Archive for the ‘social’ Category

Keep plastic out of food chain

If you follow this blog you might have seen the Running the Numbers posting that uses plastic bags as the basis for art /social commentary, or the even more frightening Quest to the Plastic Bag Island. It’s sobering. I have been using reusable grocery bags most of the time for quite a while now, but those crinklies still seem to pile up in my “bag” bag, when members of my family forget. I reuse them as much as possible, (usually to put over vegetables in the fridge,) but they are only intended for single use and don’t make very good garbage bags. Recycling them is doable in some places, but it is neither easy, convenient, nor particularly cost effective. I recently discovered that when you recycle your plastic bags at our local Fred Meyer, sometimes a truck comes and actually recycles them, but if the bin gets too full, our friends at Freddie’s just throw all those carefully recycled bags away anyway. What’s more, a lot of people know it. It does nothing to encourage the public to recycle those bags.

Last June I stumbled on a blog called MyRecycledBags. Normally I am not a huge fan of crafts unless they are made from native materials and don’t leave a big carbon footprint. But we are surrounded by plastic deritus, so for the time being it definitely qualifies as a “native material.”

I know this is a drop in the bucket but I went out and spun some plastic yarn AKA “plarn” as per their directions. They have tons of projects you can make out of plarn, such as the dishcloth pictured here.

recycled scrubbie

I hope they don’t mind me nicking the picture. I’m not a crocheter myself (yet!), but I have been known to knit in the distant past, so when I got a big enough ball of tan plarn (about 60 bags’ worth) I just started playing around with it. I ended up with this very flexible and serviceable shopping bag. I’m hoping that it will become a collector’s item when the USA finally bans these dreadful things.
My Plarn Bag!!

Here are the directions to make one of your own:

  • Make about 50-60 bags worth of plarn. If you don’t want a ball that big you can make smaller balls and add them as you go.
  • Cast on 40 st using large bamboo needles size 14.
  • K10, p 1, K29, then P29, K1, P10. (basically stockinette stitch with one rib.).
  • Repeat these two rows until you have a piece as tall as you want your bag to be. Then, on a K row
  • cast off 10 and purl the remainder of the row. Now on the return resume purl 1 row knit 1 row until the 30 st wide part is about the same length as 10 st.
  • On a Knit row, purl it, then cast on 10 st at the end of it (on the other side as those you cast off). Continue in st. st. making a rib between the side and the main front/back. When the back is the same height as the front, cast off.

Your main piece should be shaped like the diagram below:

When you are finished with the main piece, stitch up and join the edges together as per the arrows.  For the handle, pick up about 8 st. in the middle of one side, and knit a strip to the desired length and cast off.    Join it to the middle of the opposite side.  Voila!

Your plarn bag piece should be shaped like this

Your plarn bag piece should be shaped like this

Free Red Amaranth Salad Seeds for you

Mature Red Amaranth Last spring I posted about delicious and nutritious salad built from young red amaranth leaves. Well now I have tons of showy red fully mature plants loaded with tiny shiny black seeds. And I will give seeds to anyone free for the asking. If you want some, post a comment here asking for some. That will expose your email to me and I will email you where to send your Stamped Self Addressed Envelope.

The amaranth plants aren’t quite dry enough to harvest yet, but they should be in another two weeks or so. By the way, they also look terrific as the center of a fall flower arrangement. Just in case I didn’t make myself clear in the other post, these things grow beautifully in many soils and conditions. They like full sun and they need a bit of water, just a bit. They are easy to get rid of if you find them coming up where you don’t want them. Hard times are coming; this is a starter kit for a lifetime supply of free salad that’s very very healthy!

I do not wish to publish my physical address in a public blog, even a business address — I’m sure you understand. One of my blogging buddies was recently tracked down and stalked by some crazy who drove 300 miles to meet her and potentially kill her because of something she posted on a forum. Creepy, huh! Luckily she alerted the police and he was arrested immediately and she is OK.

Foodbuzz 24,24,24 contest winners

24,24,24 As I mentioned earlier, Food Buzz had a contest where 24 blogs were featured in 24 hours.  The winners were truly magnificent foodiferous events, most thrown by professional foodies with degrees in foodology,   all kinds of connections in the supplier circle, not to mention matching china, mood decor and placemats, all documented by really awesome cameras — some of ’em even take videos.   My own humble little local consolation dinner can’t hold a candle to these folks but it was fun anyway, and normal people might actually be able to duplicate what I do.     The 24 winners’ locations are depicted in the map below.  Just click on any marker to bring up the blurb with a link to the site. Scroll around on the map too; not all of them appear in the initial viewing window.   Spend some time on these, folks! These winners put a tremendous amount of effort into sharing their exquisite food creations with you.

A Food Buzz Apron!

Ellie is Buzzing Recently my day was brightened by a totally unexpected gift from the great folks at Food Buzz.  FB had already surprised me with a batch of cool “Moo-cards” to promote this blog, and now I get this really awesome chef’s apron (modelled by my lovely green-haired daughter)  and long handled green spatula, totally out of the blue, eh… I mean green.   How did they know that all my old spatulas look like stiff ragged moldy rubber shreds on the end of a stick!!   If you are into food, join FoodBuzz and get in on the fun.  It’s a really clever very Web 2.0 site and they suck in and promote your food blog for you automagically. Psssst…… they also PAY you actual $MONEY$ based on how much traffic you send them.  Like the sound of that, eh?  How about a nice little mousie detour to the far right where it says vote for me!  Doesn’t cost you a thing to vote, not even your email address!

Mega Local Dinner

Foodbuzz had this contest called 24 in 24. You were to plan a big themed thing for 20 Sept, and they would pick 24 people and pay them to do their event and also feature them. Well of course I don’t know the right people or have enough resources to win anything like that, but I thought I’d throw my own mega-dinner anyway and blog the crap out of it. This was also the nomination dinner for my Dork for Pres campaign, where, as predicted, my friends nominated ME, since it was my party after all.

We basically went for lots of different local ingredients, but the preparations were pretty simple, not food porn material I’m afraid, way too down home for that. I’m not really about winning contests. I’m about good cooking, good friends, good food, and good fun. It was!


  • Fajitas modified to include grass-fed local beef, made with local onions, zucchini, and chiles.
  • local organic corn-on-the cob, boiled with butter & salt (I know it’s organic because every ear had a worm!)
  • local organic longbeans, steamed with butter & salt
  • traditional Midwestern cucumber fridge sweet pickle
  • Modified German coleslaw (local chives and cabbage)
  • Mike Beilstein’s back yard applesauce (similar to my sustainable applesauce)
  • Joy Keizer’s backyard zucchini with sundried tomatoes
  • My back yard tomatoes, sliced and garnished with Joy’s backyard basil
  • local organic autumn cup squash, baked (see squash reference for list of winter squash varieties) Autumn cup is so tender you can eat the skin.
  • local organic orange flesh honeydew, cubed
  • apple crisp made with windfall local Gravenstein apples
  • Remedy wine blend from Kathken vineyard
  • Red table wine from Chateau Bianca winery
  • Don Pancho tortillas, HQ’d in Salem, OR
  • Emerald Valley salsa from Eugene OR (just because we happened to have some)

Steal this slideshow!

This slideshow came from Chris Jordan‘s “Running the Numbers” art exhibit. I hope Chris doesn’t mind me spreading a little snippet of his message, and do visit his site — it’s awesome and more than a little frightening. In this excerpt, First you see a nondescript tweedy pattern. Then you see it zoomed in a little more. You wonder. Hmmmm. I wonder what that is. When it finally zooms in close, you realize to your horror that it’s plastic bags. Please take this slideshow and spread it but if you do, leave the attributions please! Here is the code, just cut and paste. If it fails to work leave a comment and I’ll try the alternative way. Thank you.

Texas Caviar

Thank you to frugalwench, who gave me the idea to try this! As with all my posts that have a keyingredient recipe embedded, sometimes keyingredient gets confused if more than one recipe from their site is on the same web page. So click the title to see the individual post and that usually clears it up. 🙂

Eola Hills Bike Tour — Southern Route 2008

Find more photos like this on Great Cooks Community
My husband and I do an August winery food bike tour every August. They are supported bike tours organized by Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall, OR. The idea is that you bike through the wine growing country in the Eola Hills and visit the wineries along the route. Most of the neighbor wineries are happy to cooperate and offer special tastings and deals to the cyclists. Airlie Winery is the traditional lunch stop for the southern route. If you happen to purchase any wine along the way, not to worry, the sag wagon comes by after everyone has finished, picks up the purchases and delivers it all back to Eola Hills for pickup. This summer we are doing two trips — we did the southern route on the 24th, and we will do the shorter but much hillier northern route on the 31st. For a slideshow of the actual cycling, it was professionally photographed by Liza Newcombe and you may see the entire trip slideshow at Tom and I are pictured in slides 44,45,51,52,128,215,191, and 262-266.

One of the highlights of these tours is the food at the end. Bicycling builds up an apetite. I snapped pictures of the salads; the angle and lighting wasn’t so good for the main dishes, and of course they have wine with the meal.

Because I like to showcase  various technologies, I uploaded my bike tour food photos to the Great Cooks Ning community. Ning automatically builds a slideshow, and I embedded the resultant slideshow widget here in the blog.
No techie skills necessary — Ning is really awesome that way!!! And by the way I highly recommend the Great Cooks community if you are into cooking. There is always something going on there.

Don’t those look fabulous? Maybe when we show them this posting next week, we can get the Eola Hills chef to give up a recipe or two!

Dork Chow: Natural Organic PR 4!

Google LUVI know blogs are supposed to be about YOU and not about the blogger (ME),  unless you’re popular and then you can drivel endlessly and vapidly about the wedgie you got last night while drinking beer  or how horrible it is when your crotch goes to sleep.   But today, it’s about ME, or more precisely, this blog.   I have no idea how this happened, but (are you ready for it?)
Play the the sound effect if you like before clicking MORE…
Read the rest of this entry »

An award? For Moi? Klunk!

Klunk is me falling on the floor.  With much surprise that I found out I got the Arte y Pico award from Gregorio Art Studio.  I am overwhelmed.


Rules of the Arte Y Pico Award
Take a Lesson in Viral Marketing from the Arte Y Pico Award

  1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
  2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone. [Nicely viral to have a backlink for appreciation to the blog you think deserves the award. Very clever.]
  3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
  4. Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

My choices are:

LakeTrees Artist

Beaker’s 3 Dimensions

The Journey

New York Nitty Gritty

Northern Norway Photos