Monthly Archives: August 2007

the other gorgeous fabric

I removed the hideous closet doors from two rooms in our house and spent around $1 million to make curtains. Actually my mama made them when she visited. The other curtains were for Bug’s room, which I still salivate over. The transformation in our basement guest room is amazing; The curtains are now the focal point. Andy would say that I am polishing a turd. But, hey, it shined up nice n’ purdy. I am disappointed that the large heat vent prohibits me from doing an exterior mount for the curtains in the guest room. Here is a design tip: If you have an ugly heat vent in your basement that prevents you from doing an exterior wall mount for amazing curtains, place an adorable dog in front of the fabric. It works every time. I think Amy Butler‘s designs are incredible. I want to make these pillows that look like giant pieces of candy. And I thought they looked like candy before I knew she called them gum drop pillows. so there. So I may have to graduate from sewing rectangles to sewing three dimensional objects. Profanity will fly. I will try not to let Bug be affected. She can hear now. *HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGS!* Read more on the other gorgeous fabric…
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throwing away good food

OK, so the title of this post is a bit extreme but I feel all icky inside. I just tossed four quarts and eight pints of pickled tomatoes and peppers. The jars have been lounging in the basement closet collecting dust for nearly three years now. They were my first attempt at canning and my subsequent first realization that in canning, one must follow a recipe. I used my mom’s famous cucumber pickle recipe for maters and peppers and the transitive property didn’t work. The pickled fruit resembles sucking on a mushy piece of algae from the Dead Sea. This is a painful process and I am grieving right now. Read more on throwing away good food…
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I planted too much basil. gasp. Too much basil? It is true. I have trees of basil loaded with huge green leaves. And I will be bringing pesto something to every single potluck for the next seven years. I picked and picked forever and I haven’t even tapped into the purple forest in the northwest corner of my plot. I would love ideas for other food preservation with basil. The greatest trick in the universe about pesto: freeze it in ice cube trays. Many know this but I didn’t until last year and it changed my life. I no longer have to waste plastic bags that I felt obligated to fill full to minimize the waste and am then left with an entire baggie full of thawed pesto when all I wanted was enough for a fried egg sandwich. No! The ice cube trays create perfect little portions of the bright sauce. I don’t measure things when I cook…I just check out the ingredients and go for it. This works like a charm with pesto. I use:BasilGood parmesan cheese (Kraft will not do. Do people use that stuff? blech.)Pine nutsMore garlic than you think you can handle and a spousal unit who likes to chop garlicGood olive oil (totally worth in the investment)Salt The trick is to start small: Add about 1/2 cup of olive oil and a hand full of basil and pine nuts to the food processor. Once that is good and smooth, add the rest of the stuff a little at a time. If all the ingredients are thrown in at once, one is left in grid lock. Once the pesto is frozen, the darling little cubes pop right out and into the same plastic bag you have used for the last few years. Read more on pesto…
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I run

Today, we have blue sky. And no smoke. It rained. After coffee and granola, Alice and I suited up for a long walk. I even got to wear long pants and long sleeves which the heat hasn’t allowed for months. We walked the route we always run and when we hit the secret stash of trail that no one knows about, I let her off leash and I started running. I had been thinking about it for about twenty minutes and kept talking myself out of the idea because I haven’t run in over a month, my belly is bigger and I was wearing a very unsupportive bra. AND I didn’t want to take off my sweatshirt because I was wearing a turquoise tank top and purple pants. Hello 1984. But I looked both ways to make sure no one could see the pregnant lady with flailing breasts running and I ran. Alice was very encouraging–running happy, long strides away from me, making a quick pivot that kicked up dirt and running straight at me and then over again. For seven minutes. And then we were back on the populated trail so I stopped and then I thought who cares and I ran all the way home. Read more on I run…
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sustainable farms, food, life etc.

I am not a vegetarian. I was for like eight years. The reason I stopped is because being a vegetarian is because I felt like it wasn’t enough. I felt like a hypocrite. I needed to be vegan, never use leather and walk about naked. This is unreasonable. So I chose to eat it all but know where it comes from. We buy 1/8th of a buffalo every year from a guy in Arlee and get elk from my uncle. We grow as much as we can in our little plot. I accost people with fruit trees so I can pick and can. We buy organic and try to support locals when available. But, at times, I slip into the not-paying-attention-to-what-I’m-consuming mentality…We could do more for sure… Lunchables and Tyson meats. This food is affordable and convenient. And in a culture where people are increasingly unaware of what it is they are buying, where it came from and who suffered to bring them that rock bottom price, items like these seem a fine meal or snack for the kids. But I don’t think this food is affordable. The tables below are from this research. If you think about the quality of the product and how much nutrition and sustenance can be extracted, then it is actually a rip off. Study after study proves that meat hormones and pesticide residue in produce result in food with decreased vitamin and mineral content and an increase in cancer and health related problems. Check out the decline in the last 60 years (since these pesticides and hormones became abundantly and widely used): Beyond the quality issue, there is the whole animals-crammed-in-too-small-cages issue. I find this deplorable and am convinced, because I tend to be optimistic about people’s intentions, that if people took time to learn about factory farming, they would dish out the extra $1/pound for meat and an extra $1.50 for milk that is humanely raised and harvested. The Meatrix is a great and hilarious spoof on The Matrix that chats about large agribusinesses and the cost to small farmers, animals and humans that consume food (hi. that includes you!). reports that “when The Meatrix was first released, over 10,000 viewers watched it in a couple of hours and crashed Sustainable Table’s server. The server crashed again, even after it was expanded, as some ten million viewers tuned into the story of factory farming.” Yes I sometimes eat meat and items that I know are bad bad–especially now that I am pregnant and crave meat–like the Costco polish sausage I devoured last Sunday or the Albertson’s fried chicken I ate at Roger’s pot luck. But we can all try to be better, eh? For the pigs. My sources: Read more on sustainable farms, food, life etc….
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