Star Anise Pumpkin Ice Cream
Similar to most conversations about the nutritional benefits of certain ingredients, dairy is surrounded by misinformation, and people drink the the dairy mythology by the gallons. After interviewing Krista of The Farmer’s Wifee about dairy farms, I wanted to follow up with an interview about the nutrition of dairy with Sarah Downs, a registered dietitian with Best Food Facts. After reading both Krista and Sarah’s interviews, leave a comment to share your thoughts about dairy or the Star Anise Pumpkin Ice Cream that follows the interview.

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Dried Corn, this variety grown for feed, leftover on one of Spirit Farms fields
Dried Corn, this variety grown for feed, leftover on one of Spirit Farms fields.

During my mid-twenties, I stopped drinking and eating dairy products. My circle of friends declared it evil. We thought it had too much hormones and antibiotics. Furthermore, so-called health experts said dairy products were bad for people of color, because milk wasn’t consumed in Africa. It wasn’t until a trip to Europe changed my views about dairy products. After all, who can resist European cheese, yogurt and butter? The day my dietary restrictions were thrown away, was the moment I was guiltily eating fresh baked bread from a danish bakery. It was a moment when a soothing thought crossed my mind, “Please eat everything. When is the next time I will visit Europe, again?” My guilt disappeared, as I feasted on European dairy products to discover I didn’t have a milk allergy. The irony? During the summer of my European feast, I lost weight. And, I fell in love with dairy-based ice cream.  Read more

Sweet Potato and Chocolate Cream Bars
Sweet Potato and Chocolate Cream Bars

Someone said, “There goes the neighborhood’s intelligentsia,” upon hearing about a bookstore closing in the neighborhood. It was a quaint shop of diverse — mostly African-American — literature, music, and small gifts. The book store owner gladly ordered any book upon request, and she welcomed suggestions about upcoming books and authors. When I first moved into the neighborhood, seeing a book shop prominently display African-American literature, from the Nobel Peace Prize to the urban world fiction authors, warmed the heart. The shop had a cozy atmosphere with stained wooden shelves, framed autographs from notable authors, a painting of an angel reading a book that doubled as the shop’s logo, a play corner for young kids, and a long comfortable window seat. It was difficult to not stop in to say hello on the way to the coffee shop. Other times, a cup of coffee was enjoyed in the shop. Not only was the shop a place of literature, for it supported the community. It sponsored poetry events for young adults, introduced new authors, held reading workshops for children of various ages, and organized book clubs for adults. Read more