Sunday, March 29, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

Woot! I won second place in a writing competition today. "Describe Your Perfect Orgasm in 10 Words or Less". Here's my lube-winning entry. (A little on the literary side for a blog contest, but it was the best I could come up with on short notice.)

My body: interlacing ribbons of joy, first woven, now unraveling.

And now that I've jinxed them to my blog, I'd like to extend a special welcome to my seminary professors, high school boyfriends, and, of course, my Mom. Hi Mom!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monkey Cookies

Okay all you facebook-y types, here it is.

Monkey Cookie Recipe

1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
3 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour (I used Speerville Mills Whole White, which lent a naturalistic, ecru quality to the white dough)
1 bar (85 g or 3 oz) swemisweet chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger Chocolate that I got at the dollar store FOR A DOLLAR, or substitute your own *quality* chocolate)
licorce whips
chocolate chips

Cream the butter, powdered sugar, salt, egg, yolk, and vanilla together to a smooth consistency. Add flour and blend just until evenly incorporated. Separate out 1/3 of the dough. Melt the chocolate on low heat and add to remaining 2/3 of dough, stirring no longer than necessary. Cover both doughs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (or in my case, overnight).

When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 and grease a cookie sheet with butter. Roll out the chocolate dough first--you'll want to be zippy here and keep the dough cold but malleable, a balance you just have to get your own feel for. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter. Next, hand shape balls of the vanilla dough for the muzzle and ears. I recommend giving them a bit of dimension--it looks cuter on the finished product and gives you something to sink the licorice into (see below for examples of when I did not do this). Press them gently into the chocolate circles. Use chocolate chips for eyes and pieces of licorice whip for mouths, sized to fit. The licorice has a mind of its own, so push it well into the muzzle so it will hold its shape during baking.

Bake at 375 for about ten minutes.

And again people, these are the ones that didn't work out--monkeys gone awry!

Scallops Pernod

Seriously. Golf balls. These are sitting in a scallop shell the size of a dessert plate.

The recipe's too easy to formally write out--toss scallops with olive oil, salt, and pepper, pan fry on high heat, turn off heat and remove scallops, deglaze the pan with a splash of pernod, and enjoy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Who I'm Reading

I'm a busy little writer these days, so not much time for blogging (or cooking, or gardening, or breathing...) but I thought you all deserved to know about my friend Naomi's blog, The Wonderment. For those of us who seek to find meaning and joy in everyday life (Oh wait, that's all of us!) Naomi's deep, loving, and pirate-y reflections infuse the heart.

Who else do I keep a close eye on? I follow blogs of several shades of green, but the only ones I actually want sending announcements to my inbox are Climate Progress and WorldChanging. For my foodie fix I turn to La Vida Locavore. Jill Richardson, the blogger behind La Vida Vlocavore, turned me on to Hyperlocavore, a boon to all us yard farmers. I've also been enjoying Accidental Vegetables, a witty foodie/drinkie blog by my old college friend Marya.

As far as my personal projects go, I have Brine interviews lined up this week with BW of Sustenance Gardens and Dawn of Biscuit Eater. Non-incidentally, I'm headed to Biscuit Eater tonight for a community meeting on alternative energy. Updates soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Forestry Fun

My new article in ClimateEdu is out. I pitched the topic for this one--far more fun than taking an assignment!

Cap the Coal

Woot! Nova Scotia is considering a cap on emissions from coal-fired electricity. It's a step in the right direction, at least. Now to push Emera to solve their problems by turning to solar and wind power, rather than just marginally cleaning up their dirty operations...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Theological Tidbit #1

"Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false." - Bertrand Russell

I love this quote. When I get the book of my theology together, this will be listed under axiom #2: "We Don't Know Shit".

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Notes from a dinner

Pan friend scallops with truffle oil, fleur de sel, and black pepper. $12 a pound at this time of year, $7 in season. They're hours off the boat. Varied in size, but none small--regular ocean scallop to golf ball. Jimmy talked up the cod; Vietnamese fried cod tomorrow.

Kurt Wentzell's potatoes, simply baked.

Green chard and mild onion bisque. A little fresh-grated parmesan.

A few hours later, a barely-sweet baked apple pastry from Boulangerie la Vendeenne. Lovely, and--

Spring is just around the corner.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Found 'em. Blogging about it was, to borrow a metaphor from my early 20s, like lighting a cigarette to make the train come. Huzzah!

Corm Quandry

My inner Martha Stewart has been whining up a storm lately.

"All I want to do for Christmas is give my friends and loved ones a beautiful little glass vial full of hand-harvested saffron. Is that too much to ask?"

Yes, Marty, apparently it is. And not because I'm unwilling to grow the lovely purple crocus sativus whose teeny, tiny stigma comprises a thread of saffron--I actually think they would be perfect set against the purply-blue foundation of the house--but because I can. not. find. them to save my life. Not in Canada, anyway, and US seed companies can't ship the corms (like a bulb) across the border.

What to do? I'm about to start spamming gardening forums and Craigslist across Canada in hopes of finding a saffron grower with too many darn corms on his hands. Wish me luck. Or, if you have a fairy godmother complex, send me corms. ;-)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Corn Free Betty

I've been considering eliminating corn from my diet for a while, and I think it's time to take the plunge. Sound easy? Well, you might be surprised at where corn hides on the grocery shelf. Here's a fairly complete list I'll be using. Lots of luck finding--well, any processed food that doesn't contain at least one of these ingredients. Good thing I sure like cooking from scratch.

Why eliminate corn? Because I think that genetically modified crops are a really, really bad idea--and make no mistake, virtually all the corn used in contemporary food science is GM. And because I want to see if I can do it. It will be very difficult. And that, in itself, is pretty scary.

The good news? I can still eat corned beef. I think.