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a life inspired

march-april 2012








& guide to



detox, composting 101




other nature has been good to Virginia. From sparkling Atlantic shores to the awe-inspiring Blue Ridge Mountains, along every river and down every valley, you’ll feel it. A journey through Virginia brings you closer to nature, filling the senses at every turn. You’ll taste it in just-caught seafood and fresh-from-thefarm fruits and vegetables at tables throughout the state. Inspired by nature’s gifts, Virginia chefs are creating a landscape of new combinations to explore, rivaling any in the nation. Plan your trip around four-star dining, farmstand wandering, farm tours or a quest for the best of the new south’s comfort food.


erfect pairings abound here. As you sip the crisp, flavorful bounty of Virginia’s vineyards, you’ll discover a blossoming wine region’s ongoing love of nature’s beauty. With sustainable practices in place, many Virginia wineries are taking great care to honor and maintain the health and vitality of the land, finding ways to combine natural and organic ways to grow and harvest the state’s grapes. Follow Virginia’s Wine Trails

to nearly 200 wineries across the state to sample varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir, along with hybrid grapes like Seyval, Vidal Blanc and Chambourcin. Right from the barrel, or a vintage favorite, every sip reflects a spirit of caring and cultivation that goes back to Thomas Jefferson’s time.


urrounded by inspiring vistas, lifted up by sensory delights, your Virginia journey will lead you to new experiences. Add to the thrills of Virginia’s scenic beauty with an adrenaline rush that will have you singing nature’s praises – outdoor adventure like ziplining at Bryce Resort or kayaking on the Eastern Shore. From hiking the ridges of Shenandoah National Park to paddling the waters of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia’s state and national parks offer access to endless trails, waterways, forests and countryside. Rekindle your love of the land and enjoy the open air. Discover what nature has in store for you on vacation in Virginia.

BREATHE MAGAZINE editor in chief Marissa Hermanson

table of contents FEATURES

contributing writers Aleigh Acerni Erica Jackson Curran Jodi Helmer Heather Houskeeper Alyssa Mercadante Sarah Nowicki Colleen Oakley Jessica R. Schneidman Sarah Sekula Beth Waldman Carrie Williams

16 Hip Homemakers Blogosphere showcases domesticity, empowers women

21 Plant Walkin' Mountains to the sea and everything in between

copy editor Beth Waldman

23 Simply Fresh

art director Megan Jordan

Chefs dish on locavore cuisine, philosophy

senior designer

Wedding Lookbook 16 28 Something bold, something new

Amanda Powers

associate designer Lauren Walker

contributing photographer Naomi Johnson Virginie Blanchère Parker Michels-Boyce

IT director Craig Snodgrass

digital media coordinator Jack Murray

publisher Charles Leonard

president Blake DeMaso

account executives Dusty Allison: Martha Evans: Leah Woody: Nick Noe:

business manager Melissa Gessler




distribution manager Chuck Grigsby

contact us 116 WEST JEFFERSON STREET CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22902 434.817.2755 56 COLLEGE STREET, SUITE 303 ASHEVILLE, NC 28801 828.225.0868 © 2012 Summit Publishing, LLC. To carry Breathe in your store call 434.817.2755.

cover © Naomi Johnson,

5 EDITOR'S NOTE 6 HEALTH How to detox without starving 9 FITNESS Dirty details of adventure racing 10 IN THE SPOTLIGHT Master Gardeners teach kids about compost 11 NEST Winged Wonderland 13 DIY Bring nature indoors

15 BOOK REVIEWS Curl up with our top picks 27 BEAUTY Earth-friendly products 30 TRAVEL: CHARLESTON, S.C. Holy City Hideaways

26 March - April 2012


Make every trip a stress-free adventure

Guide to the

N­ational Parks of the United States

Seventh Edition

National Geographic guidebooks are your gateway to the great outdoors! Whether you enjoy hiking, camping, or simply siteseeing, these comprehensive guides are filled with time-tested information and expert tips to make the most of your journey.

Traveling with kids? These boredombusting books are the antidote to “Are we there yet?,”packed with amazing and amusing information, colorful maps and photographs, games and puzzles, roadside attractions, silly signs, and much more!


Find us at

Look for National Geographic’s new National Parks app for iPad® and iPhone®. Apple®, iPad®, and iPhone® are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

4 Breathe.indd 1

2/2/12 1:39 PM



ive months have passed since I have been here at Breathe Magazine ­— and what from a distance seemed to be a big (yet exciting) undertaking has turned out to be a fulfilling, creative endeavor that fills me with joy. After the new year, the publishers, art team and I sat down to talk about Breathe Magazine and where it was going. We talked about creating an ongoing dialogue and connecting with our readers on a digital platform. With eight print issues each year, we want to make sure we are reaching our readers online on a daily basis. With that in mind, Breathe’s design team completely revamped the website, giving it a face-lift and adding some fun features.’s fresh, clean look lets the beauty of the content shine through.

While Breathe Magazine is still distributed throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, we decided to take the bold step of making Breathe a digital publication as well, so our readers across the region can page through the stories and connect with our writers. We completely restructured our website, too, separating our blog content from the print magazine, making the site easier to navigate and prettier to look at. You now can find a digital page-turning version of all Breathe’s issues on the website. We also rejuvenated our blog, which features posts on style, books, do-it-yourself projects, gardening, fitness, food, travel and inspirational essays. Over the course of the past few months, we have welcomed a team of new bloggers, who have added rich content and diverse voices to our website. We are so excited to have our new contributors on board and a beautiful new website to showcase their stories. We hope you join our conversation online as well. We want to stay connected with our readers through all platforms — whether you are a Tweep, Pinner (yes, we are on Pinterest, too!) or friend on Facebook. We also redesigned our e-newsletter, so be sure to sign up to get the latest from Help us keep the conversation going and stay connected. Cheers,


March - April 2012



Try spring cleaning your body in these three easy steps. You’ll see and feel results in as little as three days.

HOW TO DETOX — WITHOUT STARVING! Forget juice fasts that leave you hungry and cranky. Try this safe and healthy way to spring clean your body and mind.

ASK THE EXPERT Q: How often should I detox? A: “Ideally, cleansing twice a year is good for the body,” Dr. Jennifer Greenfield says. “I recommend the spring and fall — waiting six months between each cleanse.” For more information on Dr. Greenfield’s 21-day Standard Process Purification Program, go to:

When you hear the word “detox,” you probably think of celebrity “lose weight fast“ regimens that consist of drinking nothing but lemon juice and cayenne pepper for days at a time. Sure, they may help you shed pounds, but experts say besides leaving you ravenous, they can actually do damage to your body. “Extreme detoxes are dangerous and can actually make you sick,” says Dr. Jennifer Greenfield, nutrition expert at the Center for Chiropractic & Wellness in Raleigh, N.C. “The process should be gentle.” Detox is actually just a word that means ridding your liver, kidneys, colon and small and large intestines of toxins. And it’s not just for the hardcore health nut. “Cleansing is important for everyone because of the sheer quantity of processed foods, chemicals and unnatural substances we are all subjected to that build up toxins in our bodies,” says Mary McGuire-Wien, author of “The 7 Day Total Cleanse." “A cleanse GOOD BACTERIA: During a detox, you can is simply a vacation from these toxins.” But on support your digestion even more by taking this vacation, you’ll actually lose weight, among probiotics that can help rid your body of other health benefits. Experts say detoxing excess waste. Try eating more yogurt or taking can help improve your digestion, reduce food a probiotic supplement like In-Liven Certified cravings, increase your energy, reduce headaches, Organic Probiotic. help prevent disease — and even increase your sex drive! What are you waiting for? 6

Eliminate all processed, unnatural and hard-to-digest foods from your diet including: coffee, alcohol, refined sugars, processed starches and gluten. (Some experts also recommend avoiding meat as it can be tough to digest). Stock your fridge with organic fruits and vegetables, including these top four detoxifiers: GREEN LEAFY VEGGIES such as kale, wheatgrass, spinach, alfalfa, chard, arugula and other organic greens. These veggies are chockfull of chlorophyll, which rids the body of harmful environmental toxins from smog, heavy metals, herbicides, cleaning products and pesticides. Green leafy veggies are also high in naturally occurring sulfur and glutathione, which helps the liver detoxify harmful chemicals, says J.J. Smith, author of “Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out!“ HOW TO PREPARE: Eat lots of fresh, raw salads, or if you have a juicer you can add green leafy veggies to your morning juice. ONIONS, SCALLIONS (green onions), and SHALLOTS are sources of sulfurcontaining amino acids that help detoxify the liver. Raw red onions are particularly beneficial as they contain quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory that enhances liver function. HOW TO PREPARE: Eat one sliced raw onion in a salad every day. CITRUS FRUITS such as grapefruits, lemons, limes and oranges flush out toxins as well as jumpstart the digestive tract with enzymatic processes. HOW TO PREPARE: Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass of warm water and drink each morning. GARLIC stimulates the liver to produce detoxification enzymes that help filter out toxic residues in the digestive system. HOW TO PREPARE: Add sliced or cooked garlic to any dish for flavor and an extra detox boost. Take care of your body. Detoxing isn’t just about what you eat. It should also be a vacation from stress. Don’t try to detox when you’re on a deadline at work or going through a stressful life event. While cleansing, try to add yoga, meditation, positive affirmations and a full eight hours of sleep into your daily routine. Not only will your body feel better, but your mind will too! — COLLEEN OAKLEY

March - April 2012


Unwind and reconnect at Snowbird Mountain Lodge with stylish cuisine, hot stone massages, mountain biking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, and much more. 4633 Santeetlah Rd. Robbinsville, NC 28771 800.941.9290 8


ways to get off your duff



Jessica Meadows was carefully, but briskly, making her way though a field of tires in the North Carolina foothills. The fit 31-year-old had practiced it many times before. Easy enough, she thought. This would be the least of her worries. Next, a Dumpster encounter. She hoisted herself up and into the Dumpster. Fortunately, it was empty. Then up and over. Out of the Dumpster. Repeat that six times; her legs were wobbly. Yet onward she raced in a quest to conquer the Warrior Dash. This, after all, was her

What’s next for Meadows? The Tough Mudder, perhaps. It’s the marathon equivalent to the Warrior Dash. Or maybe Metro Dash, a set of about 30 different tasks performed quickly. Needless to say, the options abound. And people of all athletic levels line up in droves to participate in adventure races. If you are one of those, here are ways to get in top-notch condition. First, the amount of time to devote to training depends on the event and your level of fitness. “If you’re a regular gymgoer and incorporate

first adventure race, and it was much more enjoyable than her 2010 marathon. For starters, other competitors were donning superhero masks, tutus and Viking costumes. And better yet, turkey legs and live music would greet her at the finish. Then, she spotted it. The dreaded rope wall, about 20 feet tall with very few foot holds. “I didn’t think about it,” she recalls. “I just grabbed the first empty rope and started climbing.” At the top, she almost glanced down, but her fear of heights screamed, “No!“ Over the wall. Down the ladder. Meadows was nearing sweet victory, but not before the mud bog. Gingerly, she slinked in, but it was like quicksand and nearly sucked her shoes right off. She slogged through the waist-deep muck to the barbed wire and crawled her way to the finish.

circuits, interval or metabolic training into your workouts, you should be fine for the Metro Dash,” says Terence Taylor, personal trainer at Virginia-based TD Fitness. “If you train this way and have a good endurance base from regular cardio, that should prepare you for the Warrior Dash.” Again, the Tough Mudder, a 10- to 12-milelong course with 16 obstacles, is a different monster. “It requires more endurance training similar to preparing for a triathlon,” Taylor says. This type of training prepares your muscles, heart and lungs to continue to perform even when you’re plum exhausted. Prepare by running at least two to three times per week. (Note: The Tough Mudder website recommends being able to run 5 miles, which equates to 45 to 60 minutes of running for most people.) Keep in mind, the Tough Mudder can take

Metro Dash - Mud Warrior - Primal Mud Run - Spartan Race - Tough Mudder Warrior Dash

up to five hours to complete and may include anything from log-carrying to running through live electrical wires. If you are not in shape, you might want to start with a shorter, less challenging race. Taylor suggests training six months in advance for the Tough Mudder, three for Warrior Dash and two for the Metro Dash. To prepare yourself for the state of exhaustion you will experience during the race, Taylor suggests two runs and two strength sessions each week at the minimum. “If you’re not already working out at least four times per week, increase the number of workouts per week and bump up the intensity by taking shorter rest periods between exercises, faster paces during your run, interval workouts, etc.” Beyond that, focus on functional training — exercises that mimic movement patterns you experience in daily life, or in this case, during your race. “For example, it doesn’t make much sense to do bicep curls or calf raises in preparation for the obstacles you’ll encounter during the race,” Taylor says. “More appropriate exercises would be pull-ups to help you prepare to pull yourself up and over walls, or squats to build the leg and core strength required for climbing hills and carrying objects.” All that being said, the races are definitely challenging, mainly because people don’t get to exercise in this way very often. You may be a rock star in the gym, but these events are all outdoors, so you must contend with the elements, too. — SARAH SEKULA March - April 2012



SALVATION FOR THE SOIL Hill City Master Gardeners teach youth about compost The Hill City Master Gardeners in Lynchburg, Va., spend a lot of their time digging in the dirt — and as of lately, teaching at schools, too. In addition to creating the Compost Education Center in the city more than a decade ago, the gardeners have taken their education efforts to the next level and teach kids the dirty details of composting at area elementary schools. “We don’t think enough about growing our soil and improving our soil,” says owner of Irvington Springs Farm and Master Gardener Kaye Moomaw, who heads up the compost center in Lynchburg’s historic Old City Cemetery. “… We see people recycling, but we can also recycle our food scraps. I tell the kids what goes into composting. Encourage them if we recycle and compost we can take 80 percent of waste out of the waste stream — and that’s a lot of waste not going to the dump." The Master Gardeners visit elementary schools in the spring and teach kids about healthy soil and composting to help them fulfill their science credits. A Virginia Cooperative Extension agent gives a presentation to the kids and then the Master Gardeners take them outside for some hands-on composting

and plant activities. Last year, about 330 kids participated in the education program. The compost center also welcomes schools, day camps and other groups to tour the cemetery’s grounds to see the compost tumblers, garden beds and vermiculture bins filled with writhing red wrigglers. “The kids ask questions — about if snakes or bugs are in it. The biggest challenge is getting them to understand the science behind it; it’s a natural process and it happens in the woods and we just don’t pay attention to it. By putting it all together in a pile, we make it happen fast. I think most of them think it’s a good idea and they almost always want a worm bin,” Moomaw says and laughs. “Overall, they get pretty excited about it.” The gardeners show the kids how easy it is to compost at home and tell their parents that having a worm bin is low maintenance and not stinky. The kids shred and moisten newspaper for worm bedding and the gardeners let them touch the red wrigglers, sinking their hands in the compost. “They understand it’s important to take care of the earth,” Moomaw says. “Decisions we make as individuals make a difference to the environment we live in. If they can live their lives with an awareness with their trash, little by little we can make a difference.” Mary Maddox, the Master Gardener who headed up the compost center before Moomaw, says compost education is important not only to divert trash from the landfill, but also because so many people choose to use chemical fertilizers that instead of rejuvenating the soil, deplete it in the long run. “If you don’t take care of the soil, the top soil goes away,” Maddox says. “You either put in artificial nutrients that are made out of chemicals and petroleum, or you choose to use a natural process — the stuff from your veggies and fruits — and enrich it with compost. If you have a balanced compost, then you don’t need fertilizer.” Pamela Hanse, president of Hill City Master Gardeners, says the organization has more than 20 projects within the community, including the compost education program. From inner city schools, to the Boys & Girls Club, to the Juvenile Detention Center, the gardners are looking to connect children back with the earth. “Children run the gamut from never having planted anything to grandsons and daughters of farmers,” Hanse says. “It’s interesting to see their reaction, especially from the novice gardeners. We hope their interest will keep growing.” — MARISSA HERMANSON


COMPOST BASICS Choose a spot near where you are going to use the compost. Decide whether you want to buy a bin, make one yourself or just have an open “wild” pile. The optimum size pile is one cubic meter. Plan to use what you have on hand to compost. For greens use fruit and veggie scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds, tea bags and old plants; for browns use shredded newspaper and cardboard, small twigs, dry leaves and dry garden waste. Put together a good balance of carbon-rich “brown” and nitrogen-rich “green” materials. The smaller the particle size of the material you add, the quicker the composting time. Chop up your leaves, fruit rinds and twigs to 1- to 2-inch pieces and shred your newspaper to make the process go faster. The compost pile should be the consistency of a damp, wrungout sponge all the way through. Dampness is best achieved by watering the browns and greens as they are mixed into the pile. Add garden dirt or previously made compost. The microbes that carry out the composting process are naturally present in the soil. As they work to decompose, they generate heat, which accelerates the decomposition. Stir the compost’s contents regularly. This helps add oxygen to the process, but don’t mix too often. Be patient. Compost happens. You can have compost in as little as two weeks or as long as two years depending on how actively you attend your pile. — Mary Maddox

THREE M'S OF COMPOSTING MODERATION: Avoid large concentrations of any one ingredient. MIXING: Shallow layers of finely chopped materials, wet or dry, and deeper layers of coarse materials. MICROBES: Decomposers that convert ingredients into compost. — Kaye Moomaw


WINGED WONDERLAND Turn your backyard or patio into a Certified Wildlife Habitat Our wildlife habitats are diminishing. Maybe you already volunteer for the Sierra Club or make charitable donations to help preserve the wetlands. Want to have an even bigger impact? Start in your own backyard. “The best way to help wildlife is to restore the natural environment,” says David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The NWF developed a program that allows people to turn their outdoor spaces into Certified Wildlife Habitats to keep our natural world thriving. Follow these simple steps to turn your backyard or patio into a winged wonderland. — JODI HELMER

GO NATIVE Native plants are the best choice for creating a thriving wildlife habitat. Native species such as magnolia and dogwoods offer food and shelter for birds, butterflies and bees. Mizejewski notes that some birds won’t eat berries from exotic plants and butterflies prefer to lay their eggs on native host plants.


SINGING FOR SUPPER Native trees and shrubs are the best sources of food, providing pollen, nectar, fruit and seeds for wildlife. Even in a small space, potted plants can provide food for wildlife. To attract a variety of birds, fill birdfeeders with various seeds. Be sure to hang feeders up high to keep them out of reach of predators such as cats and raccoons.


WATER FOR WILDLIFE A clean source of drinking water is essential to support wildlife, but the H2O in a wildlife habitat is for more than sipping. Birds use shallow water for bathing while butterflies absorb nutrients from the soil and water combination found in puddles. Don’t have a pond or wetland in your backyard? Fountains and birdbaths also qualify as acceptable water sources, Mizejewski says.

HOME SWEET HOME Animals needs shelter to hide from predators and raise their young. Mature trees or dense brush are often adequate. On patios or other small spaces, birdhouses and other nesting boxes are also suitable for certification.

STEER CLEAR OF CHEMICALS The NWF prefers its Certified Wildlife Habitats to be free of pesticides and weed killers because of their negative impact on the environment.

READY, SET, CERTIFY Creating a wildlife habitat comes with rewards. Since launching the Certified Wildlife Habitat program in 1973, the NWF has certified more than 150,000 habitats. Getting certified is one way of making a commitment to the creation and preservation of wildlife habitats. For more information on Certified

1. BLACK TUPELO nyssa sylvatica Bears fruit and honey, making it a wildlife favorite. 2. TRUMPET HONEYSUCKLE onicera sempervirens Hummingbirds love the nectar. 3. SWAMP MILKWEED asclepias incarnate Sweet milk attracts a variety of wildlife, including birds. 4. AMERICAN ELDERBERRY sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis Flowers provide pollen and berries attract birds.

Wildlife Habitats, go to March - April 2012



West Virginia’s

Space Place

Come get close to some of the world’s biggest telescopes and enjoy fun, hands-on learning about the incredible space science they do!


Experience the best views in the Shenandoah Valley on this point to point course. Gently rolling hills, mountain vistas and beautiful serene river crossings make this a must do spring race! Racers get a technical tee, finishers medal, fully stocked aid stations, post race food & drink and the satisfaction of helping out a great local charity.

Saturday - April 28, 2012





Blooming flowers, lush green grass, tree branches alive with leaves. Ah yes, spring has sprung at last. You can easily snag some of Mother Nature’s beauty to breathe life into your own home, often at little to no cost to you. Try these ideas as you — and your home — wake up from a long winter’s hibernation. — CARRIE WILLIAMS

SCULPTURAL BRANCH 1. Pick a branch with a relatively smooth bark and plenty of offshoots. The busier, the better. 2. Lay your branch on a piece of newspaper in a well-ventilated area and spray from about a foot away with three thin, even coats of glossy enamel white spray paint. 3. Allow the paint to dry for 15 minutes between the initial coats

and allow the final coat to set overnight. 4. Place it on a shelf, entry table or even hang on the wall as a unique natural decoration.

NATURAL WREATH 1. Cut a 24-inch piece of 12-gauge aluminum floral wire with wire cutters and shape it into a circle, twisting the ends together. 2. Use gardening sheers to cut thin, bendy branches from young trees and twist these around the wire, weaving them in and around each other until you achieve the desired thickness. 3. Use thin 20-gauge floral wire if you need help holding everything together, but the natural wave of the branches should eventually start to hold the shape of the wreath. 4. Finish it off with a ribbon bow tied around the branches

TREE TRUNK COASTERS 1. Scavenge the nearest wooded area for an already fallen tree. Look for one with a trunk circumference of about 5 inches. 2. Lay the trunk on the ground and slice off thin ½-inch to 1-inch sections with a chain saw. 3. Sand the top and bottom of each slice with sandpaper until smooth. 4. Spray the top and sides with a semi-gloss polyurethane sealer for a waterproof finish. 5. After letting the sealer dry for 24 hours, adhere felt pads to the bottom of the natural coaster to prevent damage to your wooden tabletop surfaces. TIP: If the idea of a chain saw is a bit intimidating, check out for premade versions. March - April 2012


Take The Ride oF a liFeTiMe!


Join us on a beautiful cycling ride through North Carolina Wine Country.



SHOES Each week one of Breathe’s bloggers tests out a pair of shoes and reviews them on Breathe’s website -- and you can enter to WIN them! At the end of the eight-week giveaway series, the grand prize winner receives a $500 gift certificate to spend at Read our shoe reviews and enter the giveaway now on for your chance to win a cute pair of kicks!

May 2-6, 2012 2, 3 and 5 day ride options, all ending on May 6th

Register today at:

SHARE THE ADVENTURE Genuine small town personality even in the midst of a big festival. Two charming downtowns, breathtaking mountain scenery and friendly people who love to celebrate, all add up to some great festivals featuring everything from arts and crafts to railroad heritage. It’s uniquely Alleghany.


in the Alleghany Highlands: Magic in the Mountains & Alleghany Railroad Heritage Festival: May 4-5 Douthat Lake Run Car Show: May 19-20 Covington Cork & Pork: June 29-30 Douthat Arts and Crafts Fair: July 28 See a complete list of special events at


When you want a trip that will enthrall your history buffs, your explorers and your scientists visit Shenandoah Caverns. Take our elevator and marvel at the natural beauty of its formations. Experience a part of history at American Celebration on Parade, our unique collection of parade floats and stage settings from presidential inaugurals. Observe the bees and sample the wine — and Americana — at The Yellow Barn.

540-962-2178 888-430-5786

Like us on I-81, EXIT 269


CURL UP WITH OUR TOP PICKS Running the Rift By Naomi Benaron, Algonquin Books In the hills of Rwanda, award-winning author Naomi Benaron follows a young hopeful African runner, Jean Patrick Nkuba, who dreams of competing in the Olympics. This novel covers a 10-year span in which his country is completely undone by the violent Hutu-Tutsi tensions. Jean Patrick was born a Tutsi, the minority group of Rawanda. No matter how apolitical Jean Patrick tries to stay, fear follows him and his family everywhere they go. Even though he is among the smartest and fastest runners of Rwanda, Jean Patrick must fight for every scrap of recognition. One day, his coach offers him a Hutu identification card, and Jean Patrick is faced with a dilemma. He doesn’t want to feel like a traitor to his people, but at this moment in Rwanda, all locks open with a Hutu key. As the world grows increasingly restrictive for his people and violent for his family, Jean Patrick wants to believe that his running career can save him from conflict. As the story progresses, Jean Patrick evolves from a 10-year-old idealist to a young man with more realistic expectations of how the world actually works. He learns it's impossible to ignore the politics surrounding him, especially in a country on the verge of genocide. This book is profoundly moving and an important read. Benaron does an excellent job of explaining the social issues and ethnic

animosity taking place in Rwanda in the 1980s and 1990s without overwhelming the reader with political facts. Benaron even incorporates bits of the Kinyarwanda language into her writing, adding to the novel’s cultural richness. This story is truly powerful and eye-opening. While Benaron does not spare us the horrors of violence and mass killings, she allows beauty, hope and love to persist and shine through.

This book is not just for hikers. Anyone who has ever dreamed of doing something adventurous can relate to Davis and her personal story. Many books have been written by thru-hikers, but none are as unique as this one about a young woman and her ability to persevere.

The Man Who Quit Money By Mark Sundeen, Riverhead Books

Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail By Jennifer Pharr Davis, Beaufort Books Love, truth, adventure, oppression, discomfort, mortality. These are just some of the things Jennifer Pharr Davis experiences on her fourmonth journey on the Appalachian Trail, the 2,175-mile footpath that stretches from Maine to Georgia. Fresh out of college and a newlywed, an overly confident Davis decides to embark on this adventure alone. She quickly discovers that thru-hiking is much harder than she anticipated, and she faces many unexpected challenges along the way. She gets struck by lightning and even finds a dead body on the trail. But when faced with the option of quitting, her response was to keep walking. Davis discovers kindness, generosity and humor on the trail and becomes a person she never imagined she could be.

In 2000, 39-year-old Daniel Suelo left his life savings — all $30 of it — in a phone booth on the side of a road out of free will. In the 12 years since, he has not earned, received or spent a single dollar. He has not applied for loans, written IOUs or bartered. He has not accepted food stamps, welfare or any other form of government handout. He resides in caves in the Utah canyon lands. His philosophy: “To use only what is freely given or discarded and what is already present and already running.” In this provocative and riveting story, Mark Sundeen traces the path that led Suelo into this life. Suelo wrestled with his faith from an early age. Seeking to do good, he joined the Peace Corps and worked with the homeless, but found himself disappointed with the routine ways of helping people. After pondering suicide, Suelo realized he needed to find a new path. It is from this point Sundeen delicately captures the unique way of life Suelo built for himself. — ALYSSA MERCADANTE March - April 2012


hiphomemakers blogosphere showcases domesticity, empowers women



drove north to Ithaca, N.Y., for a weekend visit with my childhood friend, Samantha Abrams, and the chance to hear her boyfriend, Ian Gaffney (aka DJ Cappel), spin his signature blend of West Coast hip-hop and 1950s croon. The scene was about as hip as scenes get in Upstate New York: a rollicking dance party in the basement of a downtown vintage clothing store. The room was filled with bright red lips sipping local craft beer, tight pants twisting and tattooed arms swinging overhead until long after the street lamps switched off. The next morning (several hours earlier than I would have preferred), I was woken by the sounds of Samantha in the kitchen, blending a green smoothie with kale from her backyard and tending to a bucket of fermenting sauerkraut. She was simultaneously making calls pertaining to her booming raw, vegan baked goods company, Emmy’s Organics, and uploading photos to her Etsy site, PANTHAFASHION, a virtual shop for “up-cycled” fabric hair accessories. In addition to consciously cultivating their home and homegrown businesses, Samantha and her partner barter their graphic design skills with a local CSA for the fresh produce they don’t grow themselves, and buy only 20 percent of their groceries, clothing and home goods from corporate sources. Despite their relative self-sufficiency, I detect guilt in Samantha’s voice as she says, “A lot of our friends are totally off the grid. They grow all their own food. They have outdoor toilets and wood burning stoves … I don’t can! I wish I had time to can!” March - April 2012


The crowd I stumbled upon (and danced with) in Ithaca is by no means a cultural anomaly. Samantha joins a burgeoning wave of “hip homemakers” — creative, educated, socially and environmentally aware young women (and a growing number of men) — who are shunning corporate jobs and consumer dependence. They are taking on the traditional domestic skills many of their Baby Boomer mothers rebelled against — knitting, baking, canning, gardening — and refashioning them in the name of self-sufficiency, independence and personal empowerment. In the process, they are crafting new models of domesticity, partnership, parenthood and identity — and a slew of really cute DIY projects. Thanks to the ease and accessibility of technology for image sharing, blogging and social networking, these nouveaux housewives are making their home work public and transforming their domestic duties into creative expression in a way that has never been possible before.

small measures Ashley English, a thirtysomething posterchild for hip homesteading, left a string of jobs in holistic nutrition and healthcare in 2008. English was drawn down to wooded western North Carolina, inspired by happy memories of canning and preserving fruit on her Grandmother’s pickyour-own blueberry farm in Chesapeake, Va., and a desire to “finally put some roots down.” After meeting her husband, Glenn, and settling in with him on a former organic herb and flower farm in the small mountain town of Candler, N.C., that is precisely what she did. English now spends most days on her 11-acre “micro-homestead,” keeping up with her son, Huxley, gardening, preserving, baking, beekeeping, teaching classes on chicken care and learning how to hunt all manner of game and fowl with other novice huntresses. She documents it all on her blog, Small Measure (small-measure.blogspot. com), as well as in a series of do-it-yourself books, ”Homemade Living” (Lark Books), and up until May on Design*Sponge (, where she contributed green lifestyle articles (e.g. how to build a sweet pea trellis, select an indoor clothes-drying rack or “quick pickle”). Raising chickens, shopping for handmade or eco-friendly clothing on Etsy, and making cheese, butter and yogurt are only some of the ways English and her counterparts are quietly untethering from rampant consumerism and big agribusiness, and discovering a new sense of purpose. Could this vision of the new homemaker — Mason jar in hand, dairy goat and veggie patch in the backyard — really become one of our


generation’s most powerful radical icons? English thinks, just maybe. “The new homemaker movement has many of the anti-corporate underpinnings of the punk movement,” she says. “… It’s a way to ‘be the change you want to see in the world.’” Allison Pugh, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and author of “Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture“ (University of California Press, 2009), believes that any steps an individual can take to reduce excessive consumption can be psychologically and socially beneficial. “The consumer model for how we conduct our lives — the whole American dream of the mansion, the three-car garage, all of these material wealth markers — can be extremely corroding,” she says. “Anything that we can do to destabilize the constant consumerism we’re swimming in in this country, I see as very positive.”

rurally screwed Jessie Knadler is another new domestic role model who has parlayed her (often hilarious) adventures and misadventures in rural living and motherhood into a praised blog, source of income and a few book deals. Unlike English, who was lured by the romance of country living, Knadler had no intentions of leaving her flourishing career in New York City, where she was a staff editor at Glamour and Jane, and freelance writer for Women’s Health and The Wall Street Journal. After falling in love with a cowboy (her now husband, Jake) while reporting a story on rodeos, Knadler’s life took a turn. She soon found herself with a young daughter, chickens in the backyard and confronting issues of female identity, motherhood, career and marriage on a farm in rural Lexington County, Va. Knadler sympathizes with women wary of the potential burdens of

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even a very nice one, does not. … It makes public work that has historically been only private.” Smartphone apps, virtual message boards such as Pinterest and the ability to easily share stories and Instagram images of DIY projects or culinary triumphs results in a creative outlet and an audience previous generations of homemakers did not have. “I think that this return to domesticity can be empowering so long as we are working toward homemaking being ungendered,” Matchar says. “If we romanticize domestic skills, or label them as ‘a woman’s job,’ that is where it becomes potentially dangerous.” Chez English, there is no such danger of gender role entrapment. English was quick to confirm that her husband is equally involved in the labor of maintaining their eco-homestead — everything from butchering the chickens to turning the compost. “We’re partners,” she says simply. Though Knadler’s husband, Jake, is currently deployed to Afghanistan, when he is home the two settle into a comfortable rhythm of juggling their careers with raising their toddler, June, and taking care of the farm chores. In addition to taking charge of building fences and chopping firewood, “Jake brews beer, makes wine and


WIN IT! domesticity. She grew up in suburban Montana, watching her mother play the demanding role millions of second-wave feminists performed in the latter half of the twentieth century. “She was working full time and then coming home and doing all of the chores: the cooking, the cleaning, taking care of me and my sister and brother … ,” Knadler recalls. “Like millions of women in her generation, she did it all, and she was very stressed out a lot of the time.” When Knadler packed her bags for Virginia, she brought all the competitive drive of Manhattan’s corporate world right along with her. “I threw myself into my new role with gusto,” she remembers with a shake of her head. “We bought 82 chickens, not four or five — 82 chickens. We dug a garden. I started canning ... ” Knadler chronicles her humorous wrestling with farm life in her blog, Rurally Screwed (, which evolved into a comedic memoir, “Rurally Screwed: My Life Off The Grid With The Cowboy I Love“ (Penguin Group, April 2012). Women across the country and around the globe follow English and Knadler in their every burnt pie, cleaning trick or latest thrift treasure, which is a testament to the significant role the Internet has played in this new era of domestic devotion. The constant social connections of our Internet age are an undeniable factor in the resurgence of tactile skills — cooking, canning and the mass desire to pull hands away from the keyboard and sink them into the dirt. Yet the Internet has also allowed “new domestics” a means of earning alternative income, a virtual marketplace for their crafts, and perhaps most importantly, a supportive community. “I don’t think this phenomenon would exist at all without the Internet,” says Emily Matchar, author of a recent Washington Post editorial, “The new domesticity: Fun, empowering or a step back for American women?” (Nov. 25, 2011), and a book on the same subject to be released in Spring 2013 by Free Press. “Blogging gives a certain sense of recognition and validation that cooking dinner for your family,

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tortillas from scratch — anything he can do where he gets to use a cool tool,” Knadler says and laughs. Both couples have found that true domestic fulfillment is most easily achieved when neither partner tries to “do it all.” Knadler says she used to “bristle at the idea of doing the ‘woman stuff,’ but you don’t necessarily have to split all of the work 50-50; you just do what you’re better at.” This wisdom was hard won for Knadler, who spent her first months on the farm trying to tackle it all, from landscaping to canning, which she translated into a cookbook with the help of chef Kelly Geary, “Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen” (Rodale, 2011). “When I first moved down to the country, I ended up losing myself and playing a role that was inauthentic to who I really am,” she recalls. “It made me very unhappy and it almost hurt my marriage. Ultimately, reaching a balance of shared professional and familial responsibility is the great shining standard of domestic bliss many liberal feminists were, and still are, marching toward. “For both men and women to find a sense of humanity, meaning and beauty in these crafts or domestic tasks is a worthwhile enterprise, and I fully support it on that level,” professor Pugh says. “That’s a truly feminist vision.” English and Knadler are just two voices in an inspiring, encouraging and often rabble-rousing virtual chorus of women inviting you to give the homemade life a go, whether you’re gathering ingredients to bake your first loaf of bread or are ready to move off the grid entirely. March - April 2012



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Mountains to the sea and everything in between by HEATHER HOUSKEEPER “Ouch!” I yelp, whooshing through a corridor of wood nettles. Suddenly stopping, I pull an empty Ziploc from my backpack and get to picking. My taste buds tingle at the thought of adding these wild greens to my instant pasta packet. Although the entire plant is armed with stinging hairs, I painlessly harvest each leaf by beginning from the tip, rolling it loosely to the base and swiftly plucking it from the stem. Dinner on the trail just got a whole lot better. Last May, I donned a sturdy pair of trail runners and a hefty backpack and set out walking on the Mountains to Sea Trail. This trail stretches from Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains on the TennesseeNorth Carolina border, zigzagging across the state of North Carolina, 950 miles to the Outer Banks. As an herbalist living in Asheville, N.C., I was familiar with the wild edible and medicinal plants of the southeast Appalachian Mountains; however, I had spent little time in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions, which are home to a host of different plants. My search for useful plants would transform my hike across North Carolina into something other than just a physical and mental test; it would be a hands-on classroom. Traveling through the mountains, I would work more directly with the plants I already knew, and hiking into unfamiliar territory would acquaint me with new herbs. Besides being delicious, easily accessible and free, wild plants offer a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants. As medicine, they are both safe and effective, working with the body rather than against it. On an intrinsic level, they serve as a link to the natural world, getting us out into the fresh air. On this hike I did not strive to live entirely off the land, but rather supplement my heavily processed hiker’s diet with natural foods I found along the trail. As a hiker, I burned as many as 6,000 calories each day. To achieve this caloric intake through herbs, nuts and berries, while still finding the time to hike 20 miles each day, is near impossible. So I relied on the convenient trail staples of tortillas and

instant mac ‘n’ cheese and enhanced these nutrient- and flavor-poor foods with fresh greens and colorful fruits that grew along the trail. For first aid, I looked first to medicinal plants, such as plantain, to quell an itchy bug bite or lousewort to ease muscular pains while still carrying anti-itch cream and Tylenol in the event I did not have a helpful plant nearby. With 500 miles on trail and 450 miles traveling roads through farm and residential areas, the Mountains to Sea Trail was the perfect place to add wild plants into my diet. One of my favorite edibles was the violet. Long-stemmed, heart-shaped leaves grow from the base of this plant. Its petals can be purple, blue, yellow or white. One evening, I trudged into damp woods laced with fog after hiking all day at high elevation in icy, cold rain — each overlook a whiteout thick with clouds. When suddenly, from the grassy forest floor, purple faces peered. I gathered a generous handful of leaves and flowers and dropped them into my steaming hot pot of noodles. Their vitality warmed my body and lifted my morale. Violet leaves are rich in Vitamin A, C and K, which are essential to blood, eyesight and immune function. Violet is excellent for soothing the digestive tract and decreasing inflammation of the intestines. The leaves have a mild spinach taste and the flowers offer sweetness and spice; the leaves and flowers also can be eaten raw. Plunging from mountaintops to flat roads, I entered the Piedmont, the middle portion of the trail, which is made up of farmland, tiny towns and road walking. Scouring grassy roadside buffers and the occasional stretch of meadow, I delighted in wild carrot greens, catbrier vines and wild mustards. Black cherry trees provided fresh fruit hanging high above the filth of the road, as well as shady relief on hot open stretches of pavement. Black cherry is the largest native cherry tree, characterized by its chipping bark and often forking trunk. The undersides of its leaves bear rust-colored wooly hairs that run along the center vein. Berries hang in a raceme and are one-seeded.

Eat these as you would any cherry, making sure to spit out the poisonous pit. With the sun shining hotter and longer each day, and humidity thickening by the hour, I hoofed my way into the swamplands of the Coastal Plain, which makes up the central and eastern region of the state. It was here I first saw passionflower. Although native, this flower appears otherworldly, bearing a spray of hair-like purple petals surrounding its cross-like configuration of stamen and pistil. As a mild pain reliever and sedative, passionflower leaves reduce the aches and pains of the mind and body. I particularly enjoyed sipping this simple tea before bed, when my muscles had begun to tighten and my brain ruminate on the miles ahead. I arrived at the Outer Banks in mid-July. Before me lay 80 miles of beach walking before reaching the end of the trail at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Here I was pleased to find pennywort springing from the shallow sand at my feet. It grows no more than 6 inches tall and, with its circular-lobed leaf, looks like a doily with a slender stem. The fresh or dried leaves make a chlorophyll-rich tea. While passing between the beach houses of Hatteras, I sometimes found yucca. This is a statuesque plant, succulent and bearing large, creamycolored edible flowers. I savored the flower raw, petal by petal. When I took my final steps to the summit of the tallest moving sand dune on the east coast, I did what any long distance hiker would do: I reflected. Over time, the trail revealed itself. It was no longer a mere tunnel of green, but instead a dynamic community of monarda and yarrow swaying against a backdrop of black birch, beech and eastern hemlock. Plantain and dandelion greens poked through cracks in the crumbling roads. Romanced by the rising sun over the Atlantic, I gazed on the white sand beaches, watching for the flash of cerulean blue speedwell. I walked among the plants, using them to fuel my steps and ease my pains, while also sharing in their companionship. The trail revealed not only itself, but my connection to it — a strong need for the natural world. March - April 2012


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“You can put a face to the product you use. You gain a sense of trust in one another. I know they won’t send me an inferior product, and they know that I will do my best to honor their food and labor.” — James Harris


These days it takes more than a chef’s culinary prowess to make the perfect dining experience. Diners demand more. They want chefs to not only tantalize the taste buds — they want fresh, local ingredients, too. William Dissen, owner and chef of The Market Place Restaurant in Asheville, N.C., states the locavore’s dining experience simply: “It is fresher, more colorful and always tastier.” Chefs across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic are harkening back to recipes that incorporate fresh ingredients grown by independent farmers to liven up their dishes. With the farm-to-table push at its pinnacle, chefs recognize the importance of not only supporting their fellow food producers, but also that a truly delicious dish calls for fresh ingredients. Chef Dissen’s Asheville restaurant sources from within 100 miles of the eatery, and when they can’t buy local, he makes sure their purveyors are responsible in some other way. From Chef Sean Brock, of Charleston’s

Husk, who sources from “any area south of the Mason-Dixon Line,” to Founding Farmers’ Chef Joe Goetze who purchases from 42,000 farmers across the country, chefs are taking a responsible approach to sourcing food when pushing the locavore’s restrictive 100-mile rule. Zynodoa Restaurant, in Staunton, Va., sits in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, getting the best of the area’s bountiful cornucopia, but Chef James Harris gets Zynodoa's seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. Chefs such as Nashville, Tenn.’s Jeremy Barlow, of Tayst Restaurant, are addressing the topic outside of the restaurant, too. Barlow recently penned and published “Chefs Can Save the World,“ where he says, “[chefs] have the opportunity to make a fundamental change to our food system” through food sourcing. These regional chefs are taking the “buy local” banter beyond the dinner table and turning it into a conversation about ethical sourcing for the future of our food system.


1 sweet onion, roughly chopped

1 tbsp canola oil salt and pepper to taste

Chef James Harris

FOR CRÈME FRAÎCHE DIJONNAISE: 2 egg yolks juice of 2 lemons 1½ cups canola oil 3 tbsp Dijon mustard salt and pepper to taste ½ cup Crème Fraiche

YOU WILL ALSO NEED: 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely grated 2 oz cornichons, roughly chopped 1 oz microgreens, such as arugula, frisee, turnip greens, etc. 2 oz canola oil for frying

Crispy Pork Belly & Scarlet Ohno Turnips with crème fraîche dijonnaise and spring microgreens FOR PORK BELLY: 2 lbs raw pork belly 1 cup cider vinegar 2 tbsp ground coffee 2 tbsp kosher or sea salt ½ tsp curry powder ½ tsp allspice ¼ cayenne pepper

FOR TURNIPS: ½ lb scarlet ohno turnips, peeled and quartered 2 cups red wine vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 tbsp stone ground mustard

TO PREPARE PORK: 1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place a thick bottom-roasting pan on burner at medium heat.

2. Mix all dry ingredients together, set aside. 3. Score (cross-hatch) the fat of the pork belly. Heavily coat scored belly with spice mixture; then place coated pork belly into pan, fat side down. No oil is necessary. 4. When fat side is caramelized, flip pork belly and add onions to pan. Once onions are translucent, add vinegar. 5. Cover and place in oven. After approximately three hours, check pork belly for doneness. Pork belly should be fork tender. If

not, cook an additional 30 minutes. 6. Remove pork belly from roasting pan, and place in a shallow baking dish. Pour onions and juices from roasting pan on top of the pork belly. Refrigerate until completely cool. Pork belly may be prepared up to one week before you are ready to use. 7. Once cool, slice into cubes (approximately one inch). Set aside. TO PREPARE TURNIPS: 1. Place cleaned and quartered turnips in a large March - April 2012


bowl. In a non-reactive saucepan, bring sugar and vinegar to a boil. 2. Pour over turnips and cover tightly. Allow turnips to return to room temperature. 3. When cool, drain turnips and dress with stone ground mustard and canola oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. TO PREPARE DIJONNAISE: 1. Place egg yolks, Dijon mustard and lemon juice in food processor. Blend for 30 seconds. 2. While food processor is blending, slowly drizzle canola oil into mixture until it forms a thick emulsion. (If dijonnaise thickens before all oil is used, there is no need to add remaining oil.) 3. Stir in crème fraîche; add salt and pepper to taste. TO ASSEMBLE: 1. Immediately before serving, heat on medium setting a large non-stick skillet. Use enough canola oil to lightly coat the pan. When pan is ready, add pork belly cubes. 2. Cook until crispy on each side. 3. While pork belly is cooking, spoon dijonnaise on plates. Sprinkle cornichons and grated eggs. Add turnips. 4. When belly is seared crisp, place on plate. Top with microgreens.

“You listen to these farmers and these folks and you fall in love. It’s the stories that we love when we talk to farmers.” — Joe Goetze

Founding Farmers, Washington, D.C. Chef Joe Goetze

Classic Devil-ish Eggs MAKES 12 EACH

6 each hard-boiled eggs, whites only, cut in half lengthwise 1/8 tsp kosher salt ½ lb Founding Farmers Devil-ish Egg Salad 1 tsp fresh chives, snipped 1/8 tsp ground black pepper 1. Slice a thin piece off the base of egg whites so egg will sit flat on serving piece. Season egg whites lightly with salt (one pinch per egg). 2.

Place egg halves on serving piece. Scoop egg salad mixture into well of egg whites until lightly mounded. 3. Garnish each egg with a sprinkle of chives and a pinch of black pepper.

Founding Farmers Devil-ish Egg Salad MAKES ½ POUND

6 each hard-boiled eggs 2 tbsp sour cream ¼ cup mayonnaise 2 tbsp yellow onion, diced fine

2 tbsp celery, diced fine 1 tbsp fresh chives, snipped 1 tsp celery salt ¼ tsp kosher salt 2 pinches ground white pepper 1. Peel shell from eggs and then fine dice the cooked eggs (whites and yolks). 2. In a mixing bowl, fold all of the ingredients together and toss well. 3. Cover and refrigerate any unused portion for up to two days.

Husk, Charleston, S.C. Chef Sean Brock

Husk Cornbread 2 cups Anson Mills yellow cornmeal 1.5 cups Cruz Family buttermilk 1 farm egg ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp baking powder 4 tbsp of Benton’s bacon fat 2 tbsp of Benton’s bacon pieces

"As a chef we have such dedication to the food. It is great to see and support those that have the same passion that we do for their food.” — Sean Brock


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients. 2. Microwave all wet ingredients except 1 tbsp. bacon fat. 3. Place the cast iron skillet in the oven until it’s hot. Add 1 tbsp. of bacon fat (it should sizzle). 4. Add batter and bake for 15 minutes.

Tayst, Nashville, Tenn. Chef Jeremy Barlow

Spring Fiddlehead Ragout SERVES FOUR TO SIX

“Because we share this passion, I don’t have to demand perfect fruits and vegetables, because they already demand it from themselves. The quality of what I receive is so much better than what I was getting from the national suppliers, because the local delivery person nearly always also had a hand in growing it —not so with the national suppliers.” — Jeremy Barlow

1 quart fiddleheads 1 cup morels 1 sweet potato 2 cloves garlic 1/2 cup white wine 1 tbsp butter salt and pepper to taste nutmeg olive oil 1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch fiddleheads until just tender. Remove and place into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Cool. 2. Clean morels by soaking in a water bath with a pinch of salt. Pull the morels out of the bath and repeat three times. Cut in half or quarter, depending on the size. 3. Dice sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. Lightly toss with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees until they are soft and roasted. 4. Peel garlic cloves and mince. 5. In a cast iron skillet (regular saute pan is fine) add morels and garlic with a tiny pinch of salt. Cook on medium while stirring to bring out the moisture from the mushrooms. 6. When the moisture has been extracted and evaporated, add the fiddleheads and sweet potatoes. 7. Turn the heat up to high and when any remaining moisture is gone and the fiddleheads are hot, deglaze the pan with the white wine. Stir in the butter and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

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The Market Place Restaurant, Asheville, N.C. Chef William Dissen

Grilled Soft Shell Crab with shaved asparagus and fennel salad with blood orange vinaigrette SERVES FOUR

FOR CRABS: 4 soft shell crabs ¼ cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste

TO PREPARE CRABS: 1. Preheat grill to high heat. While grill is preheating, prepare the crabs by removing the face with kitchen scissors and removing the gills. 2. Pat the crabs dry with a towel and brush with half of the olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. 3. Brush the grill grates with the remaining olive oil and grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until bright red, crisp and lightly charred (about 4 minutes). March - April 2012


FOR SHAVED ASPARAGUS AND FENNEL SALAD WITH BLOOD ORANGE VINAIGRETTE: ¾ lb (about 1 bunch) asparagus ½ cup fennel, bulb only ¼ cup blood orange segments 3 cups blood orange juice 2 tbsp sugar ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp basil, chiffonade salt and pepper to taste TO PREPARE SALAD: 1. In a small, non-reactive saucepan, combine the blood orange juice and sugar and reduce to ¼ cup. Allow to cool. 2. Mix the reduced blood orange juice together with the extra virgin olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper (you are supposed to notice the separation of oil and vinegar). 3. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the raw asparagus into long, thin strips. Place in ice water. 4. For the fennel, cut the bulb in half and remove the core. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, shave the fennel into thin strips, place in ice water. 5. In a medium bowl, combine the blood orange segments, drained fennel, asparagus and basil. 6. Gently whisk together the vinaigrette and dress the salad with ¼ cup of the vinaigrette. Toss well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve the remaining vinaigrette to garnish the plate.

“I am able to visit the source directly to see the vegetables in the ground and the livestock grazing in the pasture. I know I can feel good about the ingredients I am going to put on the plate.” — William Dissen FOR YELLOW BEET PUREE: 4 to 5 yellow beets, medium ¼ cup + ¼ cup olive oil ½ cup vegetable stock or water 1 tbsp honey salt and pepper to taste TO PREPARE YELLOW BEAT PUREE: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Vigorously clean beets with cold water. Dry and toss in ¼ cup olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.


2. Wrap in aluminum foil. Cook for about one hour, or until beets are knife-tender. 3. Using a clean kitchen towel, peel beets (while they are still warm) by gently rubbing the towel over the beets to remove the skin. 4. Cut beets into a large dice and place in a blender. Add the vegetable stock and honey and puree until smooth. 5. While the blender is running, slowly pour in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool and reserve, or serve immediately.






Take your commitment to the planet a few steps farther and do the earth a favor: Spend some of your hard-earned beauty bucks on products from sustainably minded cosmetics companies. Here are six companies that make products to help you put your best face forward while helping Mother Nature look her best, too. — ALEIGH ACERNI

PANGEA ORGANICS This small, independent manufacturer of organic body care products is based in Boulder, Colo., and makes everything in small batches from renewable, fairly traded ingredients. Plus, a portion of the company’s profits is donated to the creation of the new Pangea Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching and teaching about sustainable living and business practices. Stock up on Pangea’s bar soap, which comes packaged in seeded, biodegradable cardboard. Plant it in your window box and wait for blooms. Canadian Pine with White Sage Bar Soap, $8, INTELLIGENT NUTRIENTS This company’s commitment to sustainability is literally off the grid. Their products are made with food-grade ingredients that are grown on company founder

Horst Rechelbacher’s off-the-grid farm in Wisconsin using wind and solar power. (You might recognize Rechelbacher’s name; he also founded green-minded Aveda, which he eventually sold to Estée Lauder.) Plus, the company donates all after-tax profits to environmental and social causes. Harmonic Shampoo, $22, and Harmonic Conditioner, $24, VAPOUR ORGANIC BEAUTY A favorite with makeup artists, this cosmetics company uses wind and passive solar power for 90 percent of the lighting at their New Mexico manufacturing facility and offices. From waterless formulas that don’t put added stress on local acquifers to in-store retail displays made from recycled aluminum, Vapour works to contribute to a sustainable loop of clean manufacturing. Siren Lipstick, $22,

BURT’S BEES In 2011, none of this Durham, N.C.-based company’s U.S. facilities sent a single scrap of waste to the landfill, and they purchased renewable energy credits from North Carolina Green Power to offset carbon emissions — two big strides toward their goals of being completely carbonneutral and operating on 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. But that’s not all: The company also uses environmentally friendly Terraskin packaging (a tree-free, biodegradable paper product) and established Live the Greater Good, a comprehensive workday program to encourage employees to incorporate sustainable practices into their home and work lives. Tinted Lip Balm, $7, SKINNYSKINNY There’s a lot of Big Apple pride in this small, New York City-based bath and body goods company. In addition to major bragging rights for being 100 percent carbon neutral, 98 percent of their products are manufactured by hand in their workshop in Brooklyn. They use recycled, reclaimed and sustainable materials in their packaging and are registered members of the Organic Trade Association. Organic Black Pepper and Rose Dry Shampoo, $32, LIVING EARTH BEAUTY In addition to manufacturing organic, raw and vegan products in small batches with ingredients that can be replenished in two or three growing seasons, Living Earth Beauty helps offset carbon emissions by planting a tree for every order. The 100 percent paperless company also uses eco-friendly packaging and participates in 1% for the Planet, a global movement of companies that donate 1 percent of their sales to a network of more than 2,000 environmental organizations worldwide. Bee Beauty Age Defying Facial Oil, $85,





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March - April 2012


WEDDING LOOKBOOK Planning your dream wedding can be overwhelming from choosing an overarching theme to saying yes to the dress. The small finishing touches make a significant statement as well, and contribute to the big picture of your big day. Here’s some of our favorite wedding trends for this season — from flowers and favors to invites and the honeymoon. — MH

PASS ON THE SILVERWARE AND HEAD STRAIGHT TO PARIS! A new trend is springing up for the couple that already seems to have it all: the honeymoon registry. For couples who have already established a household together or for those who may be getting married for the second time, basic items such as silverware and fondue sets may not be all that practical. Instead of registering at stores for wedding gifts, register for your perfect getaway. Through Traveler’s Joy (, you and your special someone can choose destinations such as Paris, Napa Valley or New York City and then choose the activities, restaurants and hotel you want to be part of your vacation. Brandon Warner, owner of Traveler’s Joy, says the honeymoon registry is “all about personalization.” So instead of unwrapping boxes

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of Lenox place settings your mother insisted you “just had to have,” plan your perfect adventure with your perfect partner.

PETAL PERFECTION After the gown and the bridesmaids' dresses are picked, the flora is an important finishing touch to tie your big day together. 1. ORCHIDS: For a taste of spring, try lighter green orchids set off with small white hydrangeas. 2. PEONIES: With shades of pink and white, this flower is large,

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Endless breathtaking landscapes… Dozens of romantic venues… Hundreds of seasoned wedding pros… Consider Charlottesville for the wedding of your dreams! Let us provide our free assistance in gathering reception and lodging proposals from a myriad of options, from luxury hotels and charming inns, to gorgeous vineyards and historic landmarks.

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soft and luxurious looking. For a bright pop, try dark pink peonies with shades of white and blush. 3. ROSES: Give your arrangement a daring stroke of color by adding bright yellow or orange roses to a pastel-hued bouquet. 4. TULIPS: Tulips are the symbol of everlasting love. Try a simple white or bold purples and maroons. 5. HYDRANGEAS: Using a simple silk ribbon, a bouquet of hydrangeas can be the perfect finishing touch for you and your bridesmaids. Try navy or cobalt hydrangeas tied with a white silk ribbon for your “something blue.” — SARAH NOWICKI

your talent with eco-friendly seed paper that grows into flowers when planted. 4. FROM THE HUMANITARIANS, CHARITABLE DONATIONS. Visit to choose a charity and set up your registry. At your reception, give guests a card explaining that a charitable donation has been made in their name on your behalf. 5. FROM THE MUSICIANS, KAZOOS. Although kazoos are not the most elegant or pleasantsounding of instruments, they certainly can add a humorous touch to your event.


To provide guests with an unforgettable token of appreciation that reflects your personalities, consider these ideas: 1. FROM THE COFFEE LOVERS, CUSTOM COFFEE. Send guests home with a little pick-me-up to remind them of your special day. Personalized packaging is available to commemorate the details of the event. 2. FROM THE FOODIES, GOURMET POPCORN. After all that cake, your guests probably will appreciate a savory snack. 3. FROM THE GARDENERS, PLANTABLE CARDS. Have a green thumb? Highlight

Charlottesville, Va. 2. CALLIGRAPHY: Have a calligrapher write part of your invitation and incorporate it with another font to give the design a traditional yet modern feel. 3. RSVP CARDS: Have fun with the wording on your RSVP cards. If your reception includes a dance party, the response options can be “Yes, we’ve got our dancing shoes on!” or “No, but cut a rug without us!” 4. PATTERN: Consider using a pattern that mimics a fabric, such as ikat, chevron or lace. 5. ENVELOPE LINERS: Lining the main envelope with a color, pattern, monogram or motif enhances the overall design of an invitation. — BETH WALDMAN

Modern wedding invitations can serve two important functions: to communicate information to guests and to set the tone for the event. “With your invitation, essentially you want it to be timeless,” says Katie Sale, owner of Good Press, a stationery store in Charlottesville, Va., “but you also want your personalities to show through.” 1. BELLY BANDS: A belly band is a piece of paper that packages your invitation pieces together. They provide “another layer, like opening a gift,” says Heather Haynie, co-owner of Rock Paper Scissors stationery shop in


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CHECK OUT THESE HOT SPOTS: Sugar Bakeshop, 59 ½ Cannon St. Sweet treats that are almost too pretty to eat from one of the cutest bakeries in town. Notsohostel, 33 Cannon St. and 156 Spring St. Cut your travel budget in half by staying at this welcoming, laid-back hostel. The Grocery, 4 Cannon St. Chef Kevin Johnson puts a fresh spin on Southern flavors at this neighborhood newcomer. Indigo and Cotton, 79 Cannon St. This menswear shop stocks a solid selection of clothes and accessories for the man in your life who dresses better than you do. Five Loaves Café, 43 Cannon St. Stop by this colorful, cozy cafe for one of the best lunch deals in town.


HOLY CITY HIDEAWAYS The mention of Charleston, S.C., calls to mind several standard Lowcountry scenes: walking by Rainbow Row, picnicking on the Battery and eating shrimp ‘n’ grits on King Street. But as lovely as all these places are, some of the city’s sweetest spots lie just a little off the beaten path — and you don’t even have to leave downtown to find them. The city of Charleston was built on a peninsula bordered on the east by the Cooper River and on the west by the Ashley; if you ask a local, the two meet to form the Atlantic Ocean. While the most tourist-friendly spots are condensed into the walkable area closest to the harbor, the upper peninsula also boasts its share of historic parks and neighborhoods. One of the city’s fastest-growing districts is comprised of Elliotborough and Cannonborough, two up-andcoming neighborhoods peppered with stylish shops and restaurants. Here are a few of our favorite stops. — ERICA JACKSON CURRAN

Two Boroughs Larder This cozy restaurant has a rustic-meets-industrial vibe and an ever-changing menu packed with fresh, seasonal food. Chef and owner Josh Keeler has earned raves for innovative dishes; try his fried rabbit with smoky Flageolet beans and charred lemon. Go for dinner or just stop in for a craft beer and the dark chocolate budino with sea salt and olive oil. And be sure to check out the small retail area packed with jars of 30

Mac and Murphy This stationery shop might be small, but it’s jam-packed with a well-curated array of paper goods. Bypass the typical postcard and pick up a letterpressed card by local stationer Sideshow Press or grab a journal to jot down your travel notes. 74 ½ Cannon St. PHOTO: KATE THORNTON

honey, organic soaps, tea towels and more. 186 Coming St.

Magar Hatworks Everyone knows that true Southern ladies have a thing for hats, and if you’re looking to buy a truly artful chapeau (or just try a few on), Magar Hatworks is the place to go. Nationally renowned milliner Leigh Magar has set up shop in a classic Charleston single house, which she’s filled with her extensive collections of antique bottles and hat forms — and, of course, hats. Her funky, whimsical designs are rooted in ancient techniques. The shop is generally open by appointment, but it’s worth planning ahead for the experience alone. 57 Cannon St.

Wildflour Pastry Award-winning pastry chef Lauren Mitterer keeps locals sugared up with giant cookies, fruity tarts and savory scones. If you’re lucky enough to be in town on a Sunday, stop by for one (or three) of the bakery’s wildly addictive sticky buns. 73 Spring St.

Hope and Union Coffee Co. The caffeinated minds behind Hope and Union are serious about coffee. Each cup is made to order from a carefully selected menu of singleorigin coffees from around the world. Set in a beautifully renovated house complete with a sunny front porch, it’s a popular place to meet friends, catch up on emails or watch the city’s beautiful people go by. 199 St. Philip St.

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Breathe Magazine  
Breathe Magazine  

March - April 2012