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April, 2021

Spices Why We Need Them: A Food Insecurity Post

Posted on April 10, 2021

It is Easter, and I am sitting thinking about Spices and why we need them, I am thinking about all the different ways seasons change; I am not religious, but this marks the beginning of summer food and new growing seasons. Just like seasons changing, food changes with seasoning.

 Growing your food is something my parents and sister have excelled at over the years.  My dad’s yard and garden were so impressive that strangers would stop and talk to him about his yard. We had our ditch line filled with pumpkins, squash, and zucchini.  He planted a vast raspberry bed along the side of the garage.  Until I got a box of Cheerios from the food pantry, I could not figure out why I did not like them as an adult.  They taste completely different when you can’t have fresh-picked raspberries and half&half on them with a spoonful of sugar! 

My Mother and Sisters Green Thumbs

moms garden

My mom and sister continue the planting and green thumb growing.  They have beds of fruits and vegetables. They have planter boxes all over, and my mothers’ flowers are stunning.  While they were all born with green thumbs, I was born with the black death thumb. I have killed everything I have ever tried to grow, even killed a fake plant once.  the fake plant was on a radiator in the sun, and one day I came home, and it had melted into an odd, misshapen pile of plastic.

I have started to form a plan, the plan is to form a charitable arm to Tripping Vittles that will begin to reimagine what it is like to feed the hungry, houseless, and people who may not have what they need for a complete meal. No one in this country should be hungry. We have the wealth to feed in the manner of kings three meals a day. But many who hold the wealth do not see it that way. They grip tight to their money, and innovation grinds to a halt.  I feel it in the spring of invention.

 I have met people reimagining this model, but they cannot do it alone. They need help. I want to be in on helping at the very roots of this movement. The way I have lived the last month on the food given,  I have found some fundamental things missing.  Seasoning!!!! To name one.

Spices and why we need them

In the last 4+ weeks, I got only one bulb of garlic—no salt, no pepper, no essence, nothing else to season food with.  The heart of Tripping Vittles is the spice of life. Spices ground people; they take people home if only in their taste buds. So to be without spices, in my opinion, is tantamount to being without food. The world cooks with seasoning.  Seasonings are a massive part of every ethnic food in America: Indian, Latino,  Asian, Black,  Pacific Islanders, and white.  

Yet, in the world of food insecurity that I have encountered, spices are as rare as finding a lost bitcoin mining operation!  You know they are out there, but you have no idea the secret to getting them. So doubling back, I am looking at how I can get spices and such in the hand of people cooking food from pantries—starting by dragging all the grow pots out of my garage, buying some potting soil, and trying to grow some herbs.

grow pots

 My Garage is filled with grow pots!  I have tried so many times to grow things to no avail, yet I also do not throw anything out! I can build things, so I am going to attempt to construct some herb boxes.  The plan is to start with spices and see where this all goes. Sharing spices has been a 30-year dream of mine. It is how I came to form the business of Tripping Vittles. I would love for you to join me in the growing endeavor.

Here is a link to a plain growing box.  

It should not be charity it should just be what we do to help

We will talk about growing other things at a later date.  If you are close to me in Westerville, keep an eye out for how Tripping Vittles’ charitable arm, Roots of Change, will work at a grassroots level to change what it means to be hungry.  It starts in our communities. So I encourage you to join me no matter where you live.  To change how we feed those of us who are hungry.  I am taking a page out of my friend steves book and his organization Couch Philanthropy, and I have opened a cash app. Roots of Change. Donate if you wish.

The goal is to have a 501.3c arm of Tripping Vittles, but The 501.3c is an involved process, and I will eventually get there; if you want to donate now, I will keep everyone abreast of how we will be using the money from preparing meals to growing spices. This has all come from my last month and seeing areas where there are holes in people’s Feeding.

Big Food Banks don’t think about the small things like spices

The big food banks serve a purpose, but just like the companies that donate to them, humanity and dignity are lost in translation from food donation to a human being’s mouth.  I cannot stress enough we all have a right to eat a delicious meal.  Let me know what you are growing, tag me in your photos, drop a comment and follow me on all the socials. Let’s do this across the country—a movement of spice.

My series is technically over; it has been a month. I have so much more to write on and to share about my experiences. I am not going to call an end to the series; there will be a continuation. This has become a passion of mine. The sharing of recipes on food pantry sights has given rise to others sharing what they cook. We are all human beings, and we all have something to contribute to this world. It has been awesome to see the discussions started and people taking a risk to share their food ideas. This is some of what I envisioned Tripping Vittles to be all those years ago.

I have been changed by this experience

Food Insecurity will not be all I write about, but it surely has shaped how I will view food from now on, and we will talk about that when the cause arises. I hope you will help me in whatever ways possible to get spices into the hands of people who may need them. I envision this being a multi-cultural sharing of spices and love. Stay tuned to see how this plays out.

The Best Artichokes Ever in an Airfryer

Posted on April 6, 2021

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From the food pantry on Monday I got some Artichokes, a crazy, wild very happy surprise! Using my air fryer that admittedly I have only used to reheat chicken wings I made something glorious! I cooked up the best artichokes ever in an air fryer!

Yes, I am a bit full of myself, and it’s true I have not tasted all the airfryer artichokes created in the world. I am going to take that leap and say mine is the best!

So here is what you need to make these bad boys!

I am positive I am the only person that has not used the air fryer I purchased on a regular basis. The air fryer I have is the one pictured above. There are several manufactures that make air fryers and they all seem to work basically the same.

I may have arrived late to the air fryer party but now that i’m here watch out! I am creating recipes in my dreams, while I shower and anywhere else I have a moment to think!

The Best Artichokes Ever in an Air Fryer Recipe

In a pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil together. Toss in a bulb of chopped garlic and a tablespoon of Italian Seasoning. I used my own Tripping Vittles Pasta Pizzaz. Add Juice of 1 lemon and zest about a 1/2 teaspoon from the same lemon.

Snip off all the spiky tips to the leaves on the artichoke and cut the stem off. Slice in half and scoop out the fuzzy stuff near the bottom. Place inside up in the basket of the air fryer. The butter mixture is enough for 1 artichoke cut in half. Pour that butter sauce all over the two halves be sure to get in the cracks Set temp to 350 and cook for about 13-16 min. depending on the size of your artichoke.

Eat by picking apart each leaf and scraping the meat off with your teeth. Dunk it in the butter that rests in the pit. When you get down to the bottom make sure all the green leaves are gone and enjoy the heart! The heart is firmer but full of flavor bottom!

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