Next Project

Since August of 2015, I have been working on a farmers market for my little town.  It was born over cocktails, as most great projects are.  I expressed out loud what my friends were wishing for.  Then the project began.  The team worked at getting the permits, location, vendors, and I built the website and Facebook page.  The market opened January 8, 2016, on a sunny Friday afternoon.  This was handed off as a business to one of the team, who is more philosophically in line with the goals and purpose of a farmers market.  It was a passionate project for me, and brought me out of the desert I had been in professionally for a few years.

When the market opened, we needed to have food and goods for our customers, so I got a permit, and started baking gluten-free breads and cookies in my kitchen.  For the first 8 markets, my sales supported the costs of baking, and allowed me some contact with customers and vendors.  But sales dropped off, partly due to rain and reduced attendance, after the first excitement in the town wore off.  It was clear that this temporary baking business was just that – temporary.  I stopped baking, and took on my roll as the managing director, making sure bathrooms were cleaned, trash picked up, vendors happy, and customers talked to and greeted.

In late April, I was reminded of why I wasn’t cooking for people.  The evils of nerve damage from carpal tunnel and subsequent complications reappeared, but with a twist.  The swelling was in a different place and the pain was much more intense then in the past.  An x-ray revealed the arthritis, and the words steroids, injections and surgery were tossed out like dirty water.  As a believer in God and His immense power to heal, I accepted finally that it would not be healed, and that the mission was not about cooking for the masses, but about a mission soon to be on the horizon.

There was a sense of relief and fear, at the same time, in the acceptance of this disability.  It’s not a challenge.  To be completely politically incorrect, it’s a disability.  Try opening a jar.  The pain is searing and my hand won’t grasp the lid.  Here’s how I know the difference.  I’m vertically challenged, also referred to as short.  A challenge is something that can be overcome by adaptation of some type.  So I have step stools all over my house and three ladders.  If I need help with a light bulb or something else, I have friends who are able to help.  If I want to open a bottle of water, it’s not like I can call a friend to drive and meet me to open the water.  It’s a disability.

When I started this blog, the intention was to be a food writer, and focus on food for families, home cooks and inject some fun and history along the way.  When, a year later, my personal life needed every bit of my attention, this became neglected.  I would look at it, try to write something, delete it, and go to my room and cry – literally.  The vision of what we were going to do with it crashed and burned and the fire didn’t go out for three years.  There was no energy to re-think and re-tool, because all of those energies were going into my personal life, trying to not pick up pieces, but instead to choose the most important pieces left behind.  I pissed off a lot of people along the way, but did what my instincts told me.  There was a treasure trove of worthless crap that had to be sorted and shredded.  The shreds fed the fire until there was nothing left to burn.  I packed up the leftovers, moved and didn’t look back – much.

In August, I got some of my passion back with my friends who are farmers in this enclave of oddities in Texas.  We sipped our newly created Tequila on the Green from plastic cups on a hot afternoon at a monthly craft event.  After months of meetings with city officials, searching for help on the community we launched January 8th, 2016.  In April, when my evil hand returned, I cried again, but also there was a strange sense of peace that came over me as well.  I knew the next project was about to appear, and my full passion would be back.

“…praise the Lord, my mouth still works!”

I am a Scorpio and know that the phoenix is the highest level to attain as a Scorpio.  Yup, God and astrology.  I’m dusting off the ashes and starting to rise.  The good news is that the first video and set of photos plus recipes are logged.  The evil hand is not as evil.  I can open a water bottle with a towel.  Jars are still a struggle.  But I can hold a camera, hold a knife for short sessions, type, and praise the Lord, my mouth still works!  The difference now is that there is a clear purpose to my ramblings, and I have learned to plan better, set up better lighting, run two cameras, mise my ingredients, (that’s chef talk for planning), and writing a script.

Soon I will step away from the market.  The rest of the team sets up booths there every week, and my duties as an instigator and consultant are coming to a close.  The evil hand and my sun-sensitive skin agree that it’s time to move on.


Buzz paws

Now, if I could only teach Buzz how to open jars….


Culinary Schools and the Reality of Food Service

Le Cordon Bleu to Close all US Schools

The reality of food service is that a degree is not a requirement.  But a degree from a reputable school doesn’t hurt.

About 9 years ago, I was in a situation that required I make some serious changes in my life.  After a series of medical crisis that left me with permanent nerve damage and unreliable function in my right hand as well as chronic pain, I had to make some career choice changes.  I made the decision to hit college and get a degree in culinary arts.  I have forever loved cooking, diet books are fascinating to me.  I love food science.  The plan was to get the degree, work in a field related to food, and eventually get a bachelors degree in nutrition or food science.  We had done college searches for the kids in recent years, and knew that finding the right school was extremely important. The research started.  First was the most visible, which was Le Cordon Bleu, a for-profit corporation that could send students out into the real world in as little as 6 months. And leave them with tens of thousands of student loan debt.  I opted not to attend.  There were various reasons, one of which was the money, but more importantly, the credits would not transfer to a traditional college or university.  It seemed to be a waste of time and money, especially with the desire to continue on to a bachelor’s degree.  I ended up choosing Austin Community College, and have never regretted it for a moment.  Not only did I get an education that provided a solid foundation for the future, it was inexpensive and the cost matched the truth about working in food service.   Food service is not a high paying career.

This week, Le Cordon Bleu announced it was closing all of it’s campuses in the USA.  The details in the Eater. com article revolve around a number of reasons, primarily related to the earning ability

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More about Evolutionary Eats

Something came across my line of sight today.  A company with a very similar name is now providing a service that was never in my list of tasks; however I think the concept is interesting.  It prompted me and really gave a kick in the backside to better define the goals.

Evolutionary Eats is for people who want to learn how to be personally responsible for what they eat. My goal is to teach you how to shop for your food, or how to hire someone to do it for you. It’s to teach you how to plan meals, teach your kids to eat better food, and make good choices when they are out of sight. It is not about judgement, accountability or anything else. We are personally responsible for what we consume, in all aspects of our lives, and how we choose to view ourselves, in every situation.

On Facebook, many of my friends post photos and links to recipes.   That is part of the beauty of social media.  As a food person, I am constantly working on recipes, concepts for recipes, photo shoots, and then putting it all together in a consumable form. To be honest, most of the time I glance at the recipes and photos, and then move on. And to be very honest, I do all of it myself.  On occasion, a friend will check out something I am doing, but really it’s all me.  One person with some basic technical knowledge, slapping together something that is almost cohesive and coherent.

I listen to podcasts by  Srinivas Rao, instigator of Unmistakable Creative.  Recently, I got a big nudge.  I realized my readers need some drama, a great back story of how this came about, and why I feel so compelled to continue. The interview was with Donald Miller, author and business man.  There is a long back story, and why I know  that I am on the path God intended.  There are probably only a few people who know the whole story.   For a long time, I was a victim, and I played the role, even after I had the power to be free of it.

All of this ties to food.  Food has made me evolve, transform, so much of myself. It was always the background for what was going on in my life and in my small, limited view of the world.  Food is healing, not only for our bodies but for our souls as well.  God showed us this early on in Judeo-Christian history.  This morning for my daily reading was Leviticus 6:1-6, regarding the daily burnt offering.  It reminded me to “to keep the fires burning”; never let it go out. And to make that daily communion with God.

When I tell snippets of my story to people, they are amazed.  I believe it’s the rea-20150219_115404son it has taken so long for me to get to this point.  At one point I resovled to not tell this, because it didn’t seem to have any bearing on the goals, and I didn’t want to hurt those involved.  But now, it seems the story is important to tell.

More to come; it is about the food.



It’s NatiTequila on the Greenonal Tequila Day. Anyone who knows me knows of my love and appreciation of tequila – especially top notch reposados and ańejos. Friends joke and often covet the collection. I am a sipper, but a good cocktail is also a great way to enjoy tequila.
Today I give you two new, but similar cocktails, of my creation. Both are made with tequila and orange juice, both cold and refreshing.
Tequila on the Green
In a tall Collins glass with ice
1 ½ ounces good reposado tequila
A splash of triple sec
2 ½ ounces pulp free orange juice
Stir together, then gently pour in
1 ounce Creme de Menthe
Don’t worry if it comes out green; it’s still a very tasty cocktail.

Peppermint Tequila Frappé
Makes 2 generous cocktails
You will need two large margarita glasses and salt for the rim
Rub the rims with lime and salt the rims; set aside
In a blender combine:Peppermint tequila orange
4 ounces orange juice
½ ounce lime juice
3 ounces good tequila( silver or reposado)

2 ounces peppermint schnapps
About 1 ½ cups of ice
Whizz this up until smooth and frothy.
Pour into glasses and garnish with fresh peppermint leaves.


Welcome to Evolutionary Eats: A Study of Grub

I established Evolutionary Eats as a food shopping and cooking blog and maker of YouTube videos. Expansion includes service individualized to our clients needs. We believe that all food has value, but some is just better. Our goal is to empower our clients with the tools to make the best food choices for their families and circumstances. Our roots developed in Midwestern food and agriculture. We plan to carry that forward to teach new generations how to create and maintain the best food lives possible.