Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just Stuff

What ho? I am a little late getting started this morning (well late to the computer anyway). I tried to get my hour and a half walk in before the rain started and failed miserably. I was bright enough to take a 'brolly' but I still got plenty damp. Lucky us, we have flash flood warnings again today but only for today and it should 'brighten' again tomorrow. It will still be enough rain to keep my out of the garden for another 5 or 6 days and another delay before I can get the garlic in. Oh well.

I don't know if I mentioned that my neighbors had some serious flooding in their basement during all the heavy rains and today the folks delivered the third giant dumpster. They have been hauling stuff out and filling the huge skids for weeks. They must have had stuff stacked floor to ceiling to be able to fill up that many dumpsters and they also have a big 'pod' thing which I assume has stuff not ruined by the water. Yesterday I heard the sound of jack hammers coming from there so it looks like they have a crew doing something to fix the water problem. It must be costing them a bundle and they don't even live there anymore as they moved to a new place sometime last year.

I came up with a new way to fix acorn squash last night and for you squash lovers it is worth relaying. Just cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. You may have to trim a little slice off the bottom so that they will sit flat on your baking pan. Fill the cavity with applesauce, a pat of butter and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and a dash of salt. Bake for about an hour in a 350F oven or until they are tender. Very nice. I have done the same with seedless grapes instead of the applesauce and it is nice too.

Speaking of veges(h/t Jill at La Vida Locavore). There is a new report out from the Center for a Livable Future called "Protein 101: Dispelling the Myth Surrounding Meatless Meals." I've gotten some pointed remarks from friends about my shift to a more fruit and vegetable centric diet which I am sure vegans get all the time. They are convinced of the great American myth that meat = protein and that if you are not eating meat everyday you will die from a lack of protein. As the title indicates, the report offers plenty of ammo to rebut the myth. It is really sad that most Americans are so badly misinformed about the protein available in vegetables. Just adding more beans to your diet will pretty much take care of protein needs not to mention fiber. 1 cup of chickpeas has 14.5g of protein, 1 cup of black beans has 15.25g of protein, and 1 cup of pinto beans has 15.4g of protein. Throw in some grains and you can bring even more protein to the party, 1 cup of brown rice has 4.5g of protein and 1 cup of uncooked oats has 26.76g protein. I also eat cheese, eggs and yogurt so I am not hurting for protein and yes I still have the occasional piece of fish or chicken and even pork(yay bacon!).

The first phase of the health care reform battle is over but there are many battles left to be fought. I can't say I am very satisfied with the product, so far, but there is hope that as momentum builds and more people understand the real issues, instead of the teabagger crap, that we'll see more positive developments. I must say this initial skirmish has really pointed out how screwed up and corrupt the Senate really is.

One more food thing. This month's issue of Saveur reviewed some new baking cookbooks and one they mention is Jim Lahey's new baking book. Jim and his Sullivan Street Bakery in New York are famous for the no knead bread recipe that was published in the Times a couple of years ago. I finally tried it and it does, in fact, make a marvelous bread without having to knead. It is airy and full of nice holes and has a great chewy crust. It is definitely the simplest bread recipe anywhere. If you have a cast iron 4-5 qt Dutch oven with a lid which is the only 'specialized' equipment needed, then you can make great bread with no fuss. I'll be baking this again.

That's all and I need another cup of tea. Golden Sencha thank you.

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