Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

I've been thinking about 39 for a while now. There are several ways to think of this age--I could be pouty and say this is my "last" birthday, never adding another number to 39 each year after this. I'm not so narcissistic as to be that way.

I could also say that I've been three years old 13 times. Not sure that's much fun, though.

I could be thirteen 3 times. Nope--teen years, *shudder*--I don't want to relive those.

I'm one less than forty. I'm one day younger than Rachael Ray. I'm now older than my sister-in-law (and she will most certainly stop by my blog to remind me!)

I was born in a year that was hugely pivotal for this country, 1968. I'm hoping I've had the same force of impact on someone else's life, in a good way.

Doing nothing today at all--same stuff, different day--it's all different when you get older, isn't it?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

On Her Way

Little girl...

...all grown up.

Just dropped her off at college today. That's 2 people gone from my home, but it sure feels like more. So many left to take care of, you would think the busyness of it all would help. Where did all that time go?

Monday, August 13, 2007


Long story very short--the surgery took 6 hours. The wrist is plated and pinned and the hip/SI joint has a 15cm (6") pin throughout.

He WILL WALK--his nerves are showing damage on the left to his foot so he may have a "foot drop" that will need therapy and possibly a lift in his shoe. The wrist will take at least a year before he can use it, and he will not be able to do ironwork ever again. It takes too much balance, which he will no longer have, and too much strength and flexibility in his wrist--which is gone, too.

Now we wait to see how his lungs are doing before they can remove the vent and send him WAY CLOSER for therapy. Maybe 4 days, maybe a week--nobody knows right now.

So, WHEW! Biggest hurdle over--NO MORE SURGERIES NEEDED--and we can move on--slowly, but ever so surely.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Veggie Wednesday: Earthbound Farms Cookbook

I recently received a copy of The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook, Food to Live By, by Myra Goodman with Linda Holland and Pamela McKinstry, from Lillian Margolin, an intern at . As soon as I had pulled the book from it's box, I started reading and couldn't stop. I even found myself reading it by candlelight that evening so I wouldn't disturb my infant daughter sleeping nearby.

I was captivated by the story of the young couple, Drew and Myra Goodman, living on a farm in exchange for property improvements, and selling raspberries to help pay the bills. Captivated because it's exactly the sort of thing I would do myself.

It's hard to believe that came from such meager beginnings considering just how large they are now. I think one of the most fun facts about them is that they were the first to introduce and sell pre-washed bagged salads. I don't know of anyone who hasn't purchased bagged salad, and it was neat to read that Earthbound Farms is where that idea was born.

This cookbook has quickly become one of my favorites, and I can see myself turning to it often. The recipes are fabulous--there is no ingredient so foreign that it can't be found--or at least a suitable replacement--nearby. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow and each recipe has a little history or fact written about it. That's something I truly appreciate, since the recipes in my own family cookbook all have a little something written about them. That extra makes the book very personal and also tells the reader that each recipe has actually been made, and loved, by the author, Myra Goodman.

The photos are beautiful and story-telling. This book is not just packed with over 260 delicious recipes, it's full of helpful tips and interesting facts; Myra's 'Four Food Choices I Live By' is something everyone should read, and heed. I also love that it's not just a cookbook, the story it begins with could easily stand on it's own.

A short time ago an acquaintance suggested I use 'X-Product' on my tomatoes, and I just nodded politely, all the while thinking, "WHY would I put a chemical on, in or near my food and then feed it to my family?" No thanks--garlic and marigolds planted near my tomatoes have provided all the protection I need. Reading this book has made me feel completely vindicated in my own gardening practices, which I didn't really see as organic until now.

This is one of the many, many wonderful recipes from Foods to Live By. I made this granola (which can also be purchased at the Earthbound Farms website) just before my oldest daughter took off on a camping trip. She and her friends loved it, as did the rest of my family. So we've eaten it straight up, as a cereal with cold milk, and as a hot cereal one morning. The only thing I did differently was to use chopped, dried apricots in place of the raisins; I love raisins, but I have a few 'raisin-haters' here.

Earthbound Farm's Famous Maple Almond Granola
Makes about 8 cups

4 1/2 cups (18 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup (3 oz) shelled, raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups slivered or coarsely chopped raw almonds
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup raisins

1. position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325° F.
2. Place the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the maple syrup and oil and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Spread the granola on a roughly 12 by 17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake the granola until it begins to brown, about 25 minutes, then stir it with a flat spatula. Let the granola continue to bake until it is light golden brown, dry and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir the granola at least once more as it bakes and watch it carefully during the final minutes because it can burn quickly.
4. Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack, add the raisins, and stir to combine. Let the granola cool completely. Transfer the granola to an airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month or frozen for up to 6 months. You can serve the granola straight from the freezer. It doesn't get hard and it thaws almost instantly--just pour on some milk.

You can purchase your own copy of Foods to Live By from the Earthbound Farms website or at If you love vegetables, if you're striving for a healthier body and earth, please pick up a copy of this cookbook, you'll come to appreciate and love it as much as I do!