Cool Site

March 10, 2009

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Check out this cool site, authored by a psychologist about our relationship to food and what our food preferences can teach us about ourselves, and more:  You ARE how you eat- food•ology.com.  I am intrigued by the feature on Bitter foods. I love radishes.

 

“Bitter food is certainly an acquired taste and symbolizes an eccentric and non-conforming personality. If you prefer bitter foods you are someone who exhibits independence in thought and action.” Well, that sounds about right because I love all the foods that are listed as bitter: Radishes, dark chocolate, black licorice, pomegranate juice, black coffee, bitter melons, citrus peel, uncured olives, bitter herbs, Bitter greens like collard or kale, broccoli, horseradish, ginger…

 

Juliet Boghosian, the founder and author of the site maintains that food is the common denominator binding us all- we all have to eat. And it is the habits of our eating that can reveal much about who we are. How about the choices you make at a buffet? Read all about it….

What are the foods you love? What does that reveal about you?

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Planting Onion Seeds

March 9, 2009

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First of all they are very small. Tiny black seeds- onions, leeks, scallions all look very similar. I helped Barbara Putnam plant 8 flats. We put 4 seeds in each soil block (about 2″x 2″) with 50 blocks per flat. There are going to be alot of onions. We figured that I will take one flat home to grow storage onions for next winter. So I will have hopefully 200 onions for the winter- November through March. Barbara plants 4 seeds together and grows bunches of onions. We also planted leeks that way, too. The flats are in her greenhouse and I’ll keep you posted on how fast they sprout and gorw and when we put them in the ground. It’s too early to plant radishes or peas. A few more weeks though. Drove home from Barbara’s in the snow. That was a bit depressing.

I went up to my garden and found some baby carrots which I didn’t harvest last fall! They are very sweet and delicious- maybe taste a little like they froze for 4 months, but very tasty and fresh.

This feels like a very hopeful time. Starting seeds, planning the garden. Still have to find a source of horse manure. Still need someone to help me in the garden this summer. Anyone?

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I don’t remember who sent this or where I saw it, I saved it to my desktop and didn’t note anything else about it. I love this little video. It is simple, to the point, basic life work. Thank you, whoever sent it or wherever I saw it posted. Let me know if it was YOU!

http://www.happylifesuggestions.com/

March 7, 2009

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All soil is not created equal. I am planning my veggie garden and such a big part of having a successful garden is the consistent building of rich soil. My friend Barbara Putnam has been farming for years- whenever she comes over to see my little, humble garden her comments always center around more organic material, more compost, richer soil, more soil organisms. I am eager to get out and play in my healthy soil, adding more nutrients so I can grow yummy food.

Hurray for my great information source: Organic Consumers Association! At the annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science research has determined, “once again, that the path to healthy soil and healthy food is organic farming”. Are you surprised? I am not.

A frightening factoid about the negative impact of GMO crops on living soil:  also from OCA:

A recent scientific study carried out by Navdanya, compared the soil of fields where Bt-cotton had been planted for 3 years with adjoining fields with non GMO cotton or other crops. The region covered included Nagpur, Amravati and Wardha of Vidharbha which accounts for highest GMO cotton planting in India, and the highest rate of farmers suicides (4000 per year)!?!?!?  In 3 years, Bt-cotton has reduced the population of Actinomycetes by 17%. Actinomycetes are vital for breaking down cellulose and creating humus. Bacteria were reduced by 14%. The total microbial biomass was reduced by 8.9%. Vital soil beneficial enzymes which make nutrients available to plants have also been drastically reduced. Acid Phosphatase which contributes to uptake of phosphates was reduced by 26.6%. Nitrogenase enzymes which help fix nitrogen were reduced by 22.6%.

At this rate, in a decade of planting with GM cotton, or any GM crop with Bt genes in it, could lead to total destruction of soil organisms, leaving dead soil unable to produce food.

PEOPLE- shout this information from the rooftops. There are no redeeming factors in genetic-modification. And we need our soil to be rich and productive.

Back to my garden….so, I really need to find a source of horse manure to add to my compost. I’m getting ready to order some blueberry bushes and I plan to put in a raspberry patch- the last one got out of hand and invaded my veggie garden- Going to help Barbara start some onion seeds on Monday. It’s time for you all to look at seeds- even if you just have a container of tomatoes or basil. Wonderful to grow something. Spring is so in the air.

I’ve Been Sick

March 6, 2009

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Did you miss me? I missed writing but I really didn’t feel up to it. Last summer when my dad was in the hospital he told us a joke which everyone present thought was totally a riot, I still think it’s funny but I have yet to impress anyone with it. 

It went something like this: an elephant goes on a rampage in the jungle. He tears trees up by the roots, he breaks them with his trunk and when he’s destroyed the whole area he comes upon a little monkey cowering in a tree and says to him, “CAN YOU DO THAT?” And the monkey replies, “I’ve been sick….”

If this is funny to you, PLEASE comment and tell me why you think it’s funny.

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Well, for once and all, actually, 140 characters is pretty darn short and I like to take my time getting to the point sometimes. Like tonight: Reading about maple syrup- and it is tapping time in Litchfield County. Do you know there are 6 grades? Ranging from Fancy or Grade A all the way to Grade c with lights and mediums in between. Who knew that the true Vermonter prefers the lighter grades, while I, personally, like the darker and heavier and more flavorful grade B. I like to taste the maple flavor.

The British apparently learned sugaring from the native Indians who had been at it for possibly thousands of years. Tapping the tree is the easy part. The hard part is cutting the wood and feeing the fire to boil the sap down from 40 gallons to 1. It’s a labor of love, I’d say. No wonder it’s so expensive.

So, here is a great recipe we should have had yesterday when we were being dumped with a foot of snow: a scoop of snow in a cup with maple syrup drizzled on top. Did I ever let my kids eat that when they were little, I can’t remember.

Another quick and easy maple syrup recipe from Angelica Home Kitchen Cookbook, by Leslie McEachern of Angelica Kitchen fame.

Pralines: 

1 cup almonds (slivered (pecands, wlanuts or hazelnuts can be substitued)

2 TBS maple syrup

2 TBS maple sugar

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine the nuts, maple syrup, and maple sugar. Mix well. Spread the maple-nut mix on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Scrape the pralines onto a place, cool until crunchy.. Serve on pudding, pie, crunch alone, enjoy!

 

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Recently, my mother-in-law sent me a link to a TED talk. First of all, Martha is 87 years old, second of all she emailed a link, WOW, and most importantly, it was a relevant and inspiring link to a great talk by Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. And so, if you are someone who loves classical music, it’s a wonderful reminder of why you do. And, if you are someone who doesn’t give much attention to classical music, I am certain that by the end of this 20 minute talk/performance you will be transported and transformed. 
I was very fascinated by Zander’s language and  thought processes. He was funny, articulate and really spoke to my passion for music and life. I was curious about who he is. I thought that perhaps he was a graduate of Landmark Education AND HE IS. I also found his wife, Rosamund Zander, who is as cool as he is! In her words, her work is, in all its capacities, about growth. Her writing, teaching, and coaching creates pathways to lives that are authentic and meaningful. She has written a book: The Art of Possibility with her husband using uplifting stories, parables and personal anecdotes. I haven’t even read or listened to this and I’m inspired to become a passionate communicator whose life radiates Possibility into the world. The audio CD has musical examples. I’m getting that because Benjamin Zander’s musical commentary in his TED presentation was hilarious. He really made very good life points using music as his examples.
What is it that kindles your life passion? Can you find that pizzazz, that excitement, that shining-eyed wonder day to day, moment to moment? Let this video remind you.