Rebecca Timmelvan – Locally Delicious

Who are you?

Rebecca Timmel, er Sullivan. I’m a wife now! I am an extreme goal-setter. I try not to make only new year’s resolutions but find goals throughout the year, and believe you me I do my best to meet them. Current goals that I have set in the past month or so to be met by the end of 2011: run a 10k; be craftier; attend a spinning class once a week; try at least one new recipe, at home, once a month. I’m a “yes” gal – challenge me and I’ll do my best to meet it.

What do you do for fun?

I cook (yes, I know that I do this for work as well, but it is also for fun for me). I read lots of books about food or food-related subjects. Recently I have been tearing through historical and anthropological culinary books (making me want yet another degree). I love hiking as well – any time that I can be outdoors is a happy time. Guilty pleasure – watching back-to-back episodes of “Gossip Girl,” “90210″ (old and new) and “Weeds” while laying on the couch with a big glass of wine in one hand.

What’s your favourite community? Why?

My family. It doesn’t get much better than that. And not just blood family, but my friends too. I’m blessed with a great group of friends who live all over the continent. They always encourage me to dig deeper and be a better person, and I hope I do the same for them. Despite the distance, we are there for one another in a heartbeat. (Awwww.)

What is your superpower?

It is tough to narrow it down to superpower singular, so I will offer up two: 1. Winning (I feel like Charlie Sheen ruined this word, and to be honest I am not sure what he meant by “winning.” I mean real winning, like how I win at board games, you know, are the things that matter in life; 2. Give me 1 hour with your pantry and I will create a dynamite meal. The husband is constantly amazed with what I can make out of “nothing” – I’m pretty fabulous.

How do you use it to build community?

I’ll focus on superpower #2: Food in general is what I believe to be the ultimate community builder. Who doesn’t like a gift basket of freshly baked cookies or muffins, or a dinner for a friend in need? I, like some others, look at spending money as placing a vote as to what I want. I WANT the farms in Connecticut to survive so I belong to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group through a local farm and prior to that I purchased most of my produce and other foods from local farmers’ markets. I handed over cash to the CSA farmer before the season started and once a week I get a delicious box of farm goodies. He also has opportunities for shareholders to volunteer on the farm through weeding, picking crops, etc.
I want Connecticut companies to remain in my grocery store so I buy as local as I can. If you are a smart shopper, you can make everything you need out of buying local.

Also, I think access to real food is something that all people deserve and need – I make an effort to have my voice heard by my local and state lawmakers, writing letters, encouraging others to speak up in order to try to get the programs in place for those who do know how to get their voice heard. It can ONLY be done by the everyday people coming together, volunteering for different organizations or making donations so those in need can get real, nutritious food. (I can go on and on about this topic for I am quite passionate about it.)

My Three Favourite Things About Rebecca Are…

1. Goal-Oriented. So, Charlie Sheen is, among other things, a plagiarizer of Rebecca Sullivan’s awesome winning ways. As I was writing this commentary, I came across a tweet by Leadership Guru Robin Sharma that reads “Society pulls you towards mediocrity. The best you longs for Mastery. Win this war.” Sure, it’s cheeseball, but that’s how the guy rolls. Anyway, powerful goal-setting and actively exploring curiosity (e.g. a new meal every month) presents a tried and true tactic for raising not just oneself, but one’s community, to amazing new levels of awesome.

2. Local Deliciousness. This GTKYC feature made me hungry. It’s quite a skill to turn the seemingly un-combinable contents of a pantry into a savory and healthy meal, and I love how Rebecca brings this to the table – if you’re lucky it will be your table – wherever she travels. I’m also a fan of how she has been kind enough to keep me in the loop on all things local, foodie and community-minded. It’s a pleasure – and important – to be in the know of all things food security related. Because – whether it’s a zombie apocalypse, a regular apocalypse or a selfish-and-greedy-politically-fabricated-depression – the leaders of the local food movement will be the our world leaders in the not too distant future.

3. Oh, the Good Great Times. Rebecca is a member of one of the most creative, loving and adventurous communities that I’ve ever encountered. It’s made up of strong, interesting and really, really, really funny women who met at Bishop’s University and now live but “a heartbeat away” from each other. As a fervent promoter and consumer of experiential learning, I can safely say that – from food to crafts to incredibly creative social engineering – Rebecca and her family have created some of the greatest times that I’ve experienced in person and read/heard about through our network. Change-makers like Ms. Sullivan are a rare and fantastic breed.

As told by John Horn



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