15 Minutes With: Jennifer Brinsdon + Peter Casey

Jennifer was born in Texas and moved to Brooklyn in early 2000 to join her sister on a New York adventure.  She has lived here ever since, with a brief diversion to New Orleans for about 18 months (Katrina sent her back to Brooklyn). She has a background in economics and now works in finance; she is also taking classes in fashion merchandising management at FIT. She enjoys traveling, sewing and knitting, bike riding, and watching movies (but not all at the same time).

Peter was born in Queens, lived some other places (Long Island, upstate, Manhattan) and then moved to Brooklyn in 2005.  He is an editor and a writer, and likes golf and pool.

Jennifer and Peter have been together for almost five years.  They met at B61… (the bar, not the bus)

{Read more about Jen and Peter after the jump.}

What was the food culture in your house growing up?

Jennifer: I grew up in a low-income, single parent household.  Our diet consisted almost entirely of fast food.  I’m pretty sure it stunted my growth.

Peter: I was one of five children so meals had to be made quickly, lots of chicken and Rice-A-Roni.

One food you won’t you eat?

Jennifer:  Liver…Bleck!

Peter: Mushrooms, yuk! They grow on poo.

Favorite vegetable?

Jennifer: I love squash – of all varieties.

Peter: Broccoli rabe when accompanied by sausage.  Otherwise spinach.


Favorite food experience?

Jennifer: Last year I made all kinds of new (to me) recipes with our CSA shares. Some of the best were a potato salad that included bacon and collard greens, and a Swiss chard tart.  I love it when I can find something new to make with my share veggies.  And if I can use several of them in one dish – I am just tickled pink!

Peter: I’ll second the potato salad and tart above. Jen makes really good stuff.  I’m really good at carrying the food home.

Favorite appliance?

Jennifer: My blender.  I love to make fresh fruit smoothies and I also use it to make homemade hummus.

Peter: My iPad. Does that count? It gives me something to do while Jen cooks.

Most disastrous kitchen or garden experiment:

Jennifer: We tried to grow onions last year in our garden… they didn’t do diddly squat.  It was a waste of space.  Not exactly a disaster, but pretty disappointing.

Peter: We’re battling ants in our planters right now.  So far they are winning.


Why are you involved in CSAs?

Jennifer: I believe in supporting local community programs of all kinds, and the CSA just marries my belief in that with my desire to find fresh, local produce.  I think the food that’s available in grocery stores is pretty much unfit for human consumption.  I don’t like feeling like I have to pay more and buy organic in order to not be poisoned.

Peter: It’s a nice excuse for a bike ride on a Saturday and it’s an incentive to eat better.  Also less packaging = 🙂


What’s the best lunch option near you?

Jennifer: I would actually advocate eating at home rather than going out to eat, so I would say the best option is homemade food.  But if I had to go out, I think the Fultummy’s sandwiches are super yummy.

Peter: Fultummy’s or Maybelle’s (where Naidre’s used to be).


What inspires you?

Jennifer: Handmade and repurposed stuff.

Peter: Wine and John Coltrane, in that order.

Your opinion: Does talking to plants help them grow?

Jennifer: If it did, I would be chatting mine up all the time.

Peter: Don’t be ridiculous. You have to sing to them.

Do you sing to them?

Jennifer: Nope, I just water them.

Peter: No, I just eat them.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Jennifer: Dead-head your flowers.  They will come back bigger, better and more often.

Peter: Swing for the fences.

Tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise us.

 Jennifer: We have a wonderful split-level roof garden and deck that we’ve been working on for the past couple of years.  It’s really taken off!  We grow all sorts of things from lettuce to squash and eggplant to tomatoes and cucumbers.  Combined with what we get from the CSA, we are super-stocked with veggies, which make up most of our diet.

Peter: If I was really a robot.


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