Weekly summary

General Updates: This week was decidedly better in most categories. We ran the dishwasher twice, but now the kitchen is sparkling clean, and I did the last little load by hand. I just need to wash the dinner dishes and I’ll be all caught up. If I do dishes right away, I can afford to be a bit less careful of the water and end up using as much or less in the long run, because I won’t be scrubbing stuck-on food off all the time. I hope. We’re close to having flood watches at the moment, so I don’t really care about water waste. (I suppose I could go out and scoop some snow up in a bucket for dishwashing…the precipitation is currently in this conveniently solid form.)

I did extremely well on the local food front. I stuck fairly closely to the meal plan I posted before, which took a lot of stress off that I hadn’t realized was even there. It was easier to make things like homemade pasta and bread when I had the timing planned out. I’ll post next weeks meals in another post. I finally got around to looking up “Kate’s Homemade Butter”, the creamery in Maine where we’ve been getting our butter from. They look like a genuinely good family business that supports local New England dairies and cares about the cows’ welfare. And they make really good butter.

Dark Days Eat Local Challange:

For Shabbat dinner last night, I made black bean burgers with the leftover black bean soup and brown rice (neither of local ingredients), held together with local eggs and whole wheat flour, with homemade bread (much better than usual!), green beans with garlic scapes (both frozen from the summer) and tiny little salad-lets from the greens growing on the windowsill. Most of the greens may find themselves dipped in salt water at a seder a friend is hosting. Tonight’s dinner was a delectable pan-fried mix of (CSA) potatoes, rutabaga, and parsnip with local butter and Indian spices. The tiny parsnips we got with the December share are much more tender and sweet than the huge ones — must remember that!

Growing Challenge: as mentioned above, I finally harvested a few of the greens in the window — yum!! I also had another garden dream…I was doing some sort of school garden project at an elementary school. They had lots of green things and flowers and giant carrots and runner beans and some mixed clover and chamomile like I’m going to put in my real garden. It was really pretty and sunny… The next crop of mushrooms is just about ready.

Project NoWaste: I’ve been eating more chocolate, but I’ve also been remembering why eating chocolate is a good thing. It’s tasty, and there are legitimate reasons why it’s a mood stabilizer, for women in particular. This staves off the urge to snack on even less healthy things and it’s all organic and fair trade, except some that I had from a while ago or received as gifts. The crushed garlic that’s been in the fridge since the Beginning of Time has finally gone off, and I had to throw out some extra black bean burger mix since I forgot about it and left it out. Making that food list has helped with the not wasting food thing a *lot*.

My non-eco life is also perking up. Things are less hectic at work, and I think I have a good rhythm set up for classes, which will be a lot more work than last semester. Anyone have favorite young adult books that I should read for my YA lit class? I’m kind of tempted to pick an environmental topic for my reference project, but on the other hand, I might want something that will be less depressing.

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