How Green Is Your Culinary Style? – The Rise & Resurgence of Homemade Bread-Making in the USA!

After a century of industrial bread-making, homemade bread-making is returning to the forefront of the American cooking scene in a very big way whether it be baking bread in a wood-fired oven or registering in one of a number of professional bread-baking programs across the USA – from San Francisco’s Baking Institute to New York City’s International Culinary Center. Simultaneously with the huge growth of social networking sites such as ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’, bread aficionados can now order gift boxes of specialty breads online and share notes on artisanal bread-makers of all sorts ranging from Klinger’s Bread Company in Vermont to Zingerman’s in Michigan, from Erick Schat’s Bakery in California to Monks’ Bread in New York and Dave’s Killer Bread in Oregon.

This is not the first time in America history that “healthy eating” has metamorphosed into a cultural way of life but in societal terms –homemade bread is “big” – and its effects have changed even the largest supermarket chains where whole wheat bread sales have now surpassed white bread sales ever since 2009.

Let’s see then, how well you know your Bread-baking trivia in the United States of America.

1-San Francisco is nationally known for its high-quality artisanal bread but which type of durable bread put San Francisco on many a miner’s map during the California Gold Rush from 1848-1855?

2- During the American Revolutionary War, on May 3, 1777, Christopher Ludwick, a German-American confectioner in Philadelphia was given the unique responsibility of overseeing all bread production for the Continental Army.  What was his official title?

3-What Oregon-born chef and food critic said “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts”?

4- What was the name of the “root” bread given to the Lewis & Clark expedition by the Nez Perce Indians during their 1804-06 journey to the Pacific coast?

5- During the American Civil War, citizens, mostly women, began to protest the exorbitant price of bread.  What was the name given to the events of civil unrest that took place in the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia during April of 1863?

6- What bread-derived name was given to American soldiers during World War I whose origins harken back to the infantry forces during the Mexican-American of 1846-48?

7- Most American schoolchildren know Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 – but do you know the name of the flatbread he and his men were greeted with by the Native Arawak Indians?

8- Invented in the 19th century and developed in the compact kitchen of a sleeping railroad car, what is the name of the block-shaped bread named for the eponymous inventor of this train car?

9- Sometimes called the “Gopher State” and the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, what U.S. state is also known as the “Bread and Butter State” because of its numerous flour mills and butter-making plants?

10- First made by Native American Indian tribes, now celebrated as a national festival in Tennessee each year in April and in Thanksgiving Day stuffings every November, what is the name of this traditional quick bread?

11- A popular phrase in the American lexicon is “the greatest thing since sliced bread”. However, do you know when the first automatic bread-slicing machine was commercially used in the USA? And what state did its inventor, Otto Frederick Rohwedder, a jeweler, hail from?

12- Founded in 1993, what is the name of the non-profit coalition of farmers, millers, suppliers, educators, students, home bakers, professional bakers, and baking owners and managers – that has dedicated itself to the advancement of the artisan baking profession in America?

Answers: (1) Sourdough Bread (2) Baker General (3) James Beard (4) Camas Bread (5) The Southern Bread Riots (6) Doughboy (7) Cassava Bread (8) Pullman Loaf  (9) Minnesota  (10) Cornbread (11) 1928/Iowa (12) The Bread Bakers Guild of America

A Tribute to Nature – Remembering Britain’s Romantic Era Poets & New England’s Fireside Poets!

August 16, 2012 by  
Filed under ECO-ARTS

From 1790 to 1830, six British poets – Blake, Byron, Coleridge, Keats, Shelly, Wordsworth – were busy shaping a movement known as “Romanticism” that elevated “nature” to its most poetic splendor .   Meanwhile across the pond in New England, from 1800 to 1865 five ‘fireside’ poets – Bryant, Holmes, Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier – (also known as the ‘schoolroom’ poets) – were developing the same kind of poetry but in a way which made their body of work easy to memorize and recite at school and at home.   See how well you can match their nature-themed verses (V1 thru V11) with the appropriate authors and titles (A thru K).


A. William Wordsworth (I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud)

B. James Russell Lowell (The First Snowfall)

C. Percy Bysshe Shelly (Ode to a Skylark)

D. William Cullen Bryant (The Planting of the Apple-Tree)

E. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Frost at Midnight)

F. John Greenleaf Whittier (Snow-Bound)

G. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (The Last Leaf)

H. Lord Byron (Adieu, Adieu! My Native Shore)

I.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Song of Hiawatha)

J. John Keats (A Draught of Sunshine)

K. William Blake (Ah Sunflower)


(V1) The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry Came loud–and hark, again! loud as before. The inmates of my cottage, all at rest….

(V2) Adieu, adieu! my native shore  Fades o’ver the waters blue;  The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,  And shrieks the wild sea-mew….

(V3) And if I should live to be The last leaf upon the tree In the spring, Let them smile, as I do now, At the old forsaken bough Where I cling….

(V4) Every pine and fir and hemlock Wore ermine too dear for an earl, And the poorest twig on the elm-tree Was ridged inch deep with pearl….

(V5) Ah Sunflower, weary of time, Who countest the steps of the sun; Seeking after that sweet golden clime Where the traveller’s journey is done….

(V6) I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils….

(V7) By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis….

(V8) Hence Burgundy, Claret, and Port, Away with old Hock and madeira, Too earthly ye are for my sport; There’s a beverage brighter and clearer. Instead of a piriful rummer, My wine overbrims a whole summer; My bowl is the sky, And I drink at my eye….

(V9) What plant we in this apple-tree! Fruits that shall swell in sunny June, And redden in the August noon, And drop, when gentle airs come by, That fan the blue September sky, While children come, with cries of glee, And seek them where the fragrant grass Betrays their bed to those who pass, At the foot of the apple-tree….

(V10) As zigzag wavering to and fro Crossed and recrossed the wingéd snow: And ere the early bedtime came The white drift piled the window-frame, And through the glass the clothes-line posts Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts….

(V11) Higher still and higher From the earth thou springest, Like a cloud of fire; The blue deep thou wingest, And singing still dost soar and soaring ever singest….


‘A’:Wordsworth (I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud)-V6

‘B’:Lowell (The First Snowfall)-V4

‘C’:Shelly (Ode to a Skylark)-V11

‘D’:Bryant (The Planting of the Apple-Tree)-V9

‘E’:Coleridge (Frost at Midnight)-V1

‘F’:Whittier (Snow-Bound)-V10

‘G’:Holmes Sr. (The Last Leaf)-V3

‘H’:Byron (Adieu, Adieu! My Native Shore)-V2

‘I’:Longfellow (The Song of Hiawatha)-V7

‘J’:Keats (A Draught of Sunshine)-V8

‘K’:Blake (Ah Sunflower)-V5

Unusual Global Eco-Alliances That You Should Know About!

Even though we are all citizens of the same world, it may not be so obvious to most of us of the ‘names’ of certain orgnizations that have coalesced together in recent years to tackle the problem of protecting our planet – specifically the continual global assault on our environmental resources and the health of all of its inhabitants. Call it “planetary justice” if you like, but behind the scenes these six organizations are transforming the way we live and look at this world as human beings whilst building a more sustainable greener planet. There is much to do to preserve just our own local communities and societal heritage here at home but we at Cherltons Green Guide cannot but help to give a high approbation to these wonderfully inspiring multi-dimensional, interdisciplinary “eco-global alliances”. They are as follows:

1. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Being an American, I take for granted my quiet GE electric cooktop stove.  But did you know that 40% of the world’s population in parts of Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean still cook over open fires and on rudimentary cookstoves? – And they are using dung, brush, charcoal, and crop residues as their cooking fuel?  The shocking truth is that the smoke from these solid fuels causes a wide range of illnesses from respiratory infections to cardiovascular disease, from lung cancer to child pneumonia, from increased cataracts to low birth-weights.  Another words four million people die each year from household cooking smoke each year.  Hence, the goal of this organization is “to foster the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in 100 million households by 2020.

2. Eco Health Alliance Being a Texan, I am all too familiar with the recent outbreaks of the West Nile virus being reported in the media in this part of the country, but did you know that 60-75% of emerging infectious diseases that affect humans originate in animals? And that two thirds of these animals are wild animals? Hence, the goal of this global, non-profit organization is to prevent the transmission of these EID’s (Emerging Infectious Diseases) from becoming pandemic. And at the same time, this organization is determined to protect the delicate ecosystems of endangered wildlife species as the link between these two goals is interrelated and can affect both human health as well as global biodiversity.

3. Global Climate Change Alliance Living in Texas, I am very aware that 94% of the state is abnormally dry. But did you know that weird weather patterns are also adversely hitting the ‘Least Developed Countries’ (LDC’s) such as Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Guyana, and the ‘Small Island Developing States’ such as the Solomon Islands, Seychelles, Maldives, and Jamaica? Even though these countries have contributed the least to green house gas emissions? Hence, the goal of this European Union-sponsored organization is to both provide informational exchange and technical and financial support to developing countries on ways to build and integrate a “climate-resilient low-carbon economy”, to incorporate “disaster risk reduction strategies” and to support investments in renewable energies and land resource protection and adaption programs.

4. Trusted Adventures Alliance Being an experienced world traveler in search of unique one-of-a-kind travel adventures whose touring itineraries typically combine eco-sports such as hiking, biking, walking, rafting and kayaking with cultural anthropological immersions into traditional indigenous communities, I have found it best to partner up with tour operating companies that are internationally known for their responsible travel practices, exceptional guest services, and uncompromising quality. Such is the case with these nine independently operating travel companies –Austin-Lehman Adventures, Wildland Adventures, ROW Adventures, The Wayfarers, Myths and Mountains, American Safari Cruises, Western River Expeditions, Ciclismo Classico, and Great Alaska International Adventure Vacations – all of whom have joined together to “provide authentic, transformational travel experiences” for individuals, families, and groups with the aim of “preserving our planet and its cultural heritage”. To ensure sustainable travel experiences for the future and promote existing local economies, this organization has also been active in funding conservation programs, libraries, and “cleaner” motorized boats – again with the aim of protecting natural resources and world communal heritage throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.

5. Global Human Ecodynamics Alliance Being a cultural anthropologist myself by training, I am fascinated by the field of “Human Ecodynamics” which looks at “the past and present global interactions of humans and the natural world, using fields of inquiry and methods of investigation from anthropology, archaeology, sociology, geosciences, climatology, biological sciences, art, history, and political science.” Hence the goal of this organization is to foster – “working groups” – interested researchers from an array of backgrounds and studies who voluntarily collaborate with each other around a particular project and a common purpose – the biological and sociological interactions of humans and their ecosystems over space and time. Two such collective examples of these working groups now under discussion are: 1) “the issue of coastal erosion as it affects human communities past and present” and 2) “global climate change and the attendant serious threats to the global archaeological record”.

6. Global Green Grants Fund Like most Americans, I do my bit everyday in giving to charities that support animal rights and promote land and ocean conservation efforts right here in the USA – but this association of “changemakers” does a great deal more! It is a public charity that funds eco-related projects primarily in the developing world and emerging economies – projects that address “toxic contamination, destruction of natural resources, disappearance of water, food, and work and displacement from traditional lands”. Their mission in essence is “to mobilize resources for global environmental sustainability and social justice” and since 1993 they have been doing just that – making nearly 6,000 grants to youth groups, tribal councils, and non-governmental organizations who are in need of basic educational resources and infrastructure and “green” leadership.