Archive for December, 2007
I must have been pretty good this year, because Santa brought me some sweet presents. Two of my favorites: the Atlas Pasta Maker, and the Cuisinart Food Processor. Pretty much as soon as I got home from Massachusetts last night I took them out of their packages and put them to work.
The meal: Ravioli with Cheese and Veggie Filling
Ravioli is fun to make but can be a bit time consuming. I recommend making a bunch on a slow weekend or when you’ve got some time to spare, and freezing some. It’s also a fun meal to make with kids. When I was little my mom would make home-made pasta (usually lasagna) and it was always a fun cooking event for the kids to participate in. Cooking with your kids is a great way to get them interested in food and nutrition, and also to encourage them to eat new foods that they haven’t tried yet. (more…)
Hi! Welcome back. It’s been a week of cookies and booze and holiday
stress cheer. I’ve been in Massachusetts and Vermont visiting family and now I’m back in my cozy apartment with my cats and it’s nice to be home.
As always, the holiday was awash with presents. I got lots of goodies and gave a few, too. I carefully unwrapped gifts this year so as to keep the wrapping paper and ribbon in reusable condition (as seen above). Now it’s just a matter of remembering that this bag of wrapping paper is in my closet when it’s time to give again next year. I’m sure that it will come in handy for birthdays and whatnot over the next few months, too.
Most of the paper that I wrapped gifts in this year won’t be saved because it was already reused. I used magazine pages and ads and grocery bags this year, and it came out pretty good, see: (more…)
Businessweek ran a really interesting article about Monsanto this week, and I wanted to recommend it and also say a few words about the company, which has had an enormous but largely unrecognized effect on our food.
Monsanto’s a century-old company that most of us have probably heard of. As a kid, I often passed a large Monsanto plant that stretched along the Massachusetts Turnpike near where I grew up. The place reminded me of an city on Mars, a big tangle of shiny metal ducts and smokestacks and lights with steam rising off of everything. We always had to roll up the car windows as we drove by to keep the sulfurous rotten-egg stench of the place from entering the car and asphyxiating us. (more…)
I think that a lot of us are probably uncomfortable with the idea of giving people junk for Christmas (or Christmakah or Festivus or whatever you celebrate). So here’s a simple crafty and relatively inexpensive way to make some junky gifts this year that everyone will love and you will be proud to give. (more…)
Last week we got our first real snow here in New York, which meant that I had to run outside and salvage what was left of my herb garden. I managed to clip some sage, parsley and a little rosemary. It’s sad to admit that I won’t be getting any fresh herbs for several months, but I managed to dry some of the herbs that I grew and hopefully those will last a little while.
But check it out! My mini greenhouse is still standing, and there’s even some greenery staying alive inside it!
I transplanted a rosemary bush in there and it’s doing well, and the broccoli and spinach that I planted (from seeds) a few weeks ago have sprung up already – hopefully they’ll grow to full-fledged veggies someday. It’s exciting to see that my little experiment is working so far – it’s actually keeping the soil and air inside the house warm!
More updates to come, as well as my winter potato garden experiment (which I have yet to commence but will probably get to around the New Year.
Here are some more tips for holiday shoppers who aren’t prepared to deal with the guilt of buying environmentally-unfriendly gifts this year…
1. Buy used gifts
Although some may scoff at the idea of giving a used gift, I, personally would be very happy to receive second-hand goods this year. Look around on Craigslist, Amazon, or at your local antique/thrift shop for books, movies, furniture and pretty much anything on your loved one’s wish list. There are also lots of sites that sell refurbished electronics (I got my new/used laptop here: www.techforless.com), which means that you get a really great price on partially-used (but high quality and waranteed) tech stuff. Why are used things “green”, you ask? Answer: re-using is 100% efficient, which is better than recycling things, and way better than sending old things to the landfill and making something entirely new.
2. Buy energy-saving devices and carbon offsets (more…)