Appalachian Appetites

International Inspiration, Local Ingredients

About Ann February 2, 2010

Just Give Me The Quick Facts! (if you just want the basics, click here)

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Hi!  My name is Ann, and I live near Asheville, North Carolina.  I grew up in North Carolina (just a bit north of Charlotte) and have recently moved with my husband from Togo, West Africa back to the State.  Yep, that’s right…Togo.  It is a small country in West Africa where I served as a Peace Corps volunteer.  I was a Girls Education and Empowerment volunteer and had a wonderful time living and working with the people of Togo.  I have always enjoyed cooking and eating and during my time in Togo, I learned more about African food but also how to cook American meals on a small gas stove with limited ingredients.  I am back in America and cannot wait to continue cooking.  I bring to the table not only an appreciation of using only local, fresh ingredients (the only kind available in Africa!), but also the love of trying new foods.  I can’t say I still crave okra sauce with dried fish, but I do appreciate the opportunity to taste new ingredients and can’t wait to keep trying new dishes.  I am glad you’ve found my blog and I hope you will join me in my new adventure.  I welcome comments and questions so don’t hesitate to contact me.  And as we said in Togo, “Bon Appetit!”

Here's where the magic happened...

What Am I Cooking?

I strive to use mostly local, fresh ingredients.  While this is a challenge and sometimes causes my brain to hurt while thinking of yummy and available recipes, I am committed to supporting local farmers.  I also believe local food is healthier not only for me and my husband, but also for the earth.  I am not a “locavore” (only eating food produced within 100 miles of my home).  However, ideally, I want to buy only local meat and produce.  The ideal is hard, but with my own patience and Nathan’s encouragement, I am up for the challenge.  I have several ideas in store for my challenge so stay tuned.  And even though it is still winter and fresh produce is almost impossible to find, I’m going to make a big effort.  So follow the blog and see how I do!

My Inspiration

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Having used only local, fresh ingredients in Togo – Often this meant few or no vegetables and having to ask a neighbor to kill the chicken for me!

Reading other food blogs – My favorites use whole foods and cook much from scratch!

Gardening – I had a garden in Togo with fresh herbs, radishes, tomatoes, and cabbage.  I am currently growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce at while while also participating in a community garden.

Farmers’ Markets and CSAs– only the fresh and the local need arrive! Perfect for my recipes!

My garden in Togo!

 

12 Responses to “About Ann”

  1. Ann,
    SO cool, friend! Although I’m sure that what’s available to you in NC won’t always be what’s available to us here in CO, I’ll definitely look forward to following your blog and getting great ideas for eating locally and seasonally. I’ll also happily send you any helpful ideas that have been working well for our family, too. Hope life in NC is feeling good for you two these days… we miss you!
    Much love,
    Kristin

  2. Hi Ann,

    Yep, we’re doing the same CSA we did last year, a wonderful little farm just a few minutes from our house. They open up the place on Tuesday afternoons so that members can come and walk the fields, feed the chickens and horses, etc. My little guys LOVE it, and it’s so meaningful to have such a personal connection to our food. Take care, friend!

  3. Lori Says:

    Hi,
    What a fun thing to take on! Hugh wants to know if you have gotten into “ramps” yet? There is a ramp festival in Waynesville each year supposedly.

    Question, I had an old bread maker and finally said goodbye to it. Do you have a suggestion for a “modern” one that is easy to use and EASY to CLEAN?

    Love your blog, keep going!
    Love, L

    • I just learned about ramps! I think there is a festival in May. But I saw one in March in Cherokee! I may have to check it out 😉 As for bread makers, mine is Oster and I bought it at Walmart. But I have seen Cuisinart ones on Overstock.com. I think all of them out there are modern and as for the Oster, it was SUPER easy to clean! And the bread just slipped right out of the pan with no need to grease it before hand. Very simple. I recommend a bread maker 😉

  4. brandi Says:

    Hi there! I found a link through KathEats and am happy to find another somewhat local blogger! I live in Southwest VA in the middle of Appalachia and LOVE it 🙂

  5. annecalista Says:

    Just found your blog- interesting story! It’s good to see one more person interested in fresh, local, REAL food 🙂

  6. I’m so glad you commented on my blog so I could find another NC blogger! My brother lived in Asheville and Fletcher for a while and I loved visiting that area.

  7. Angie Says:

    Hi Ann! So glad you find your blog. Love the name!

    I look forward to reading more – living in Togo sounds awesome – and I look forward to reading more about your local food adventures!

  8. John Says:

    I just learned about ramps! I think there is a festival in May. But I saw one in March in Cherokee! I may have to check it out As for bread makers, mine is Oster and I bought it at Walmart. But I have seen Cuisinart ones on Overstock.com. I think all of them out there are modern and as for the Oster, it was SUPER easy to clean! And the bread just slipped right out of the pan with no need to grease it before hand. Very simple. I recommend a bread maker
    +1

  9. Ashley Says:

    LOVE your story. You are amazing!!


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