KAYTE YOUNG: Production support for Earth Eats comes from Bloomingfoods Coop Market, providing local residents with locally sourced food since 1976. Owned by over 12,000 residents in Monroe County and beyond. More at Bloomingfoods.Coop. Elizabeth Ruh, Enrolled Agent with personal financial services. Assisting businesses and individuals with tax preparation and planning for 15 years. More at PersonalFinancialServices.net.
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From WFIU in Bloomington Indiana, I'm Kayte Young and this is Earth Eats.
AMBER NOVELLI: It was funny we were on that little tiny boat and we were catching as much fish as the big guys.
KAYTE YOUNG: Today on our show we have the second installment in a series on the fishing industry on the Oregon coast, and we take a pie tour of Ann Arbor Michigan, followed by a summer pie recipe. That's all coming up so stay with us.
First, we'll got to the news with Renee Reed. Hello Renee.
RENEE REED: Hello Kayte. At least 24,000 meatpacking workers nationwide have contracted COVID-19. Several companies have said they have done everything they can to protect workers, but a new survey of workers paints a different picture of those efforts. According to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, over 70% of respondents across the region still feel they're at high risk for catching the virus. But only 30% said sick pay is available if they do. Doctor Athena Ramos at the University's College of Public Health expected that number to be higher.
- ATHENA RAMOS: I think what we've heard in the media at least from companies is that "Oh yes, we're giving everybody paid time off." The workers were reporting that that wasn't happening.
RENEE REED: Ramos said that hundreds of workers also reported pressure from management to come back to work early. The survey found plants are following some guidelines, like offering masks and COVID information in different languages, but until the facilities have more oversight and social distancing, many workers said they'll continue to worry about getting sick.
Bon Appétit Editor in chief’s resignation on June 8th sent shockwaves across the food media world, underscoring a long history of systemic racism and inequality. Rapoport resigned after a 2013 photo of him wearing a racist Halloween costume surfaced on social media. Rappaport and his wife who are both white, were shown wearing brown face costumes meant to depict Puerto Rican New Yorkers.
That sparked other accounts of racism within the Condé Nast group and an apology from the company. In a statement titled “A Long Overdue Apology, and Where We Go From Here”, staff of Bon Appétite and Epicurious wrote that quote "We have been complicit with a culture we don't agree with and are committed to change." The statement cited lack of diversity in high level leadership, a white centric viewpoint, and a pattern of tokenizing and appropriating content from people of color. The release pledged to be transparent and accountable, "as we begin to dismantle racism at our brands."
Public acknowledgement of these issues came only after a string of reports from staffers exposed deeper roots of racism at the magazines and in the realm of food media industries overall.
Columnist Illyanna Maisonet encountered resistance from Rapoport in covering Puerto Rican food. Editor Sohla El-Waylly said staff of color were asked to appear in photos and videos to project an appearance of diversity without getting paid for those appearances, unlike white staff. A stream of other staff members had reported mistreatment, tokenization and unequal pay in articles that cropped up in Business Insider, Buzzfeed and Jezebel.
Meanwhile, many food brands have issued statements and social media comments declaring solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police last month in Minneapolis. Brands include Gushers, Popeye's Chicken, McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's. Several brands made donations to anti racist activist organizations. Food critic Tejal Rao of The New York Times called into question the motivation behind the statements and pointed out that food brands seem to make statements that follow a set of unspoken rules: “Never commit to any action; and never, under any circumstances, examine your own internal systems and policies or how they might affect your workers.”Food system watchdog Marion Nestle posted on her blog that "If food companies really want to promote Black lives, they can start with recruiting more employees of color, paying them higher wages, offering better sick leave and health care benefits, and supporting them with child care, education, training, and opportunities for career advancement."Find the full story at EarthEats.org. Thanks to Chad Bouchard and Kristina Stella for those reports. For Earth Eats News, I'm Renee Reed.
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KAYTE YOUNG: Near the mouth of the Siuslaw river in Florence Oregon, a husband and wife team does it all, just to keep their seafood business thriving. Producer Josephine McRobbie and public folklorist Joe O'Connell share this story, the second installment in their series on the Oregon fishing industry.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: Running a seafood business on the Oregon coast is no pleasure cruise.
AMBER NOVELLI: (Laughs) Cause it is time consuming, changes your life.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: Amber Novelli and her husband Kyle run Novelli Crab and Seafood in Florence.
AMBER NOVELLI: [To Kyle] Is he totally empty babe?
KYLE NOVELLI: I think so.
AMBER NOVELLI: Alright.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: Some days they're out fishing for salmon on their boat the Midnight.
AMBER NOVELLI: You know have these little tattle tale things up in your front window that will start shaking, and then you know have the salmon on.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: They also catch dungeness crab on their bigger boat the Aquarius.
AMBER NOVELLI: For crabbing we have 200 pots out on in ocean. So, you drop them out there in December with bait in them, then you go out in the beginning of the season;your pots are really full so you go out all the time and check your pots.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: In between trips they're checking their inbox
For the latest from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
AMBER NOVELLI: We're all set up with the emails, they email us all the time. So, you're always checking your email to see if there's new update on what you can catch and what you can't catch. And that's how they keep it sustainable, that's how they keep fish going.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: On top of all of this, Amber and Kyle run a dockside seafood market where walkup customers can buy fresh fish.
AMBER NOVELLI: I really wanna be able that when people come to town, they have somewhere that they can come and get a fresh piece of fish off of a boat.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: At little markets like this, seafood chowder is a staple.
AMBER NOVELLI: It took me a full two years to get the recipe to taste with that ah-ha moment.
And then it took a lot of crab picking I'll tell you. I make it from scratch, fresh, every single day.
Those first two years I was excited if I sold a pot, now it's change. Now I’m at like 8, 10 pots a day and it's like crazy. I got whisking elbow from whisking chowder. The chowder's taken over my life.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: To keep their fish and crabs going at the market, Amber has cultivated relationships with a few other trusted fishers.
AMBER NOVELLI: I’m very picky about who you buy from, cause some people just don't take care of the fish like others. There's a definite way to take care of fish. If they get not enough ice, they're too soft and then they're horrible to clean, they're horrible to sell, they turn into mush and they're a mess. You have to be picky.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: This business comes with serious economic risks but also safety hazards. When Amber was young her best friend lost two family members in a fishing tragedy. That experience stays with her, especially during a rough day at sea.
AMBER NOVELLI: With me, I have to be at peace with it because you just never know. We've been out there, sometimes I did not think we were making it in. And it's like... the first trip was like that, the first thing that I did was I went and bought life insurance. I said, "Okay, if I'm going on than I can leave each one of my kids $100,000 , I'll be fine as I'm going down"
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: She and Kyle have had a few mishaps on their own boats.
AMBER NOVELLI: Kyle went out this last time, he was heading out to the tuna grounds and on his way out there, as soon as the tuna started biting, he got some onboard, but the exhaust started on fire. (laughs)
Never mind he had to come back in and the boat smells like a barbeque right now.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: So, they have their own rituals for inviting good luck.
AMBER NOVELLI: You want to know why that happened? Is because I did a Facebook post that he was heading out. I only post if he is on his way in, and he calls me and says, "I have fish”
Because whenever I do a post saying "He's on his way out" something goes wrong. That’s just how it works.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: That's not the only esoteric rule for fishing trips.
AMBER NOVELLI: Well, I'm not allowed to take a banana on the boat, they all say that. And I don't understand it cause I mean that's an easy... you know, thing to eat as a snack. Fisherman are low on potassium because they won't eat their bananas.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: When Amber and Kyle started out, they still lived hours from the coast. They would drive the day's catch home and sell it from their driveway.
AMBER NOVELLI: We were hocking my jewelry to go out fishing on the weekends. We got in from fishing for two days and we would pull up to the dock and we'd load up the totes in the back of the truck and then drive the bend, get there at 4 in the morning, get up at 7 in the morning, start selling fish. So we got really tired, really fast.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: But they were holding their own on the water, even in their starter boat.
AMBER NOVELLI: It was funny we were on that little tiny boat and we were catching as much fish as the big guys.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: Amber saw potential in her and her husband's weekend gig.
AMBER NOVELLI: I mean he was so good at fishing, and he's so good at it, you know. His dream was to do that. But he didn't have the belief system behind him, or anyone that believed that he could do it for a living. I looked at him and I said, "Babe, if you can make money doing this, let's do it, you know?"
[To a member of the family] Do you want some gloves? Kyle would you hand him some gloves? Wash your hands before you put them on, so you won't get all smelly.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: Now they rely on family to help keep things going on the boats and at the market.
AMBER NOVELLI: So, we keep a house full of deckhands. My son DJ, my son Joey, Kyle's son Cody, my cousin Kenny, my daughter Emily, my granddaughter’s mother Sam. So everyone's involved. Yeah, I'll have four of them in there and they're all busy. You know helping customers, bussing tables, selling stuff, cleaning crabs, there's just always something.
JOSEPHINE MCROBBIE: It's never easy, there are no guarantees of success, and now there are more unknowns than ever. But as of last August, when things were really humming at the market, Amber was feeling lucky.
AMBER NOVELLI: That's the one thing I love about Florence is its people. They're very welcoming, very supportive and they really really help me mentally get through all of this on the busy days especially. I feel like an Italian mama sitting in a house and all these people just coming into the house and they all love my food and they all leave happy and it's like, it's just like meeting new people all the time. And having new friends all the time.
KAYTE YOUNG: That story comes to us from Josephine McRobbie and public folklorist Joe O'Connell. O'Connell conducted the original research in August 2019 for the Oregon Folklife Network with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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Production support comes from:
Bill Brown at Griffy Creek Studio, architectural design and consulting for residential, commercial and community projects. Sustainable, energy positive and resilient design for a rapidly changing world. Bill at GriffyCreek.Studio Insurance agent Dan Williamson of Bill Resch Insurance. Offering comprehensive home, auto, business and life coverage, in affiliation with Pekin Insurance. Beyond the expected. More at BillRescheInsurance.com And Bloomingfoods Coop Market, providing local residents with locally sourced food since 1976. Owned by over 12,000 residents in Monroe County and beyond. More at Bloomingfoods.Coop
KAYTE YOUNG: [Narrating]Listeners, we have so much on our plates right now, and I'm not talking about food. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic, the numbers of deaths rising each day. We don't yet know the full extent of the economic suffering the millions in our nation will face due to the catastrophic job loss from extended closures in so many sectors. And we're in the thick of a necessary and long overdue national reckoning with racialized police violence and systemic racism throughout our culture. I thought it might be good to take a deep breath.
(Sound of a deep breath in and out)
This week, I'd like to take comfort and offer comfort in pie. Pie for many is a great comfort food, especially in summertime with seasonal stone fruits like cherries, peaches, and of course all the berries. Making a pie is a part baking, part art project, and part sharing love with those that end up eating the pie.
Anyone who knows me knows that pie is important to me. My mom taught me how to make pie crust as her mom taught her. My grandmother had an elegant way of scoring the tops of her pies with a simple wheat design that my mom and I could never quite master. I've always been happy with my homemade pies, but it wasn't until I tried Mark Bittman’s recipe and followed the instructions carefully that my pie making skills moved to the next level. That was in 2006, before that I didn't really get how crucial temperature was to getting a flakey pie crust. Nowadays I'm quite pleased with the texture and flavor of my pie pastry. And I really suffer if one doesn't turn out exactly right, which does happen occasionally, usually when I'm trying to impress someone.
Because of my high pie standards, I don't usually order pie when I'm out and I never bother tasting supermarket pies when they show up on a potluck table. But recently a friend of mine suggested that she had visited Ann Arbor Michigan and had explored the town through the lens of pie. At least that's what I thought she said, maybe they just visited several bakeries. In any case it sounded like a brilliant idea to me, so I tried it myself. Way back in January, before any of the COVID-19 shutdowns in the U.S., my son was attending an orchestra program in northern Indiana, and Ann Arbor was close enough to visit. So, I compiled a list of places in Ann Arbor featuring pies on the menu and headed out with my partner Carl, in search of a pie pastry that was tender and flakey, and full of flavor. First stop Avalon Bakery in downtown Ann Arbor.
Their motto is: Eat Well, Do Good. Avalon boasts 100% organic flour. Looks like our pie is blueberry though it does not say.
CARL PEARSON: Flavorful crust.
KAYTE YOUNG: Tastes like blueberry, but the filling really sets up nice without being gelatinous. And it has a crumble type topping. Let me check the crust, I haven't really tried the crust yet. That crust is tender, and flakey, and it has a really good flavor.
CARL PEARSON: I thought the flavor was excellent.
KAYTE YOUNG: You know what, I think this is mixed berry because I'm seeing something in it that looks a lot like a raspberry or a...
CARL PEARSON: Blackberry?
KAYTE YOUNG: Blackberry. The filling is quite sweet, it might be a little too sweet for me but...
CARL PEARSON: I like it. How's the crust on the bottom?
KAYTE YOUNG: [To Carl] Well it's not soggy. Definitely sturdy but it's not tough. It meets so much of the criteria that I have for a pie crust.
[Narrating] For lunch we decided on Zingerman’s - an Ann Arbor destination for all foodies. It's something like a campus with several buildings featuring different types of food. We ordered savory pot pies.
[Narrating in the restaurant] The top crust already, it's beautifully shaped and it looks flakey. This is a mushroom pot pie, the crust is so incredibly flaky, but tender in a way that...
CARL PEARSON: Is really yummy?
KAYTE YOUNG: [Narrating in the restaurant] It's so soft, it's so tender, it's incredibly flaky, it's got good flavor. And the mushroom are just... savory and herby, nice gravy. Thing about it, these pies, they look small but they're way too much for me to have for lunch, to have the whole thing.
[Narrating] Next, we headed to a strip mall in the northeastern part of town, to Yoon’s Bakery. It's a Korean bakery with French inspired baked treats.
[Narrating in the restaurant] This tart is more crumbly than flaky. Very short, it's a short crust. Mm, the custard is great. It's got a little lemony-ness to it. The custard is about 3/8ths of an inch thick. It's very delicate, creamy, delicious. Fruit tart, it's a custard base piled with raw glazed fruit which is raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and kiwi...? Yeah, kiwi. This one's sweet, it's like a cookie.
CARL PEARSON: More like a cookie, yeah.
KAYTE YOUNG: This is just one of those classic summer fruit tarts.
CARL PEARSON: I love the egg custard, it was superb.
KAYTE YOUNG: Yeah.
CARL PEARSON: The fruit custard was really yummy too, maybe wrong season to appreciate it fully.
KAYTE YOUNG: Yeah it definitely feels like the wrong season for this but, well done.
CARL PEARSON: The fruit was good though, yeah.
KAYTE YOUNG: [Narrating] Pies from a company called Achatz’s Handmade pie company are well known in Michigan. The Achatz Pie Company was founded by Wendy and Dave Achatz in 1996. The Ann Arbor pie shop is closed now, but wholesale production of the legendary pies continues from their bakehouse in Chesterfield Michigan. We went to look for them at a fancy grocery store called Plum Market. At the time we didn't have the correct pronunciation for the name of the pie company, so bear with us.
I'm not seeing the Achatz... there's hot cakes bakery... here it is!
CARL PEARSON: Wonderful. It looks like they've got four kinds.
KAYTE YOUNG: Apple, blueberry...
KAYTE YOUNG & CARL PEARSON: [At the same time] fourberry
KAYTE YOUNG: What I really want is the cherry but....
CARL PEARSON: There it is.
KAYTE YOUNG: It's so big. I think it's worth it to get the cherry. I would rather get this size, oh -
CARL PEARSON: There's a smaller one.
KAYTE YOUNG: Oh! Excellent. Perfect. It's pretty cute, with the star in the middle.
CARL PEARSON: This pie is boxed, but from the outside through the cellophane it sure looks delicious.
KAYTE YOUNG: [Narrating] We'll check back in with that adorable cherry pie later when we get around to tasting it. For dinner we headed to Grand Traverse pie company, they originated in grand traverse county Michigan, but now have 15 locations in Michigan and Indiana.
[To Carl] This is a proper pie company.
CARL PEARSON: Here, we've made it to pie heaven. Cream pies...
KAYTE YOUNG: Beef pot pie,
CARL PEARSON: Lemon meringue,
KAYTE YOUNG: Pumpkin, pecan, cheesecake. The lemon meringue is quite stunning.
CARL PEARSON: Yeah, the lemon meringue is beautiful, it's otherwordly, it's an exotic alien creature.
KAYTE YOUNG: Beef pasties, chicken pot pie, beef pot pie.
CARL PEARSON: Okay, so, if I may; our choices are Lake Shore Berry, apple blueberry cherry, Strawberry rhubarb, peach, mountain berry, apple crumb, blueberry peach, cherry, blueberry, and then....
KAYTE YOUNG: Quiches-
CARL PEARSON: All these quiches.
KAYTE YOUNG: Oh, I think I want...
CARL PEARSON: What's quiche lorraine?
KAYTE YOUNG: It's like cheese of some sort, maybe swiss cheese. I'm not sure. And ham and spinach, that's what I think. I'm thinking I would get the Mediterranean feta... that's a lot.
CARL PEARSON: Yeah. Is it a full quarter of quiche.
KAYTE YOUNG: It looks like a full quarter of perhaps small...
CARL PEARSON: Yeah.
KAYTE YOUNG: Pie?
Oh, very delicate. It tastes as though it's been reheated, which of course it has. It's got really good flavor but texture wise it's a bit saturated - probably because of the reheating. It's nice and flakey it's just not.... it has no crunch. It's too oily or something. It's still really good and the quiche filling is quite good. I'm not feeling good about the ingredients that I'm seeing here. I guess they're a big pie company. Palm and soybean oil, and palm kernel oil, vegetable mono and diglycerides, sodium benzoate. Yeah, just a lot of extras.
CARL PEARSON: Yeah.
KAYTE YOUNG: I'm looking for butter, flour, sugar and salt. Okay now I'm going to try the turnover. I consider this to be a like a hand pie, the pastry is very much a pie crust pastry, it's not a puff pastry. And this is the raspberry, the flakes are just falling off of it. Again, the crust is very flakey, but it also has a little bit of that saturated feeling and maybe it's because I read the ingredients, but it doesn't taste as natural. But it also doesn't take like a supermarket pie, I mean the crust is well crafted. It's just not well crafted with butter. And the yacht rock in the background.
[Narrating] Back at our hotel it was time to sample the final pie of the day, that Achatz’s cherry pie we picked up earlier.
[Narrating in the hotel room] This is a double crust cherry pie. The crust is a bit thick... it's a bit thick and underbaked I think.
CARL PEARSON: Not as flakey.
KAYTE YOUNG: Not as flavorful either.
CARL PEARSON: Not as tender. The filling is nice.
KAYTE YOUNG: The filling is really good.
CARL PEARSON: This is the 6th piece of pie we've had today... no 7th.
KAYTE YOUNG: I think that may have been too many pies in one day for me. It definitely was.
CARL PEARSON: (laughs)
KAYTE YOUNG: [Narrating] So, lesson learned. So, while a pie tour was certainly a fun way to explore a town, like most good things, pie is best enjoyed in moderation.
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Summer is peak fruit pie season. I've been making galettes lately. They're a rustic free-form pie, where you skip the pie pan and simply fold your pie pastry around the fruit filling leaving an open middle. I appreciate their simplicity in the way maximize crunchy pie crust edges and avoid the dreaded soggy bottoms of juicy fruit pies. I've made strawberry rhubarb and last week I made one with a mix of serviceberries and gooseberries for the filling. It's so easy, here are the steps;
Make the pie dough in the morning - and we have a recipe and instructions for that on EartEats.org. Wrap it in plastic and stick it in the fridge to chill for several hours. Mix the berries with sugar and maybe some cornstarch. You can mash them up, slice them, or keep them whole.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, then roll out the chilled dough into a rough circle. Transfer it to a baking sheet. Pile the berries and sugar mixture in the middle and fold the edges of the pastry over the circle of fruit, leaving it at least half of it exposed. Then brush the pastry with milk or cream, sprinkle sugar over it, and bake it in a preheated 450-degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 and bake another 15 or 20 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes or so before serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Make two so you can share one with someone who could really use the comfort of pie right now. Find photos and details at EarthEats.org.
(Earth Eats Theme Music)
That's it for our show this week, thanks for listening. Take care yourselves, take care of each other.
RENEE REED: The Earth Eats team includes Eobon Binder, Chad Bouchard, Mark Chilla, Abraham Hill, Taylor Killough, Josephine McRobbie, Daniel Orr, The IU Food Institute, Harvest Public Media and me, Renee Reed. Our theme music is composed by Erin Tobey and performed by Erin and Matt Tobey. Earth Eats is produced and edited by Kayte Young and our executive producer is John Bailey.
KAYTE YOUNG: Special thanks this week to Amber Novelli, Kyle Novelli, Joe O’Connell and Carl Pearson.
Production support comes from: Elizabeth Ruh, Enrolled Agent, providing customized financial services for individuals, businesses, disabled adults including tax planning, bill paying, and estate services. More at Personal Financial Services.net. Bill Brown at Griffy Creek Studio, architectural design and consulting for residential, commercial and community projects. Sustainable, energy positive and resilient design for a rapidly changing world. Bill at Griffy Creek.studio.And Insurance agent Dan Williamson of Bill Resch Insurance. Offering comprehensive home, auto, business and life coverage, in affiliation with Pekin Insurance. Beyond the expected. More at Bill Resche Insurance.com