It’s Sunday. This is my usual day to walk down the hill to the Hollywood Farmers Market to do a Market Matters post. I love the market and rarely miss it.
But today is an exception because we are having a fundraiser for the people of Haiti at my house this afternoon. It’s part of StirIt28 a nationwide, multi-city effort by members of the food blogging community to help bring some relief to Haiti. One hundred percent of the money we raise today will go to Share Our Strength.
Well when I get to thinking about food and community, I get a little misty. I can’t help it. That’s because food sustains life. The people of Haiti desperately need this sustenance. The stories of what is going on there will tear you apart. Getting food, water, medicine, and shelter are the first needs that need to be met. The charities we are benefiting today are ready and able to provide these needs. They just need financial resources. That is where the help you and I can provide is essential. That is the reason I opened my home to this event.
But I also know that food is much more than nourishment, and it does not take a tragedy to realize that food has cultural value too. This is where we food bloggers as a community come in.
I am of the belief that food makes people happy. And I believe that there is a connection between food and our human spirit. And that the comfort food brings to people reminds me that what we put into our mouths three times a day, seven days a week says something about us individually and as a culture.
So I think it’s appropriate that food bloggers and others in the foodie community will gather at my house today. Yes, we will be raising money, and that’s a very good thing. But we will be doing something for ourselves and our community too. Because the food we eat today will bring us comfort. It will sustain us and remind us how lucky we are. Because let’s face it, we live in Southern California where an earthquake can and probably will impact our lives in some way.
So as we gather today to share food with one another; we are happy to be providing a small amount of hope and help to the people of Haiti. But we are also bringing support and sustenance to our own community. Because food can do all that.
One of the foods I am providing for the event today is Spicy Nuts with Fried Garlic, Shallots & Rosemary
Makes 5 cups CLICK here for a printable recipe.
- 5 c mixed nuts, such as walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts
- 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small shallots, thinly sliced crosswise into rings to yield about 1/4 cup
- 5 clv garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1â„4 c coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1â„2 t crushed red-pepper flakes, or to more taste
- 1 T firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 T kosher salt
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the nuts in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Toast until the nuts are golden and fragrant, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. Transfer the nuts to a large bowl and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic; fry until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the shallots and garlic to paper towels. Set aside.
Melt the butter and pour it over the nuts. Add the rosemary, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and salt and stir well to combine. Toss in the crispy garlic and shallots. Serve warm. The nuts may be reheated in a 300 degree F. oven for 10 minutes.
SERIOUS FUN FOOD