Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Monday, August 4, 2014
I harvested some onions and squash also, but didn't use them tonight. The squash is from seeds I saved from last year. Despite the fact the resulting vegetable looks somewhat alien, I think it will taste alright. I have tomatoes, but they have not ripened yet. I also have eggplant, well I did have eggplant, but some squirrel or ground hog grabbed the two golf sized fruit right off the stalk.
I just love having really local, fresh produce, that came from my own back yard. It is so satisfying that I can grow something, harvest it, and prepare it for my family. I feel as if I am honoring my roots as this is what my ancestors would have done every night. What a great feeling.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Mt mother has had food allergies all her life and for a long while I thought I didn't have to worry about it. However as I have gotten older, at a point where the body starts to decline if you don't really pay attention to it, they have reared their ugly heads and begun to cause me issues. Like her, I have a sensitivity to wheat, gluten, and dairy. Interestingly enough string beans ranked very high - weird.
So my doctor suggested I cut all of that out for a month and see what happens. I am having a good time trying all kinds of substitutions in some if the recipes I use, and finding new ones, so there is a positive on that. But cutting out wheat and cheese is a big challenge for me. She is also going to start me on two new supplements and feels pretty confident things will begin to reverse themselves. I am glad she has confidence here, because I am a little doubtful. But we shall see. As my stepfather used to say, "we can only go up from here".w
Friday, May 9, 2014
One of our biggest issues, which holds us back on many levels, is the poverty rate of our community. In regard to food justice, the demographics prevent a good quality grocery store from opening in the 'burb. We do have a store, but it is not a god quality store and offers very little, if no, organic produce. However I was excited to know that we have several bodegas who do sell fresh produce. In addition, there is a CSA and a few community gardens which can help out. It is a matter if education to make sure they are recognized by the public.
The students offered some great suggestions, and at some point they will present their findings at a Council meeting. One recommendation is the creation of a food policy council where members of the community as well as government representatives can coordinate everything that is going on in the town. I have read really good things about other communities who have them and would be excited to have one of our own. I foresee many good things happening in the area of food justice for our town if we take the recommendations and act on them.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Friday, May 2, 2014
I went to an art show the other day. It was sponsored by the DEP and Waste Management amd featured thebwork of Norristown Area School District children who had been involved in a project to make art out of trash. More specifically art from recycled items. It was fascinating, a d this picture is of one of my favorites. It is made from water bottles that were colored and then cut up to spiral and then attached to the panel. I love its bright, yet suble, coloring.
I think it is great that an art project like this is done. I hope it showed the kids that everything doesn't have to be thrown away, but can be useful in another way. We are such a disposable nation and are paying for it with the existance of land fills and increased pollution to the planet. Some of the kids said tney were doing projects at home because of this experience.
I know a simple project like this is not going to change the world, bjt it can have an impact. When the children learn that things you buy can have another life it puts a thougt into thier heads to spark their creativity. I hope it also sparks their thinking as to how we can create things that do not make trash, but that has value in and of itself.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
I met some very interesting people who are very interested in making Norristown better and it was good to be in a room with kindred spirits. These people understood that access to fresh produce and a variety of good quality food is important to the health of the community. However it is frustrating to note that there was not a large showing.
There are some places where people can get fresh produce, but it may not be organically grown produce, and they are few. We discussed things like CSAs (of which there is one really close), community gardens, education opportunities, and getting children involved. The students will go back and do their analysis and come back to us with suggestions. I will post when that happens.food
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
If you have an opportunity to see it, please do. I did not stay for the panel discussion but I am sure it was interesting. There were several people there who are doing what they can making sure we are educated, informed consumers and know that our food items have GMOs in them by labeling them. This is something that Monsanto and the other do not want. They interviewed a European scientist who said that they have been labeling for a while and no one wants the GMO stuff. All we are asking for is the choice and the knowledge that we are putting quality - or not quality - food in our bodies. What could be wrong with that?
I'll tell you what's wrong. The more educated a consumer we are, the less likely we are going to purchase their product and the poorer they will be. I am sorry, I am all for the rights of workers, but companies who make this stuff are criminals in my book, and all they are doing is making their employees accessories to the crime.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Over the weekend I started my first piece of yard work for the season. We had a tree fall just before winter hit and had not had the chance to stack the wood better. I love this time of year when you can see the new plants poking their heads above the sol to make an appearance for the new season. It is so exciting to push aside some brown dead leaf and se something green. It makes you aware of the circle of life.
After working for about two hours I then sat back and surveyed the property. There are a few things that I definately want to get, plant-wise as well as otherwise. I would like to get a piece of sculpture for the new tranquility garden, and of course this year I will be needing to lay down the flat stones and get to planting the creeping thyme or other fragrant plant between them.
I am getting very excited for the start of planting season. I do have some things started in my little basement greenhouse with the grow lights. I swear the neighbors must think there is some funny business going on down there. But there really isn't unless eggplant and veggies are illegal. Spring is here even though snow happened yesterday.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Her March newsletter went so far as to talk of this global climate change we are experiencing and the fact that even though we are currently shivering through a very snowy and cold winter, our earth is getting warmer. You see as the atmosphere contains more greenhouse gases, some areas are getting wetter and others drier.
While it is hard for us individually to change the use of fossil fuels, there is one thing we can do and that is to eat less meat. I did read elsewhere that raising cattle, and even poultry to some extent, does contribute to methane gas production and that there are more heads of cattle now than ever. Makes sense to me and one reason why I am going to stick to eating less, or even no, meat. Not only is it good for my health, it is good for the planet.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I kind of liked having a snow day today because there were some house things that needed to get done, but I am a little sick of the snow now and am anxious for spring. I looked at the forecast and it says that starting this weekend, we have another storm system coming our way. Some people have indicated that it is a big one and we are due for either 3 or 30 inches. That's right, 30. I don't know if it is a scare thing or real, but it could be. More snow days.
Snow removal is getting to be a full time occupation. Our municipality is short on salt as is many others. There was an accident at a salt mine and OSHA shut the place down for four days, so that results in the salt delivery being late and we are low. I hope that we will get the tonnage we are due shortly in time for this upcoming deluge if that is indeed the case. Next week looks like snow and frozen mix forecast nearly every day. Global warming?
Friday, January 31, 2014
I had the opportunity to attend a house party the other night given by a friend of mine. The topic of conversation was about HB 1010 and the SB 1010 corresponding bill, which is all about background checks. They are looking for additional cosponsors so that it can get out of committee. It currently has 50 and they are looking for 63. Very close.
At the meeting were two gun owners who spke about their feelings on the bill as well as the changes to the NRA since they have been owners. It was very interesting to hear their input as I have always been hearing most gun owners are so against any bill aimed toward gun violence prevention. According to one owner, the agency has changed from one that was very concerned about gun safety to basically a lobbying organization that pushes against any legislation that even mentions the word gun at all.
This bill is so important toward prevention especially to make sure background checks are done for the purchase of long guns, which is the weapon of choice in domestic abuse situations, according to CeasefirePA. Now anyone can purchase a long gun without a check which seems to be a bad thing. Please check with your legislator to make sure they are supporting this important bill.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Gardening is such a great way to help with gratification, sustainability, and satisfaction. It is also a way to help get rid of the winter blues when the weather is so horrible so much of the time. By growing things inside, you have something that takes a little of your attention and know that spring is coming soon and there will be a time for you to get the outside gardening started.
I am really psyched this year for some reason. I have my garden fence up, the beds are waiting there for me, and I have big plans for the outside. Starting these little seedlings inside means that those plans are just a little closer to becoming a reality. As one of the people I follow on YouTube says: keep on growing!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
So often any more, I have issues with dealing with companies, especially those who outsource their phone services. I really hate talking to some of their representatives as many times I just can't understand what they are saying. And it's not just technical call centers, which you would expect. Yesterday my husband had to call someplace and the call was routed to India. The rep was pretty understandable, but they took away an American job and I just don't want to deal with companies that do that. I try to boycott them as much as possible.
I think if we all did that, we could do a little fighting with our dollars. Don't buy from a company that outsources to a foreign country. If we withheld money here and there, maybe big business would get the word and starting thinking that they should hire Americans. It may reduce our unemployment a little and strengthen our economy.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Technically, it is really easy, but as most things you see on YouTube, it is harder than it seems. My biggest issue was the rolling and every one I did came out a little lopsided with the fillings pushing themselves toward the side rather than staying in the middle. But I guess with anything, with practice it should get better.
My first attempt at a filling was avocado, roasted red pepper, and cucumber. With the sushi rice and the wasabi sauce and ginger it tasted quite good. I made the mistake of getting the sauce rather than the paste, but the taste is still there, albeit a little subdued. The other thing I found is that the sticky rice is really sticky and sticks to the pot. I do not have a rice cooker and I wasn't going to buy one just for this, so I did it on the stove top. It really makes quite a mess and is hard to clean up. I might try experimenting with this a little as I saw it can be steamed. Anyway, it was tasty and I will definitely add this to my repertoire.
Friday, January 10, 2014
I love my husband, but he can be very slow on projects around the house. He is perfectionist and if he doesn't know quite how to finish something he won't do anything on the project until he has figured it out. It took him about 5 years to finish the master bedroom because he got stuck on the closet door. I try not to nag, but sometimes I get very angry that things are in various stages of repair all over the house. I am quite the opposite. Even if I don't know how to do something, I jump right in and try it. I would rather finish the project than have it hanging over my head. But the quality on my jobs suffers I am afraid.
Owning a home is an adventure every day. If it is not a major project then there are small little things like cleaning that have to be done. But just like work, it gets in the way of what we would rather be doing. But I guess that is why work is a four letter word! Seriously, I am very glad that things seem to be getting underway again and we are moving forward.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
When I looked at the recipe there were no instructions on making one's own shell. The recipe called for a pre-made one. So I went in search of instructions on how to make them. The last time I had attempted making tostados from scratch, the shell came out either burnt or limp.
I found one blog entry which suggested baking them after coating the surfaces with oil at 400 degrees. They came out very nicely and offered the inspiration for this recipe. My husband, my greatest fan when it comes to eating my food, raved so much and basically pestered me to post this recipe. So I did them over today so that I could record the steps as I made them. Yesterday I had leftover beans, which I didn't have today so that's why I made them optional. If you use a very thin layer, there is a slightly different, richer taste. I think I prefer using them, but either way, they are quite tasty.
2 corn tortillas
1 tsp butter
2 eggs, scrambled
Re-fried beans (optional)
1 tbs salsa
2 tbs chopped parsley or cilantro
2 tsp finely diced red onion
2 tsp sour cream
2 tsp grated Manchego cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the tortillas on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil on one side, and then using a brush cover the surface with the oil. Turn the tortillas over and do the same on the other side. Bake.
Mix the eggs in a small dish and melt the butter in the skillet. Cook the eggs, scramble style, and then cover and keep warm. When the tortillas have bubbles on the surface, check the underside. If they are golden brown, flip them over and bake a little while longer until both sides are brown and slightly crispy.
Assemble the tostadas: If using, put a thin layer of the beans on the tortilla. Divide the eggs between the tortillas and top with parsley or cilantro, diced onions, salsa, and sour cream. Sprinkle the cheese on the top and serve.