The 2nd DIY Adventure Film Fest was the kind of community and food gathering I live for experiencing! (See: 1st DIY Adventure Film Fest). Back by popular demand, I was yet again blown away by the quality of the slideshows and the willingness of new and old friends to show up with such enthusiasm for sharing their thrills, laughter, passion and life-changing journeys through a unique and personal lens – what an intimate way to learn about people, and life.

Photos: Allison Usavage

2Nearly thirty people nestled into my living room, geared up to travel the world with bellies full on a special harvest. As a fundraiser for Cayuga Pure Organics (CPO), to help them rebuild their grain and bean processing facility after a tragic fire, the potluck spread of food celebrated pinto beans, farro, oats and more. It is such a rare privilege to have access to locally produced grains and legumes.

Anne Riordan, CPO’s farmer, stopped by to share in the feast and offer knowledge. To everyone’s surprise and delight, she explained that many folks with gluten allergies (like herself) are able to eat CPO’s products because they are non-hybridized, non-GMO and sometimes native grains. Anne reported so sweetly, “the total you raised that evening was $158.00! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a friend gathering that would have done that before. Your group of friends is great!” THANK YOU AMAZING FRIENDS.

The sweetheart of the evening, counting the bills! Photo: Allison Usavage
The sweetheart of the evening, counting the bills!
Photo: Allison Usavage
Photos: Allison Usavage
Photo: Allison Usavage
Photo: Allison Usavage
Photo: Allison Usavage

As a gift to you all for your support and zest for living, here is a collection of trail-inspired recipes to sustain a string of unforgettable adventures: Hysterical English signs in China; Parental leave (with a newborn) in Southeast Asia; Rafting the Grand Canyon; Birding around the world; Reggae in the heart of Jamaican; Las fronteras del Mexico; Varanasi, and the Holy River Ganges; ABCD’s in Tanzania.


Photo: Allison Usavage





Tahini-Honey Pinto Beans with Roasted Scapes

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings


  • Pinto beans – 1.5 cups
  • Garlic – 1 3/4 cups diced garlic scapes
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Sel gris or Sea salt – 1 teaspoon sel gris, or coarse sea salt
  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Tahini – 2 tablespoons
  • Honey – 1 tablespoon
  • Red miso – 1 tablespoon
  • Fruit vinegar – 1 tablespoon fruit vinegar, like coconut or apple
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed
  • Sea salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Thyme – 1/4 teaspoon


  1. Soak the beans overnight to help them cook faster and be more digestible. Rinse and drain the beans. Add the beans to a large pot and submerge in about 6 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let the beans simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. Bobby taught be a fascinating trick to tell if they are done. Blow gently on a spoonful of beans; if the peels split, they’re ready! (If you have a pressure cooker, you can cook the beans in about 10 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425. Toss the scapes, olive oil and sel gris on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside until the beans are ready.
  3. Put the following ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously: the olive oil, tahini, honey, miso, vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, sesame seeds and thyme.
  4. When the beans are cooked, toss with the roasted scapes and as much dressing as suits your fancy!

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