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Do It Yourself

Fridge Archology : Harnessing the Power Within...My Freezer!


I surely would be seeing the back of my freezer by now except a box of frozen treats appeared courtesy of EcoGrandma and EcoKiddo. However, I did work down two of my tougher freezer challenges. I made Melissa Clark's Sheet Pan Paprika Chicken this past week and she called for duck fat on some potatoes that accompany on the sheet pan. Ms. Clark has been all over the sheet pan dinners lately. Apparently she wants to pretend that she's a harried career women trying to get dinner on the table quickly after a commute rather than a food writer who works from home. Whatever works for ya sister.

Fridge Archeology : Harnessing the Power Within ... My Pantry!


I wish I could say I made something virtuous with the last of the buckwheat flour. You know something like...porridge. But I made gluten-free chocolate waffles and maybe you should too. In fact, it was a two-fer. I pulled down the bag of random bags of flour because yes, I live and die by the zip-top freezer gallon size bags. I dig for the buckwheat and I look inside and go hmmmm. Not quite enough for the recipe but have no fear! I have yet another random whole grain flour with which to supplement.

Fridge Archeology : Harnessing the Power Within ... My Refrigerator

Ok, I'm serious this time. After one too many times slamming the freezer door closed and hoping it stayed closed, I'm going to start using things. I was hunting for some frozen tidbit and noticed, like an archeological dig, the freezer has strata. Like the line of dark debris round the world formed after the Chicxulub asteroid impact, there is a definite line of demarcation in the freezer. Before I swore to label everything and after. The mysterious before labeling stuff is getting long in the tooth because "label things in the freezer" was my 2016 New Years resolution.

The Long and Winding Road

As the old saying goes, roughly: progress is not a straight or steady path.

Preparing for Rain and Drought

IBC Tote & Pallet Wood Rain Cistern

Rain barrels might just be a gateway drug. I started with two converted 55 gallon olive barrels. Then I converted two more soda barrels for 220 gallons of capacity. But, I discovered that I could use all of that water in about a week and a half watering our garden. So, I've gone the next step in my addiction to rainwater catchment.

There, I Fixed It!

Repaired Coffee Grinder and Tools

Less than two years ago I replaced a broken coffee grinder. The old coffee grinder was unrepairable, yet it had worked for over 25 years. I just fixed the 'new' grinder which had a frayed power cord due to a design / manufacturing flaw (the sliding cord cover cut the wire insulation). Somehow this doesn't feel like progress.

Resolutions and Resolve

Pints of Homebrewed Hard Apple Cider and Scotch Ale

Late 2015 and early 2016 have been an interesting time in the eco/enviro world. An international agreement was reached in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) to reduce CO2 emissions. Yay! Following COP21 it was announced that 2015 was the warmest year and January 2016 was the warmest month (measured globally) on record. Boo! What to do when bad news effectively cancels out the good news of a month earlier? I think it calls for both resolutions and resolve.

Why I Garden #43

Shasta Daisies

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum). After a wet spring and much watering the Shasta Daisies are in full bloom. These flowers are neither native (a hybrid created by Luther Burbank) nor xeric (in our climate) we have made an exception for this small planting.

More Info:

Shasta Daisy

Leucanthemum × superbum

Luther Burbank

La Historia de Una Abeja

Empty Throne

Readers, let me tell you of my bee woes. One of my hives has been a regular telenovela.

Round about this time last year, we noticed one of our two hives was quiet … too quiet. It turned out as we feared. The whole colony had departed for greener pastures after a wet, cold winter. It was tragic inside the hive. I found several bars of bees frozen in place with a comb full of honey not that far away. I wasn't in the market for a new colony so it just sat there empty.

Paris à Vélo (Paris by Bicycle)

Cyclist at Versailles

One of my trip goals was to bicycle as much as possible during our stay. This turned out to be much easier than I expected. Due to projects like Paris Respire and Plan Vélo Paris has become a relatively friendly city for bicyclists. With Vélib' kiosks throughout the city, finding a bicycle to ride is quite easy. Vélib' bikes are perfectly usable, if a bit heavy, city bikes with 3 gears, fenders and a basket. During our stay I learned a few tips that made cycling in Paris even easier.

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