Posts Tagged ‘sustainable’

Adding on to the theme of this week, I wanted to share this video by Food MythBusters. If you’ve heard the term “Big Ag” before and never thought about what it means, this may help you. Real food grown the way humans have been growing it for centuries is what we need to survive. As one of my friends put it, the Bible says when all the bees die, we die with them.
I’d love to hear your comments.


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The jungle that is my garden, has gone from mildly unruly to devouring every inch inside the green house.  After a solid week of rain followed by hot clear days, there is quite a difference.

Green House busting at the seams

The melons won’t stay inside either.  That vine on the outside found itself too cramped with the others (sorry guys, I over seeded!)  Being the worry wort that I am, plus last summer’s drought and subsequent total crop failure, I planted three seeds per hill and refused to thin them out.  Same story for the lot at the south end of the yard.

South Patch doing pretty good exposed to the elements

As I poked around in the morning, I found another melon nearly full size.  That brings the total to ten actual melons!  There are more babies in the green house and south patch is starting to convert blooms to fruit.  South patch was planted about three weeks after the green house seeds (I was worried the first batch wouldn’t produce anything).

I will be overrun with orange cantaloupes by the end of summer.  Agua fresca anyone?  Suppose they will be handy when summer just.won’t.end. we will be rolling in melons.  In the meantime, I’ll be babysitting the younglings and checking the bigger melons regularly.

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A heavy cantaloupe melon from the garden.  I hope the other baby melons grow this big!

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Rarely do I get phone calls that I actually want to receive at home.  Most are recordings from the Mayor’s office, political opinion polls, telemarketers for TV-phone-internet companies or otherwise annoying people.  Earlier this evening was one of these calls.  The woman spoke with a smile and asked if I could take a short 60 second survey.  Sure (like there’s something else I’d much rather be doing now than talk to you.)  Oddly, the questions she had were quite benign.  Things like “Do you drive a foreign or domestic model vehicle?” foreign. Everything was fine until the last question.

Smiling Woman: “You don’t have to say which companies you or your spouse work for, just what type of work that you do?”

Me: “Engineering.”

Smiling Woman: “And, so, are you the homemaker?”

Me: “No, I’m the engineer.”  Well, I’m really an Engineering Technologist that does engineering type of work under the supervision of an EE.  But that would have confused the poor lady.

Smiling Woman: “Oh! I’m so sorry.  And your spouse? Does he stay at home, is unemployed, or a student?”

Me: “Unemployed.”  And he’s not *technically* unemployed either, but again this would have extended the 60 second survey far beyond the time promised by Smiling Woman.

I hung up after she thanked me for participating and said someone might call me about entering a sweepstakes or about a prize that I might win.  My brain was still in the middle of barfing to understand what she said at that point.  How is it, in this day and age, another woman assumed I was a homemaker?  She didn’t even offer the other options that were given for Hubby’s lack of occupation.  Am I supposed to be a homemaker?  How could I support my kitchen toy buying habits if I stayed at home?  Really?!?

I made some fish, hand breaded fresh fish, despite Smiling Woman’s assumptions.  Yes, I do work outside the home.  And, yes, I can make my own food thankyouverymuch!


Rinse the Pangasius fillets (one per person if they are a good size) in cool water and pat dry.  Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Spread a thin layer of mayo over the top, followed by a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning and breadcrumbs.  Drizzle the breadcrumbs with olive oil.  Tuck asparagus around the edges of the pan.  Top with olive oil, garlic slivers and sea salt.

Set a 350ºF oven to simultaneously roast the asparagus and fish.  Everyone will be done at the same time, the asparagus will be soft, the fish will feel firm.  They trade textures!


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I’m still learning about what it means to live in Texas.  I never knew cactus was edible (or even BBQ’d) until I’d been here a while.  Cactus “leaves” as well as the purple “fruit” called prickly pear!  Once your brain stops fighting the urge to shrivel up and die from the heat, you can see the glorious variety of locally grown food.

When we bought our first home our friends K&R gave us a plant.  K said to plant it anywhere and it should grow just fine.  At the time I had no intentions of growing much in my new clay and rock bed aka back yard so the gift was plopped in a hole the first place I could dig into the soil.  There it sat, all alone along the back fence of the yard.  This little gal almost met her maker when the fence was ripped out and replaced by higher-than-standard fencing.  She grew a bit each year without so much as a drink of water from me.

This spring there was fruit.

Fruit that was astringent and sweet.  This fruit reminded me of crab apples I grew up eating on the farm.  But the flesh was softer than an apple and yellow.  The neighbourhood birds flock to feast on the small clusters of mysterious golden fruit.  I remained puzzled for a few days until I saw a post on the AFBA Facebook page about Loquat Jelly.  Loquat?  It that what they’re called?!?  I have the Golden Nugget variety which is supposed to taste like apricot.

Now that I know what these are called, I made jam!

I followed the recipe for jam on the Ball No-Sugar mini package (it’s for two 8 oz jars) and used water, fresh lemon juice, loquats, and honey.  Since the pectin formula does not rely on a bunch of sugar you can adjust the jam to your taste.  I’ve found this method makes the fruit sing and you won’t have a sugar buzz from eating you jam with toast.   It’s best to carefully follow the directions on the package when it comes to home-made jams, trust me I’ve made some weird stuff trying to wing it.

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Picked ripe from the vine tomato, basil, arugula, and lettuce.  A deliciously fresh salad will be my dinner tonight!  That little green house is working like magic.

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Salmon Baked with Garlic

It’s been too long since we’ve had salmon for dinner.  I found a beautiful wild sockeye at my local market on sale, I couldn’t resist.

Succulent sockeye salmon only requires a few ingredients: garlic, salt, pepper and baking for 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 325-350ºF.

This fish could be the one I had to throw back during our fishing trip many moons ago.  It was August and sockeye season had ended for the year.  We caught a Chinook, King, and my Sockeye in the wee morning hours on the water.  I always though of the ocean like the jewel tone sparkling waters and white sandy beaches you see in advertisements for the Bahamas and Mexico.  Those Canadian fjords full of salmon were dark, cold and deep.  They seemed especially ominous while the sun scraped the far side of the costal mountains.  Everything was covered in a blanket of mist and fog in the distance along the shores.  Most shores were straight drop-offs, the mountains and cliffs provided no shelves to cling to above the black abyss.

My new goal is to return to the west coast to kayak with Orcas.  It’s on my growing list of things I want to achieve in life.

Have you made a list of goals?  Tell me about some of them in the comments!

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