Monthly Archives: June 2007

Carefree spending of our tax dollars

According to this article there are 101 Million residential houses in America. 

I have read news blurbs that suggest the current bill for the war in Iraq has passed the $1Trillion mark.  (No telling where it will end, and don’t forget the annual budget in excess of $500billion for the Pentagon.)

That means that we have effectively spent $9900 per house for this war in Iraq.

$9900 would pay for a pretty nice beginning solar array for each house in America to reduce our need for electricty. Or a nice package of new windows and insulation to tighten up the houses.

Granted, the war in Iraq was about oil for cars, but reducing our needs at home would help our country’s energy profile immensely.

Imagine what could happen in America if we would approach our energy wants in a different way.


One local summer-week 1

I was feeling the need to do a little frying this week. So I fired up the cast iron skillet and here is what came of it.

We had fried zucchini (Farmer’s market)snipshot_e4e1w0rs0p3.jpg

Fried potatoes (Farmer’s market)

Fried cauliflower (Farmer’s Market)

Black raspberries (Farmer’s Market) (I’m sensing a pattern here…)

These were all fried in lard from a pig from Rehberg Pastured Pork (32 miles, roughly)

Eggs for the batter were from the Farmer’s Market

Milk in the batter was from Farmer’s All Natural Dairy.

Not local: Flour in batter was King Arthur Flour, salt, seasoning salt, pepper.

5 things plus a bonus one

Ali at Cleaner Plate Club dinged me with a 5 things about me tag. Seeing as how her blog is mostly about food I’ll try to stick to food related items. She did that a while ago, but it’s taken this long for me to think of 5 things about me. Besides, usually my blog is where tags go to die.

If you are interested in an earlier tag check here, although in retrospect that one is mostly about drinking or doing stupid things. Sometimes both at the same time!

6-27-07-009.jpg1.) Ali mentions she has a serious weakness for sour candies. I do too. To the point eating them until my tongue is raw and blistered. I do the same thing with Hot Tamales. And Milk Duds and chips hold a special place in my heart. If I had to be stranded on a desert island with only one though, it would be Hot Tamales. I love me some Hot Tamales.

2.) I eat salads with no salad dressing. Not because I’m super healthy. It’s because I don’t like salad dressing. I’m not a big fan of vinegar, which seems to be a primary component of just about every dressing. Feel free to leave me a dressing recipe. Chances are I won’t try it, but you never know if your recipe might be the final one that allows me to enjoy salads even more. I just go for some salt and pepper on mine please. And it has to be fresh, local lettuce. If it’s that head lettuce from the store you can just keep it. I’ll save the stomach room for Hot Tamales.

3.) Ali mentioned that she and her sister use to make butter-sugar “cookies”. That reminded me that my brother and I use to take a slice of white bread, smear it with butter (margarine really) and then add colored sprinkles like would appear on a sugar cookie. We would eat that for a snack. Talk about processed American food heaven. Wow!

4.) I’ve eaten sushi, in Japan, at a fancy restaurant, and I didn’t think it was all that. It was good, but I doubt if it was worth the money. I did enjoy the pink fish eggs though, and the seaweed wrapped rolls were good. I did not enjoy seeing a whole fish on my plate for breaky. While I liked the fish, I wasn’t ready for it to be staring up at me at 7 in the morning. And since I love rice I had no problem eating that 3 meals a day. Of course that was nothing compared to the first meal in the country served by our host’s parents when they had fish heads and such floating in the soup. Visually it was a little shocking (especially after the 20 some hours spent flying), but my stomach told me it was damn good!! It’s amazing how much your cultural awareness and vision play into what you would find appealing to eat.

5.) (The serious one) Why is food and cooking important to me? I love to cook because it allows me to provide wholesome foods to my family, something that I think is critically important to everyone’s well being. (If you don’t think that’s important then I won’t tell you the last time we were at the Dr because one of us was sick…) But even more, it allows me to build the foundation of memories and family glue between all of us. Sharing food together is one of life’s great pleasures.

Some of my fondest memories from my childhood have food as a large part of them. They might be a special dish, or a special occasion with food involved, or food might just be a small piece of the memory, but it’s still there. By being heavily involved with the cooking I can make that happen. It’s my personal way of showing my concern and affection for people. I want to make sure that the people around me experience this same thing, and that’s why I obsess over food like I do. Besides, it’s a heckuva lot of fun. And eating food that tastes bad is no way to go through life.

Bonus thing–My most favorite homemade food in the world is soup or stew. We eat it quite often. Also, if I was a piece of bacon, there’s a good chance I would eat myself.


President Cheney

If you are looking for futher confirmation about who really runs this country you can read this article series by the Washington Post.

It’s interesting.



I cut my hair on Sunday.  It turned out pretty good.  I accidentally shaved a stripe down the left side, but you can barely tell now.  The guards that come with clippers are quite handy, and you can use them to do more than just shave all your hair off.  That’s how I’ve done it in the past.  I was always afraid to try it myself because who knows what it would look like. 

Take that hair people!  I’ll save $14 a time now!

Veggie overload

We had company this weekend. I think she was taken aback by the amount of vegetables that cross our plates in our house.

Oh well, to each their own. It happens to other people too.

It was a good weekend in the kitchen. I finally made scones from a baking mix I won at the King Arthur baking classes I attended. They turned out good, although they looked like they had been overmixed. That’s the bane of my cooking when I do biscuits. I always overmix them. But the eaters said they were good.

Saturday for lunch we had some people over. People who like beans. So I made up the Cuban bean recipe, which was great because now I only have one days leftover instead of 4 or 5. I really love that recipe, and it was much better with only 1/2 of a jalapeño in it. We also had quesadillas, mulberries (from their CSA) and black raspberries from the market, lettuce salad and some other things I’m not remembering now. It was really a large lunch.

Dinner was simple with hamburgers, homemade fries, lettuce salad (it’s in season) and honey spiced cauliflower, which didn’t turn out very honey like. I’m not sure what happened there.

Breakfast this morning we had some French Toast (because I had a loaf of french bread expiring) and sausages from our pig. These sausages are so lean I actually have to add a little fat to the pan or they will stick and burn on the sides. It’s amazing what happens when you make up the sausage yourself (well, the butcher does) rather than focusing on cost savings like the sausage companies do.

We made from Chocolate Chip and Kissables cookies this afternoon too. I wanted to take some to some people at work who have been putting in extra effort for me. People always love fresh cookies!

We enjoyed a meal at our favorite Chinese place for lunch and dinner was Chicken and Rice soup for Child #2 and I. I just love homemade soups.

Good weekend.


One Local Summer starts today

Today is the start of One Local Summer.  There are 4 participants so far through this site, plus me.  You can sign up anytime so don’t be afraid!

You can post your meal on your blog and send me a link.  I’ll travel over and accumulate them here for a one a week cumulative post.  Or you can e-mail the details to me, with a pic if you wish, if you don’t have a blog or don’t want to post it on your site.

My e-mail is bikingmatt (at)

And don’t sweat the details.  If you can’t find local flour, spices, salt or oils, use them anyway.  Getting started by focusing on the big items of meat, fruit, veggies and making your dishes at home are powerful first steps.  And instead of buying bread you could make it.  In my book, that counts even if the flour isn’t local, because the production of the food item was local.  I would say the same thing about local cheese and tortillas, etc.  But you can take it to whatever level you want it to be.  Heck, just putting away the prepackaged foods and making things from scratch is a big step depending on where you are starting from.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you out!