My latest piece on Grist.org went up today! For this one, I collaborated with Grist food editor Twilight Greenaway. I’m a big fan of her reporting work and editing style, so this was a great honor. Check out “Can’t-miss summer reading for sustainable food fans.”
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Smooth, sun-kissed summer squash. Crispy cucumbers. Billowy leaves of rainbow Swiss chard. Sure, they sound lovely, but have you tried dealing with 10 or 20 pounds of them every week–in a household of one?
Figuring out what to do with all of this takes a huge bite out of my daily spark of creativity–creativity I would like to apply now and then to other pursuits, such as writing. And to my day job that, you know, is going to pay the bills come fall.
Here is the latest innovation I use to trudge through the tide of veggies (recipe and more ideas after the jump): Continue reading
Could whole wheat flour soon nestle beside bunches of kale in your CSA box? Possibly! My recent article for Grist.org looks at where we stand with producing wheat, oats, and other carb essentials in a local, sustainable way.
Read the piece, “Small-scale grains: Another piece of the locavore puzzle.“
Rail against bureaucracy all you want, but you can’t deny it: .gov’s got it going on. I just spent the better part of an afternoon skimming PDFs and spreadsheets, any one of which could anchor an article or conversation.
Scanning these documents is like walking into a happy hour of food wonks (they do exist). Some of them geek out on international import statistics, while others tell you passionately about an organic wheat farmer in Montana. I have to admit that I underestimated the 150-year-old institution. Continue reading
Last year, I helped to plan a Shavuot event in this ravishing church. Shavuot, the Jewish holiday commemorating receiving the Torah, is coming up again at the end of May.
I decided to use this shot of the church stairwell today not because I am obsessed with stairwells, but because I love how the serene spiral is interrupted by a cacophony of life and color.
Ain’t that how it always goes?
If the stairway feels like my ideal conditions for writing or thinking or healing–calm, solid, continuous–then the glaring orange traffic cones and the person running up the steps with a Giant grocery bag depict how reality crashes in.
Image: The National Swedenborgian Church of the Holy City, 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C. Photo by Rhea.
There were some differences. For instance, the boy this girl had a crush on was a green-eyed redhead, while there was nary a Ron Howard lookalike in my class. For another thing, this character associated with one of the bad girls—you know, the kind who smoked once in the girls’ room. Though I could conjure a rough tobacco smell wafting over the bathroom stall in the scene I wrote, the only cigarettes I’d come remotely close to were the Marlboro Light packs my father kept in his shirt pocket. But generally, the girl was me.
The resulting work was what the modern publishing house would call a young adult novel. I just remember it as a treat to write, with a plot that challenged me at times, but generally flowed from my hands. Continue reading
The Association of Writers and Writing Programs brings its annual conference and book fair to D.C. next month. I plan to attend, but definitely need help with choosing sessions. If you’re a student, you can get in for 50 bucks. And as my friend Marina pointed out, in a sense we are all perpetually students.
Apparently, the country is teeming not only with students, but with writers. So many want to attend that the event sprawls between two hotels — the Omni Shoreham and the Marriott Wardman Park.
In other news, I recently found guides to literary markets that other writers might find useful. Media Bistro members can find out where, when, and how to submit personal essays in the three-part Personal Essay Market feature (thank you to Emily from my freelance writing group for that one!) Then there’s Writers and Poets’ (FREE!) guide to literary magazines, searchable by genre. P&W also has a hefty, gratis guide to grants and awards. Also free. (Did I mention that neither of these cost anything?)
If you don’t mind shelling out $40 for the year, you always have Writers Market. I recall very complete listings last time I had a membership. Don’t worry if you aren’t ready to make the investment, though; there’s a free seven-day trial.
To usher in 2010, Grist has published a look at the best food books of this closing year. Or at least what people were reading this year. This list brings together my two great loves: literature and food.
What are you reading about food?
Scott Simon recently lamented our current discourse as weakened by watering-down factors. I don’t think all is lost, but I know one thing: The way journos write has changed. My thoughts got churning as I waded into a few ’70s-era articles in preparation for an upcoming screening from my dad’s video collective past.
Here are two tidbits:
“’Videofreex Is a Video Production Studio, a Mobile Production Unit, a Video Environment, a Group of People,’ a sign said.” This opens a December 12, 1970 “Talk of the Town” piece in The New Yorker simply titled “Videofreex.” Continue reading
Rhea Yablon Kennedy is a Washington, D.C.-based writer. She has contributed essays, articles, and photography to national and regional magazines, newspapers, and blogs.
Sustainable food trends, the deaf community, Judaism, urban agriculture, and bizarre clothing trends are among Rhea’s beats and favorite writing topics. She is happy to explore any of these further for new venues.