Archive - Staff Blog
January 8th, 2010
Economists and peace activists have long pointed out that the true cost of oil-based energy is not adequately accounted for or paid by us consumers: the pollution it generates, the treatment for diseases it necessitates, the environmental damage that needs to be ameliorated, and the military presence we provide in order to ensure our oil supplies all have costs that are not on our utility bills. Forcing oil, coal and nuclear energy providers to internalize the costs had proven almost impossible due to their strong lobbyist presence in Washington, D.C. and in state capitols.
I fully intended on making ricotta and writing about it for last week's Table Talk.
As sometimes happens in life, though, not everything worked out according to plan. I invested in some good whole milk, heated it up, made mozzarella (which also didn't turn out so well, but I'm not going to go into that), then heated the whey to 200 degrees and strained it, or tried to. In the end, the coffee filter I used barely let the whey flow through, and after an hour it had drained off less than half a cup.
December 31st, 1969
When I think of the holidays, I think of lots of relatives gathered around the dinner table, enjoying the company, the occasion, and an indulgent meal. It's a time when normal food rules are suspended, the dieters, fitness freaks and food-obsessed alike using the occasion to try some of everything. (Why, yes, I'll have some of Grandma's cookies, but not without a side of Uncle Morgan's pumpkin pie…)
Plus, as an added perk, I get to stop obsessing about how much each serving is costing me or how many meals I'll get out of whatever I'm making and just enjoy the food.
I have just finished putting out my rows of milk cartons with 24-hour votives lit inside them. It is the evening of Dec. 21, the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. For those of us who migrated to the North Country, winter solstice is a bit of a non-event in terms of marking the official beginning of winter.
I am not exactly what one might call a dedicated composter. I don’t water it on a regular basis, turn it, or measure the temperature in the center to make sure the microbes are happy little critters. I’ve been known to throw weeds, seeds, and even (heaven forfend!) dairy products into the mix. Because I am careless about maintaining the correct proportions of “greens” to “browns,” (i.e. fresh organic matter with decayed material or dirt), my compost bins smell quite charming, even in the depths of winter.
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