Category Archives: houston

Local 3: Your Houston Thanksgiving Feast

This word by: Ginny Torok

I bet when the Native Americans and Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving they didn’t imagine that in almost 400 years 79% of seafood, 39% of fruit and 13% of vegetables would be imported from other countries. This Thanksgiving, show your pride for America, and support local businesses. We have found the best vendors for three of the most important parts of the Thanksgiving meal.

1. Let’s just start with the obvious: Turkey! One awesome Houston turkey-wrangler is located just north of the bustling city, in Waller, TX. Georgia’s Texas Grassfed Beef and Natural Meats also sells grass fed beef and lamb, pork, pastured poultry and of course, free-range turkey. You can even order your meat online and have it delivered to you house. If you don’t need to stock up for an order, track them down at several local Houston farmer’s markets. To find another source of local meat and turkey anywhere in Texas, use Eatwild’s farm and ranch search.

2. We all know what is next on the list of Thanksgiving celebration importance. We’re talking about booze, folks! 16% of wine and beer is imported from other countries. Are we not proud of our settlers’ hard work? Let’s be serious – you can’t rightfully toast the Mayflower with glasses full of imported goods. When you shop any grocery or liquor store for wine, always take a look at the Texas selection. You can order wine online from Messina Hof Winery, with vineyards located just outside of Houston in Bryan, TX. Our always favorite choice for local beer, St. Arnold’s Brewery, sells pretty much any beer you and your guests could dream of for the perfect Thanksgiving feast compliment. For a more complete list of Texas-made wine, beer and spirits check out the Texas Food and Wine Gourmet.com.

3. Last but certainly not least, carbs and dessert! Our number one artisan bakery Krafts’men Baking, located in the Houston Montrose neighborhood, serves up fresh breads and pastries that, if Thanksgiving weren’t exempt from all caloric intake, would go straight to your thighs. Their products are made from high quality, often organic, ingredients and are never mass produced! You can stop by retail cafe to pick up your grain-goods, or visit them at the Midtown Farmer’s Market every Saturday. For your huge family feast, order Krafts’men products for wholesale delivery by phone or email. Slow-made, freshly baked bread at your door with the click of a button or dial of a phone? Bet the Pilgrims didn’t guess that one either!

This Thanksgiving, remember how lucky we are to live in America – don’t outsource your American celebration! Houston has some pretty amazing vendors. Let them put the food on your table, and you’ll have the best Thanksgiving on the block. Remember, the more you support Houston vendors, the more Houston’s economy will flourish. Money out is money in (and some good food in – your belly – too!) Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Go Local, houston, oh my pocket pies

Leave a comment

Filed under houston, Houston Food, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies

Gulf Seafood – A Questionable Future

As the oil-affected Gulf waters became reopened for fishing and shrimping just recently, questions over the safety of the seafood caught in the Gulf are still ringing in American’s minds. Is the Gulf seafood really safe to eat?

Here’s the rather complex, multi-faceted answer: Yes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proclaimed the shrimp and seafood safe – but, perhaps not, according to Gina Solomon, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She is calling on federal officials to conduct a better test consisting of a larger sample, holding that the NOAA only recently tested 12 samples consisting of 73 individual shrimp.

While the NOAA insists that testing will be done on an on-going basis to ensure the safety of consumers, research gathered in July by the University of Southern Mississippi found droplets of oil in blue crabs that feed much larger sea life in the Gulf.  Now, the blue crabs do not pass inspection for human consumption, but the concern is, is our food supply of fish being contaminated by consuming them? Researchers at the NOAA Fisheries Mississippi labs show that the only contaminated fish samples have been found in water that is still closed for fishing. Serious questions also remain about seafood affected by the dispersant used by BP to break up the oil.

A study by the University of Minnesota found that 44% of people don’t trust seafood from the Gulf to be safe for consumption.  However, President Obama, trying hard to restore Americans’ faith in Gulf seafood, served barbequed Gulf shrimp at his birthday party in early August.

All this worry of contaminated seafood poses a strong possibility of changing the economy of many Gulf coast cities, including Houston, where fishing and shrimping are main industries. Though the prices of seafood may rise in the fishable waters, are Americans willing to pay the price for food that many are afraid to consume?

Steven Curtis, president of Austin Seafood Products, a wholesale supplier, saw a boom in shrimp sales just before oil reached the waters along the Texas coast. He actually had people calling to buy the entire inventory to stock up for desperate shrimp times. But Curtis says shrimp will be fine this year – “What people need to worry about is shrimp two years from now, three years from now,” as the spill affects plankton and larvae that the shrimp feed upon.

Many restaurant owners have braced for the worst outcome: a shortage of seafood, price hikes and a public image that Gulf seafood is dangerous. We at OMPP are still going strong with the sale of our shrimp burgers, made from all local Gulf shrimp.

How would you like to hear from a vendor right in the heart of the issue? Stay tuned for an interesting take on how the spill has affected our local shrimp vendor.

Sources from this article:

Statesman.com

Nola.com

Los Angeles Times

Leave a comment

Filed under houston, Houston Food, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies

Green Eggs and Easter

Hold on Easter Bunny – ditch those old wasteful Easter baskets! there is still time to make this Easter local, sustainable, and green…

First, act sustainably and reduce waste by re-using your Easter baskets. Choose a nice, high quality, wooden or tin basket that will last for years. Easter basket painting can also act as a great craft for kids prior to the big day. A neat idea from SuperEco.com is to consider growing your own grass in each basket, instead of using more non-biodegradable grass of the plastic variety. But, if you are going to use plastic grass,  save it and reuse it each year – it will not go bad!

To fill those baskets we suggest, as with most other holidays, buying fair trade local chocolates and candies. You can easily find a candy shop in Houston to buy fine, organic, fair trade candy, but if you are looking for some bags of bulk candy for the kiddos, a good place to find them is Whole Foods or the like. They will have a large selection of fair trade, organic candies. Also, think about hand making your Easter basket gifts. Can you knit, sew, or even braid a friendship bracelet? Let’s face it – kids will love almost anything fun, colorful, and sugar-filled in their basket, so why not act sustainably and save some money by making your own gifts?

Next, let’s focus on the main event – Coloring Easter eggs. Put down the food coloring and step away from the mixing table. Check your fridge for a few simple ingredients that can color your eggs any shade of the spectrum, naturally. Here is a list from suite101.com of some ingredients to make a few colors, but you can go wild with any natural dye combination you can think of: Purple grape juice (for lavender), Red cabbage (for blue), Spinach (for green), Carrot tops, orange peels or lemon peels (for yellow), Coffee or black walnut shells (for brown), Yellow onion skins (for orange), Beets or cranberries (for pink), Red onion skins (for red). Find more instructions on how to color your eggs naturally here.

We hope these few tips will get you thinking about sustainability this Easter. It is important, always, but especially during each holiday, to remember how to stay green while you celebrate. Now that you have all these tips for a sustainable Easter, go out there and celebrate, Easter Bunny style!

Leave a comment

Filed under Go Green, Go Local, Green, houston, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies, organic, recycle, sustainable

Party for our Planet

Coming up soon, once again, Discovery Green will be hosting this year’s 2010 Earth Day Houston Festival. This free, family friendly, all-day event kicks off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 3. Developed by Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention, and Mothers for Clean Air, the collaborative event focuses on sustainable living, and educating and encouraging Houstonians to preserve, conserve and enhance the city and the Earth.

For those of you  dedicated “runners-for-the-earth”, the 5K run begins at 8 a.m. sharp. All 5K runners receive an organic cotton Earth Day Houston shirt, and are encouraged to bring any old running shoes for recycling. Along with the run, there will be a 5K walk and a Kids Run. (http://earthdayhouston.org/houston-earth-day-5k.php)

AIA’s Gulf Coast Green Consumer Exhibition will showcase green products to the attendees at Earth Day Houston. Other planned activities include, Earth Zone featuring interactive environmental awareness activities highlighting land, air, water, and renewable energy, a Farmer’s Market in support of locally-grown produce, and The Kids Energy Zone and stage. Also, some fun activities like recycled art projects, green living seminars and demos, plus live musical entertainment will make this celebration a blast! (http://earthdayhouston.org/houston-green-expo.php)

This event will surely be the party worth throwing for our beloved planet. Come show your support for this earth! Word to your Mother Earth.

For Directions and more information visit http://earthdayhouston.org/houston-earth-day-location.php

Leave a comment

Filed under Go Green, Green, houston, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies, recycle, sustainable

Send us YOUR OMPP pics!

We are working on getting some pictures up of our loyal customers and their pie adventures! We want to see you eating, holding, posing, dancing, etc. with our pies (and burgers), around town and/or at our events!

Have you taken any pictures at an OMPP outing? We want to see them! We just might feature them in one of our blog slide shows; Yes, YOUR shining face will be seen on our blog! This is just one of the fun projects we’re working on, so come be a part of it! Tweet us your Twitpics to @ohmypocketpies, or send your photos to info@ohmypocketpies.com

Hope to see your face soon!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fresh, Fresh food, houston, Houston Food, local houston, Mobile Food Truck, oh my pocket pies, pie

Forget Pink and Red: Make this Valentine’s Day GREEN!!

This year we’ve asked the environment to be our valentine!

When it comes to a holiday like Valentine’s Day, all we want to do is impress our sweetheart. Most of us aren’t thinking about the environmental impact that Valentine’s Day has. This V-Day, be creative with your cards and gifts; be green this Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is the second largest card sending holiday, with around a billion valentines sent globally each year. Although we want you to think your sweethearts keep those cards, ultimately, paper cards create a lot of unnecessary waste. According to Rainforest Web, the United States has under five percent of the world’s population, yet consumes more than thirty percent of the world’s paper: that includes those valentines! So, cut back and choose to send cards made from recycled paper, or tree-free paper (details available: http://tinyurl.com/cfaw2l). It is easiest (and more heart-felt!) to make your own cards out of these special forms of paper. Or, just send an e-card…who needs paper these days anyway!

Chocolate: Over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold each year. Imagine how much you could help to boost your city’s economy by buying that chocolate from a locally owned shop! Another suggestion is to buy fair-trade chocolates or other food products. Additionally, if you are searching for a gift certificate, make sure you are searching locally. For example, find independent spas that use all natural products. Reserve dinner plans at a local restaurant that uses organic, local, and/or sustainable products. Give an OMPP gift card (Pie is SO romantic!)

Another common V-Day gift, jewelry, will not only hurt your wallet, but comes at a cost to the environment and human life (I.E. “blood diamonds”). Gem and precious metal mining destroy thousands of acres of land a year and release harmful chemicals, needed to process the minerals, into the environment. Cyanide and mercury are among a few dangerous chemicals released in processing gold. Obviously, you can opt to not buy precious gems and metals by choosing jewelry made from nature’s other beauties like shells, glass, and wood. But if your valentine just HAS to have those jewels, find jewelers who are certified to be sourcing products that are mined with the least ecological and social harm. Or buy a unique, used, vintage piece that none of the other gals in town will have!

If you are interested in actively helping out the environment this V-day, Woodland Heights students from Hogg Middle School host a pretty fun annual event http://www.greenvalentine.org/ This 2010 Green Valentine project, they are asking for shovels, wheelbarrows, gloves, etc. and volunteers to plant trees, distribute mulch, prune, and clean up reforested areas around the White Oak Bayou. Don’t worry, you won’t have to get messy before your big Valentine’s date… this event takes place February 13 at 1 pm. Antidote Coffee and breakfast pastries by Dacapo’s will be served too! How can you go wrong?

Wishing you, and yours, a Happy Valentine’s Day! (If you don’t have a valentine this year, pish posh…the environment is your lover!)

2 Comments

Filed under Go Green, Go Local, Green, houston, Independent, Local, oh my pocket pies, organic, sustainable