Friday, April 17, 2009

Watch Hockey: It's Good for the Environment

Well the NHL Hockey play offs for the Stanley Cup have begun.

Now, I'm not a hockey watcher and can easily do without it, but Husband likes to watch. I'm a lucky woman as he only watches when the Vancouver Canucks play (Go Team Go), so thankfully I only have to endure a portion of the season's games.

Strange but True... watching hockey reduces energy consumption! According to BC Hydro during the time a hockey game airs, compared to the same time the day before and the day after, there is a notable reduction in the amount of power used. It was the news tonight, but I can't remember the amount of savings. The belief is that during hockey games people gather around the television and don't turn on any additional lights.

Hockey can also lead one to be socially responsible. Who knew??? A few Canuck fans decided to purchase a goat for developing countries every time the Canucks won a game in this year's Stanley Cup play offs. From a couple of guys who set up a face book group it has grown (as of this writing) to 269 supporters. Check out Goat Canucks Goat on facebook or their new website You don't have to be a Vancouver Canucks fan, or even a hockey fan for that matter, to help purchase goats.

Get Your Goat On!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Environmental/Green/Food Books

The latest books in the pile are all by Canadian authors...

"Food Security for the Faint of Heart" By Robin Wheeler. I received this book for Christmas and have finally finished it (not that its a difficult read, but it took some time trying to read it in amongst other activities such as work)

It has lots of practical information for growing and storing food and really hits the spot about having to be prepared for emergencies. She uses many recent provincial emergency situations as examples, and as she is from the West Coast she cites 'the big one' (eventual major earthquake) as a very good reason to get prepared.

I am currently reading 'The End of Food: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Food Supply - and What You Can Do About It." by Thomas F. Pawlick. I happened to see it at the public library and I quickly added it to my book stack.

If you like Michael Pollan's books or "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver, you will like this book too. It really delves into the food industry, farming practices, and can be quite graphic especially the part about the life of battery hens.
I'm about half way through this book and I am finding it extremely informative, as it has been very well researched.

"Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man Boobs?" by Robin Harding. I just received this book from my sister as an early birthday present (same one who gifted my the Food Security book above - I guess she knows what I like to read). I quickly read the first few pages and it is HILARIOUS! I can't wait to dive into it.

Friday, April 10, 2009


This has been a week of dirt...

1. Monday evening Husband and I went to see the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band concert. It was a last minute treat and we ended up getting excellent seats. The concert was terrific! I haven't listened to their music for years... now I'll have to dig out the old CD to put on my iPod.

2. Even though we still have a lot of snow, the crocus have bloomed in the dirt beside the house!

Trying to move snow away from the house as the resulting melt water is sitting. Husband is looking to where he can drain it.

Yesterday I also saw the first Robin of spring (4 in fact) and a very large butterfly or moth.

3. Our planting room (aka heated garage) is full of seedlings, and we have already had to transplant quite a few as they have outgrown their peat pellets.

Pepper and tomato seedlings

SEEDLINGS GONE WILD! They'll flash their roots at anyone!

4. We can finally see the gravel driveway! Though there is still snow is some places.

5. We rented the DVD 'The Real Dirt on Farmer John'

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Homemade Salami

Well, I did it.... further to my earlier post about no longer eating commercially processed meats, I have made our own salami. I couldn't believe how simple it was to make, and how superior the flavour is compared to store bought! The kids began gobbling it up before it was even completely cooled.

You really have to try it.

I searched on the internet and found various recipes and methods; and as I usually do, I jumped in and picked out what I thought would work and made up my own.

Homemade Salami

1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (crushed - I did this with my mortar and pestle)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp liquid smoke

Combine all the ingredients and mix them very thoroughly.

Form a cylindrical roll about 2 1/2" thick and wrap in tin foil. Place in the fridge for the flavour to combine for 24 hours.

Heat oven to 325F, poke holes in the tin foil and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake at 325F for 1 hour 45 minutes. Turn oven down to very low (mine only goes as low as 170F) and continue baking for another 45 minutes or so until dry.

Remove tin foil and cool on wire rack. Wrap and store in fridge.

I currently have 5 salami rolls baking in the oven right now... Oh it SMELLS so GOOD.!

Monday, April 6, 2009

100 Foot / 100 Mile Diet

This weekend was definately spent on the '100' theme.

On Saturday morning Husband and I attended a '100 Foot Diet: Growing Veggies in your Backyard' seminar. There were two knowledgaeable local gardeners who are graduates of the Master Gardening program in attendance.

I think were at at least 30 people who came to learn about gardening. We were a little disappointed, because it was really just about the basics of gardening and Husband and I have gardened before and grew up in families that gardened. The other thing that put us off, was that they really pushed purchasing hybrid seeds from catalogues - of course we are really into heirloom/heritage vegetables and saving seeds. Obviously the seminar was really geared to the beginning gardener.

We did learn a few things about growing corn in our area and are going to give it a try this year. There were also a lot of good book suggestions for growing in cold climates, and books from local authors.

The Foodnetwork aired the first of a series called "The 100 Mile Challenge" which was filmed in Mission, BC and follows 6 families in their journey to eat only local food for 100 days. The hosts are, of course, James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith, authors of "The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating". It was quite interesting and I'm looking forward to the next episode. You watch the episode online here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Depression Cooking

This morning as I was driving to the office, I had my radio tuned to my usual CBC station, and this is how a learned about Clara.

Her YouTube videos teach how to cook simple nutritious meals along with stories about the depression. Clara is 91, and I am a new fan! She also has her own website Great Depression Cooking wtih Clara.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Kaiser at 8 months old
(Shadowdale's Northern Emperor)

Going for a walk (in the snow.... again)