Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's the difference between Edmonton and yogurt?

... Yogurt's got culture. Sorry, couldn't resist... And really, that joke is quite equally applied to Cowtown.
OK technically this is penicillin, for some reason they don't have lactobacillis stuffies at Giant Microbes. What the heck. Maybe I should knit one. I followed this very useful article on the cost-effectiveness of making staples at home, courtesy of Nicole, and followed the link to this NYTimes article about making yogurt. I've been meaning to for months, but have never had free time, a gallon of milk, and leftover yogurt in the same point in the space time continuum until now. Now I know what the Slate author meant when she said "The first time I watched this metamorphosis, I felt like a sorcerer." It's true! It's a little strange actually, putting the mix in a warm oven and letting the cultures multiply away in there. It does feel like sorcery. Delicious sorcery. And cheap too, it is half the cost of buying it in the store. Also, no frikin plastic container for my conscience to contend with. A win win win. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at peach frozen yogurt this summer.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Doha Chebib

A Calgarian artiste made craftzine's blog. I like her work..

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Slow Down

.. this was the general message of Carl Honore at last night's talk at the Public Library. **sidenote, the library's community relations guy gave a plug for the library as an important centre for public life, and he was pretty convincing. I'm looking forward to what happens when the central library expands. I have paid for most of the expansion in fines, so I might as well enjoy it. Ha! I kill me. anyway..** Honore's book covers the slow movements that have taken root around the world. Did you know that in Japan there is a Sloth Club? Love it. Honore is quite a good speaker, what with his stories of divorce proceedings begun because the wife had checked her blackberry during an intimate encounter... or the emergence of DRIVE-BY FUNERALS.. you cannot make this stuff up. He pointed out that more and more brain research shows that the human mind really suffers when multitasking, and actually ends up performing tasks slower and less effectively. Sounds familiar. I'm looking forward to slowing down in the garden this summer.

Here he is speaking at TED.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Piss in Bed

.. also known as Lion’s Tooth, Puff Ball, Cankerwort, Prince in Paupers Clothing, Royal Herb. Taraxacum officinale F. Asteraceae. I remember giggling over the French name for dandelions when I was a child.. pissenlit! Piss in bed. Hilarious when you are eight.
Well, right now I am not in bed.. hit with another fit of insomni-argh. The silly thing about insomnia is that you lie awake, getting angrier and angrier at being wide awake.. which doesn't exactly help the mind to be still. I'm trying dandelion root tea with dandelion honey in it at the momment.. hoping for the rumored body calming and sleep inducing effects. This link has got me convinced to cultivate it instead of pulling it out of the lawn this summer. Never mind that the leaves make me gag, try as I might to enjoy them in salad.. oh well after the long winter I think I'll be like Hera in the back yard.. eagerly wolfing down anything green. She has been having grass salads in between regular meals since the snow melted. Have I mentioned that my dog sits and begs for raw kale? She's a true omniovore.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Local Booze 101

Evan and I have been looking around for local food and drink to serve at our wedding. We were at Calgary Farmer's Market today, despite the carbon footprint that got us there, and the regrettable fact that a good one third of the food available at CFM is decidedly non-local. Ah well.. we still check it out every once in awhile. They do have some really wonderful regional producers like Gull Lake Greenhouses and Blush Lane Organics.

We did find Saskatoon berry juice concentrate from Pearson's Berry Farm. And, more importantly, we found the new Field Stone Fruit Wines booth. Marvin Gill was graciously offering samples. The wines are quite interesting.. the fruit lends the wines a very strong character, that is not overly complex compared to grape wines, but is really nice. We tried cherry, strawberry-rhubarb and raspberry. We left with a bottle of raspberry wine and a fortified black cherry dessert wine (16%, yeah that's fortified alright.. ). After the field trip, we had a beautiful evening in the back yard with our neighbors, watching our dogs chase each other around and sampling the wines. They went down pretty easy, surounded as we were by springtime and the sounds of birds in the trees... happy easter all..