• Posted by Califia Suntree on September 9th, 2014, 12:54 PM

    Print is so yesterday–literally, because TODAY my e-cookbook Bring Your Lunch! comes out from Workman Publishing! Download it to your tablet here or anywhere e-books are sold. This book has been percolating in my mind since I moved to New York in 2002 and, as a worker bee editing cookbooks at HarperCollins, saw a profound need for a comprehensive lunch cookbook and guide to brown-bagging. Now, finally, I offer you more than 60 recipes for everything from soups to snacks, plus lunch staples like dressings and sandwich spreads, a complete chapter on the all-important mess kit, and helpful hints galore. Download now, and revolutionize your lunch!

    To tempt you even further, here’s a glimpse of just a few of the recipes on offer–all for a mere $4.99! Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on July 10th, 2014, 11:01 AM

    A few weeks ago, Lindy West wrote this hilarious story for Gawker about attempting to feed herself for three days from Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest “detoxifying” cookbook It’s All Good. In order to do so, West spent $300 on groceries–again, for three days of meals. She ate well–millet falafel and quinoa salad were the highlights–but the story reenforced what is to me a frustrating, and inaccurate, perception that in order to be “all good” à la Gwyneth, you have to shell out a C-note a day on raw cacao powder and Manuka honey. (GOOP, GP’s website, sells things like $240 bath towels and $175 napkins.) And if you can’t? Well, bring on the frozen pizza and fruit punch.

    As someone who is into healthy eating, but not on a GOOP budget, this message drives me crazy. It’s true that spending in our country is lopsided–we spend too much of our budgets on health care and housing and not enough on food. (A century ago, we spent nearly a quarter of our income on groceries, now it’s just over 6%–about half as much as the Netherlands, the healthiest country on earth.) This reduction in spending on food is presented as a “good thing,” but in fact it reflects the cheapening of our diets and we are seeing the rampant health effects of that cheapening. We eat truckloads of corn syrup, subsidized corn and wheat, and mass-produced animal products, whose deflated price reflects just how poorly raised those animals were.

    All of this brings to mind that old chestnut, “If you think wellness is expensive, try illness.” Irritating to hear when you’re on a tight budget, but these words are true. Thrift means thinking in the long-term, and eating a “cheap” diet now only to suffer from expensive illnesses later (requiring, say, cholesterol or blood-pressure medications, or, as the alarming global stats reflect, diabetes treatment) is not thrifty. Fortunately, you can eat both well and affordably, without morale-crushing trips to Whole Paycheck.

    Here are a few ways that I’ve learned to eat a healthy-foodie’s diet on a junk-food budget. You probably have strategies of your own–post them in the comments!  Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on August 17th, 2013, 8:08 AM

    Happy Can-It-Forward Day everyone! Enjoy this live webcast of Ball’s event at the Union Square Market in New York. Giveaways and classes until 2pm EST. Get canning!

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on September 6th, 2012, 7:43 AM

    Blackberries + peaches wins my vote for summer’s best fruit combo. (Very close second: strawberries + anything.) But if you want to make a blackberry and peach cobbler the size of an ironing board, with local, burstingly ripe organic fruits–well, that’s gonna be one pricey dessert. (Unless you have a peach tree and a blackberry bramble, but I’m talking L.A. here folks.) Yet my mom did make said Flintstones-sized cobbler, thanks to the thrifty cook’s secret weapons: $1 per pound farmers market seconds, and what we like to call “alley fruit.” There has been a random and, it being SoCal, rather lonely blackberry bramble in the alley behind my mom’s house for at least 30 years. Every summer, she gets a steady little harvest to supplement her olallieberry, and avoids paying the $6 per pint going rate for the gleaming black gems. (The caviar of fruit!) Times are catching up with “alley fruit”–what used to be “scrounging” became “freeganism” then “urban foraging.” Now perhaps “hyperlocavoraciousness”? Anyway, the cobbler was massive and beyond delicious, and us two ladies ate the whole thing in three days. Good thing it was so cheap!

 
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