For the record…

February 28, 2010

My father sent me this email after the Canada-USA Gold medal hockey game today (the game that Canada won!!):

From: Daddy
Subject: For the record
Date: February 28th, 2010

  • Canada sets a personal best record for most medals in a Winter Olympics: 26 previous best 24.
  • Canada sets a record for most golds by a host country in a Winter Olympics: Norway 10 in 94, US 10 in 2002, Canada 14 in 2010.
  • Canada sets a record for most gold medals in any Winter Olympics: Soviet Union 13 in 76, Norway 13 in 2002 and Canada 14 in 2010.

Gillian if you want you can post on facebook.Love you

Daddy

Okay, Daddy!  I’ve posted it!  I love you and I’m so proud to be your daughter and to be Canadian!

UPDATE: The New York Times hit the nail on the head with this piece on our hockey gold!

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McNugget of Contradiction?

February 23, 2010

Mark Sisson, of Mark’s Daily Apple, linked to this article “4 Shocking Secrets About Fast Food” that lists some information (what most of us already assumed) about fast food and in which they also lambast the Chicken McNugget, saying:

The “meat” in the McNugget alone contains seven ingredients, some of which are made up of yet more ingredients. (Nope, it’s not just chicken. It’s also such nonchicken-related stuff as water, wheat starch, dextrose, safflower oil, and sodium phosphates.) The “meat” also contains something called “autolyzed yeast extract.” Then add another 20 ingredients that make up the breading, and you have the industrial chemical—I mean, fast-food meal—called the McNugget.

And that article, written by the “Eat This, Not That” guys, linked to this other article “The Best Healthy Foods in America” which lists the top 40 most healthy fast foods in America (according to the “Eat This, Not That” guys).  Number eleven (11) on that list was their choice for the Best Fast Food Kids Meal.  Can you guess what it was?

A McDonald’s Chicken McNugget Happy Meal.

Um…  which is it guys?  Make up your minds.

And that photo above?  According to these guys, it’s Chicken McNugget meat paste.  Yum.


Simple Meatballs

February 19, 2010

I tried something spontaneous tonight with my ground beef.  I looked in my Joy of Cooking book for some ideas and found recipes for German Meatballs, Italian Meatballs, and Swedish Meatballs.  I was on the phone with my mother and I asked her if only three countries ever made meatballs.  My mother is an awesome audience.  I’m always hilarious when she’s my audience.  Anyway!

I looked at all three recipes and looked at my cupboards and based on what I had, I came up with the recipe below!  They’re classified as primal because I’m not using tomato products or bread or wheat flour.  I was super delighted with how they turned out!

Simple Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or coconut flour)
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic

And if you’re feeling spicy, add:

  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • dash pepper
  • dash salt

Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Dump it and everything else in a bowl and mash together with clean hands. Shape into 2″ balls. Pan fry for 15 minutes in coconut oil or butter on medium heat, until meatballs are cooked inside. Or try baking them for 20 minutes at 350’F just to see if that’s easier.

They stuck together really well and were very yummy.  Super easy and super quick!


Boiled Dinner and Collard Greens

February 16, 2010

Tonight tasted like Newfoundland.

Growing up, Momma used to make Roast Dinner on Sundays.  And often we’d have greens on the table with turkey dinner (or any other dinner) when we had fresh greens in the house from the farm.

The farm.

My grandfather was a veggie farmer.  And we’d have fresh veggies from the farm – his farm – almost every month.  Yes – I was raised on good food.  Poppy – for that was what we called him – grew carrots, cabbage, potatoes, greens, and other veggies that I can’t remember right now.  Nanny grew strawberries and other berries.  Before I was born, they also had hundreds of chickens and sold the eggs from those chickens.  Momma remembers plucking the eggs from the coops (ask her about her father’s decision to have free-range chickens!).  They also at some point had cows, horses, and pigs!

I remember going to the farm during the summertime and hanging out in the dry grass.  I would weave the grass together and make tunnels in the field.  I would hang out in those field grass tunnels for hours!  The sun and the birds flirting with my reveries.  And after playing hard all day, I would return to the house and Nanny would have cooked dinner – beef, carrots, potatoes, greens.  Maybe some toutons and bread pudding.  She always had dark cake and cherry cake in the freezer and cookies on the counter.

Fast forward to tonight…

I just got a cast iron dutch oven for my birthday.  So tonight I brazenly threw a bunch of stuff in there (after browning the meat), added water, and let it do its thing for a couple hours!   Also, my friend Brian and I just recently acquired a plot at an urban garden and before we turned over the soil for our own purposes, we harvested the plants that were there.  I looked online and discovered that what we’d harvested was collard greens and kohlrabi greens!  Yay!  So while the boiled dinner was slow cookin’, I took the collard greens and threw them in a pot with some water and other stuff and forty-five minutes later, we had dinner!

Ryan was working so I took my little meal to my desk and took a bite.  It tasted like roast dinner!  Like Momma used to make!  And the greens tasted just like I remember!  I was immediately transfered, in my mind, to my youth and my mother’s kitchen in St. John’s and my nanny’s kitchen ’round the bay and the grass tunnels in the sun.   It tasted like Newfoundland.  It tasted like home.

Ryan asked what it was called.  I replied, “It’s called dinner.”  I wasn’t trying to be a smart-ass.  I honestly had no idea what to call it!  I guess it’s something akin to a Newfoundland boiled dinner or Jiggs Dinner?  It’s not exactly the same; but similar.

So here’s the recipe:

Boiled Dinner (for two)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 lb grass-fed flap meat (or skirt steak), chopped into 1″ squares
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • chili pepper seeds
  • black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chilean pebre

Add coconut oil to cast iron dutch oven on medium heat.  Add meat and brown slightly.  Meat will brown quickly because it’s thin.  Add onions and saute slightly.  Once onions are slightly soft, add water.  Once the water is boiling, add chopped carrots and celery and spices.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer two hours.

Serve onto plate or shallow bowl with slotted spoon.  Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.

Boiled Collard Greens – A Simple Recipe (for two)

  • 4 cups washed collard green leaves (stalks removed)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water

Put all four ingredients in large soup pot on high.  Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve onto plates with a slotted spoon.  Serve with white vinegar and mustard.

Ryan likes carbs so I served his with leftover rice mixed with raw butter and creme fraiche.


Kijiji vs Craigslist and the Sex Industry

February 13, 2010

Thanks to Jeffrey Overstreet who linked to a blogpost (on Facebook) about a section on Craigslist about which I knew nothing (Adult Services) in which sex trafficking is occurring!  I had no idea!

Read the post for yourself, but in short…

  • Craigslist allegedly allows sex trafficking to go on in its section called Adult Services and does nothing about it.
  • Kijiji intentionally does not have an Adult Services section on their website.

So if you’re looking to sell or buy something, and need online classifieds, consider using Kijiji instead of Craigslist.


The Signs of the Times

February 12, 2010

In 2008, I took an 8-month-long screenwriting course from the Act One Program.  Every Saturday, I would drive up Beechwood Cyn toward the Act One offices at the base of the Hollywood Hills and look at the Hollywood sign on my way up.  It was inspiring.  Even now, years later, when I see it, I’m reminded of my dream, of screenplay structure (apple carts and mid-points), and of how many people have gone before me and how many will follow.  The Hollywood sign is an icon.  A symbol of hope.  But is it time to move on?

The land behind the Hollywood sign is for sale.  It was put on the market in 2008 for $22 million, just before the recession.  But now the Trust for Public Land [TPL] has secured an option to purchase the land for $12 million (according to a NY Times article).  Purchasing the land would ensure that the current owners’ plans for the land – developing palatial residential estates – would not go forward.

So, the TPL is planning on buying the land in order to give it to the City of Los Angeles so that it can become a part of Griffith Park.  In order to raise money for the purchase of the land, the TPL  is putting a huge banner over the sign that reads “Save the Peak” in order to raise the final $6 million that they need by April 14th (when their option expires).  I learned about the banner on the L.A. Metblogs.  Thanks guys!

It all reminds me of the thoughts I’ve been having lately about how our generation is so used to change (technologically and geographically) that we have become resistant to institutional change.  To wit, “what would Hollywood be without the Hollywood sign?”

The Hollywood sign is a prime symbol of entertainment in the 20th century, sure.  It’s iconic.  It would certainly be the end of an era, but the neighbourhood would still have it’s history.  Perhaps the industry in general would diversify just a little more.  But perhaps that’s a good thing…?

I tend to favour change.  I like catalytic events.  I like when things get shaken up.  So while I’d mourn the loss of an icon, I’d also rejoice in the need to move forward and create meaning elsewhere.

I suppose it could get exhausting living a perpetual apple cart existance, but it certainly wouldn’t be boring!


Nourishing Food Foundations e-Course

February 11, 2010

UPDATE (2010-02-12): Wardeh posted a sneak-peak of her e-course here – Basic Soaked Muffins!

Have you been hearing about the Weston A Price Foundation and wondered what they’re about?  Have you been getting recipes from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions and wondering why she recommends soaking, fermenting or sprouting grains?  Have you been hearing about lacto-fermented veggies and wondered how to make them?  Are you someone who likes a little help and instruction?

Well then, Wardeh Harmon’s GNOWFGLINS e-course is for you!

Here’s a brief overview: Read the rest of this entry »