Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm a sloppy slop

I wanted to use this blog for transcribing recipes and posting pictures of the things I make. Instead I spend time complaining about the world. Well, I guess that's okay anyway because I am finally realizing that everything I make looks pretty damn sloppy.
The shadow sent me a link to a vegan blog website of sorts. It's really amazing. This woman not only has fantastic recipes and great pictures but it is very step by step, helping to cut out the confusion that can happen when using unfamiliar ingredients or just trying something new. So in comparison, I am a slob. Maybe someday I'll have constant Internet access and a digital camera. Until then I'll decide that chocolate chip cookies don't really need baking soda, and then eat the entire deflated batch myself (because for once, Scott wasn't touching them).

p.s. all of my latte art fern leaves have begun resembling mass deforestation.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

That selfish Ayn Rand

My co-worker is reading Any Rand. He is reading The Virtue of Selfishness. Now, I don't know too much about Ayn Rand. She is considered a major proponent of capitalism and throughout her various texts classifies the male sex as heroes, meant to be looked up to by women. She is also considered an intellectual, and honestly, anyone considered an intellectual automatically receives a bit of discredit in my book. It's just so haughty.
Ayn Rand is also described as a feminist and a radical thinker, but she blatantly states that homosexuality is immoral. Whatever Ayn.
The fact that my co-worker is reading The Virtue of Selfishness, did spark a conversation between us, similar to a few I've had in the past week(s).
I sometimes feel selfish. Like when I drive my car or buy packaged cookies or refuse to share something. And I guess I could be considered selfish because I want clean air and water and food. I want those things for myself, but ultimately I want those things for the Earth. My selfish desire for toxin free produce and unobstructed bike lanes throughout the city are nowhere near as bad as selfish desires, often self fulfilled, by most people in this culture. They selfishly scarf down burger kings and arbys without thinking of 1) the animal they are consuming 2) how eating that animal affects the earth 3) about the people working that shit wage job to serve them that slaughtered cow meat or the people working that even shittier paid job to make the cardboard box they put the burger in. They don't think about any of those things, and they probably do not see their fast food consumption as selfish. They buy their fast food then drive their big car home real fast to feed the kids before american idol starts. I'm sure selfishness is not at the forefront of their mind, but they are still moving through motions without consideration.They are still partaking in highly destructive behavior that does not benefit their bodies, their wallets, their brains, or most importantly the Earth. I understand that they are doing what they were taught repeatedly. There is a way to break out of that mindset.
We could consider everything we do selfish. Like eating a tomato. Even if we grew that tomato ourselves, we could still be really extreme and call it selfish because we ate to for ourselves with no other reason than because we were hungry. But that's absurd! There has to be a line drawn. What it really comes down to is if you're going to partake in selfish acts, you can deny them, exploit others, and remain in your own self centered world, OR you can be proactive about semi selfish acts, and at the heart of those acts remain mostly dedicated to wanting those things like healthy soil, not only for yourself but for the Earth and all the plants and animals, human and non alike.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Just talking about doom

Nothing new going on really. I am spending time at my parents house this weekend. I went shopping with my mother and sister. We got home and my mom talked about her plans for stockpiling food. I am growing tired of these same conversations. However, I am absolutely not willing to step down off my soapbox.

In other news I've been having terribly bizarre dreams that spell doom.
One dream that I had two nights ago was about me visiting my parents home to plant some vegetables in the garden. When I got there, most of the yard was beginning to be swallowed by a giant hole. It had no depth, and continued to swallow more and more of the yard. It devoured the patio and most of the garden.

Then tonight my mother told me of a story she saw on the news, of which I knew nothing about.

see how much our earth hates us stealing all of its insides? pretty weird though. I'm really not trying to claim to have dreams that are premonitions or any such nonsense, but it is weird that I have been steadily having dreams for the past 2 months that later become similar news stories.

enough mysticism for now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Paper Cut

I paper cut my neck today on a corrugated cardboard box.

The Post Dispatch had a front page article about how SLU is required to install more women's restrooms with their growing number of female students. WOW! Important stuff there. I was so intrigued that I continued flipping through the paper. Low and Behold, the last page had a disturbing article about the 5 people in Somalia killed by their government during riots yesterday. They were hungrier than they already have been because of the actual food shortages there. I guess most of the people that came into my work today and complained that we didn't have the right bread didn't get past that engaging bathroom article.

I have to go purchase a few new "nice" looking clothing items for my cousin's bridal shower and all the other fancy pants engagements I might be invited to this summer. I tried on my dress clothes this morning and more than a few of them were falling off. I hate buying clothing. I would rather put that money to good use and buy a grain mill, which feels essential for some reason.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pie PIE pie

I am so incredibly exhausted. And my busy days are just starting. Sometimes I want to completely abandon all of the issues I feel so passionate about. It just seems to get in the way at times. Compliance is never something that has come easily for me, nor have I ever believed it should be part of a person's identity. But some days I feel too tired to care.

I baked a pie. I was craving pie very badly. So I baked one last night. It's an apple pear pie. I want to get a recipe for a crust that is very thick and slightly flaky. The crust of a pie is always the best part. And it's the part that tells you if the cook knows what their doing or not. Anyone can toss some fruit into the center but you gotta have a good crust. So the mission begins.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sometimes optimism just sounds naive when for the sake of those around you.

I baked cupcakes last night. I am trying to work on a better presentation of my cooking/baking and an increase in the intensity of flavors. I also wish I had a camera to regularly upload photos of the things I make. I made lemon cupcakes and filled them with a chocolate mousse. I used a basic vegan vanilla cupcake recipe and added in about 3 Tbs. worth of fresh lemon juice and a Tbs. of lemon zest. The flavor still wasn't as lemony as i wanted, and somewhere in the process my first batch in the oven deflated a bit, maybe there was too much acidity. Who knows. I will try again and maybe by that time I'll have taken pictures to include with recipes.

The farm on the North Side (New Roots) apparently got their nucs. last weekend. I have yet to venture to the farm to check out their apiary, which is placed perfectly inside of the orchard. I really hope to figure out how to balance my time so I can contribute to the bee keeping as well.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

We won't be feeling it yet...

So I made things sound pretty cryptic when talking about food shortages. And yeah, things are pretty damn bad. But people don't see how terrible the Earth is being treated and their role in that destruction because it's easier not to notice. Most Americans will only brush the surface in feeling the rising food prices. The poor here and everywhere else in the world have been feeling the impact of food shortages and skyrocketing prices for years, but it will take a very long time for the middle and upper classes to ever feel the devastation down to their stomachs. We still have fast food chains, and a bread-co down that street and even though grain is getting more expensive you can still choose from 20 different bagels and a handful of pastries. I could walk into a starbucks today and order a grande latte and a scone or two to go with it. So, while the need to conserve and perhaps even stockpile is necessary, the chance of mass famine in the US is far off.
Scott asked me to go with him to Webster University tonight to hear a lecture about ecology. He was listening to NPR and head an interview with Satish Kumar (I think...) about humans impact on ecology. I am worried about going because I never go and listen to lectures on issues I'm passionate about because I'm always afraid I'll get ridiculously angry at the way the topics are discussed (or not discussed). Maybe getting angry isn't such a bad thing though, at least it would fire me up to be more vocal etc. However, I did look this guy up and it says that he is a follower of Mahatma Ghandi. And a believer in peace and ecology. I have a lot of problems with those that believe peace is the answer. We are very far past that point in the history of mankind. I am sure that this man does have some interesting things to say and I will probably gain new insight in one area or another because of this lecture.
I also worry about the fact that it's on a college campus. I am an ass when it comes to college kids. Here's the issue: would I rather have college students interested in ecology, vegetarianism, environmentalism, bikes whatever the list goes on and on, because it's a fad like "green" is right now and possibly have them contribute even if it is superficially until they burn out later and "remember the days in college when I was a real activist" OR would I rather not have them interested at all if they aren't honestly trying to save the earth and themselves. Whatever. most people are selfish anyway and there's no changing that.

Friday, May 2, 2008

2 in 1?!

Yeah two posts today. I had to deal with the cops first thing this morning. Sucks. I came in and I was so tired that instead of the code to turn off the alarm I typed in my debit card code. So then a high pitched screech echoed through the shop until the cops showed up about 30 minutes later. I could have already looted this place. too bad.

Stock Up

Scott and I went grocery shopping earlier this week. We needed produce, but honestly, I just wanted to stock up on extra flour. So I bought two five pound bags and stuck them in our freezer. I don't think that I can stress enough how important it is for people in our society to learn how to use their resources to make food for themselves and families. Most people do not know how to bake a loaf of bread. They buy packaged bread at the store, all filled with extra chemical nutrients and high fructose corn syrup. Or they toss some shit in a bread maker and let it do the work. Someday, that bread maker is going to shit out and you'll be left with nothing. We should also focus on food preservation. Drying, canning, pickling, all these methods of preserving food will save you money now and hunger later.
So I'm guilty of feeling that American panic, the need to stockpile. "A few extra cans of beans each time we go to the store couldn't hurt" Scott says. And I agree. But stockpiling isn't fixing the problem. Housewives going to the store and stocking up on bags of rice and two liters of pepsi doesn't mean they or you or anyone else is asking questions. I suppose that all questions asked are automatically diverted by those in power anyhow. Deny the problem, offer other sources of downfall, pass the blame, hush the people. It's not even about asking what to do next or who to blame (since humans as a whole are to blame, more specifically those who have money) but how we can make changes for ourselves and the way we live. When it comes to this food shortage we can first look at personal accountability. We should be asking questions of the problems causers but of ourselves as well. How can I reduce waste? How can i grow things on my garden? How can i preserve food?
And yeah, I'm stocking up a bit. But I can make jam and bread and dried foods. And I can do it without electric appliances. At the grocery store people see sales on pringles and 7-up and little debbie, so they stock up. They go home and drink poisoned water, watch a poisoned news station, and then poison their bodies with junk. That soda will run out, and the bugs will get to the snack cakes, and they will ask what to do. No president will have that answer.
I was having a conversation with my mom a few days ago and she was asking me what i thought about all of this. I think i really frightened my 15 year old sister, but I speak honestly, especially to them. I don't want to loose my family in all this mess. I was very adamant about how strongly I believe that vegetarianism could really help the state of our food supply. I know that we are past the point where any major change could save our Earth and its resources, but as individuals, if people switched to vegetarianism it would save waste, provide you with more nutrition for a stronger body, and put you in alliance with those who believe that land used to graze cattle for cow meat could be put to better use. You would also have an easier time with localization. I'm not saying converting to vegetarianism abstains you from questioning or doing anything else for this earth but it is a step. True vegetarianism and veganism forces people to become more aware of their bodies, and the land they take from, and forces them to become more self sufficient when it comes to food. Maybe mom and dad will convert, sister already has. who knows.

That's enough ranting for today. The beets and onions are sprouted. brussel sprouts are looking good, and hopefully this weekend the planting will commence.