Roz Cummins

Roz Cummins is a food writer who has worked in every possible permutation of food co-op, natural foods store, and granola-type restaurant. She lives in the greater Boston area and feels it is her mission to put the "eco" back in home economy.

How I shucked my oyster ambivalence and learned to love the noble bivalve

I’ve lived in Boston for years, but for some reason, I had never visited nearby Portland, Maine — until last week, that is. I chose a dramatic occasion for my Portland debut: an Oyster Tasting Night put on by Slow Food Portland. Aw, shucks. Photo: pingpongdeath My previous opinion about the celebrated bivalve was decidedly lukewarm. My lack of oyster enthusiasm once even forced me to consider the specter of parental disownment. Having avoided oysters for years, I ate my first one when I was in Denver in my early 20s. I called my Baltimore-born, oyster-obsessed dad afterward to boast …

The gallery of gingerbread photos is up

Click here if you want to see details of the gingerbread eco-house.

A plate for vegetarians

Judge it for yourself.

Building an eco-home from a favorite holiday sweet

When my friend Deanna told me that she wanted to make a gingerbread house this year — and, in particular, to do so on Black Friday, aka Buy Nothing Day — I immediately asked if we could make an environmentally sound house. The chances of my ever being able to afford the real-life eco-house of my dreams are slim unless I win the lottery, but I figured I could at least afford the gingerbread version. Deanna agreed and we were off and running, dreams of sugary solar panels and rammed-earth gingerbread dancing in our heads. Chez Gingembre Vert. Photo: Bonnie …

In which we attempt to calculate how much an organic feast would cost

There’s something about Thanksgiving that seems to prompt people to think about where their food comes from. Maybe it’s all the cornucopias and sheaves of wheat depicted in supermarket circulars, or maybe it’s the focus on the harvest. Visions of farmers bringing in the crops may lead people to think about how food gets to their table, and whether it would make sense, or even make a difference, to try to buy organic food for the holiday meal. The Grist editors asked me to create a Thanksgiving menu and compare the costs of using organic ingredients versus using conventional ones. …

A recipe for no-boil pumpkin lasagna

For most of my adult life I’ve been anti-lasagna. It’s not that I refuse to eat it. Quite the reverse! I love to eat lasagna. I just refused to make it. The idea of boiling giant, unwieldy sheets of pasta always got on my nerves. It didn’t seem worth it, no matter how delicious the result. For years, a little depiction of a pan of lasagna superimposed with one of those internationally recognized “No!” circles occupied the part of my brain where enthusiasm for making lasagna should reside. Recently, though, I heeded the siren call of no-boil lasagna noodles. It’s …

Send your best Thanksgiving recipe

Cranberries? Tofurky? We’ll eat it all up

It's that time of year again. In between taking down Halloween decorations, excavating coats, hats, and mittens from last year's pile of never-quite-got-washed-or-put-away outerwear, and putting up holiday lights, Thanksgiving sneaks up on us. Once I smell the smoke from my neighbor's woodstoves and hear the crunch of leaves under my feet, I know that the time to savor pumpkin, squash, and sage is just around the corner. This year we're asking readers to send us your own recipes, suitable for a Thanksgiving dinner. We are looking for recipes in three categories in particular: vegetarian entrées, vegan entrées, and side dishes. If you have a Thanksgiving recipe that you'd like to share with other readers, please send it to me by November 12 at Feel free to note any special memory or ritual that you associate with it. And please be sure to note the original source. Here are a few other things to keep in mind as you write up your recipe:

An unseasonably warm night and a doomed-to-melt dessert

November is the new September. — Aladdin Ossorio I’ve been itching to make a Baked Alaska. In 1989, the year the Exxon Valdez spilled oil all over Prince William Sound, my friends and I had several Baked Alaska parties featuring a whiskey-laced “Exxon Valdez Fudge Sauce” that I concocted to recreate the oil slick — and to commemorate the fact that Captain Hazelwood reputedly imbibed a great deal before the tanker ran aground. Do try this at home. Photo: iStockphoto So what, exactly, is Baked Alaska? I’m glad you asked. When I mentioned it to someone I recently met, he …

On accepting invitations from strangers, and a harvest festival

A few years ago, I heard an actor say on a talk show that he had decided if someone invited him to a party, he was going to attend, whether he knew the person or not. When I repeated that to my friend Pagan Kennedy a few days later, she responded, “That’s great! That should be my policy!” Then, half a heartbeat later, she said, “Wait a minute! That is my policy!” Laura Meister at work on her Berkshires farm. Photo: © Jason Houston This exchange came to mind recently when I got an invitation to attend Berkshire Grown’s annual …

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