Clifford Larry’s Slow-cooked Wild Meat & Blueberry

Relatives,

Because our brother Clifford has passed on to Spirit, I waited a while before sharing this special recipe.  Clifford, you will live in us forever! 

January 24, 2010

Hi Willi..

I never wrote the recipe down for this but this Bear… I cooked it very slow… I used the slow cooker for about 6 1/2 hours, or until the meat was very tender… almost feel that it melts in your mouth.

I don’t drink and never use alcohol for ceremonial meals but for this meal as it wasn’t ceremonial

I added:

1 pint of Guinness along with 1 onion, 2 carrots, 5-6 cloves of garlic, 1 parsnip, 1 small turnip, 3/4 cup of blueberries and Jamaican Jerk spice…

So I let this slow cook for about 6 hours..

The last 1/2 hour i tossed in:

mushrooms, sweet peas and thickened the dish with a gravy…

Initially I wanted to marinate in red wine and herbs but I didn’t have a cork screw for the wine so that is why I used a pint of Guinness… it worked out good… I didn’t have herbs nor bacon… I wanted to add these items but had left them in my other kitchen.  As well I like to saute my mushrooms, it makes them nice and sweet… the mushrooms I used were button mushrooms but any mushroom will do…

Have a great day… Cliff

 

This was my response:

G’day Cliff, Wow, thanks, I’ve been looking for one of those old-fashioned wild meat recipes that call for blueberries.  I heard that a long time ago, people would use hot stones and bury moose with blueberries, maple syrup and a little tallow and let it cook all day.  I’m thinking your bear recipe would be good with moose too…
A long time ago, I did use a red wine moose marinade and it was awesome; come to think of it, I do have cooking wine around here somewhere, thanks for the reminder 😉  I don’t drink either.
Happy trails, Willi

And Cliff’s response:

Hi Willi, yes indeed blueberries and other berries are a common staple on all my wild game meats whether it be bear, moose, caribou or deer. Never tried berries on on partridge or water fowl yet but i am thinking is would be good as well… it just I haven’t had wild feathered game for a while…

I think People would shy away from using berries on the birds but it all depends on the method of use… can be used for stuffing, sauces or even raw or partial cook form for garnish. But yeah don’t be shy with the use of berries, it generally gives a dark color but a color that compliments the cooked meat.

I will give you an update on the David Wolfman event in Charlottetown… I will be cooking with him but not certain in what capacity yet. He is coming to PEI in March to cook on behalf of the Aboriginal Survivors for Healing (ASH).

I just made a roast moose last evening and though I didn’t add berries I did add Argentinian coffee bean to this slow cooked dish along with Oshi sauce… even though I thickened the juices up with a roux.

I also made a Red Wine Butter Sauce infused with Tarragon, lemon-grass and raspberry…so even though there were no berries in the cooker the raspberry flavor came out really in the butter sauce and complimented the meat.

Have a great day..Cliff

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Food Companies Unable to Guarantee the Safety of Their Ingredients

I’m adding this article to my blog because I think it contains really important food safety information wanted and needed by the average person. What the world truly needs right now is more home cooking – hats off to the New York Times for letting people share this.
In health, Gramma Willi

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/business/15ingredients.html?_r=1&em=&pagewanted=print

Food Companies Are Placing the Onus for Safety on Consumers

The frozen pot pies that sickened an estimated 15,000 people with salmonella in 2007 left federal inspectors mystified. At first they suspected the turkey. Then they considered the peas, carrots and potatoes.

The pie maker, ConAgra Foods, began spot-checking the vegetables for pathogens, but could not find the culprit. It also tried cooking the vegetables at high temperatures, a strategy the industry calls a “kill step,” to wipe out any lingering microbes. But the vegetables turned to mush in the process.

So ConAgra — which sold more than 100 million pot pies last year under its popular Banquet label — decided to make the consumer responsible for the kill step. The “food safety” instructions and four-step diagram on the 69-cent pies offer this guidance: “Internal temperature needs to reach 165° F as measured by a food thermometer in several spots.”

Increasingly, the corporations that supply Americans with processed foods are unable to guarantee the safety of their ingredients. In this case, ConAgra could not pinpoint which of the more than 25 ingredients in its pies was carrying salmonella. Other companies do not even know who is supplying their ingredients, let alone if those suppliers are screening the items for microbes and other potential dangers, interviews and documents show.

Yet the supply chain for ingredients in processed foods — from flavorings to flour to fruits and vegetables — is becoming more complex and global as the drive to keep food costs down intensifies. As a result, almost every element, not just red meat and poultry, is now a potential carrier of pathogens, government and industry officials concede.

In addition to ConAgra, other food giants like Nestlé and the Blackstone Group, a New York firm that acquired the Swanson and Hungry-Man brands two years ago, concede that they cannot ensure the safety of items — from frozen vegetables to pizzas — and that they are shifting the burden to the consumer. General Mills, which recalled about five million frozen pizzas in 2007 after an E. coli outbreak, now advises consumers to avoid microwaves and cook only with conventional ovens. ConAgra has also added food safety instructions to its other frozen meals, including the Healthy Choice brand.

Peanuts were considered unlikely culprits for pathogens until earlier this year when a processing plant in Georgia was blamed for salmonella poisoning that is estimated to have killed nine people and sickened 27,000. Now, white pepper is being blamed for dozens of salmonella illnesses on the West Coast, where a widening recall includes other spices and six tons of frozen egg rolls.

The problem is particularly acute with frozen foods, in which unwitting consumers who buy these products for their convenience mistakenly think that their cooking is a matter of taste and not safety.

Federal regulators have pushed companies to beef up their cooking instructions with the detailed “food safety” guides. But the response has been varied, as a review of packaging showed. Some manufacturers fail to list explicit instructions; others include abbreviated guidelines on the side of their boxes in tiny print. A Hungry-Man pot pie asks consumers to ensure that the pie reaches a temperature that is 11 degrees short of the government-established threshold for killing pathogens. Questioned about the discrepancy, Blackstone acknowledged it was using an older industry standard that it would rectify when it printed new cartons.

Government food safety officials also point to efforts by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, a nonprofit group founded by the Clinton administration. But the partnership consists of a two-person staff and an annual budget of $300,000. Its director, Shelley Feist, said she has wanted to start a campaign to advise consumers about frozen foods, but lacks the money.

Estimating the risk to consumers is difficult. The industry says that it is acting with an abundance of caution, and that big outbreaks of food-borne illness are rare. At the same time, a vast majority of the estimated 76 million cases of food-borne illness every year go unreported or are not traced to the source.

Home Cooking

Some food safety experts say they do not think the solution should rest with the consumer. Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said companies like ConAgra were asking too much. “I do not believe that it is fair to put this responsibility on the back of the consumer, when there is substantial confusion about what it means to prepare that product,” Dr. Osterholm said.

And the ingredient chain for frozen and other processed foods is poised to get more convoluted, industry insiders say. While the global market for ingredients is projected to reach $34 billion next year, the pressure to keep food prices down in a recession is forcing food companies to look for ways to cut costs.

Ensuring the safety of ingredients has been further complicated as food companies subcontract processing work to save money: smaller companies prepare flavor mixes and dough that a big manufacturer then assembles. “There is talk of having passports for ingredients,” said Jamie Rice, the marketing director of RTS Resource, a research firm based in England. “At each stage they are signed off on for quality and safety. That would help companies, if there is a scare, in tracing back.”

But government efforts to impose tougher trace-back requirements for ingredients have met with resistance from food industry groups including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which complained to the Food and Drug Administration: “This information is not reasonably needed and it is often not practical or possible to provide it.”

Now, in the wake of polls that show food poisoning incidents are shaking shopper confidence, the group is re-evaluating its position. A new industry guide produced by the group urges companies to test for salmonella and cites recent outbreaks from cereal, children’s snacks and other dry foods that companies have mistakenly considered immune to pathogens.

Research on raw ingredients, the guide notes, has found salmonella in 0.14 percent to 1.3 percent of the wheat flour sampled, and up to 8 percent of the raw spices tested.

ConAgra’s pot pie outbreak began on Feb. 20, 2007, and by the time it trailed off nine months later 401 cases of salmonella infection had been identified in 41 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that for every reported case, an additional 38 are not detected or reported.

It took until June 2007 for health officials to discover the illnesses were connected, and in October they traced the salmonella to Banquet pot pies made at ConAgra’s plant in Marshall, Mo.

While investigators who went to the plant were never able to pinpoint the salmonella source, inspectors for the United States Department of Agriculture focused on the vegetables, a federal inspection document shows.

ConAgra had not been requiring its suppliers to test the vegetables for pathogens, even though some were being shipped from Latin America. Nor was ConAgra conducting its own pathogen tests.

The company says the outbreak and management changes prompted it to undertake a broad range of safety initiatives, including testing for microbes in all of the pie ingredients. ConAgra said it was also trying to apply the kill step to as many ingredients as possible, but had not yet found a way to accomplish it without making the pies “unpalatable.”

Its Banquet pies now have some of the most graphic food safety instructions, complete with a depiction of a thermometer piercing the crust.

Pressed to say whether the meals are safe to eat if consumers disregard the instructions or make an error, Stephanie Childs, a company spokeswoman, said, “Our goal is to provide the consumer with as safe a product as possible, and we are doing everything within our ability to provide a safe product to them.”

“We are always improving food safety,” Ms. Childs said. “This is a long ongoing process.”

The U.S.D.A. said it required companies to show that their cooking instructions, when properly followed, would kill any pathogens. ConAgra says it has done such testing to validate its instructions.

Getting to ‘Kill Step’

But attempts by The New York Times to follow the directions on several brands of frozen meals, including ConAgra’s Banquet pot pies, failed to achieve the required 165-degree temperature. Some spots in the pies heated to only 140 degrees even as parts of the crust were burnt.

A ConAgra consumer hotline operator said the claims by microwave-oven manufacturers about their wattage power could not be trusted, and that any pies not heated enough should not be eaten. “We definitely want it to reach that 165-degree temperature,” she said. “It’s a safety issue.”

In 2007, the U.S.D.A.’s inspection of the ConAgra plant in Missouri found records that showed some of ConAgra’s own testing of its directions failed to achieve “an adequate lethality” in several products, including its Chicken Fried Beef Steak dinner. Even 18 minutes in a large conventional oven brought the pudding in a Kid Cuisine Chicken Breast Nuggets meal to only 142 degrees, the federal agency found.

Besides improving its own cooking directions, ConAgra says it has alerted other frozen food manufacturers to the food safety issues.

But in the absence of meaningful federal rules, other frozen-dinner makers that face the same problem with ingredients are taking varied steps, some less rigorous. Jim Seiple, a food safety official with the Blackstone unit that makes Swanson and Hungry-Man pot pies, said the company tested for pathogens, but only after preliminary tests for bacteria that were considered indicators of pathogens — a method that ConAgra abandoned after its salmonella outbreak.

The pot pie instructions have built-in margins of error, Mr. Seiple said, and the risk to consumers depended on “how badly they followed our directions.”

Some frozen food companies are taking different approaches to pathogens. Amy’s Kitchen, a California company that specializes in natural frozen foods, says it precooks its ingredients to kill any potential pathogens before its pot pies and other products leave the factory.

Using a bacteriological testing laboratory, The Times checked several pot pies made by Amy’s and the three leading brands, and while none contained salmonella or E. coli, one pie each of two brands — Banquet, and the Stouffer’s brand made by Nestlé — had significant levels of T. coliform.

These bacteria are common in many foods and are not considered harmful. But their presence in these products include raw ingredients and leave open “a potential for contamination,” said Harvey Klein, the director of Garden State Laboratories in New Jersey.

A Nestlé spokeswoman said the company enhanced its food safety instructions in the wake of ConAgra’s salmonella outbreak.

Danger in the Fridge

ConAgra’s episode has raised its visibility among victims like Ryan Warren, a 25-year-old law school student in Washington. A Seattle lawyer, Bill Marler, brought suit against ConAgra on behalf of Mr. Warren’s daughter Zoë, who had just turned 1 year old when she was fed a pot pie that he says put her in the hospital for a terrifying weekend of high fever and racing pulse.

“You don’t assume these dangers to be right in your freezer,” said Mr. Warren, who settled with ConAgra. He does not own a food thermometer and was not certain his microwave oven met the minimum 1,100-wattage requirement in the new pot pie instructions. “I do think that consumers bear responsibility to reasonably look out for their well-being, but the entire reason for this product to exist is for its convenience.”

Public health officials who interviewed the Warrens and other victims of the pot-pie contamination found that fewer than one in three knew the wattage of their microwave ovens, according to the C.D.C. report on the outbreak. The report notes, however, that nearly one in four of the victims reported cooking their pies in conventional ovens.

For more than a decade, the U.S.D.A. has also sought to encourage consumers to use food thermometers. But the agency’s statistics on how many Americans do so are discouraging. According to its Web site, not quite half the population has one, and only 3 percent use it when cooking high-risk foods like hamburgers. No data was available on how many people use thermometers on pot pies.

Andrew Martin contributed reporting.

Good Clean Food For Everyone! The Food Security Revolution and Environmental Health

by Gramma Willi

Relatives – like so many of us, I find myself more and more pleased that being an activist has become an easier road to walk. Victories for human rights and for the Earth increase in number and significance and we hear about them sooner than we used to. Everyone’s talking about green jobs. Our hopes are up, we may actually have an activist leading the free world – Yes We Can! It’s quite a time to be a part of it all, isn’t it?

One of my favorite stories about the changes in public attitude towards environment and health concerns feeding our children. So much has changed in my lifetime. As a young mother, it was almost impossible to find, let alone afford, organic baby food; it was tricky to find a place to breast-feed a baby in peace. These days, parents can find a wide variety of organic baby foods and formula in almost any supermarket; my grand-babies were all breast-fed (even the twins!) and fed organic baby foods. Now that the monopolies have more “natural” offerings available to consumers, are we happy with the production? Is there a next step that we need to take?

IICPH (International Institute of Concern for Public Health), whom I have worked with for many years, has a stellar reputation for providing independent, thoughtful analysis and corroborating community environmental health concerns. Most of our works for communities report on contamination of the air, land and water. It has always given me sadness when we report arsenic, tritium, mercury, lead or other highly damaging pollution where people have food gardens or farms. Food discussions at our youth and elder gatherings took on sad notes when realizing how very careful we must be where we grow our food, where it comes from and how it is prepared. We can make sensible choices when we consider our health.

The good news is, learning to choose, grow and cook good food provides not only sound environmental education, but when applied, benefits everyone’s health and saves people money! The truth is out there, people want clean food and groups like IICPH are uniquely positioned to help them to learn about it. Never has environmental health education been more timely and important… and good food is a delicious place to focus.

Perhaps the silver lining of the economic collapse is that the cards are on the table. Finally, the voices of old hippies and tireless activists are welcome and needed. The public continues to become informed and grows in wisdom as the next generation begins making its mark in history books and business reports. Let’s fill their bellies and minds with good things.

Remember that I love you

All My Relations,

Gramma Willi

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Gramma Willi has been working with IICPH since 1997. Expressions of her dedication to the clean food revolution can be found at http://roughtimes.ca and http://YouTube.com/roughtimescooking.

~~~~

Here are a few more resources to get you started if you want to do more about clean food:

http://www.foodsecurity.org/
The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC)
is a non-profit 501(c)(3), North American organization dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times.

http://www.toronto.ca/health/tfpc_index.htm
Toronto Food Policy Council
, 277 Victoria Street, Suite 203, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W1l: Wayne ““Taking control of our food” Roberts, Project Co-ordinator: 416-338-7937. Friends of Toronto Food Policy Council is on Facebook.
Their aim “is a food system that fosters equitable food access, nutrition, community development and environmental health.

http://www.foodsecuritynews.com/Resources.htm
The Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador
have a great page full of links to action going on all over!

Please email to Gramma Willi if you know of any more independent and reliable resources to help our Rough Times mission:

Good Clean Food For Everyone!

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 2:00 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Simple & Easy Subversion for Making Positive Change

Gramma Willi’s Random Blogging

5 March 2009

Some pals asked what I’m doing to re-engineer the current systems, subvert it, or any efforts towards positive change. Here’s my answer:

I seek to be, provide and share examples and opportunities for the actual application of change, especially social, environmental and economic sustainability. The thinking that I rely on holds each person as responsible to the next seven generations, as in the famous quotation, “We do not own the earth, we borrow it from our children.” I also say, we borrow from Mother Earth too, we depend on her for everything.

Using these kinds of teachings, I can avoid “stinking thinking.” This means, in a nutshell, “less is more.” The less money and resources that are wasted or destroyed, the more that they are respected and wisely used, the better. The more ways to give back as much as you get, the better.

As an example, I try to always make purchases from businesses that are at least working towards zero environmental impact. Everyone needs to be “in the loop.” I commit acts of subversion in my public questions and statements to people that I make purchases from, e.g. “Have you got a product that is non-toxic?” “organic?” “fair trade?” “made from renewable resources?” If they don’t have what I’m looking for, I sometimes walk away, but more often, I stay and tell them why I won’t buy the inferior product. Quite often, the next time I visit the business, a change has been made … victory!!!

I believe that the combined purchasing power of ordinary people holds the greatest potential for change at this time in history. And so, I commit acts of subversion by letting people know how powerful they really are. Sometimes I do this in groups around kitchen tables, yard sales, campfires and coffee shops; my own family is not immune to my actions to subvert “stinking thinking”.

The purchasing power that ordinary people have is a great tool to help us to make changes for ourselves and work with other ordinary folks.

Lately, I’ve been checking out blogs. This also seems to have the potential for maximizing the gifts of many people concurrently, all at once and in harmony. I like that!

All My Relations

Want to Survive the Rough Times? Think About Home Cooking

Gramma Willi’s Random Blogging

February 26, 2009

I’m getting excited about the changes all over the world, and I love this feeling. People are waking up all over, they are thinking about what they see and hear. They seem less afraid; maybe that’s because it’s so much easier to find out information on just about anything.

Wikipedia, activist blogs, alternative media, comment pages, all of these give us opinions that challenge – or increasingly, fit in with – what the governments and multinational media are saying. The climate is changing and so are we.

How will YOU survive this change? Gramma Willi says, let’s get back to the basics and let’s start with the food we eat.

I wrote the Rough Times Cookbook to open a door to stopping hunger and poverty, because it can be done. More than anything, it takes a change in thinking.

Think about processed food – just add water, microwave for 5 minutes, buy 2 hormone burgers for a dollar, try our special combo. “Supersize Me!” by Michael Moore tells the story in an hour and a half nutshell. That stuff will make you very sick very fast and can even kill you.

Think about home cooking – flour, baking powder, beans, that roast in the freezer, the taste of tomatoes in summer, the mouth-watering smell of a real slow-cooked stew, home made bread.

Think about the cost of cheap processed food compared to the stuff that takes a little time and care to cook.

Think about the garbage, chemical additives, pesticides, genetically engineered Frankenstein foods from factory farms.

There is is better way to eat and it should cost you less money, taste a lot better and leave the earth a whole lot better off.

If you’re already a convert, do me a favor. Have more dinner parties, lunch parties, feasts. We need to feed the people good food so that they know what it is and learn how to do it themselves.

Young people love eating and they love learning how to cook. It’s almost become a lost art. But we can change this, just like we worked together and changed the color of the President of the United States of America. Our youth are watching.

Good Food for everybody! Yes We Can!

All My Relations

Gramma Willi’s Random Blogging

Rough Times Come Again No More

It’s January 2009. Everybody’s talking about the world’s economic collapse. Canada said it’s officially in a DEPRESSION last week, while the United States, Asian and European countries are still calling it a RECESSION. This is leaving the rest of us wondering, what should we be doing about it?

Being old enough to be a Gramma, I’ve already been through a few recessions. I also listened hard to my Mom and a lot of other older-than-me people tell me what the last Depression was like. I’m pretty sure that this one will be way harder on big companies than on the average person… so relax a little, willya?

My strategy is to ignore the hype, get back to basics and do everything I can to share what works for my family with people who are asking what to do. After all, when you cut out the opinions of the media, your boss, banker, wealthy people and “experts,” the bottom line is “what can I do to help myself and my loved ones?”

I wrote the Rough Times Cookbook a few years back to help people like you and me. Lately, it seems a whole lot more important to get it out there as widely as possible! People are starving in cities, towns, whole regions of the Earth and it’s NOT because we don’t have enough food to feed us all. Answer questions about what we eat, spend our money on, how and and where and why we buy things and you’ll find out important truths about yourself and our world.

Seems to me, too many of us are acting like the big companies – selfish and lazy. Too many of us depend on governments and big companies and don’t take control of the little money that we do have. Not enough of us are learning OR doing what it takes to take care of our communities and our lives and become more self sufficient. For us little guys to survive, supporting each other is the name of the game… after all, the big guys are bailing each other out like crazy, aren’t they?

If you take the information I’m offering to help you take immediate action to get and stay ahead financially, then I’ve done my job. Support this work and then you’ve done your job.

Love, peace, hugs and full bellies for all

Gramma Willi

P.S. My next move is to get Rough Times cooking stuff published and televised… anybody out there interested in a fun, radical, waaaay-cool cooking show? Well then, let’s have a cup of tea together!