Showing posts from June, 2010

More Food History

Looking at "American" food history--which can really only be defined as food cooked & eaten in America--a few things have struck me which might make America's food story a bit unique.  I say "might" because I can't say for sure since I haven't finished reading about our food history nor have I read about anyone else's, so these are TRULY just some thoughts I have about the things that might be unique to our food history:

*  Bounty.  One thing about America's first settlers--there was no shortage of food available if they could catch it.  Early American diets (as well as today's, probably) were incredibly meat-centric because there seemed to be no end of fresh birds, fish, and game available.  Back in Europe, the poor rarely ate meat as it was expensive or unobtainable.  Even the poorest of early settlers in America could eat meat if they could catch it, which it appears they did.  In the 1800s, diets were so lopsided toward meat & aw…

Harder Than It Sounded

Remember my list of foods we were going to eat each week?  Yeah--it's harder than I thought it might be.  We did manage to get almost everything on there, but there were a few strange meals involved.

We have made a few alterations:

* Eliminated brown rice, as it probably isn't as nutritious as many other whole grains, but could be lumped into that category

*  We are each keeping track of our own eating habits, as I am not about to ask Andy if he's had his weekly allotted snacks of apples & oranges.

*  As neither of us actually like iced tea and hot tea when it's 100 degrees out is just too dreadful to contemplate, that one may become a "winter only" sort of thing.

*  No one is allowed to complain about gritty smoothies.  It's the best delivery device for ground flax seed, and I can take care of yogurt, blueberries, AND flax seed with one flick of the blender.

*  The "citrus" category may be troublesome, as oranges are out of season and neith…

Things I Have Learned This Week

*  One can actually cut oneself while picking strawberries.  Exactly how is still a bit of a mystery, but the cut is real all the same.

*  If its red but rather watery and clear, it's strawberry juice.  If it's red but hard to see through, it's blood.

*  Castor oil only deters the less-determined of the mole species.  Some listen to nothing short of Mole Flambe.

*  When one is rolling moth balls into a mole hole to drive it away, the sight of a ticked-off mole immediately rolling them back out is right about where my "strong female" persona gives out in favor of "Eke!  A rodent!  Save me!!!!!!!!!!"

*  Oh sure, I could explain to the neighbors that the jumping up and down in the flowerbed and jabbing at the dirt with a stick was to collapse mole holes, but then they might not think I'm crazy and will want to start borrowing things.

*  Only the foolish plant 9 broccoli plants all at once, then decide to "give it one more day" before harvesti…

Well, Now We're REALLY Getting Going

Idaho Republicans push to the right at party convention | Idaho Politics | Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Republican Party is having its convention this weekend. Just in case you thought having a candidate who thought Puerto Rico was a foreign country was as low as the Idaho Republican Party could get, that was just a warm up. Among the proposals being tossed around by Idaho's dominant party:

* immediately disband all public schools (which almost makes sense. If we're going to be this stupid, why pay for schools?)

* repeal the 17th amendment to the constitution, which would take away the public's right to elect their own state senators (you know, a nice warm up for the next convention when they can try to repeal that pesky 15th amendment and 19th amendment--giving blacks and women, respectively, the right to vote.)

* deny federal order declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant would be ignored by Idaho as "junk science." (because if you're locked in a small spac…

Just Had To Share This One: Most Bizarre Cookbooks of All Time

Answering A Few Questions

Blogger, in it's infinite wisdom, only allows me to send replies to comments from a few people.  I've looked at my profile & can't figure out if I have my settings correctly set for when I leave comments, so I don't really know how this happens or what needs to change.  BUT, I don't want to appear to be ignoring anyone--I've gotten quite a few laughs, lots of encouragement, and some great ideas from the comments, so I do love them.  A few follow ups:

Carolyn asked how we got such great looking strawberries.  I have no idea.  I wish I actually knew what I was doing, but we just planted them last year, so this is the first year we've really gotten any.  We have a mixture of June-bearing & ever bearing, though since we let them send runners out everywhere, I can no longer tell you which is which.  When we prepared the bed, we mixed in compost & sand with the dirt because they supposedly like well-drained soil, and since I guess they are really h…

Why We Do This Crazy Stuff

Ya' gotta love June!

What We're Eating Now

I've been getting a lot of questions about what--if anything--we're eating now.  Since we're both firmly convinced that processed foods are better OUT of our diet, we are really trying to stick to the diet, though a few exceptions have been made:

*  We each get a Diet Pepsi on Fridays.

*  I can use commercial broth for Soup Night....or at least until I lose my fear of the pressure canner and start canning my own broths.  The fact that I did not blow up the house when I canned pumpkin doesn't seem to have lessened my fears any.  Probably because I know my potential for such things--boeuf bourgignon may have scarred my forearm for life.

*  We can have commercial chicken noodle soup if we are sick.  No faking.

*  We are slowly working our way through using up some of the "illegal" stuff still lurking in the pantry.  It has to be in limited amounts, and we won't be buying any of it again, but as we are NOT independently wealthy, we're going to use it sinc…


Since many of you wondered how I got here
I can only say that I think that when I turned on my iron to heat up, and placed the pants I intended to iron on the ironing board, the hanger was probably up against the iron.  This
is what makes me think so.  I'd like to say that I caught it immediately, or that I immediately figured it out when I saw the hanger missing a large part of itself, but......
no, that would not be the case.  I discovered the problem after having ironed melted plastic onto my pants.  I have managed to remove all but that little blue dot, and I am happy to say that the big blue smear DID finally clue me in. 

Some days, I think I embarrass Theo.......

And Today's Tip Is......

Plastic hangers melt much faster than one might think.  

Flashing the Neighborhood

Not having a back fence--or actually any fence--has been rather unnerving.  People walking past stop and ask about our garden, which is really quite cool and I'm very happy to be getting to know more of our neighbors, except that A) I can't be out back in my pajamas, which happens more than I'd care to admit, and B) I'm a bit embarrassed by the manginess of our backyard.  It's probably good for the garden as I'm being FAR more diligent about weeds than I normally am, but I'll be glad when the fence is done and I can go back to being my normal lazy self. 

The cats are finding the whole experience rather interesting,
though Calisto
 more so than Theo
I think all the activity is keeping the birds at bay, so
the strawberry Bird Wars haven't really started.  Or maybe they're conserving their energy for the Great Blueberry Assault again this year.....

Questions While Waiting For the Coffee To Brew......

*  If a cat has no owner, how does it find a door to always be on the wrong side of?

*  The other day I was in a public restroom, and a woman came in, entered a stall, presumably sat down, and THEN made a call on her cell phone.  What kind of a relationship do you have with someone when THAT MOMENT is when you're reminded to call him or her?

*  How annoying does the ice cream truck music have to get before it would no longer be wrong to rip the speakers right off the truck?

*  Even in a loving committed marriage in a community property state, can't a few things be "finders-keepers?"  Like the first strawberries in the garden?

*  I'll admit--sometimes when my cat is sleeping, he looks so cute that I just have to pet him.  When I'M asleep and he feels the need to wake me up, does he think I look cute sleeping or is he just retaliating?

Things I've Learned This Week

*  Check to see whether they cause drowsiness or not BEFORE taking someone else's allergy medication.

*  Just because a blueberry bush is more than 2 feet away from the fence people, it doesn't mean they won't somehow destroy it. 

*  Not having a backyard fence for a week makes me feel very exposed.  I'm not ready for the neighbors to know how often I go out in the backyard in my pajamas.

*  We either have highly evolved slugs who have caught on to the beer-trap thing, or else ours have chosen to not drink alcohol for religious or health reasons.

*  Taking down a fence makes WAY more noise than one might think.

*  My gardening organizational skills still need some work.  Last fall, I carefully drew a map showing what type of garlic & how much of each variety I was planting.  Which would be really, really useful, of course, except that I can't find the silly map............

*  Normally, I'm not a huge radish fan, but after a month of salads of just chives, s…

Mushrooms and Slugs and Mud, Oh My!

If April showers bring May flowers, know what May showers bring?

Slugs and mushrooms. 

The mushrooms we're assuming will go away once they get smacked with Idaho's NORMAL summer weather--hot & dry.  The slugs we're trying to catch by putting little half-cans of beer in the garden.  Everyone swears this works, but it still seems odd, or like the punchline to a joke about how to stop rednecks from stealing your tomatoes.  But, we are willing to try anything. 

Anyone know if slugs prefer regular or dark beer?


You might have noticed by my incessant whining about it that we've had an abnormally cold & wet spring.  In May, we had 25 days of lower-than-normal temperatures, and double our usual rainfall.  As this is the third year in a row of really wet early summer, I'm getting used to it.  And I'm convinced that global weather patterns are changing, which is a bit unnerving though I admit I'm not sorry that we seem to be being spared those weeks of 100+ temperatures we were getting a few years ago.  Not that I was amused by the week of being below zero or anything, but I'm a knitter, so anything that justifies more wool sweaters is easier to take. 

Last night, however, Boise received tornado warnings.


I admit, my tornado knowledge is pretty limited (hazardous to evil witches and a possible means of relocation to a land of vertically-challenged citizens), but I rather assumed that one had to live in a flat state (Kansas) to get tornadoes.  Sort of like…

Things I've Learned This Week

* If you're going to keep putting horse manure on your lawn in order to improve it, you'd better have it worked out ahead of time exactly who is going to do the mowing if it works.

*  The fact that little plants are coming up were I planted seeds is VERY exciting, even if I'm not sure that they aren't weeds.

*  It will pay off in the long run to have finished planting the garden in the never-ending-rain, but that doesn't make me any less whiny.

*  My arm is starting to feel better, so I'm finally being good and not overusing that.  Obviously, somewhere in the depths of my mind, this makes sense.

*  I'm a lot less stressed about how the food will turn out for our dinner guests tonight after we promised them white chocolate martinis.  One of those babies and I could even serve SPAM.

*  There probably isn't a group in the world that won't eventually need to vote one of the members off the island.  I'm just relieved when I'm not the one who has …