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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Recap of November 2011 Meeting

Seasons Greetings to All!

This year, our annual post-conference meeting was held at Karen's house. After gathering to the sounds of the Quebe Sisters from Fort Worth who fiddled and sang at the conference, we sat down to yet another delicious potluck dinner. As our collective knowledge and experience grows and our access to these delectably healthful foods increases, our dinners seem to be getting better and better!

After dinner, the meeting started with a couple announcements. Our new friend and future guest speaker Jamil Avdiyev gave us a brief introduction to High Brix nutrient-dense foods, and shared samples of his delicious home-grown carrots. Local almond farmer, George Yemetz came by for a visit and told us about his farm-fresh raw unpasteurized almonds. Luckily he had some samples to share, and the group was more than happy to indulge. Thank you, Jaye and Suzanne, for helping organize a group purchase! And gratitude goes out to our fine friend Farmer Yemetz for taking the time to send us thank you notes for supporting his business. What a class act!

As the Santa Anna Winds started rolling in from the desert, a small group of us who attended the Wise Traditions conference in Dallas showed photos from our trips. Karen, Steve, Rolf, & Elaina gave lively presentations as we eagerly viewed the slide shows. Everyone contributed their own personal photos to the presentation, even those who couldn't make it to the meeting like Monica Ford aka Real Food Devotee. Photos depicted scenes from conference presentations, special events, vendors, posters, and even a few proud poses with some big hitters like health & nutrition guru Dr. Joe Mercola, Canadian Raw Milk Champion Farmer Michael Schmidt, WAPF president Sally Fallon, and our local hero and founder of the Raw Milk Institute Mark McAfee, to name a few. There were also some beautiful shots of the delicious wholesome food at the conference, as well as scenes from post-conference activities like the cooking class and the field trip to 3 local sustainable Texas farms. We finished up the slide shows just as the winds were picking up and the lights began to flicker. Then from the closing of the conference, we watched a video clip of Mark McAfee's official introduction of the Raw Milk Institute. It was a wonderful evening to behold, and hopefully an inspiration to the whole group to join together and bring a much larger southern California contingent to the conference next year in Santa Clara, California.

Lastly, fired up with enthusiasm brought home from the conference, Karen in her Texas cowboy best encouraged everyone to please join and support the 3 most important organizations which actively help us gain and maintain access to local, sustainably-raised farm-fresh foods: the Weston A. Price Foundation, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and now the Raw Milk Institute. Answering Karen's call to suggest ways to encourage everyone to join and support these valuable organizations, Elaina proposed that we collect money on the spot to give away one membership to the Weston A. Price Foundation. Money was promptly collected and about 6 people participated in a drawing for the membership. The winner turned out to be the first one to draw straws: Alfred Gonzales. Congratulations, Alfred! And thank you, Elaina, for that great idea! As long as all participants are in agreement, this would be a fun tradition to include at the close of every meeting!

Our meeting finished up just in the knick of time, for not long after, the Santa Annas successfully stole our power! Little did we know about the devastation to expect the next morning ... As people returned to their vehicles battling hurricane-speed winds, it seemed everyone made it home safely. I hope no one suffered any significant physical or financial damage from the storm. Many of us were out of power for at least 5 days, Yours Truly among them! Hence the delay of this posting!

Now that things are slowly getting back to normal, I wish everyone a happy, healthy Holiday Season. Hope to see you at our next meeting!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Newsflash! Food & Freedom Night Tonight!

Hello to Members and Friends of the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

As you may have heard, Organic Pastures raw milk operation has been temporarily shut down, most likely until after Thanksgiving, for pathogen testing. May of us here at the WAPF believe that this is a politically and economically motivated action designed primarily to hurt the Raw Milk market and protect the interests of Big Dairy. (And personally, I believe it's no coincidence that this action comes not only right before Thanksgiving, but also right after Mark McAfee's announcement of the founding of the Raw Milk Institute this past Sunday 11/13 at the Wise Traditions Conference in Dallas.)

At this point our movement needs as much help and support as it can get. Please seriously consider attending "Food and Freedom Night" TONIGHT (Thursday 11/17/11) at Culture Club 101 in Pasadena to show your support for this cause and commune with like-minded souls.

This is a VERY serious issue. Corporations are running the US government, and our freedom is at stake. We NEED and MUST use our voices in this grass roots movement to create a Tipping Point so small sustainable family farms are no longer put out of business by the powers at be. If you care about your health, your freedom, the environment, global warming, sustainable agriculture, or animal rights, then please try to be there!

Please come show your support tonight! And let's help turn this Movement into a Revolution!

Thank you for your support,

Karen Voelkening-Behegan
Pasadena CA Chapter Leader

Friday, November 4, 2011

Recap of October 2011 Potluck Dinner Meeting: German Night!

by Karen Voelkening-Behegan

Thanks to everyone who attended German Night, our first evening devoted to one ethnic culinary tradition. The first of many, I hope. As your chapter leader, I thought I'd kick off this new tradition by starting out with my own heritage from Germany. My father, Burkhard Wolfgang Völkening was a German immigrant, and my mother, Barbara Richter Völkening was 100% 3rd generation German. When I was a child, we used to travel to Germany every year to visit my dad's side of our family, so I became very familiar with German culture and culinary traditions.

Wanting to bring back some delicious smells and flavors from my childhood, I sought out some classic recipes for some old German favorites:

- Kaesespaetzle mit Speck (homemade Swabian noodles with cheese and bacon)
- Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut und Kartoffeln (potatoes)
- Rotkohl (sweet-and-sour warm red cabbage)
- Samples of several popular spreads to put on delicious German rye & black breads:
- Gewuerzquark mit Röstknoblauch (homemade cheese spread with roasted garlic & herbs)
- Griebenschmalz (lard & duckfat spread with bacon, ham, apples, onions, & herbs)
- gehackter Rindfleisch Tartar (steak tartare with egg, gherkins, anchovies, shallots, sea salt, & herbs)
- Desert Quark with berries and cream.

With German folk music playing in the background, a smattering of German conversation in the air, and the sights and smells of German food, the atmosphere was set. Based on everyone's reaction, I think we all enjoyed the food. Visitors from Germany and others in the know commented that the foods were very authentic. One couple who had never tried German food before seemed pleasantly surprised that it was so good! A visitor from Germany was overjoyed to have some Quark again, and commented that Quark was the one thing that she and her friends always miss whenever they leave the country. (In Germany you can buy Quark in stores, but here, little do they know, you can also make it yourself out of fresh raw milk with a buttermilk culture!)

This time around, since there were 2 cooking demos scheduled, I did the first one right before dinner: the art of making homemade Spaetzle. I think most people didn't know that you could put a loose & sticky dough made with plenty of eggs into boiling water, and instantly form fresh noodles, ready within one minute of boiling. Once the noodles rise, scoop them out of the water, strain and toss them in a pan with freshly cooked bacon bits and plenty of raw butter from grass-fed cows. Mix in some freshly grated raw cheese (and some crème fraiche, if you're lucky enough to have some around - thanks Elaina!) and Guten Appetit! Kaesespaetzle mit Speck ist fertig! (The noodles are ready!) So we enjoyed that with dinner. For the sake of the gluten-free crowd, I made it with Red Mill Gluten-Free bread mix for the best representation of the traditional sprouted wheat version. And seriously, I don't think even an expert could have discerned the difference!

After dinner, I attempted to show the gang how to make sausage. We took the ground meat (pork, grass-fed veal, and smoked bacon) and with the help of a couple assistants, seasoned it with a long list of herbs and spices. Then we threw in some sea salt and some fresh Amish lard, and put it through the meat grinder! At long last, once we were done, we fried up a batch while I attempted to demo how to get the meat into fresh natural casings. The sausage tasted great, but the casing process could have gone a little smoother. I'm no expert, so we did our best. It was pretty funny!

But the main lesson here is that anyone can make sausage with a simple meat grinder. You don't even have to use casings if you don't want to. Most importantly, this is a great way to incorporate wonderfully healthy organ meats from pastured animals into your meals. Just throw in a little heart, liver, or kidney, add your favorite meat, grind, season, mix, and you're done! It's that simple. The whole process makes great breakfast sausage! Or even ground meat for chilis and stews. And if you're so inclined (and have a few interested children to entertain), go ahead and try to make some links! The possibilities are endless!

Thanks to everyone who attended our first ethnic night, and helped make it informative, fun, and tasty!

Your Chapter Leader,
Karen Völkening-Behegan

PS - Please stay tuned for the November meeting notice. Another fun potluck evening is in store as several of your fellow members will be sharing reports from "Mythbusters!," this year's 12th annual Wise Traditions Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last Minute Update for German Night!

Last Minute Update:

The speaker line-up for tonight's meeting has changed. Your chapter leader, Karen will be leading the evening solo. Don't forget to bring along a German dish, or something that goes well with German food. After dinner, the presentation will include demonstrations on how to make 2 popular traditional German dishes: Käsespaetzle mit Speck (noodles with cheese & bacon) and Bratwurst.

And in case you're wondering what's on the menu ...

A sampling of homemade German spreads to go on traditional German bread, including:

Griebenschmalz (a spread of lard & duck fat seasoned with bits of bacon, ham, apples, onions & herbs)

Grassfed beef & liver Tartare (seasoned with egg, gurken, anchovies, shallots, sea salt & herbs)

Quark (homemade German spreadable cheese) with roasted garlic & herbs

German grass-fed cultured butter

Sahne-Quark (the same cheese as above in desert style with raw cream) with raw honey, black current jelly, & berries

As well as:

Homemade gluten-free Spaetzle with cheese and fresh chopped smoked bacon

Warm, sweet-and-sour traditional Red Cabbage


4 Types of Homemade German Sausages with Sauerkraut

See you tonight!

Karen Voelkening-Behegan, MA, NTP
Pasadena CA Chapter Leader

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meeting Notice for Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hello Members and Friends of the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation!

It is with great pleasure that I announce that our next meeting (Tuesday, October 25th at 6:30 PM) will be the first in a series of "Ethnic Nights," where we will apply our wonderfully healthy food preparation techniques to the traditional cuisine of a particular country. This time, in the spirit of Oktoberfest, the country of choice is GERMANY. So when you plan what you'll bring to our potluck dinner, please try to contribute a German dish to keep with the spirit of the evening.

After dinner, we will be hosting special guest, my brother Steven Voelkening, chef, professional caterer, and owner of Epicurean Catering of Las Vegas. Steven and I, being of German heritage, will demonstrate some traditional German recipes in honor of the evening.

Date: Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Start Time: 6:30 PM
Agenda: Potluck, Meeting, Cooking Demo
Topic: German Night and cooking demo with the Voelkening Siblings (i.e. Geschwister Völkening)
Place: Nature Friends LA Clubhouse, 423 Yucca Trail, Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Clubhouse Rental Fee: $3.00 per person (cash or check)
Donation: To Be Announced
Clean-up: Volunteers always appreciated

Since Epicurean Catering services several large Las Vegas Casinos & conference venues, they do not offer a website, as the business is entirely word of mouth. So if you'd like more information about the business (which specializes in canapés), please come join us at the next meeting.

Hope to see you there!

Karen Voelkening-Behegan
Pasadena CA Chapter Leader

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recap of September 2011 Meeting

While the weather was still nice, our group chose to dine outside on the patio of Nature Friends Clubhouse in Sierra Madre. Our special guest, Simon Caleb of Creston Valley Meats joined us and spoke after dinner about his business. Unlike most meat processors, Simon's business handles every aspect of the operation, from slaughtering to curing. Setting apart Creston Valley Meats is also the fact that Simon processes all kinds of animals, both traditional and exotic, farmed and wild. Examples of his offerings include: rabbit, turkey, lamb, emu, duck, quail, pork sausage, beef jerky, chicken, eggs, and much more. Servicing a wide variety of small sustainable farms in the state of California, many of the animals he processes are grass-fed or pasture-raised. As a special selling point, Simon's mark-up is considerably lower than that of other meat processors, so his products are not only high-quality but also very affordable. Simon even offers raw dog food made out of all kinds of animal parts, so nothing gets wasted. In fact, some of Simon's most loyal customers are pet owners who have been ordering from him for years. They typically claim to have the lowest vet bills around, due to the biologically appropriate raw food (aka "barf") they serve their beloved pets.

During the potluck, many of us tried some of Simon's sausages contributed by one of our fellow members. The flavor was remarkable. They were tender, juicy, savory, and free of preservatives; in a word: delicious! One aspect of the business which Simon discussed was difficulty finding USDA inspectors who can handle such a wide variety of meats. Most inspectors specialize in just chicken or beef, but at Creston Valley, Simon does it all. This occasionally leads to some frustrations for processor and inspector alike, but as a very likeable, hard-working, reliable, and honest man, Simon is clearly adept at complying with sometimes very tedious government regulations. Keeping up with all the compliance codes can be a challenge, so the whole community is grateful to Simon for cultivating such good relations with the USDA.

Considering the uniqueness of his operation, the wide variety of farms, farmers, animals, and inspectors he works with, and his ability to keep up with a massive amount of red tape, Californians are very lucky to have Simon Caleb around. Simon's products are available for order online and are delivered every other week to specific locations throughout California. We at the Weston A. Price Foundation are grateful for this most valuable service he offers to customers and farmers alike. By keeping his multi-faceted one-of-a kind operation running over many years, Simon is doing his part to support sustainable farming and keep his health- and budget-conscious customers very happy. Bravo, Simon! And thanks for making the 8-hour round-trip journey to be our speaker of the evening!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Meeting Notice for Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hello Members and Friends of the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation!

Our next meeting is coming up on Thursday, September 29th at 6:30 PM. To check on upcoming meetings, don't forget to go to our "Meetings" page at: http://westonapricepasadena.blogspot.com/p/meetings.html

After our potluck dinner and regular meeting, we will be hosting special guest Simon Caleb of Creston Valley Meats who will tell us about natural meats and the ins & outs of the USDA. Simon takes orders online at a very reasonable price, and delivers a wide variety of natural foods to our area several times a month. Come find out what Simon has to offer, and learn more about how the USDA regulates natural animal products.

Date: Thursday, September 29th, 2011
Meeting Start Time: 6:30 PM
Agenda: Potluck, Meeting, Presentation
Presentation Topic: Natural Meats and the USDA with Simon Caleb of Creston Valley Meats
Place: Nature Friends LA Clubhouse, 423 Yucca Trail, Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Clubhouse Rental Fee: $3.00 per person (cash or check)
Clean-up: Volunteers always appreciated

For more information about Creston Valley Meats, go to: www.crestonvalleymeats.com. Please come and learn more about the natural meat business, and find out what wonderful natural meat products are available just a click away!

Hope to see you there!

Karen Voelkening-Behegan
Pasadena CA Chapter Leader
Weston A. Price Foundation

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recap of August 2011 Meeting

Our August WAPF-Pasadena meeting was held at Nature Friends Clubhouse in Sierra Madre. A few newcomers and guests were among us, including our friend and neighbor, Orange County Chapter Leader Marsha Youde. The spread was delectable as usual, and a group of nearly 20 of us dined outside on the patio on a beautiful late summer's eve.

After a short but productive group discussion*, everyone convened to the meeting hall upstairs for an energetic and illuminating presentation by coveted local speaker David Barker. With enthusiasm, passion, and lots of good data, David enlightened everyone with provocative information about how numerous questionable ingredients and dietary recommendations made their way into our culture, government, and grocery stores. A little history lesson in the role of hearsay, propaganda, and public relations set the stage for a great presentation about many processed foods including vegetable oils, pastured dairy, soy, msg, and artificial sweeteners. For some of us, especially the newcomers, it was an eye-opening experience. For the more seasoned WAPF veterans, David's talk helped fuel the flame and keep our passion about traditional foods alive! If you didn't have a chance to make our August meeting, we highly recommend that you contact David to find out when and where he'll be speaking next. This is one presentation you don't want to miss!

Thanks to all who helped make our August meeting a success. Don't forget to check our Meetings page and note our upcoming potluck dinners on your calendar. See you in September!

* Chapter business included the announcement of Ethnic Nights - 4 meetings per year when we'll devote our food choices and demonstrations to the traditional cuisine of select regions around the world. Our first Ethnic Night is coming up in October when we'll be celebrating the culinary heritage of Germany. Then for January, Terri Cardinali and Elaina Luther have volunteered to lead a demonstration for Italian Night. For more information on upcoming Ethnic Nights, go to our Meetings page. Most importantly, if you know how to prepare a particular dish that celebrates your ethnic heritage, please consider volunteering to do a demo. Just contact Karen and you'll get on the schedule!

Another important announcement was made about presentations. We're always looking for help finding speakers to give presentations after our potluck dinners. If you know someone with knowledge to share about traditional foods, their preparation, production methods, or health benefits, please check our Meetings page for the schedule, and contact Karen to propose a speaker and a date.

Our group also decided to donate memberships to the Weston A. Price Foundation for Jaye, Ram, and Jen in thanks for all their hours of hard work organizing our amazingly successful Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club. In the spirit of recognizing volunteers, Karen took photos to place on our About Us page. Volunteers make this group happen, so the more you contribute, the better we are. Please contact Karen if there's a special skill or service you'd like to offer to our chapter. Our group, community, health, country, and environment will all benefit from your generosity with your time. We believe that everyone has something to offer, and we can all learn from one another.

If demos aren't your style, you can also contribute by finding good deals on traditional foods, and placing group orders to help everyone get a discount. That way, you're not only supporting our group, but also helping keep our precious farmers and natural food vendors in business. Many thanks go out to Kevin Coulter for organizing our Green Pasture Products fermented Cod Liver Oil Buying Group, and to Lois Williamson for coordinating our recent large purchase of pastured chickens from New Frontier Family Farm.

In the interest of growing a strong, productive, and influential chapter, we encourage you to share your skills & knowledge with our group, in whatever capacity you can. Every volunteer is appreciated. Now let's make some more wonderful things happen!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meeting Notice for Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Hello Members and Friends of the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation!

Our next meeting is coming up on Wednesday August 31st at 6:30 PM. To check on upcoming meetings, don't forget to go to our Meetings page on this blog.

After our potluck dinner and chapter announcements, we will be hosting special guest David Barker who will give us his popular talk, "Deconstructing Modern Myths about Food, Health, & Nutrition." The cost is $5 for the talk and $3 for the clubhouse rental fee. Please keep your cash/checks separate so you can pay the venue and the speaker separately.

Date: Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Meeting Start Time: 6:30 PM
Agenda: Potluck Dinner, Chapter Announcements, Presentation
Presentation Topic: Deconstructing Modern Myths with David Barker
Place: Nature Friends Clubhouse, 423 Yucca Trail, Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Speaker Fee: $5.00 per person (cash or check)
Clubhouse Rental Fee: $3.00 per person (cash or check)
Clean-up: Volunteers always appreciated

Thank you!

Karen Voelkening-Behegan
Pasadena CA Chapter Leader
Weston A. Price Foundation

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recap of July 2011 Meeting

We had another wonderful potluck and meeting. We met at Karen's beautiful home and ate on her patio. There were lots of good fermented veggies and a savory soup! Elaina's cream was heavenly!

Jaye Park gave us an excellent demonstration on how to make Kim Chee. She showed us every step of the process and then we got to taste the spicy and mild versions. We all had a really great time.

Thanks to Karen for hostessing, and thanks to Jaye (and Frank) for showing us how to do it!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Meeting Notice for Tuesday, July 26th - Potluck & Kimchee Demo

Hello Members and Friends of the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation!

I hope everyone survived "Carmageddon," and that you're all enjoying the hot summer weather. To check on upcoming meetings, don't forget to go to our chapter website "Meetings" page at: http://westonapricepasadena.blogspot.com/p/meetings.html

If you would like to attend our July Potluck coming up next week, please RSVP to this email. Fellow member Jaye Parke will be giving a demonstration on how to make Kimchee. If you'd like to bring home a sample of Jaye's kimchee, please bring some cash and a 1-pint mason jar. Jaye will announce a suggested donation at the meeting.

Date: Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
Time: 6:30 PM
Agenda: Potluck, Meeting, Presentation
Special Topic: Kimchee Demo with Jaye Park
Place: Karen's House – RSVP required
Bring: A 1-pint Mason Jar or other similar container
Fee: Suggested Cash Donation for Kimchee Sample To Be Announced
Clean-up: Volunteers always appreciated

Thank you!

Karen Voelkening-Behegan
Pasadena CA Chapter Leader
Weston A. Price Foundation

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recap of June 2011 Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our June meeting at Caltech, thank you to Caltech Net Impact for hosting our group, and thank you to Mark McAfee for a wonderful presentation!

Our June 30th meeting was a big success, and the last I heard, someone counted at least 90 people in attendance, with many first-timers in the crowd. Among those who never heard him speak before, Mark elicited strong reactions to the "Raw Milk Secret." If you were unable to attend the meeting, and would like more information (just the tip of the iceberg), click on the "Resources" tab above. There, you'll find a copy of Mark's "Two Raw Milks" handout.

We were very fortunate to have Mark make the round-trip journey from Fresno to Pasadena in one day just for us! Being such a coveted speaker nationwide, we're lucky to have him right here in California. Even among those in our group who have heard him speak many times, the most frequent comment I've heard is how successfully Mark manages to captivate the audience with new information every time!

Thanks again to all who attended, and thanks for helping spread the word beyond our group. Special thanks to all those who made delicious WAPF-friendly treats to share. They were gobbled up in no time, and inspired at least 10 new members to join our group! Way to go, WAPF-Pasadena! and Way to go, Mark!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Newsflash! Change in Venue

Hello Everyone!

I just received word that our venue for tomorrow night's Raw Milk presentation at Caltech has been changed to a different building. If you are coming to Mark McAfee's Raw Milk presentation tomorrow night (Thursday, June 30th, 2011 at 6:30) at Caltech, please find the new meeting place by referring to the website below:

Thank you!

Karen Voelkening-Behegan
Pasadena CA Chapter Leader
Weston A. Price Foundation

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Big Thank You to our Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club!

Congratulations to the whole Grass-fed Beef Buyers (GFBB) Club for a successful purchase of our first grass-fed steer! Last night's distribution went smoothly, all funds were collected, and everyone seemed happy with their portion. Imagine that, no fighting! I always hear nightmarish stories about other groups fighting over who gets what part of the beef. But not us! We have a great group of gracious buyers! And the logistics of the whole operation went off without a hitch, thanks in large part to our GFBB Club leaders, Jaye Park and Ram Basu. With good planning and foresight, they divided up the meat into piles of different cuts, so that all co-owners of the steer could get a fair selection from each category. Jaye coordinated with Ben, our meat cutter, to get us small, family-sized packages at a discount. Ram found a way to handle the finances so that all funds were collected, every bill was paid (steer, cutting, delivery, & distribution), everyone got what they paid for, and not a penny slipped through the cracks! The cuts averaged about $6 per pound, and we even had a little extra left over to help support our chapter! I think we have something really special here, and I thank everyone involved in this operation for making it a big success! Great work, guys, and happy, healthy eating!