What is a foodie?
Mathea Tanner, 33, was raised with a strong interest in food. Her father was from the South and her mother was Greek. Dinner time was a fusion of foods from their two cultures. Her upbringing played a role on why she is a foodie, today. For Mathea, one of the first things she thinks about in the morning is, “What am I going to eat and prepare today?”
“I think being a food lover, you start to think about where your food comes from and that naturally starts to impact; what you think about as far as who you are; what it means for your health and what it means for everyone around you,” Tanner said.
Mathea has a food blog called littlefigblog.com. She posts seasonal recipes with a focus on how she eats. Her diet is gluten light with a focus on creating vegetarian dishes during the week and meat-centered entrees on the weekend. Her blog has not always been so health conscious, previously she had one focused on fun food and baking. Then she had an eye-opening moment when both of her parents passed away before their 60th birthdays. Her father passed away from a heart attack, and her mother lost the battle against breast cancer. She started to realize, for better or for worse, a lot of their health issues could have arguably been prevented or improved if their diet had been better.
“I was going through all of my dad’s things, and I found his final bank statement, which was filled with charges from fast food restaurants. He had gotten into a bad habit of picking up fast food on his way home from work,” Tanner said.
One thing you will not find on Mathea’s blog is a recipe with pineapple in the middle of winter. She has a lot of recipes she would like to be posting right now, but she said it almost feels inappropriate — “like wearing white after labor day.”
“Not only is food more nutritional when you eat it in season, but it is hugely better for the environment. Much more energy goes into producing a fruit or vegetable that is grown in a hot house and shipped to you, than grown in the middle of the summer a couple miles from your house. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be eating locally when we are surrounded by farm land,” Tanner said.
Mathea moved to Terre Haute two years ago via Chicago. Her favorite place to buy food, even in the winter, is the Downtown Terre Haute Farmers Market. She recommends that everyone to go to the Farmers Market. Talk to a producer and it will change your mind how you feel about the vegetables you bring home.
“We have local growers that I can go and have dinner with tonight, who I have gotten to know as friends, that would never happen in the city of Chicago. This is a huge advantage. When you can sit down to a meal and know the person who grew the food with their own two hands, is your friend, that takes it to a completely different level that has nothing to do with nourishment,” Tanner said.
When Mathea does head into a grocery store she looks at what is fresh, in season and organic. She does not plan dinner by a recipe, instead she fixes dinner around what she finds most appealing at the grocery store. For example if spaghetti squash is in season, she will focus a meal around the squash. If one is unsure how to create a recipe using spaghetti squash on the fly, she suggests searching the Internet for sources. It is a two second process that will provide thousands of recipes.
The Organic Argument
There is no doubt that organic food can cost double or triple that of its rivaled processed counterpart. One may not be able to taste the difference between organic produce and if there is actually more nutrition, but for Mathea she has two reasons why she heads to the organic aisle first.
1) There is an environmental impact that people may not even think about when it comes to pesticides and how your food is treated.
2) She feels there are some health risks to long term exposure to certain pesticides that she can’t put a price on.
“I feel it is incredibly urgent that people take a close look at what they do with their food every day because it has made a huge difference in my life. In the time I have changed how I eat, I have seen a huge difference in how I think, how I am motivated in every part of my life. I have a clearer head, I am more energetic. I can’t really put a price on that. How much of a price can you put on feeling better?” Tanner said.
Thee Steps to
Becoming a Foodie
1) Forget what you think you know about preparing vegetables. Search for a new way. For example trying roasting Brussels sprouts with olive oil, pepper and salt instead of steaming them.
2) Try a new ingredient or cuisine every week/month.
3) Invest a little in your kitchen equipment. Every kitchen should have a chef’s knife; one cutting board for vegetables and another for meat; a large, heavy-bottomed stainless steel or cast iron skillet; a sheet pan with a rim and a large soup pot.
Jane Santucci is an environmental freelance writer for the Tribune-Star. Santucci is a volunteer with TREES Inc. and Our Green Valley. She also sits on the Wabash Valley Goodwill Industries Board of Directors. Share your environmental stories and tips with her at email@example.com.
What is a foodie?
Community Theatre to bring Tony Award-winning play to stage
Some call it a comedy, while others call it a drama. “God of Carnage” was the 2009 Tony Award winner for Best Play, and Community Theatre of Terre Haute will present it this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as March 21-23.
New Leo Baxter Orchestra to entertain at Big Read Party
A Terre Haute tradition will be reborn when the New Leo Baxter Society Orchestra performs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Indiana Theatre as part of the Big Party for the Wabash Valley Big Read.
With new Americana album, Chicago artist to play Verve
For years, Kevin Presbrey toured the country as the front man of Painkiller Hotel, a modern rock group inspired by guitar-fueled bands like Pearl Jam and Live. Now, he’s dialing back the clock with his solo debut, an Americana album that takes its cues from Jim Croce’s folk music, the Eagles’ country-tinged rock and Fleetwood Mac’s 1970s pop.
Guiding Star: Inspired by family, Terre Haute native rallies famous names to fund cancer research
Famous people filled the Riviera Country Club, a scenic golf resort in affluent Pacific Palisades, Calif.
A city block away, Sunset Boulevard runs toward the Pacific Ocean. The Santa Monica Mountains overlook it all. Inside the Riviera, during a 2009 fundraising dinner, Terre Haute attorney Tony Tanoos found himself surrounded by a who’s who of celebrities — actors such as Ray Romano, Mark Wahlberg, Don Cheadle and others, and golfing greats like Gary Player, Johnny Miller and Rocco Mediate. Soon, the crowd of notables heard the words of main speaker Lisa Paulsen, the president of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
MIKE LUNSFORD: The long goodbye to winter
I have no idea what the weather is to bring to us on the morning this story runs, but on the day I write most of it, the sun is shining, and we have just come off a weekend of pleasant warmth and cloudless skies.
Making Waves: Woman devotes part of rural Vigo County home to museum on hairstyling
Some studies show that women spend more than $50,000 in a lifetime and more than one month of their entire life at a beauty salon, trying to get and keep their hair just the right style. How they have accomplished this through the ages has been a fascination for local hairstylist Brenda Ellis for more than 50 years.
Heaven on Earth: Writer gets lost — both figuratively and literally — at Acadia National Park
Editor’s Note: Today, we continue the New England Journal as Mike Lunsford writes of a day hiking the Atlantic shoreline and the trails of Maine’s Acadia National Park.
Rock of Ages: Hulman Center stage has been entertaining crowds since 1974
As the stage lights came on, Sam Wellington and his cohorts gazed out at an audience of 8,060 Midwesterners.
The scene was familiar for him. Wellington and his country music quartet, The Four Guys, opened shows night after night for fellow RCA Records artists Ronnie Millsap and headliner Charley Pride on tours across North America.
Wearing a Legacy: Inspired by Debs, a variety of places and things beyond Terre Haute — from a town to beers — bear his name
A town and a school. Two styles of beer. A radio station, a street, a township, and a house for college students. Even a parade.
Any of those places or things named in honor of legendary labor and social activist Eugene V. Debs could theoretically exist in Terre Haute. Alas, none do.
Flowing forward: As Riverscape leader retires, he sees great things ahead for the Wabash River
An iconic photo of Harry Truman hangs in John Mutchner’s office.
The walls of that room and others inside Mutchner’s scenic eastside home offer glimpses of his interests, from auto racing to basketball to political history. The famous picture of a triumphant Truman, hoisting an erroneous “Dewey Defeats Truman” Chicago Tribune headline, rests neatly framed alongside a 1952 campaign button and an autographed notecard from the former president.
Hope Awakened: On a floating hospital, Terre Haute nurse sees lives of needy transformed
The woman was 24 years old. She weighed 70 pounds.
She had young children and, for a long time, a heavy burden. A tumor, large as her head, engulfed her jaw. Eating and breathing became all but impossible for her. Undoubtedly, she’d been ostracized because of it, too. Such cases are rare in the Western world, but they occur frequently in the Republic of Congo. The coastal African nation has just one doctor for every 20,000 people.
Rock Collector: Indiana Coal Council president loves rocks, fossils and 4-H
You might say Bruce Stevens grew up with lots of pet rocks.
Scavenging for rocks and fossils as a boy near his home at Coalmont launched Stevens’ fascination with geology. His love of all things sedimentary led him to a successful career in hydrology, reclamation and the coal industry.
‘Afternoon on a Hill’: The formal poet who led an informal life — Edna St. Vincent Millay
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, we continue the New England Journal as Mike Lunsford writes of an afternoon exploring the rural gardens and home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay near Austerlitz, N.Y. Join Lunsford in February for the sixth installment of this series as he wanders along the wooded shorelines of Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park.
No Intermission: Character meets demise on ‘Walking Dead,’ but lively acting career continues for Terre Haute’s Jose Pablo Cantillo
Characters often make dramatic exits from television shows.
Few could top Terre Haute-raised actor Jose Pablo Cantillo’s departure last month from AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
The scene occurred in the fourth season of cable TV’s most popular drama series ever.
Telling stories in song
Pieces of Terre Haute’s infamous past gather dust in the town’s metaphorical attic. Closed-up, old baggage — forever linked, like it or not, to the historical record.
Real people lived through those times, but as generations pass, memories of those characters fade and disappear.
Effort under way to restore Civil War monument to original grandeur; ‘Soldier of the West’ unique in state of Indiana
“How sleep the brave, who sink to rest with all their country’s wishes blest.”
A lone soldier sits atop Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle. He is seated with his foot on a cannon of long ago, looking westward, perhaps toward the future he fought for. “He” is a stone memorial, rising nearly 30 feet in the historic cemetery. He represents all the men, young and old, from Putnam County who fought and died in the Civil War, and he is aptly titled “Soldier of the West.”
Walk of a Lifetime: Writer discovers views fit for a painting while walking the cliffs of Prout’s Neck, home to famous artist Winslow Homer’s seaside studio
Editor’s Note: Today, we continue the New England Journal as Mike Lunsford writes of a day walking the Maine seacoast in search of the great artist, Winslow Homer. Join Mike in January for the fifth installment of this series as he visits Edna St. Vincent Millay’s rural New York farm, Steepletop.
Heightened Sense of Place: Educators’ efforts helped put geography back on map in schools
Geography transcends dots on a map.
Teachers traveling abroad alongside Terre Haute geographer Dorothy Drummond have experienced the real-life cultures, atmosphere and people existing within those dots. An educator herself, Drummond has organized affordable geography tours of foreign lands for Wabash Valley schoolteachers for many years. The journeys involved more than sight-seeing.
Fade to Black: A few local theaters among last to part with century-old 35-mm film
The projectionist behind the first movie shown in the Indiana Theatre nearly 92 years ago would likely feel right at home in that same booth today.
HEALING WATERS: Team River Runner offers inspiration, opens doors for wounded veterans
Some people say the fun of boating on the Wabash is dealing with unexpected challenges such a big body of water can present on certain days; others delight in the wild beauty at Terre Haute’s doorstep, from bald eagles soaring above trees lining the banks of the Wabash to the panorama of the river itself as it curls through woodland in many places reminiscent of primeval splendor seen hundreds of years ago.
Country singer/songwriter from Illinois to perform at The Verve
Up-and-coming country singer/songwriter Troy Stone of Paris, Ill., will perform from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. March 14 in The Verve at 677 Wabash Ave.
Gallery presents ‘Halcyon Days’ exhibit
Halcyon Art Gallery is presenting the regional juried exhibition, “Halcyon Days 2014,” on view from Friday until March 28. The opening reception will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday. This is the ninth in a series of juried exhibitions showcasing the best of contemporary art in all media.
See dinosaurs, Dr. Seuss characters at Children's Museum
On Sunday, March 9, Terre Haute Children’s Museum guests will be in for a special treat. Prehistoric creatures from Erth’s “Dinosaur Zoo” will be roving the museum, and Dr. Seuss characters will come to life when the Children’s Theatre of Terre Haute presents “Seussical Jr.”
GRAPE SENSE: News from the world’s wine regions can affect future prices
News from the world’s wine regions can affect even the average wine drinker. There is a lot going on, particularly in California, which can affect future wine prices.
TRIED ’N’ TRUE: The easiest ham loaf I’ve ever made
I have been asked for a good ham loaf recipe. This is really good. It comes from a friend of mine in Morton, Ill. Eileen Knapp makes this for her kids and grandkids — we all enjoyed it.
Party New Orleans-style at Swope Mardi Gras celebration
The Swope Art Museum’s fifth annual Mardi Gras celebration is this weekend. Enjoy a visit to the Big Easy on the museum’s third floor from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday.
‘A complete meal of classical music’ at Central Presbyterian
Beethoven composed his masterpieces nearly two centuries ago. George Gershwin wrote “Rhapsody in Blue” a few years after World War I.
Final Fridays: Lunes Domingo at Verve
Lunes Domingo returns to the Verve this Friday with special guests The Brown James.
The show starts at 10 p.m. Admission is $3.
TRIED ‘N’ TRUE: No need to knead dough much for these rolls
I know we all like homemade bread. These rolls are great.
When we used to have Christmas with Gene’s family, his uncle Bob Beard’s daughter made these Oatmeal Rolls.
YOUR GREEN VALLEY: We can help save the manatees, right here in the heartland
The year 2013 was the deadliest on record for manatees with about 829 reported deaths. This was a major jump from the 392 in 2012 and the record of 766 in 2010. While the cold weather played a role, one major attributing factor has been toxic red tide events caused by algal blooms.
- More Features Headlines
- Community Theatre to bring Tony Award-winning play to stage