Friday, April 30, 2010

Oregon ballots coming soon!

Oregon Consumers and Farmers Association Vice President Sharlyn Homola and I have spoken with the following candidates in the last two years and they have either said they were against NAIS and/or were willing to draft a bill for us against NAIS. There may be others in other districts; we only write of those we have spoken with personally.

For Representative, 4th District, US Congress: Jaynee Germond. Sharlyn and I have both met Jaynee personally and she is an intelligent, loving and gracious human being who means what she says when she promises to research the issues and to read bills before she votes on them. Although a number of politicians understand that NAIS will be an expensive bureaucratic nightmare requiring untold numbers of additional administrative staffers and enforcement personnel, Jaynee also understands it will be an immoral infringement on the private home lives of individuals.

Unfortunately, the incumbant Pete Defazio seems unconcerned about privacy issues. This baffles Sharlyn and me; Defazio was a vocal opponant of the Patriot Act. When questioned, he said the Patriot Act allowed spying on ordinary citizens without their knowledge and consent. Sharlyn, Jaynee and I do not believe that simple ownership of a horse or six chickens implies knowledge and consent.

For Governor of Oregon: John Lim. John is a reasonable, no nonsense fellow who understands that NAIS will cost a lot of money, anger a lot of citizens and accomplish nothing.

For State Senator, 4th District: you have a choice! Marilyn Kittelman, Republican or Floyd Prozanski, Democrat. I actually am in possession of a letter from Floyd offering to write a bill for us, however.

For State Representative, 7th District: Bruce Hanna

- Larisa Sparrowhawk, OCFA President

Song of John's Subtle Rebellion

I was thinking about Crater Lake, the second deepest lake in the world, on the same day I thought of food freedom fighters Christine Solem and the recently departed John Coles.  John was a lovely man, smiling quietly as he bucked the system, giving away free goat cheese at the popular Charlottesville, Va. farmers market because he was no longer legally able to sell it.  He did, however, accept donations for his and Christine's legal fund.

Song of John's Subtle Rebellion

volcanic lake with inward spring
drought could not his waters dry
the deeps exposed both rock and sky
a doe at dawn stretched near to drink

summer fires blew from the south
just to threaten tourist trade
but water's cool in the cascades
at day the doe lapped water's mouth

a blizzard blew cold three feet deep
the water's gray and strangely still
the doe watch from a fir until
at dusk the waters fell asleep

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Larisa's Top Ten Reasons to Live With Dogs Instead of Children

Larisa's Top Ten Reasons to Live With Dogs Instead of Children

10. Dogs never open the refrigerator door, stare for 15 minutes and then declare NOTHING EVER looks good to eat in there.
9. When you accidentally sneeze with your mouth full, dogs will help you clean it up.
8. Dogs are PROUD to be seen walking with you.
7. A frozen dog toy stuffed with frozen peanut butter will allow you a peaceful 2 hour nap. This trick does not work with TVs and Ipods.
6. Getting your dog fixed to keep him from wandering off is considered humane.

5. Dogs never confuse that pretty green lump of wasabi on your sushi platter for mint ice cream.

4. Dogs won't crash your computer while looking up pictures of cute dogs in swimsuits.

3. Dogs won't screech for something at the grocery store - and then refuse to eat it at home.

2. Dogs happily wash the dinner dishes, whether you ask them to or not.

1. It may be illegal to stuff a toddler in your purse or a box full of holes to save on airfare.

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Kiosk Coffee At Home

Kiosk Coffee At Home
This will be a two part series in Becky Holm's Douglas County News

When I moved to Oregon I was charmed by all the cute, brightly colored little coffee houses.  I'd never seen one before.  Sure, Virginia had Starbucks, but they were just more stores in strip shopping malls.  And I rarely got out of my car to go into one because I could never escape without spending at least $4.00 - or $20 if I happened to be with my daughter.  But I had to try out coffees from cute little red and yellow buildings and ones that looked like windmills! 

My wallet is glad I got over that tempation quickly... and so are my heart and my waistline.  Those drinks have way more caffeine and and sugar than anyone needs to consume in ten days, much less in ten minutes.

I recently read an article comparing coffee drinks at various restaurants from the authors of "Eat This, Not That!"  It was no surprise to me that many blended coffee drinks have 600 calories and at least 90 grams of sugar, but they even found drinks containing 1210 calories and 240 grams of sugar!  Can you imagine yourself sitting down to eat a dozen twinkies? 

Keep in mind that a human liver is designed to process no more than 25 grams of sugar at a time and that sugars in excess are turned into triglycerides.  High triglycerides are not only a better predictor of heart attacks than high cholesterol, but are also of diabetes and overweight in general. 

Becky Holm of Douglas County News and I thought it was time for a couple articles about healthier, cheaper blended coffee drinks at home.

Do not use non-dairy creamers, which include hydrogenated oils and corn starch.  Also avoid nonfat dry milk, which contains oxygenated cholesterol (the dangerous kind). 

These drinks are really quick to make if you have pre-chilled strong coffee.  Make a pot of brewed coffee double strength or save leftover coffee and stir in 1 tsp. good quality instant coffee or expresso for every two cups while the coffee is still hot.  You can also pour some into ice cube trays, pop them out and put them in plastic feezer bags.  Some of the creamiest and sweetest  drinks also require pre-frozen over-ripe banana chunks.  If you like cinnamon, you can add 1 tsp. cinnamon to enough coffee grounds for a pot before brewing; this also makes delicious hot coffee.

All the recipes make two large drinks.  A high speed commercial blender puts a nice froth on top of the drinks without whipping cream. 

Caramel Frappe - This one tastes very much like a coffee house confection.  It is too sweet for me, but others love it.  For myself, I just omit the sugar.  Blend at high speed:
2 c. chilled, strong coffee
3 large frozen bananas, in chunks
2 heaping tbsp. cream from the top of a full-fat coconut milk can (or whipping cream)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. brown sugar, raw sugar or honey

Gingerbread Shake - blend at high speed:
2 c. chilled, strong coffee
2 tsp. ginger flavored coffee syrup
2 frozen bananas, in chunks
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 c. half and half, if desired

Blended Cappuccino or Mochaccino - blend at high speed: 
2 c. chilled, strong coffee
5 coffee ice cubes
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. 2% milk
2 tsp. honey if desired
1-2 tbsp. dark cocoa powder if desired
a little orange zest if desired

More next week!

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Flavored oils and instant noodle soups

Instant noodle soups are handy for emergencies, lunches on the road and camping, but are unhealthy, overpriced and waste resources with their throw away containers. Here's a healthy, environmentally friendly and inexpensive recipe. I also included ideas for flavored oils to enhance the noodle soups and use in cooking.

A package of quality noodle soup costs about $1.75. Most groceries have cellophane (gluten free bean thread) pasta in $2.00 packages in the ethnic food section. These packs make five to six bowls of soup. They are traditionally added to long-cooked meat soups just before serving, since they soften very quickly.

Cut one packet of noodles into five or six portions with scissors (this is unfortunately messy) and put in closeable tupperware containers. Add to each container: 1-1 1/2 tsp. brewers (nutritional) yeast, 1/4-1/2 tsp. spice mix (try garam masala, schezuan seasoning, curry, etc.), a pinch of chives and some sliced dehydrated mushrooms, tomatoes or bell peppers. To serve, pour boiling water over, cover and let sit a few minutes. Enjoy as is, or add a dash of flavored oil just before serving.

Flavored oils are often very expensive. Peanut and sesame oil taste best with instant noodle soup. Add a small amount of thoroughly dehydrated minced garlic, lemon peel, basil, and/or hot pepper to a jar of oil. These must be no trace of moisture or the oil will spoil and could make you sick. If you are not sure, place the flavorings in an oven at 100-125 degrees for a couple hours. Let the oil sit at least three days before using; the flavor will intensify over time and will finally mellow.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Inexpensive Camping or Office Food


by Larisa Sparrowhawk

Although fresh from scratch foods are always best, sometimes light weight, packable and inexpensive foods are useful, such as for camping or for "emergency food" at the office. When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with those little packets of flavored oatmeal, which were then new on the market. I'd frequently eat three packs, sometimes only opening the third to try to get all the goodies (flavored sugar, raisins) out of it while leaving the oats behind. Today a box of ten one ounce packs is about $4.00, so my breakfast would today cost over a dollar, contain 464 calories and would send me into a sugar coma. My version, about a cup of "cooked" oatmeal with only one teaspoon of evaporated cane juice (raw sugar) and spices, contains only 161 calories.

Here's the basic recipe for one serving: 1/3 cup dry instant oatmeal (59-67 cents per pound in bulk), 1/4 tsp. each ginger and psyllium powders, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. evaporated cane juice. Simply pour boiling water over, stir thoroughly and let stand a couple minutes. The psyllium not only adds extra fiber, but also improves the texture and helps to lower cholesterol. True cinnamon, if you can find it, really helps regulate blood sugar. Cinnamon cassia, which is more commonly found in stores, is less effective, but still tastes good. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory. To take this on the road, place 1-1 1/2 tsp. of the mix in a plastic bag or tupperware along with 1/3 c. quick oats. If you like your oatmeal richer, those tiny tubs of half and half from coffee shops are perfect and do not need refrigeration.

To make a handy mix for twelve servings, use 1 tbsp. each ginger and psyllium, 2 tbsp. cinnamon, and 4 tbsp. sugar (or more if you find my recipe not sweet enough).

Despite the instructions on the box, instant potatoes do not really require cooking. For 1/2 cup, add 1/4 tsp. each nutritional (brewers) yeast, psyllium powder and Herbamare or salt. Sprinkle on curry, paprika, or pepper according to your taste. Add boiling water, stir and let sit a couple minutes. The nutritional yeast serves as a healthy, high vitamin replacement for broth concentrate. Again, those half and half tubs are convenient.

Next week: assorted instant soups!

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sangria Chicken, Duck or Turkey

This will be in Becky Holm's Douglas County News on Wednesday:

Sangria Chicken/Duck/Turkey

This dish was inspired by both my love of chutney and my laziness. I wanted the flavor, but neither the sugar in premade chutneys nor the work of making my own. When I had access to inexpensive duck, I used to make this dish regularly. It is just as delicious with chicken or turkey, although if you have any picky children, they might wonder why the meat is fuschia!

Common to all the variations is the internal stuffing for the bird: one whole orange and some chopped up onions. Also the bird needs to be cooked very slowly at 250 degrees and basted regularly to achieve maximum flavor. Cook in a covered, deep pyrex, stainless or glass (not aluminum!) pan with any of the following:

Version #1: 2 cups inexpensive red wine, along the lines of "Three Buck Chuck", juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 lime, 1/2 orange and the contents of one small can of pinapple.
Version #2: 2 cups rose', rosehips, chopped apples, 1/2 bag frozen blackberries.
Version #3: add hot sauce and garlic to the first recipe.
Version #4: add sliced ginger to the second recipe.

Once the bird is falling apart tender, remove the lid, turn up the heat and place under the broiler, watching closely, to brown and crisp the skin without burning it. Remove and cut up the orange used for stuffing, placing sections on each person's plate. Enjoy!

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