Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Herbivores Delight Bordered

The “Herbivores Delight” from Ripple

The other day I was trying to figure out what to do with all the herbs that are starting to really flourish in the garden, and the solution hit me—herbal drinks. I love herbal infusions in cocktails. My favorite drink at the moment is served at Ripple in DC and is called the Herbivores Delight. It’s chamomile-infused vodka with grapefruit-thyme soda. I love the way herbs fight against the sweetness in drinks, and I love how subtle their flavors are. I also thought they might work in a mocktail; my mother is not drinking at the moment but I still wanted to make her an interesting treat. So I went online and found every recipe I could for thyme flavored drinks, went out and bought the ingredients, and hauled them all to my boyfriend’s house to play with them. (more…)


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This weekend, my boyfriend and I worked on the back yard of my mother’s house. My mother is out of town and as a present to her, I wanted to get the yard prettified at least a little before she came home.

The tale of prettification is complicated. My mother, my sister’s boyfriend, and I all have opinions about what should happen to the back yard to turn it from what it is now—a haphazard weed collection—into a place she might actually use for dining, relaxing, and growing pretty or edible plants. Mom has consulted a couple of landscape gardeners, all of whom have been seemed not to care whether they get a job at all. When it comes to deciding what to do in the mean time, we have a severe case of too many cooks, with my sister Meredith, her boyfriend Kevin, me, my boyfriend David, and my mom all voicing opinions about what should happen, when, in what order, and who should do it.  Despite the differences in strategies, we’re making progress.


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baked and wired

Yesterday my sister came over to my mom’s house to pick up some things, and on the way over bought herself and my boyfriend and me some cupcakes from Georgetown’s Baked and Wired. This morning we got around to having them for breakfast. My boyfriend, who usually eats everything in sight, surprised me by stopping at just half a cupcake.

“The days are gone when I could have a sugar bomb for breakfast,” he said. “I used to go into work”–he’s a computer programmer, and he used to work long, hard hours–“and get a couple of pop tarts from the vending machine. I’d have them with a huge mug of coffee with lots of cream and sugar. Then I’d start to work on a big bottle, I’m talking two liters, of Coke. I’d have one or two of those before lunch.”

“It’s incredible that you don’t have diabetes!” I said.

“I know, right? Sometime in my early 30s, I decided that 2-4 liters of sugar soda a day was too much. I switched to Diet Coke. I dropped ten pounds immediately.”

(Starting blogging again.  For now, some shorter posts  with less context to just get something down.)

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Daisy and Zingo Closeup

Zingo, left, and Daisy, sensing some snacks headed their way

(Continued from Part 1.  When last we met, my ex-boyfriend had just decided to breed his pair of Salers-Limousin cross cows.)

From the start of the plan to breed Daisy and Zingo, everything that had gone so perfectly—so stereotypically—so far got turned on its head.  Now everything that had been easy was nearly impossible.  Cow intercourse turned out to be beyond the calves.  When Charlie the bull showed up and trundled off his trailer, Zingo, apparently feeling threatened again, charged him and then tried to mount him.  Charlie hung around for a few days with his unwelcoming pasture-mates, and then, evidently sensing that nothing fun was in the offing on John’s place, deciding one evening to go walkabout.  He literally walked through chest-high pagewire fencing, onto the next property, and off into the sunset. (more…)

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Daisy on the left and Zingo on the right, looking protective

Daisy on the left; Zingo on the right, looking protective

Much of why I became so interested in the environment—maybe more than half of the reason—was the six years I spent dating a Canadian who had five acres and a yen for homesteading.  John had read an enormous amount about permaculture, peak oil, going back-to-the-land, country living, and on and on.  More than that, he was raised in a rural part of Canada in the 50s, and he grew up with a rake in one hand and a shovel in the other.  He was a natural and skilled gardener, and he had a great touch with animals.  He deserves his own blog post, at the very least, and I hope to tell a little more about what I learned from spending weeks and weeks outside of Kingston, Ontario, in his fine company. (more…)

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Red Greens

Onions 2

Roasted red scallions

So last Thursday, the first CSA was ready and my mom and I were stunned.  There were half a dozen large bunches of greens—red romaine, red kale, leaf lettuce, frisee, bok choy, and collards—plus a bag of radishes and a bunch of red scallions.  (Why is everything red, I wonder?)  Neither my mother nor I wanted to try the collards—HUSH all you people who like collards, get your own CSA—so I went back and swapped them for something that we never figured out what it was and it wilted soon after we got it.  I was alarmed at the very idea that there was something that we couldn’t figure out what it was—in fact, my mother had to identify more than half of the things we got for me.  This made me feel awful, but lots of friends told me that their CSAs were also adventures in unfamiliar vegetables, so that was good. (more…)

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Cherry Pre-Pruning

Container-grown cherry tomato, pre-pruning

Summer is here so I have time to blog—and, more relevant to the planet, I have time to cook and garden.  Whether I actually write, cook, or garden remains to be seen, but this last week I’ve been planning and working to be able to spend more time on all three. (more…)

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