of the bowl.  Sprinkle some of the remaining cheese on the pasta, grind some pepper on the pasta and sprinkle a little fresh parsley.  Now it looks like a giant sunny-side-up fried egg and will be extra sensuous. 

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