Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why this blog?

Why this blog?

The inspiration of this blog was from my German son – Jan. He thought I should write about being an ‘American’ Mom. Mom came from my son Z. The ‘American’ title came from my first two Youth For Understanding (YFU) children Jakob (Denmark) and Stina (Sweden). The cooking bit? Ayumi (Japan) our fourth – she is the food photographer. All these young people – I’d call World Walkers.

What it means to be a world walker?

Anytime a person gets in a car or a plane and goes at least 150 miles (240 km) away from home is a world walker. A world walker is someone packs up and leaves home. This person is someone who’s willing to give up what is comfortable to discover something about other people and places. Often time you end up discovering things new about yourself. You’ll discover the passions of new music, new ways of doing things and food.

For the YFU teens who travel many miles to spend a year abroad. I applaud their courage. To experience a new culture, figure out the currency, unable to speak your native language, to be immerse within a new family, with all the ups and downs, tears and joys and new ways of doing things – how brave you are to step onto the plane.

Mark Twain wrote: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." As a world walker, I believe you can become more globally aware of people, cultures and languages. Often I come back home realizing how blessed I am. More often, I come home appreciating others differences and willing to celebrate them.

What will be on this blog?

  • Stories about experiencing differences
  • Recipes
  • What it's like to be an American Mom
  • Perhaps some guest essays from my YFU children
  • Traveling
  • Photographs
I've included a recipe for tomato sauce. When my YFU children have arrived to our home it is the height of tomato season. You either need to use them (the tomatoes) or lose them.

Recipe for Crockpot Tomato Sauce
From many sources.......
  • Cut up enough tomatoes (skins and all ) from your garden or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to fill your crockpot up to two inches (5 cm) from the top.
  • 1 medium onion cut up
  • 1 carrot cut up
  • 1 celery cut up
  • 1 pepper cut up
  • 4 cloves of garlic - smashed
  • 4 Tablespoons (15 ml) of Italian Seasoning (or in my case - walk into your garden and pick, oregano, rosemary, basil and thyme)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of pepper
  • (Sometimes I add fresh basil, chard or spinach to this mixture)
Cook everything in a crockpot on medium setting all day. I usually start around 12:00 on Sunday and cook it to about 6:00 pm.

Puree tomato mixture by putting it into the food processor in small batches Be very careful this is hot! Dump mixture into a larger pot and cook down while stirring.

If I’m not planning on using the whole batch in the next couple of days – I can it. If you plan on canning please read up on how to do this. I add lemon juice to my jars to increase the acid in my sauce. I'm sharing the OSU extension site for your use if you decide to can you can find many other sources on the web and youtube.

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