Monthly Archives: January 2008

Some things

This past summer I got really sick of seeing tomatoes.  But one day I looked over on my counter and I had a whole mess of them.  What the hell am I going to do with these evil things?  I decided to stick them through a blender, uncooked, and can them.  Sort of like homemade tomato puree.  Amazingly, they worked out fine.  I used a can of it the other day with some spices and veggies and made a very hearty meat less pasta sauce.  It needs some fine tuning to get the Italian flavor up, but it was still pretty tasty.  Now however, I’ve got about 15 quarts of tomato puree in the basement.  Explain to me again why people spend so much time cooking down tomatoes in the summer for pasta sauce when they can just do it in the winter when it’s not so hot?
This past weekend I made some bread pudding from some loaves that had carried on past their prime.  Can you say delicious!  Very much.  Why haven’t I every eaten that before?  And it’s even better when you drizzle a whiskey sauce over the top (especially when the whisky is Southern Comfort).
I’ve finally decided that I’m satisfied with the No-Knead bread recipe and I don’t feel like I should keep screwing around with my bread making to try new variations.  I don’t plan to get stale, but for the most part our daily bread is always going to be the No-Knead recipe.  I like the texture very much, it’s easy for me to fit it into our life, and one loaf usually will get us through most of a week, unless we have a bunch of soup or something.
It’s amazing how much spare time you can have in the winter when you spend so much time putting food up in the summer.  I only go to the store for milk and butter for the most part now.  It’s really great.  

Is winter over yet?  I want to be outside and dig in the dirt.


Big Fat Liar

If you’re not a Hillary fan you won’t be surprised to read this story.

I love the title of the story.

An excerpt:

Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa. Her promise was not a vague statement. It was a signed pledge with a clear and unequivocal meaning.

She signed it thinking that keeping the other candidates out of Michigan and Florida was to her advantage, but knowing she would break it if that proved beneficial later on. It did, and she did.

New Hampshire voters, you were played for suckers.

I must admit that this story is pretty fishy.  There’s no author to the story, but, I could see some truth to it as well.

Interesting game

Lately my children have taken to battling the forces of evil, with practically anything they can get their hands on.  They make light sabers from tinkertoys, and use their K-nex to make space ships and other swords for dragon slaying.  They even use their LEGOs to make ships and put battleship tokens into the LEGO people’s hands to make light sabers.  But this weekend they went a whole ‘nother step out on the ledge.

This weekend the good guy (named John Edwards) was fighting against the evil forces of Soda and Junk Food.

I think it’s obvious I’ve spent too much time talking politics around them.  🙂 The good thing for them is that in their world the Good Guy always wins.  It’s not like that out here in the real world though.  Too bad.

Books, oh, so many books

Now that I’ve had some time to start digesting some books and get started on my goal of reading some of the classics I thought I would update you all on how I’m doing and what I’ve liked so far.  Even by my standards this has been a lot of reading, but remember that when it warms up outside I’ll be outside so much I won’t have time to read.  And some of these books have been so hard to put down I’ve read them too much.
So far I’ve read The Grapes of Wrath, Winter of our Discontent, The Hobbit, Main Street, Slaughterhouse 5, Crime and Punishment, 1984 and Animal Farm.  That’s my ranking of favorite books so far.  I still have a fair amount of Crime and Punishment left and a few pages of Animal Farm, but I don’t think their rankings have changed.
I was absolutely in love with The Grapes of Wrath, Winter of our Discontent and The Hobbit.  Grapes and The Hobbit were hard to understand at first, but once I got the writing language down I fell completely in love with them.  They are so amazing.  And The Grapes of Wrath is such a powerful story about a families struggle against incredible odds.  Such a great story about struggling through the Depression and the economic forces that control the lives of so many people.  Incredible.  At this point I’m probably going to try to read every Steinbeck novel.  
Crime and Punishment and Slaughterhouse 5, along with Main Street proved entertaining, but definitely did not affect me, in my core, like the other books.  I can attest though that the small town-ness of Main Street is alive and well, and that’s how it is.  I grew up in a town that was twice as big as the story town, but it was like that one.
I flat out did not care for 1984 or Animal Farm.  My list pronounced 1984 as the best novel, which I can’t understand.  I didn’t find it a joy to read like the other ones.  I won’t have any compunction about taking them back to the Used Book store to get what I can for them.

If I had known that I would read these books this fast I definitely could have gotten them from the library.  I expected this to be a good couple months of reading.  It didn’t work out that way.  I plan to keep some of these books as I like them to build up a small library of classic literature for reading pleasure.  I won’t allow myself to get anywhere near the number of books some of you have though.  What should I read now?  I picked up War and Peace and Tortilla Flats (Steinbeck).  I’ve still got Robinson Crusoe, some Stephen King books and my coworker has dug up some of her classic lit books for me to read through.  

It’s been so long

Sorry I’ve been away for so long folks. A sick child, then sick parents, shopping for a new car, home projects and some very interesting books have all conspired to keep away from the blog for far too long. I’m getting back in the flow again though.

Speaking of a sick child, we had to take him to the Dr. It’s the first time a child has been to the doctor other than well child visit for quite some time. Possibly 14 or 15 months, if I remember correctly. Then of course I had to go. It has been at least 18 months for me. It’s all that local, non processed food!

We did buy a new car recently, which I’ll be writing up in the near future for Groovy Green. Shopping for a car when you’re eco conscious is an interesting experience.

Not a huge surprise, but the housing market shit has finally hit the fan. I read a WSJ blurb last week that stated that all the investment banks have reported over $100Billion in losses so far. And that was before the string of announcements this week.  Seems as though the economy is heading for a recession or maybe worse.

The idiot in charge is talking about sending out rebates for us strapped Americans.  Unfortunately I haven’t met too many people who plan to spend it if they get.  Most plan to save it or use it to payoff a debt.  I’m not sure that’s exactly what they have in mind for it, but what can you expect?  I plan to use it to buy some staple foods and then save the rest!  Hey, I’m no worse than the rest.  Of course, I feel really bad about the fact that my kids and grandkids will have to pay for this stupid attempt at a bailout.

That’s all for now.  Hopefully work will slow down some so I can do a little more writing.

Seeds, books, change, purchases and other things

I’m dumping a few miscellaneous items into this post to get them out the way.
If you haven’t read all the comments on the Personal Change post and the Burden of Receiving a Gift post you should. Tons of useful info there about all kinds of things. And, as she so eloquently does, Sharon does a better job of explaining the Riot 4 Austerity than I can do in the Personal Change post.
I ordered seeds for this coming summer. This time I ordered from Seed Savers and Jung’s Seeds. Spent $75. Seems like a lot, but they will last a long time. Some are perennial herbs and will come up each year. I found Jerusalem Artichokes at Jung’s seeds, and ordered a pound of them. So that’s a one time investment. Plus sweet potato and some fingerling taters, among other things. Along with my mixed box of stuff I’m set for a few years. I’ll try my hand at planting runner beans and cowpeas from seeds I saved. We’ll see how that goes. I also decided that this year I am going to start everything inside and transplant it outside. I’m hoping this will give me bigger yields, higher success rates and a higher turnover of my small plots. Jeavons advocates this as part of his Biointensive method, and I figured if it works for him I might as well try it too.
I’ve decided that I’m going to guerilla garden a vacant lot at the end of my road, as long as the neighbor next door to the lot doesn’t mind. It’s a lot that the city “owns” and they won’t sell or rent it to me. So, I’m going to plant it anyway. We’ll see what happens. I don’t want to sink a lot into it so I figure I’ll plant some things that I don’t care that much about anyway. I got some free sunflower seeds and I have plenty of green bean plants. I’ll do some squash and possibly corn. And I’ll definitely cut up some taters and put them in over there too and see what happens. No matter what I do, I have to make sure the plants are something that rabbits won’t want because I won’t be able to fence it off from them. One reason taters and squash will matter. Rabbits don’t seem to give a hoot about them.
I put the quotes around “owns” above because it ticks me off the way the people that run the city think. I own that lot as a citizen of this city, and there’s no reason I should be allowed to use it. They’re concerned about their easement through it for a storm sewer. Fine. Then mark that part off but let us use the rest. It’s a very large lot and it doesn’t all need to be tied up because of an easement along one side that is incredibly small. It’s an eye sore, poorly taken care of and it’s something that we could use to create neighborhood involvement. But no, they’d rather have it sit there doing nothing. If I get away with this plan this year we’ll keep building on it and mixing in flowers and such so that it becomes something nice to look at. Perhaps I could install a trellis with morning glories over the top and put in a bench for people to sit in for a spell. Who knows. It wouldn’t cost a lot and might make the people in the neighborhood come out of their houses more often. That’s the thought anyway. But we’ll start small and see where it goes.
I finished The Hobbit and Main Street. Very good. Look for more info in the future on them. I purchased some used copies of a few others. 1984, Grapes of Wrath, Animal Farm, Slaughterhouse 5, Crime and Punishment and The Summer of Discontent. I’m starting on those as part of my New Year’s goals. That’s a good start I think. I’ve decided I’m passionately in love with used book stores. They are so awesome. But I must fight the evil of the dark side. I will not let it beat me.

I’m warning you, this is a bad one

I have a slightly funny picture to share. But it’s not in very good taste. Well, depending on your preferences. If you are offended by sophmore level humor don’t scroll down.





I’m warning you…





he he he