On Christmas morning, my parents and young nephew set off from Missouri to Texas in a new (to them) van. Their route was to take them through Arkansas and Texas. Christmas day, the huge ice storm hit Arkansas and Texas, and my family vanished into it without a trace. After three days, I was a tad bit worried (though not as fazed as some when I’d casually mention that my parents were missing). But all’s better. I just got an email that they’d made it safely to their destination, after having “a wild time.”
Noted for future reference is Georgia Organics, my states official organic farming trade group.
Tired of the processed chemicals found in today’s pre-packaged food products? Then maybe the paleolithic diet is for you. Eat what the hunter/gatherers ate! There’s actually a ton of wonderful links to be found here on foraging, ethnobotany, and natural eating.
The Butter-Margarine Chronicles is an interesting historical look at the Butter vs. Margaine debate put together by Don Payne of Iowa State’s Department of English. For example, did you know that the dairy industry successfully lobbied several states to require that margarine be tinted pink or green (”to clearly identify” the sticks, but also to make it rather unappetizing)? Iowa State is a great place for this archive, since in 1943 the chair of the Department of Economics and Sociology resigned after standing up to the national dairy industry who attacked him for printing a wartime dairy pamphlet that contained the phrase oleomargarine “compares favorably with butter both in nutritive value and palatability”. The president of the university bowed to the special interest groups, and the professor couldn’t stay in that environment. He later went on to win the Nobel Prize for economics.
Let’s say you were keenly interested in the nuitritional value of certain fats and oils. Like, for instance, you were concerned about the saturated fat levels in traditional cooking oils, such as butter, margarine, and olive oil, compared to an extremely tasty but unfamiliar oil such as goose fat. The first place you’d want to go on your quest for knowledge would be, of course, the internet. Specifically, CyberDiet’s fat and oils nutritional database. Turns out you could do a lot, lot worse than goose fat. Which is good to know, now that I’ve got over a quart in my fridge. (You can find nutritional information on any food you want here.)
Goose is good. I really don’t think you can find a better tasting poultry at the market. And it’s easy to cook. As easy as roast chicken. Easier by far than turkey, and only half the size. Did I mention it’s just good? Next time you’re in the market for a roasted bird, check your market’s freezer case for a goose.
I taught my girlfriend how to make old fashioned lye soap over the weekend, and the single bar we made came out lovely. It should come as no surprise to those who know me that I know how to make soap. My family made soap on several occasions when I was small, and I think that explains in large part why I hardly ever cuss to this day. Once your mouth’s been washed out a few times with homemade lye soap, it stays clean for a long, long time.
Christmas was nice. I spent it with my girlfriend’s family. They’d met me before on several occasions, but this was the first time I spent the night in their house, as well as it being the first family holiday I’ve spent with them. And it was nice. Somehow, Santa found me, leaving me several things for my kitchen under the tree.
If you’re really into Victorian things, AbsolutelyVictorian can show you the way. Recipes, clothes, etiquette, what-have-you. They’ve got it.
I’ll be making a Victorian Christmas dinner on Wednesday featuring roast goose.
Kathy Miller seems to have created the most complete homemade soap resource collection on the internet. It is a vast, vast collection indeed.
While researching beekeeping, I found this collection of pages on Top-Bar Hives, a more natural alternative to the familiar white box method of beekeeping. This set of pages is kept by a retired biologist in North Georgia, so hopefully I can visit him and his bees. He’s got other pages as well, such as the one on chicken tractors (and other duck and chicken experiences) and his mother’s hand crocheted lace.
I’ve mentioned Free Will Astrology here before. Whether you’re a believer or not, these horoscopes are just fun to read. This week’s horoscopes suggest gifts appropriate for each sign. Mine is eerily accurate: Rodin’s “The Thinker” seated on a tractor.
The goverment has posted the full text of the new organic food rules it announced yesterday.
Fans of The Critic, that wonderful cartoon that was briefly on ABC and FOX, now in late night reruns on Comedy Central, will rejoice to learn that Jay Sherman is back in all new episodes on-line at shockwave.com.
High on Gas and Out of Hope is a disturbing but important news story on gas-sniffing native kids in northeast Canada. When you read this, don’t think that this problem is confined to the arctic or the third world — while it’s gasoline in Labrador, in northwest New Mexico it’s hairspray. Cans of hairspray in stores around Gallup, New Mexio are locked behind the counters with cigarettes to combat this same problem.
Urban sprawl is the scourge of modern cities. It seems the ancient Maya had the same problems, complete with strip malls.