Friday, August 26, 2011


Something happened today that really meant a lot to me. Not an event on the level of, say, my sister delivering her babies in a couple of weeks, or next month celebrating the 1-year anniversary of dating my boyfriend, or [crossing fingers] someday getting a fabulous winemaking job. However, this was enough to make me cheer happily inside all day long.

I was able to donate blood. Because my blood was chock full of iron-rich red blood cells.

This hasn't happened in, oh, about seven years. Every time I went in, they'd check my hematocrit and it would be too low. Sometimes just barely too low, sometimes well below the limit. That pesky vegetarian-induced anemia.

Yesterday I received an email about the blood drive happening at work, and signed up for a donation appointment figuring I'd at least get an idea of my hematocrit before they sent me away. Instead I blasted past their donation threshold.

Amazing. Less than six months on a deliberate iron-rich-animal-product-including diet and I've fixed that anemia problem. Just goes to show that liver is more powerful than you could ever imagine. :) And clams.

I particularly feel warm and fuzzy when I donate blood because I'm O+, so a large proportion of the populace can receive from me, and I either lack or have a particular factor in my blood that enables me to donate to babies. Do you have healthy blood? Find your local donation center and give some of it away.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This week's surprising CSA haul

Wow. Everything I pulled out of this week's CSA box was my favorite.

A basket of padrone peppers
A head of butter lettuce
A bunch of baby leeks
A bunch of carrots
Three kohlrabi, with leaves
Two baskets strawberries
A head of cauliflower (!)
A small bag of sun-dried tomatoes (!!)
Plus, of course, six amazing eggs

As I was carrying this load to the car, I thought about my sister's CSA, and the fact that she bought into half a share for her and her husband. They don't get through all their fruit and veg, and every week give something or another to our parents. It makes me wonder whether my Fifth Crow Farm CSA box was filled with the intention of it feeding two people over a week. If so, that just confirms that I am a vegetable eating machine, as the only things I've ever thrown out are the green tops of carrots, radishes and turnips.

I have so many leaves in my fridge right now. Let's see: beet greens, kohlrabi greens, red cabbage, red butter lettuce, green butter lettuce, mixed salad greens, swiss chard. The beet greens and chard need to be cooked next. I'm thinking of treating the chard more like spinach, and making a curry with lamb. I was all set to look up a recipe in my pan-asian cookbook when I realized that it was a *vegetarian* pan-asian cookbook, and likely not to have a recipe for lamb curry. Of course, all I really have to do is follow the recipe for potato and spinach curry and add the browned lamb to it....

This blog post is brought to you by the surge of energy that enabled me to make pesto out of the basil plant that's been sitting on my kitchen table for, oh, at least two weeks now. 2 C basil leaves, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 C walnuts, 1/4 C parmesan cheese, and 2 T olive oil all mixed up in the food processor. Scoop into a jar and cover with a layer of olive oil to prevent oxidation. Store in the refrigerator. I haven't decided yet what to use the pesto on, as I don't eat pasta. Beans or potatoes are always options, or I could spread it over a burger.

Currently listening to The Moody Blues "Days of Future Passed". One song left, and then off to bed with me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Taking a break

I'm still alive, and still hale and hearty. What's awesome is that I'm working at a new job. A job that is engaging, satisfying, and leaves me no time for laziness on the computer during the day. I recently finished a very time-consuming sewing project; and I'm gearing up for the renaissance faire, rehearsals for which started this week. Busy, busy, busy.

So, in the name of my blood pressure, I'm going to take a break from blogging. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Late and words only

Aargh. I have a photo of this week's CSA box, but I can't find the cable that connects my camera to my computer for downloading images. I'll have to keep looking, because there are a lot of pictures I want to share.

I've been on a little summer vacation this week, which is partly to explain the lack of action here. Spent last weekend up in the Redwoods National Forest with a couple of my college chums. Camping, hiking, chatting, eating food cooked on sticks over the campfire, more chatting--just what one would expect from three outdoorsie ladies.

The forest itself was incredible. Like nothing I had ever seen before. The redwoods were so massive, so gargantuan, so brobdingnagian! I could have (and actually did, come to think of it, on Saturday) spent all day hiking on that soft trail, amidst the ferns and clean air, craning my neck to see the tops of the trees touching the sky. I think my favorite part was imagining a diplodocus walking through the thick ferns and trees.

Anyway, I am hoping to post photos at some later date.

Now for vegetables! My refrigerator, as usual, is bursting. This week I received:
3 golden beets
a bunch of turnips
a bunch of collards
a head of red butter lettuce
a head of red cabbage
2 yellow onions
2 baskets of strawberries
a half-dozen eggs

This time I am definitely eating the turnip greens. As for the turnips themselves, I am going to ferment them, middle-eastern style, with a bit of beet in there to give them a bright pink color. (Hah! I could break tradition and use a golden beet to give them a bright yellow-orange color!)

My fermented vegetable recipes come from Nourishing Traditions, by Fallon and Enig, and are based on lactic acid-producing bacterial fermentation using whey. One obtains the whey and bacteria the old-fashioned way (old-fashioned whey!) by separating yogurt. As it so happens, I have a quart of home-made yogurt in my fridge, and the resulting yogurt cheese is amazing with strawberries (or any kind of fruit, for that matter.) Time for me to go spend a few hours in the kitchen.