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Showing posts from January, 2010

Vegetable Soup

Yesterday after purchasing some lovely organic, local produce , I felt inspired to make some soup, something I'd never done before. My grandma had given me a recipe that my cousin had sent her for vegetable soup. It sounded delicious, so I followed the basic instructions but used whatever veggies we had in the house. My cousin had found the recipe for "Tuscan Vegetable Soup" here . My vegetable soup (with the help of my step-mom) included: - 2 organic carrots I purchased at the Farmers Market, sliced - 1 small organic white onion (also from the Farmers Market), diced - about a dozen organic new potatoes, sliced - 3 handfuls of spinach - 2 organic celery stalks, chopped - 32 ounces of organic vegetable broth - a can of organic Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed - 2 cloves of garlic, minced - a handful of chopped parsley - some sprinkles of organic all purpose seasoning - many dashes of salt until the soup was well-flavored - 1 tablespoon organic olive oil It was my

Saturday Morning Adventure

By 8:50 this morning, I was on my bike headed toward downtown. Last night's rainy residue lined my tires with a coat of water, and the crisp air flapped my long floral dress and my wavy hair. With two paniers attached to my bike and a "One Less Car" t-shirt over my dress, I made my way to sleepy Saturday morning Main Street and parked my bike near an Italian restaurant and Bank of America. I walked across the street to where our Farmer's Market is held and began perusing the booths, looking for tasty food. I didn't really have any plan of what to buy, although I had seen some delicious-looking preserves last week and hoped to buy some today. There are these two guys (above, second tent down the street) who work at one of the stands who are always asking "Miss, would you like a sample?" Everytime I walked by, last week included, they called and asked this to everyone. "No thank you," I am always forced to say. Their sample has cheese. I wish I

Environmental Awareness Committee

This evening, from 4:30 to 6:00, I attended my school district's Environmental Awareness Committee meeting. It is the second time I've attended one of their meetings and was inspired to write about tonight's experience. The first item on the agenda after introductions was to have one of our local middle schools present about what their environmental club has been doing on campus. Two girls from the club attended, and one read a well-written account of her school's green experiences over the past semester. They have a garden, a compost system and food scrapping program, modeling after another middle school in the district. The representatives from the middle school were wearing the neatest t-shirts: a design of a tree and its branches that spelled out the name of the school. The twisting branches spelled "ecology club." The woman who drew the design was at the meeting, too. Our environmental club needs to get some of those! The committee is comprised of teach

Reduce Bad Food Decisions, Reuse Materials

Last week for Reduce Footprints ' Change the World Wednesday challenge , I agreed to the following: This week, for seven whole days, read food labels and refuse to buy anything containing the following: Hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils High fructose corn syrup Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives Bleached or bromated flour Any ingredients that you aren't familiar with and/or can't pronounce So maybe the first day I held true to my word. Then, according to my everyday routine, I purchased an "everything" bagel from Noah's New York Bagels (bleached flour) and a hazelnut soy misto Starbucks drink (artificial flavors & sweeteners) and proceeded to eat them, without being aware that I had violated the challenge. I wasn't really thinking and proceeded to buy another set the next day. It's a habit. A poor habit, I suppose. Then I realized that I'd completely gone against the challenge and pretty much gave up for


In my AP Human Geography class the past couple of weeks, we've been learning about agriculture. It is fascinating and, interestingly, is one of those topics that directly affects everyone. We learned about cattle being raised in feedlots, genetically modified foods like corn and soybeans, and the many issues surrounding unsustainable agricultural practices in more developed countries, specifically the United States. We also learned about pastoral nomadism, rice, wheat, climate and other agricultural factors, the agricultural revolutions, the Green Revolution, and various agricultural practices from around the world. I'm really glad my teacher decided to expose us to the current issues surrounding agriculture, as when we watched Food, Inc . Many students hadn't ever had a desire or reason to learn about these issues and probably wouldn't have if it weren't for the class. I have the book so I began reading it the same day we began watching the movie. If you haven'

Quote of the Day: Water

All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. -- Toni Morrison I love the rainy weather we've been having, the constant pitter-pat on the roof and the swaying trees dripping water from their leaves. We really need it here in California. I think I'm going to periodically have quotes of the day, considering I've come across many lovely quotes with nowhere to share them except here. Have a nice evening, and if it's raining where you are, enjoy the poetry it brings to your day.


If you haven't yet seen Avatar , you really should. It's a well-made film with a deep, vital message. Keep your eye out for different references to indigenous tribes of planet Earth that help make up the Pandora tribe of Na'vi--I noticed a few. Think about the movie afterward (how can you not?), and keep the messages about protecting mother Earth in your mind. I didn't see it in 3D, but I heard it's even more incredible if you do. Either way, try to see it. It's definitely worth it. Check out the trailer here .

Yosemite Ahwahnichi - Miwok or Paiute?

If you've ever been to Yosemite, you've probably been to the recreation Miwok village. You've probably seen the displays about acorn harvesting and how the Ahwahnichi lived in the Valley. A "Miwok" hut in the recreation village. Some of the styles in the village are actually Paiute. What you probably didn't know is that many of the photographs, recreations, and objects on display are actually Paiute (from Mono Lake), not Miwok (Southern Sierra Miwok). It is a disputed issue between Yosemite National Park and the Paiute people as to whether Yosemite Valley was inhabited by Miwok or Paiute people. The Paiute insist--and have a large amount of evidence to suggest--that the Ahwahnichi of the Valley were Mono Lake Paiutes. I'm not an expert, but the evidence I've seen points to the Ahwahnichi being mostly Paiute. The photographs the Park posts and label as Miwok are actually Paiute --this is a fact the families of these people state repeatedly to the Pa

Me-Wuk Word of the Day: Fun-ah-wah

Happy New Year! I hope you have all had a wonderful first day of the new year and that your resolutions have been put in action! This morning, my family saw Sherlock Holmes at the movie theater. It was awesome! I can't wait to see it again to catch all the details I missed the first time. A lot of action and violence, but Robert Downey Jr. was a splendid Holmes and Jude Law a superb Watson. I highly recommend it! Now for my second word of the day: In Me-Wuk (the spelling given by the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians ), "laughter" is fun-ah-wah , as in "May 2010 be filled with new wisdom, adventure and lots of fun-ah-wah ." I have been researching Native Americans non-stop this week and creating PowerPoint slide shows to present to my sister and family. After learning some Me-Wuk words, I was hooked on learning more about the culture and history of the first inhabitants of the place I call home. My younger sister loves to present slide shows about animals, part