I like doing this roundup thing so you can expect to see it more often. A lot of my topics don’t merit a post on their own, but in something like this they are OK.
The busy task of collecting leaves for the garden has already started. While I won’t be competing to collect leaves like last year, I will be collecting as many as I can. The garden ended up being quite successful this summer. Between it and the market our basement is packed with things to eat this winter. I’m still putting together a lessons learned about this past summer.
The conference was great. I’ll have some thoughts up soon about it when I collect them all. Right now I’m floating all over the place trying to figure out what my plan should be in the future. The conference was held in Yellow Spring, OH, which is a great little town. They had some great restaurants and everyone there was really into the environment and being concious of their impact on the earth. Great environment to be in, and tons of great stimulation and conversation.
A few things I am going to work on over the next few months are window insulators, insulation for our walls and sill plates as well as working to seal up all the air leaks in our house. This winter I also have plans to build a trellis outside to help shade our front south facing windows and who knows what else.
I have some cider hardening on our table and it’s starting to look all cloudy and kind of funky. I’m not sure if it’s any good anymore. If you’re reading this Wendy I wouldn’t mind having some input, or anyone else.
When in Yellow Springs I met some online people for the first time. I met Steve, Aaron, E4 and Sharon, among others. Aaron brought gifts. He brought up a luffa for us to have and also this mix cd cleverly title “The world peaked in oil production and all I got was this damn cd”.
We had a new shower installed recently. It’s a ReBath system. I highly recommend it. It’s very nice. Our previous shower was tile and had that standard problem where water got behind it and then the walls started to crack and buckle.
That’s all for now.
How you doin’?
In my quest to lower our meat consumption and try new things I’ve been experimenting with Lentils lately. I’ve been experimenting with Lentils because I want to increase our Legume consumption, but beans are too difficult to cook for most of our work week meals, at least right now. (I’m beginning to play around with haybox cookers and such but haven’t gotten there yet)
Anyway, tonight I cooked Lentil Burritos, which were fantastic. I boys devoured them and they tasted almost like a ground beef burrito. I say almost because they really tasted more like a bean burrito, but with more to them than a normal bean burrito.
But after cooking this batch I’m feeling more confident in the idea of using potatoes or squash or other types of solid veggies in the burrito with Mexican seasoning, instead of ground beef.
You should give Lentils a try if you haven’t.
I made a batch of whole wheat bread this weekend and finally got a rise similar to white bread. I used the recipe from my last bread update only I used twice as much yeast and 3 generous pinches of sugar. (Next time I’ll use honey) But I was able to get the loaf to be pretty airy, compared to my other wheat attempts. I’ll keep refining the technique but I think that recipe is here to stay in my kitchen. We found out this weekend that the loaves fit perfectly in a couple of Tupperware containers we have, so no more bags to mess with.
I’m starting to play around with Curries too. If you have any favorite recipes drop one on me. I made one last night which we liked OK, but it was a little light on the flavor. I made Naan too, but it was kind of blah as well. The curry I made didn’t have enough juice in it to use with the Naan really. I’ll keep messing with these as the smell is outstanding. I remember going to the Maharishi houses when I was growing up and they smelled like that.
I’ve fallen in love with the Recipezaar website. It has great searching tools and it has the nutritional info on the left hand side. I find that useful because if the main dish is high calorie I can pair it with some things that are moderate to low calorie. You know, cuz I’m watching my figure and all.
I made some bread last Friday based on a different recipe than usual. I also made a whole wheat version to compare the difference between white and whole wheat bread.
The whole wheat version was pretty good. I don’t know about the white one. I didn’t get a piece. I took the bread out of the oven before I left for work in the morning, and by the time I got home, it was all gone. I assume it was good.
I thought it was an easy loaf to make and it was tasty enough. One thing I especially liked was that I could mix all the ingredients easily in a bowl with a spoon and it was easy to leave it overnight to rise, bench proof in the morning and then cook it so you could enjoy fresh hot bread early in the morning.
Below are some pics from different times for comparison.
After mixing Bench proofing After cooking, cooling
I made this recipe last night again and cut the top, which seems to have caused it not to rise as well. Lesson learned.
Also, I made a poundcake for a food day at work. It was pretty good. Here’s the picture. Certainly not something I would make very often. It takes a lot of ingredients. Interesting note about poundcakes, according to my cookbook they’re called poundcakes because they require a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, and a pound of eggs.
I don’t know if I believe that, but it was certainly a heavy cake.
Anyone know of anyway to get rid of Creeping Charlie other than resorting to chemicals?
I can live with it in the grass but when it invades my garden area it’s picked the wrong battle.
I’ve been pulling it up by the armload. When it hits the garden areas it takes off like a rocket. I guess that means the soil is fertile though…
I need to grab some grass seed to fill in the areas after I yank it up though. According to the article the best defense is a healthy lawn.
I took this quiz here to figure out which presidential candidate I was most closely aligned with, and I was surprised with my result, well, sort of. It said that I was most closely aligned with Chris Dodd. Personally, I found him to be too much a union apologist when I heard him speak. But right behind him was Kucinich, probably the guy I’ll vote for. The closest Republican in my list was Ron Paul, but he’s hardly a normal Republican. And all the Democrats were listed above the Republicans, save for Paul who beat Richardson and Edwards.
Now truth be told the questions are too vague and not specific enough.
For example: I personally am not in favor of a constitutional amendment against gay marriage. That marks me as a Conservative Republican. But my reason is different than that voting class. I am against an amendment like that because I think the government should not be in the job of officiating or sanctioning ANY marriage. The government should simply issue civil unions for any marriage and “marriage”, as defined in the Bible, is something that happens in church.
Also, I’m against the death penalty, but not because of the reason most Democrats are against it. I’m against it simply because it costs way more than just housing the inmate for their life. In most cases 3 or 4 times more. It’s purely a money thing for me. (As an offshoot, I can argue along those lines for stopping our “war” on drugs.)
The immigration question was a joke. If they want to do something to enforce immigration then start going after companies that hire illegal workers. And stop charging them $100 per person. Start the fines at $10K per person. You would see a very quick change in hiring patterns. Building a wall is just flat out stupid. It didn’t work in Berlin, or China, it won’t work now.
I’d honestly like to know who can really like the idea of allowing the President to have a line item veto? Other than the president. Talk about wiping out all semblance of compromise and take away all the power of Congress. What a horrible, horrible idea that would be.
Take the quiz and drop me a note about who you are paired up with.
You know one strange thing about me?
I love grapes, but I hate raisins.
On the flip side, I like craisins, but I’m not all that fond of cranberries.
I caught this blurb in the WSJ and noted it for it’s potential LT impact. If this survey has any merit whatsoever this is a fairly large change in the political landscape.
WASHINGTON — By a nearly two-to-one margin, Republican voters believe free trade is bad for the U.S. economy, a shift in opinion that mirrors Democratic views and suggests trade deals could face high hurdles under a new president. The sign of broadening resistance to globalization came in a new Wall Street Journal-NBC News Poll that showed a fraying of Republican Party orthodoxy on the economy. While 60% of respondents said they want the next president and Congress to continue cutting taxes, 32% said it’s time for some tax increases on the wealthiest Americans to reduce the budget deficit and pay for health care.
Free trade is bad for America? Raising taxes? Who have these GOP voters become?
We’ll see how this works out going forward.
Man, I’m glad preservation season is over for this year. Talk about a long, hot summer!
With my last batch of tomatoes I decided to have fun and do up some ketchup. We aren’t big ketchup people around here (mostly because I don’t make food that is ketchup necessary for the most part) but I thought it would be fun to try. Homemade ketchup is certainly different than store bought. It’s more tangy and tomatoey. I like it. I ended up with 2.5 pints, which I think would last us all year.
We’ve also been busy putting up some applesauce. We now have about 45 pints and 5 quarts worth of applesauce. The crazy thing about applesauce making is that no matter how hard you try you end up with juice and stickiness everywhere. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the boys helping. They love to turn the crank on the food mill. I was able to buy a bushel of 2nds to make the sauce with for $10. Next I’m going to tackle a little hard cider. We’ll see how that goes.
We’ve also been enjoying more experimentation with bread making. I made a nice cinnamon loaf this weekend which was OK, albeit a little dry. Apparently bread in a loan pan doesn’t spring like bread dropped on a hot stone so I’ll have to make sure to let it rise in the pan as much as possible. Also, it appears that to get the bread I want, with some whole wheat, with the no-knead recipe, I need 3 quarters white flour and 1 quarter whole wheat flour. And I prefer the crust on it when I put it in the oven after a hot pan full of water has been in there for 10 minutes or so rather than using a pot like the recipe calls for. But I’m still playing around with this.
I’ve also been experimenting with more meals without as much meat. For example, last Monday I roasted a 4 lb chicken (including bones). We’ve had the meat that came from that chicken in 4 different meals, the stock that came from the bones in 2 different meals and there is a tiny bit of chicken left. We’re definitely focusing on eating less meat. I cooked a lentil dish the other day (which turned out soupy rather than thick) but it was still very tasty and lentils are packed with all kinds of good stuff. I’ll be utilizing those more often in the future. I also prepared a Cuban black bean dish for lunch Sunday with some jasmine rice that was nice to soak up all the juice from the beans. I don’t think the beans were hot enough so next time I’ll have to add a little bit of spicy peppers. While I firmly believe it’s important to have meat and meat based products in a healthy diet (especially broths) I do think most of the time we eat too many of them, so I’m changing that. Slowly but surely we’re making some changes.
In a similary thread, the gizzards came with the chicken and I enjoyed them diced up in an omelet. They were about how I remembered them from the last time I ate them. But , mixed with some eggs and cheese they weren’t too bad.
This story is really sad. Sad for the kid. Sad for the mom Sad for social workers who are wasting their time. Sad for a future lost.
I’m going to talk more about Scarlet Runner Beans in the future. They were big producers this summer and I think they’ve earned a place in my garden for a long, long time.
My honey just got back from a girl’s weekend. It’s nice that she’s back. It’s not as fun around the house when she’s not here.