Sarah A. Maine
Location: Queens, NYC
Food Ideology: Up until three years ago I had been aware of organic and local food issues but I wasn’t doing much about them in my daily life. It may be a cliche at this point but my local eating was kicked into high gear after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I believe in aligning my eating with my environmental values, feeding the earth rather than stripping it. The daily challenge I face is being a conscientious consumer in a highly urban environment, it’s tough but doable, filled with trade-offs and compromise. For most of the year my diet is anchored by a weekly box of veggies from my CSA and weekend trips to the farmer’s market. In the winter, without these two sources, I am adrift in the aisles of the supermarket.
Cooking Strategy: I like to see if I can pull a meal together out of what I have in the fridge and the cupboard. If I really need to I’ll make a trip to the store to supplement what I have on hand but I’m not a big fan of shopping at the supermarket, especially in the real estate strapped stores of NYC. I do a survey of recipes, poring over several cookbooks to see what they say about what I’ve got. Then, I push them aside and make something up!
First Cooking Memory: My first time cooking was also my first time adapting a recipe – when I was three, I baked a cake. I had help, but despite the guiding hand of an adult I put whatever I wanted in the mix. The concept of proportions (so important in baking!) was anathema to me, the result was something that looked like a cake – but tasted terrible, terrible enough to be truly memorable!
Handicap: Winter, carrying shopping bags on the subway.
Food Sources: Sunnyside CSA (1st week of June – 1st week of December), NYC Greenmarkets (Union Square market is open year round, my weekly local market is open June – December), Whole Foods, Met Foods.
Cuisine I Can’t Live Without: South East Asian
Favorite Kitchen Tool: Chef’s Knife
Secret Ingredient: Miso Paste
Guilty Pleasure: Avocados
Milk or Dark: Dark please!
Dogs or Cats: Cats
Sauna or Steam: Steam
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 kitchen tools would you want to have with you?
A dutch oven, a fine meshed sieve, and a very big spoon.