Monday, July 3, 2017

Smoothies mitigate difficulty eating fruits and vegetables

Book cover: Simple Green Smoothies by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner
All my life, I’ve struggled with eating food that had the wrong taste, appearance, color or texture. In extreme duress, eating the “wrong” food could make me retch or gag.

More frequently, but perhaps more damaging, I faced condemnation and ridicule because of my limited diet.

Eating fruits and vegetables is where I particularly struggle. There’s something about this food that is difficult for me to handle.

Fortunately, we know that the way food is prepared can drastically change its “eatability.” When cut raw, tomatoes are grotesque and slimy. But what a difference to eat sun-dried tomatoes on pizza or in pasta, with a smooth creamy marinara sauce.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Flavor Bible, essential resource for researching new foods

Book cover, The Flavor Bible. Image depicts cut leaves and food ingredients on wooden spoons
I rely on “food chaining” to help with my transition from foods that are familiar and comfortable, but what about those foods and ingredients that I know nothing about?

Tactile sensitivities related to food taste, temperature and texture, make trying new things difficult. As a risk-averse person who wants to know ahead-of-time if new foods are “safe” to try, I find the idea of The Flavor Bible to be very empowering.

Written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, The Flavor Bible (Little, Brown and Company, 2008) offers an alphabetized listing of foods and ingredients with essential details about taste.

Page and Dornenburg explain that many factors go into the experience of flavor: these are taste, “mouthfeel” (temperature and texture), aroma and the “X Factor,” which they describe as the emotional response to food. “When we are present to what we are eating,” they say, “food has the power to affect our entire selves.”

Friday, June 9, 2017

Eating can be one of toughest challenges

Eating is easily the most difficult sensory task for this woman on the autism spectrum. Risking unfamiliar tastes and textures, trying new food takes time and fortitude.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

El desayuno y el almuerzo gratis para niños este verano

(In Spanish)
Vía Santa Rosa escuelas de la ciudad: ​Los niños, 18 años y menores, comen el desayuno y el almuerzo gratis este verano.

También publicado en Cynthia Parkhill: Paralibrarian and Editor
Número de clasificación en el sistema Dewey: 463. En medios sociales: #EnEspanol

(En inglés)
Via Santa Rosa City Schools: Children, ages 18 and younger, eat free breakfast and lunch this summer.

Also posted to Cynthia Parkhill: Paralibrarian and Editor
Classification number in Dewey system: 463. On social media: #EnEspanol

Summer ‘Lunch at the Library’

For the third year in a row, Sonoma County Library (SCL) will host free meals for youth this summer, every weekday at six library locations.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Olive pitter, a gourmand's essential product

I'm unabashed in my enjoyment of olives -- I'd gladly eat them every day -- and recent adventures have led to intact olives served in restaurants and "olive bars." As a serious connoisseur, I wanted to cleanly and easily remove the olive pit.

My quest for optimized olive-enjoyment led to the Squeeze2Pit olive and cherry pitting tool. It arrived attractively packaged in a lavish presentation box with foam-padding interior.

The classy presentation earned high marks, and the tool itself is more than worth the investment.

Upon first trying it, I found the pitter very easy to use. The grip handles offer good leverage for effectively removing the pit with very little exertion. The pit ejects cleanly with little-to-no skin and pulp, and I'm left with a freshly-pitted olive that I can then enjoy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thin Bins, collapsible food containers that fit in a pocket

Compact storage is important when you a) travel by bicycle or on-foot and b) want to bring your own take-out containers to combat wasteful restaurant practices of too-large, disposable boxes.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Too much box for these left-overs

Cynthia Parkhill holds open pizza box tilted toward viewer. Inside, occupying less than half of surface space, are three small slices of pizza

Among wasteful and ridiculous practices associated with dining out: was it really necessary for three tiny slices of pizza to be packed in such an enormous box? This is why we’ve placed an order for reusable, collapsible, easy-to-carry containers. No more depending-in-vain upon restaurant wait-staff to responsibly select our containers (which are still, ultimately, disposable).