Sustainable SW Blogs
Mapping My Next Long Run, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
Planning my run route to go around Turtleback Mountain by way of Palomas Gap. The total distance is between 35-40 miles.
Schloss's book extended my vocabulary and taught me about flavoring agents, types of simple syrups and sugars and how they mingle with booze. It is not a book about making alcohol. I'd call it a mixology book. The information shared is high level. It is about infusing alcohol and turning liquor to liqueur. I appreciate the way the author pairs the recipes to popular corporate made beverages like Bailey's, Sambuca, Tripple Sec and Chambord so that the reader can make homemade versions.
Page after colorful page enticing recipes had me earmarking those I want to try out first: a rum based blueberry cinnamon drink that the author says tastes like Red Hot candy and that I think will make a lovely Valentines Day cocktail, a brandy and vodka based drink flavored with coffee and cacao called Moca, and a caramel cordial with caramelized simple syrup and vanilla.
The only thing I am hesitating over is the addition of 35% to 50% (by volume) of sugar (in the form of simple syrup) that gets added to the liqueur mixes. This seems a fundamental part of liqueur making and I'm wondering if anyone had innovated ways to reduce this?
an issued themed sustainable you. It features The Good Life Lab as a choice for "things we love for putting values to action." I'm flattered, honored and happy to be in good company once again.
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Juice Mix : Apple / Beet / Kale / Orange / Ginger, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
This juice was smooth enough to enjoy, but I did have to use 4 apples and 4 oranges to balance out the kale / beet.
I first heard of this vegetable as the Gilfeather Turnip, but it’s actually a rutabaga. Like other members of the rutabaga group (Brassica napobrassica) it has a long tap root and rootlets issuing forth in two bands that run down the opposite sides of the tuber. Unlike other rutabagas we know it is white skinned and white fleshed whereas the usual rutabaga has a purple band of skin on the outside and inside the color is a delectable creamy yellow. (Also, a turnip is round and doesn’t have those rootlets or taproot.) The flavor of the Gilfeather is rooty sweet with a bit of a peppery twang, much like any rutabaga, but many say, so much better.
When the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste first got going in the USA, this was one of the earliest members to board. Seeds were scarce since the Vermont farmer, John Gilfeather, who grew this vegetable, was so protective of his favorite vegetable that he cut off both the tops and the long roots so that they couldn’t be cultivated. Seed of course, was out of the question, but it’s hard to possess anything in full and a few seeds did get away. Thanks to the Ark of Taste and a few intrepid farmers, you can buy the Gilfeather turnips/rutabaga not exactly everywhere, but in a few select farms. (Find them by going to slowfoodusa/arkoftaste. Look up Gilfeather turnip then go to Local Harvest to find who is growing them. There are a few farmers.)
John McClendon, a farmer in the Phoenix area, is one who grows Gilfeather rutabagas. He placed a hefty specimum in my hand before we each packed up our books and vegetables at the Scottsdale Eileen Fisher store. (We were both showing our wares in this clothing store, but that’s another story.) I was thrilled with the gift and a tucked it carefully into my suitcase to take home.
But the next day I was lucky enough to taste one at FnB Restaurant, also in Scottsdale, grown by Mr. McClendon and prepared by the talented chef Charlene Badman. I can’t give away her secret, but I can say that it was a delectable dish—golden, caramelized, and oddly enough, heart shaped, but not through any contrivances on Charleen’s part. Cut a rutabaga lengthwise and you might just get a big heart. And if you turnout to be a real fan of the Gilfeather rutabaga, this might just be your Valentine’s special. And keep your eyes open for this special heirloom vegetable.
3rd Part of Next Kit Fabbed, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
My follow on battery charger kit is taking FOREVER to get out the door. I had to break it into three parts for development (power supply, logic board and charger). I've already made the first two parts and written most of the firmware, but now it's time to test the third part (charger). This is the stressful part.
Remember Remember My Wolverine Beard from Movemeber, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
The scary thing about this beard is that I've used a beard trimmer on it twice this month and it's still this long.
Leaves for Composting, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
As a result of our recent hard freeze the remaining leaves have fallen off our mulberry trees. I started raking them up for our incredibly awesome compost. Juicing 2x a day has made all the difference for our compost smell, heat and turn-around time. Normally it would just stall out on us especially in weather near 20F.
Caballo Lake to Mescal Canyon, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
I found a new running route that has been ideal for 15-20 mile distances. First I cross the Rio Grande and head east to Mescal Canyon. One thing nice about that location is that it always has water. Then I turn around and head Southwest to the second largest lake in New Mexico. There are still some super muddy spots, but it is a well maintained jeep road. I snapped a panorama this morning of one of my favorite areas where the trail turns into desert.
This week I received a couple of clues that tell me that I'm in rhythm. The first was my compost. It smells so good it gave me the impulse to taste it. It smells like moist earth on a spring day. Knowing this is the result of my diet, what I'm eating tells me a rhythm is found. I look over to my garden and confirm the suspicion. Small green plants thrive under a canopy made for winter warming.
The second clue came while I was running with Sesame on the south side of the Rio Grande early in the morning.We turned a bend and startled a large flock of ravens nibbling at pecans that had fallen from a stand of three large trees that divided a farm. My mind was in a semi altered state as I'd been running for a good 35 minutes. The birds took flight and when they did I did not see birds at all. I saw holes in the color of the world. I took in the huge fantastic blue sky and yellow white sun that illuminated a stand of trees with orange yellow leaves. A church steeple peeked from the tree's tops and behind it brightly painted water tower popped against the backdrop. The birds broadcast themselves across the scene dotting the sky and giving the appearance that the world of color had holes in it. It took a while for me to realize what I was seeing. It came in stages. After having no words for what I saw, then I named the holes birds, then further clarified the siting by calling them ravens. I took in the black black color of their bodies and was drawn further into the details to notice the shimmer that made their feathers seem wet with oil.
Then my brain turned on all the way and I got to thinking. Everything that I saw just then was true. The color was absent where the birds covered it over. It was also true that they were ravens, had feathers and an oil coat but these details come later. In evolutionary terms this data came with language and acculturated knowledge. The absence of color that I saw was true from the point of view of my being an instinctual, sensory being not dependent on linearity. Since I've been seeking on rhythm I recognized it as evidence that I was on course.
Today I made 40 tamales, this just after making enough veggie burgers to freeze some for deep winter. Yesterday I made cheese and when finished instead of tossing the whey I used it as a douche. Yes that's right all that bacteria is just what's needed to keep a woman's body balance. I loved the completeness of the loop. Today I also mixed spices to make a chai blend that I broke up into tins so that I could gift some to friends. While packing the tamales for freezing I realized that last winter I did none of these things. The book had me too busy. I noticed several other points in time, moments when I broke from my rhythm. "It's all coming together," I thought as I folded another corn husk. The push pull of past and present are now grinding into one another leaving me comfortably in the present.
(image credit: from the Creative Commons stefan klocek)
Several friends have posted the link to this video recently.
Is there something magic going on here? In one word....NO. I was almost tempted to experiment with the idea until I really started to think about it. Candles can only produce X amount of heat. All this really does is give a little more surface area to radiate off the heat instead of it shooting straight up to the ceiling (it's still gonna end up there, anyway). It might work OK under your desk to concentrate the heat to keep your legs warm (don't kick it over) but it won't do any more to heat your home office than just burning 4 candles on your countertop. One guy even has a website that sells fancy ones. http://heatstick.com/_KanHeet01.htm I really like the electric light bulb versions! All in all, it is a very cute idea but pretty worthless as a viable heater when it comes right down to it. I might have to buy a 100 pack of tea candles to see how many I need to burn in order to match my Mr.Heater Big Buddy on the low (4000 btu) setting.