Woodstock: Peace, Love, Granola?

Woodstock, otherwise known as an orgy of music, mayhem, and mud, took place 42 years ago this weekend on a bucolic upstate New York farm. Like everyone else whose spent time wishing they’d been there—or rather, wishing they’d been born in time to be there—I imagine it was a weekend of hippiness, flower power, and peace signs. I also sort of assume, given all the weed that was no doubt exchanging hands in that puddly field, that there was a lot of homemade granola, not to mention hashish brownies, being passed among concertgoers with the munchies. (Those of you who were there, am I wrong?)

Peace. Love. Granola. How forward-thinking those tie-dye wearing, tree-hugging peaceniks were. Joni Mitchell once commented that the kids at Woodstock “saw that they were part of a greater organism.” And not just in terms of international politics. Long before eating locally, seasonally, and organically became a contemporary mantra, many of these folks were practicing these very principles, one batch of homemade granola at a time.

Lo some four decades later, much of what that weekend—and that way of thinking—stood for has finally sunk in and become commonplace in our food politics—not to mention our everyday food practices. We’ve come a long way, baby.

So yes, I like to think that this love-fest mentality extended beyond the revelers’ sit-ins and into their kitchens. Though hippy cooking, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. To some, that means tofu and quinoa and sprouts and other such things that made health food stores in the ’60s smell so funky. (Um, that’s not for us at LC, at least if Fatty Daddy has anything to say about it.) To others it means putting up their own preserves or minding the seasons at the greenmarket. And to a few upstanding farmers it means respecting nature’s biorhythms and raising chickens, hogs, and cows the old-fashioned, responsible way.

Mostly, though, it means anything that brings a more mindful sort of mojo to your kitchen. Rather than observe a moment of silence out of respect for all that Woodstock stood for, a far more appropriate tribute is to slip on your Birkenstocks, saunter into the kitchen, belt out some classic Hendrix or Sweetwater or Joplin or The Dead, and take a cue from these recipes, each hippy dippy in its own inimitable way.

Renee Schettler Rossi's signature

Back to Woodstock: Peace, Love, Granola? on Leite's Culinaria