Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dogs N' Frogs- Happy Birthday To Me!

Romeo and I check out Gomez, The fiddle playing frog!
Happy Birthday to me! Tomorrow is my birthday- but in Only Child tradition I got some presents early!

I got a fiddle playing Frog statue from my mom from Home and Garden Art in Ballard. His name is Gomez, and he is 100% recycled metal!

Sammy Cat and romeo checking out Spike the dog

I also got a SPIKE the dog. Spike comes from Dan The Sausage Man, a unique gift shop right here in Burien. And yes here there is a Video on Spike the dog!

Spike The Dog's Story

Friday, February 27, 2009

WONDERS OF SPROUTING WINNER and a bit of junk art

Time to fire up Mr Random Integer Generator, and see who won the booklet:

Mr. Integar says winner is comment # 3- JAM- so jam if you send me an email at and give me your mailing datails I will send you your booklet!
Also- have some old golf clubs and can't figure out what to do with them?Or have a golfer in your house and you think he needs to spend more time at home?- a little bailing wire and three golf clubs make a fun tripod for letting vines like sweet peas, snap peas or runner beans grow up on! Check it out!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One Day a Week for a better planet

I am making one day a week a meatless day. I choose Wednesday as my meatless day- And I would like everyone to join me. I am not talking a challenge here nor am I talking about total vegan-ism either, but taking one day a week to eat less meat. Everything I have read on the topic lists increased health benefits, Reduced Greenhouse emissions, a better world globally. A U.N. study in 2006 found that 18 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions came from the livestock industry, chiefly in the form of methane burped up and otherwise emitted by cattle, sheep and pigs. And it would be kinder to your food budget as well. For all that I can take one day and eat no meat. Recently I have tried a number of vegan and vegetarian recipes, all of which passed the rob test (meaning they are easy to prepare, tasty and just plain good) And I can see no reason people wouldn’t take a day a week and eat better. According to here are the facts about meat - to produce 1 kg (2.2 pounds)of animal protein, 3 to 10 kg(6.61 to 22.04 lbs.) of plant protein is required, depending on the particular animal species and circumstances; - 1 kg of beef requires 15 m3(1771.5 Inches) water, one kg of lamb requires 10 m3(1181.1 inches), while for one kg of grain 0.4 to 3 m3(6.08-194)* is sufficient; - 75 percent of available fresh water, 35 percent of available land and 20 percent of all energy resources are currently used for food production; - between 1950 and 2000, the world's population doubled from 2.7 to 6.7 billion people while meat production increased fivefold from 45 to 233 billion kg per year. The FAO predicts a global population of 9 billion people in 2050, and meat production of 450 billion kg per year. And the other side of this coin is we should reduce our meat consumption. For our health, The Washington Post reports that cutting the meat helps cut our fat intake, which in turn makes us a little bit healthier; and for our pocket books. Price a pound of hamburger lately? Compare that price with a pound of lentils at the supermarket. And please don’t complain to me that your kids or spouses won’t do this… You don’t have to tell them they are cutting out meat one day per week- On your meatless day you could serve Mac and Cheese, (no bacon please) or any number of meatless dishes out there. Need some inspiration? Go to Chile’s blog and look at her recipe collection. One green generation is another blog site that has numerous recipes that don’t involve meat! Here is a link to her recipe collection! So grow a pair and join me on this meatless journey. One day a week- is all I ask! And here is a little inspiration for you-

I am sorry but this cow before slaughter pic just makes me feel like a bad human. Look at her face and tell me she isn't terrified.
* I am not sure of my math on metric conversion, so I will not swear by it
EDIT NOTE: CHILE informs me that Jennifer also has an extensive list of Vegan Recipes

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lentil Burgers, Spaghetti and envelopes: The Weekly Challenge Update

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Week 35
Plant Something:Just some Salad Mixture Sprouts
Harvest Something: Salad Mixture sprouts, Lentil Bean Sprouts, mung bean sprouts
Preserve something: Cooked a large amount of rice and froze the leftovers for Topaz, Martin’s chocolate lab who is having some food issues (it’s hell being an old dog)
Store something:Nothing, except froze the rice
Manage Reserves: Bought some fence boards to Italicrepair the fence
Cook Something New: Spaghetti with Guiltless Meat Sauce; Red-Icculus’ Vegetarian Lentil Burgers
Prep Something: Made some more sprouting jars- this time out of mayonnaise jars and just drilled holes in the lids for air.
Reduce Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair: Did very well on Ms. Chicken’s Food waste Challenge this week (see below); I learned how to make envelopes out of catalogs! Put some crap from cleaning out the garden boxes in the composter along with the last of my mom’s garden stuff. Kept a mayonnaise jar out of the recycling by re-using it as a sprouting jar
Learn a New Skill: I learned how to make envelopes out of catalogs!
Work on Community Food Security: Put up a giveaway this week for the “wonders of Sprouting booklet I got with my sprout order from Canada.

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: There was very little sustainable buying this week. I went to the NW Flower and Garden show, and attack of the vendors. I just bought a junk art sign that says welcome (couldn’t find one that said GO AWAY!), some seed ballz, lunch at Tully’s, and saw many projects for the house and garden. I also bought some fence boards to repair the wooden part of the fence. But that is repair so I don’t know if that counts or not

Crunchy’s Freeze Yer Balls off Challenge: Still at 55/65. Still freezing my avocados off.

Crunchy’s Food Waste Challenge:
This was a really good week- no food waste at all. Yay me! The only problem I have is my mom- she has decided to send all her leftovers to work with me. Not so easy not to have food waste with extra bowls of spaghetti to eat as well. But I ain’t complaining. Chile was a big help by mentioning that I could grind down those unpopped kernels of popcorn and use them in corn bread!
Sunday- No food waste
Monday- No food waste
Tuesday- No food waste
Wednesday- No food waste- took some leftover spaghetti and garlic bread for lunch at work
Thursday- No food waste- took leftover Lentil Burgers for lunch at work
Friday- No food Waste
Saturday- No food waste

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Ok I mentioned a giveaway on Friday and here it is... The Wonders of Sprouting by Lucie Desjarlais. This is a pretty good little booklet on sprouting your own sprouts, only 27 pages and quick to read. There is a detailed sprouting table in the middle, with varieties, descriptions, hints , how to eat them etc, etc.

The basic rules apply, to enter the giveaway, just post a comment to this post. Winner will be selected by my old friend, Random Integer Generator on; giveaway closes on Friday, Feb 27th, 2009 at 5pm.

Good Luck!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ciscoe Morris, Rebecca Cole and pot recycling

Yesterday, I spent the day at the NW Flower and Garden Show. Today I am going to talk about every NW Gardeners favorite spaz- Ciscoe Morris! We have been able to watch Ciscoe for years on King TV's Gardening With Ciscoe. Ciscoe, along with Meghan Black, his partener in crime, shows us how to solve common gardening problems. The spots blossomed into a Weekly show on cable's North West Cable News channel. Now I called Ciscoe a spaz, but I call him that with the highest respect and admiration. It's like when I call cheap vegetable gardener "Garden Geek"- only because he intrigates computers with gardening. Anyway, Ciscoe always has good advice and great things to share about gardening. Maybe someday I will ask him why the hell I have such a hard time growing broccoli! BTW I classify myself a "garden nerd"! And I have the coffee cup to prove it!
Rebecca Cole, That little media darling, I first saw her on tv's surpise by design with Robert Verdi, was broadcasting her radio show "On the House" with Rebbeca Cole and the Carey Brothers from the Flower and Garden Show. It was fun listening to how she set up her display garden, how it transports (It will also be in the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show this year), she talked with the contractors that helped build it. It is all done with smoke and mirrors folks! It is set up on a trailer flatbed, which they jacked up and removed the axles and lowered to the ground! Her design was nice, but I am not so convinced it was gold medal worthy- Which she won- but it was cool - and her "Building" in the display had solar panels- or what represented solar panels! Always glad to see a display display green building methods
Now for recycling pots- And now I am not talking about cleaning your bong or pipe and resmoking the resin-I am talking about plastic planting pots! I know many of your save them to re-use and that is most excellent, but what do you do when they start coming out your ears? Ciscoe Morris's site has a link to a PDF file on recycling plastic plant pots and who takes them- This just basically covers Seattle and King County, but if you have a greenhouse or nursery near you- Ask! They may take in your old pots! Recycling old or broken pottery pots is easy as well- Just break it up more and use the shards for drainage in your new pots in place of stones!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hookey day at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Who wouldn't love a fiddle playing frog? I would!
I took the day off to go to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, like I do almost every year. I drove to my mom's to park the truck and took the bus (well two busses actually) to the Convention Center. As usual, when I got there it was like spring had sprung!
This year was bittersweet as the promoters have announced this is the last year for the show, the 2nd largest indoor Flower and garden show in the country. It always helps to jump start spring for me. Anyway I had a good time perusing the display gardens. I always like the "Funky Junk" display, a display were local teens make some unique "junk art" out of found and discarded items like an old janitor sink as a pond- Unfortunately my pics of the funky junk were a tad, well, funky and didn't turn out well for posting..
Speaking of Junk art, I got to meet and listen to Beth Evans-Ramos, a local blogger and co-owner of The Salvage Studio, give a talk on her junking career, what gives her inspiration and a slide show on many of the things she has created (Beth inspired me to make my birdbath) lots of inspiration that I am afraid y'all gonna be reading about. I also met her co-hort and partner in the studio, Lisa, who makes the greatest clocks out of dominoes and silver trays, and also makes cool things out of old forks. I am gonna have to get their book, "The Salvage Studio: Sustainable Home Comforts to Organize, Entertain, and Inspire " Lots of good stuff.
This years show, more so than other years, really seemed to emphasize greener living. I saw lots of folks with totes, re-usable water bottles, looking into more sustainable gardening practices. That is really cool. And of course I bought more Seed Ballz, so maybe a giveaway in the near future. Actually I will maybe have a giveaway tomorrow, but not Seed Ballz so stay tuned!

A new choice for lawns? This actually would be cool- drought tolerant, nice to look at, you only mow it once per season!

As usual, I find building inspiration- Like this Pergola. This show makes my life so difficult!

Somehow I always seem to find Classic Cars- this 60's era Mustang was featuring the Shed, and the pavers. It made a nice statement.

Speaking of classics that catch my eye- The Turf Bug would be so cool to drive around in- this display was by Dream Turf- the VW- a 1974 Super Beetle covered with dream turf- A neat new "astro turf" that even Ed Begley Jr let Rachelle put in his yard (first place I ever saw it on their TV show "Living with Ed") The Turf is really cool and while putting plastic Turf may not initially seem to be a Green option- No mowing, no watering and no fertilizing certainly makes it so!

Red-Icculus’s Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

No peoples- I haven’t gone vegetarian on you- I just believe that we should be kinder to earth and not eat so much red meat. Guess it is kinder to the cows, too.
I saw this post on Red-Icculus’s blog, and I knew I had to try them. I was going to boil the lentils in Beef stock, but thought that would be cheating now. So I bought Vegetable stock- so I thought. Turns out I bought Chicken stock. I said “Aw the hell with it” and used water. Good old H20. Out of the tap. (Who the hell is so scattered brain the mistake the word “Vegetable” with the word “Chicken”?) Anyway, unusually for me, I followed Red’s recipe to the letter- except I used green pepper instead of red – I had green pepper in the freezer, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper flakes in the beans. I topped mine with homemade catsup and some hot sauce.
I am giving them one enthusiastic thumb’s up, A tad bit starchy, but otherwise delicious! Now I know what to serve Ed Begley, Jr, when he comes over for a Barbeque!
Red-Icculus' Lentil Burgers
Red Pepper
Onion, About half
Red pepper, Chopped about half a pepper
garlic, to taste
black pepper, to taste
salt, just a bit
an egg or Bob's Red Mill egg substitute
Oilve Oil
Boil a cup of lentils until all of the moisture is cooked off ( I used about 2 cups of water)Then add red pepper, onion, garlic, black pepper, a bit of salt, and an egg. Bob’s Red Mill egg substitute can be used for vegans. The mixture is formed into patties and placed on medium-low heat with a little olive oil in the pan. They are flipped GENTLY after about 5 minutes. Cook for an additional 5 minutes

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If Trader Joes's Would make a commercial!

I don't know where this came from but this song is THE TJ's Experience!!! IT just cracked me up! Everything is spot on!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


In order to match my cravings for meat with my guilt for the cows, I came up with a guilt free sauce! I can't say this is for vegans, but it is another meal for guilty carnivores like myself!


1 Jar of spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu with mushrooms)
1 can of mushrooms
Spaghetti (I used Barillo multi-grain)
1 Package of Morningstar Meal Starters Crumbles
Boil the spaghetti per directions. In a sauce pan, Heat up 1 package of Morningstar Meal starters crumbles instead of hamburger in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the spaghetti sauce, add the mushrooms. Serve with garlic bread!
This made an excellent meat sauce- Martin the carnivore who snoots up at anything I make like this said it was great! He who eats nothing but Pizza and McNuggets! I took some for my lunch at work and it was even better the next day! I cannot say enough about Morningstar products- Luvs them. Now tonight I am gonna make Red-icculus' Lentil Burgers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I live in a wildlife habitat

It's Official- although my mom would believe it- my yard has been certified a Wildlife Habitat! I joined the National Wildlife Federation. And by agreeing to provide food, water (birdbaths) cover and places for my animal friends to raise their young, I met the requirements to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat. And I get to display this cool sign:
So now I live in a Wildlife habitat. My dreams have beem fulfilled. Even if the wildlife consists of nothing but Squirrels, Barn Swallows, a few rats, a few feral cats, a over exuberant cocka-poo, a wily black cat, and a very retired guide dog! But now I cannot remove all the blackberries- well some of them should stay for a place for the animals to run and cover. Not a lot of responsibility.
If you want to be certified a Wildlife habitat it is easy. Go to NWF, and follow the easy steps- If you live in an apartment, condo, house or mansion you can very easily qualify- simple steps like a bird bath or a butterfly puddling bath, a clay pot put upside down with a entrance hole makes a great home for frogs, toads and turtles, a bird house works as a shelter or a mason bee house, s little planting for food for the animals or a bird feeder. It is so easy and there are so many solutions to make life a little easier for our animal friends. Here is a list of resoursces for getting started

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Azalea trees and Bean Sprout waste- Weekly Challenge update

This is what I got in leiu of flowers for Valentine's Day a beautiful azalea tree from Martin. He said "I got it for you 'cause your always plantin' stuff." Luvs it.

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge-Week 34
Plant Something: Started more sprouts- some Mung bean, some broccoli sprouts and a salad mixture: Fenugreek, Lentil, Kamut and Adzuki Bean
Harvest Something: Lentil sprouts, some radish sprouts
Preserve something:
Store something: Vacuum Sealed Some rice into Mason Jars
Manage Reserves: Started building my potato condo ala’ shiba-guyz
Cook Something New: Crab stuffed Avacadoes; A Crab Melt Sandwich- have made a ton of Tuna Melts in my life but never a crab melt
Prep Something: Cleared out a space in the kitchen for sprouting
Reduce Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repair: See below in Crunchy’s Food Waste Challenge; Repaired the side yard gates to keep Romeo in; Made a junk art table for outside- use a plant stand found at the thrift store and the Glass from the turn table in the old microwave
Learn a New Skill: Nothing really
Work on Community Food Security: Shared this week in my blog how to make starter jars for sprouting, discovered new source for sprout seeds and materials in my neighborhood!

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Found the Grainery had supplies for my sprouting- no more mail order for sprouting supplies! Made a glass topped table out of a used 15" plant stand and the microwave turntable I saved from the old microwave when I bought a new microwave

Sammy inspecting the new table

Crunchy’s Freeze Yer Balls off Challenge: Still at 55/65 here.

Crunchy’s Food Waste Challenge:
Sunday- No Food waste Monday- No Food Waste
Tuesday- No Food Waste
Wednesday- A handful of un-popped popcorn, Used the last of the Crab Salad I made on Monday in a “Crab Melt Sandwich” for supper
Thursday- No food waste
Friday- No food waste
Saturday- Well this week shot to hell- found out that bean sprouts don’t keep. A whole jar of lentil sprouts went bad- but I was able to compost the jar of lentil sprouts- or rather put them in the composter

Total Food Waste- 6.5 oz

Friday, February 13, 2009

Have a thrifty Valentines day

Valentines Day cost too much! This valentines instead of cut roses, why not rose bushes- then your valentine can plant roses and have roses throughout the season. Or some other planted flower- primroses are nice this time of year.

Instead of candy how about some chocolate chip cookies or their favorite cookies- you could purchase a tin or box at the thrift store to put them in, or just put them in a box. A gift baked with love.
Instead of Dinner out How about making a dinner? A little pasta, a little wine will win you points more than an extravagant dinner that will end up with alka-seltzer. Spaghetti is the easiest thing to make- Just boil the pasta for 10 minutes- use a big pot for this, like the one you really want to grab to change oil on your car with, spray a little pam in the pot (pam is probably in the cabinet over the stove) or use a tablespoon of oil, use a jar of sauce, if you like brown some hamburger, add that to sauce. Heat the sauce in a saucepan (that's the little one of the pots) , open a bottle of wine, warm some garlic bread(available at most super markets) in the oven and I bet you will build big hubby points!

For my mom this year I am getting her some diabetic sugar free candies from Boehm's- a local chocolate company, buying them loose, not boxed and putting them in a heart shaped jewelery box. See's candies also sells chocolates not boxed. Or some specail pastries.

I know this is about being thrifty- but I better be getting better than a chili dog at Matt's gourmet hot dogs this year or there will be trouble!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gardening at The Grainery!

You know sometimes the answers are so simple, you feel like a real idiot when you find them. I know there are no stores that sell bulk items like beans and spices like at Whole Foods in my area. So I thought. I stopped into our local “health” food store today, The Grainery, and what did I find? Spices in bulk. Nutmeg nuts, chili powder, mustard in bulk! And a bonus I found sprouting supplies in bulk. They sell lids for the Mason Jars, sprouters, mung beans, seeds for sprouting in bulk, wheat grass juicers! Within walking distance of my house! I guess you got to get out in your neighborhood to see what’s there! Anyway, I happily bought some mung beans, broccoli seeds and a sprouting mixture of Fenugreek, Lentil, Kamut and Adzuki Bean. All this and I didn’t have to mail order nothing! Just take a nice walk three blocks from my house! They also sell food mills, dehydrator supplies, food storage supplies, and dried fruit! (Love those pineapple rings)
What surprises do you have in your neighborhood?
The Grainery
13269 1st Ave SBurien, WA 98168

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cute puppy and Stuffed Avocadoes

CAUTION: Puppy Cuteness ahead. You have been warned!

Romeo loves his new Loofa Dog. And guess what? Romeo loves to play fetch! I was hoping to snap a pic of Sammy Cat being cute eating the Crab Salad from my Stuffed Avacado, but sammy is a cat and they are not cute when you have the camera out. It's a cat thing. You wouldn't understand.
On the recipe front, in the spirit of Crunchy’s Food Waste Reduction challenge, I had an over ripe avocado, I needed to use, so I made a stuffed avocado, since I had only one, the rest of the stuffing will go into tomorrows lunch. I used lentil sprouts instead of lettuce, since I had no lettuce and I have lentil sprouts

Another Sprout recipe
2 ripe avocadoes split into halves
Sauce- (I used my homeade catsup instead of Cocktail sauce, since I had no cocktail sauce or horseradish)
1/4 cup of catsup
1/4 cup of La Victoria Salsa Brava or your favorite hot salsa
1/4 cup of lentil sprouts (if you absolutely cannot stand sprouts, use 1/4 cup of shredded lettuce)
mix all together and add to:
1 lb. of crabmeat or Fake Crabmeat, Flaked ( or put in the food processor- I use the fake crab and the food processor) and 1/4 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese MIX WELL, split avocadoes, remove the pits and with a spoon scoop the crab mixture into the avocado, top with more sprouts. Enjoy. Also makes a great sandwich, if you cannot find avocadoes or just don't have any try using a tomato with the top cut off and insides scooped out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Our city workers are ANIMALS!!!

Nom Nom Nom!

Goats- they have those horizontal pupils that just charm the pants off you. They make pretty good milk too. Now they make pretty good yard laborers!
Goats work for the city of Burien. Following a local trend started by SeaTac airport, Burien, my fair city, happily is jumping on the band wagon. They hired goattrimmers to rid Mathison Park of blackberries (apparentley their favorite food) , ivy and a whole bunch of invasive weeds growing in the park. It works. I can say that the park is cleared out. This should be the best advertising for using goats as trimmers. Now if only they would rent me two goats for a day or two. I promise that the dogs would not get near them! Here is a video form the b-town blog on the goats. The goats do all this fast for a fraction of the cost! It is good to see the city using it's brains on an old problem. Goats do the work, get fed, the parkland gets cleared- Hey, it's a win-win for all! Now if I could lure a goat or two to clear the blackberries out of my yard!!!
Here is a video from the b-Town blog on the goats working

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weekly Challenge Update- Chicken soup for the goal

Crunchy’s Food Waste Challenge:

After yesterday's cow fest, i thought I would get a little more sustainable- this was tonights lunch at work

Some chicken soup- No Idea why it turned so dark- all it had was some leftover chicken, some lentils, some lentil sprouts and chicken stock and some leftover peas. It was tasty!

Anyway here we go-

SUNDAY-No Food waste-Froze pizza leftover from Super Bowl Sunday- will take to work as lunch
MONDAY-Peels from an avocado, trying to root the pit-
TUESDAY- No food waste
WEDNESDAY- add coffee grounds for the week from work, orange peels to food waste
THURSDAY-Saved chicken from dinner to make in soup- Chicken Bones
FRIDAY- Made coca cola pot roast- saved and froze au jus to make soup later. Made Chicken and lentil soup in little crock pot for lunch tomorrow-No Food Waste
SATURDAY- Took soup to work, had a second bowl for dinner- No Food Waste

TOTAL FOOD WASTE- 22.7 ounces of foodwaste- The baggie of coffee grounds is going into the compost, I could have boiled the chicken bones to get 100% of the meat but didn't- The avacado peelings and orange peelings along with chicken bones are going into the Yard waste bin to be composted. I could have candied the orange peelings, but since I am diabetic, I thought it wise not to.

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Week 34

Plant Something: Some more lentil sprouts, pea sprouts
Harvest Something: Radish sprouts, lentil sprouts
Preserve something: Froze the “au jus” from the Coca Cola Roast I made on Friday for soup
Store something: A bag of lentils I bought, put in a mason jar to use later for sprouting
Manage Reserves: Figured I could turn the garage into a studio to make and sell junk art. Ordered broccolli seeds, mung beans and alfalfa seeds for sprouting
Cook Something New: A grilled cheese sandwich with Tomato and radish sprouts. Chicken soup with lentil beans and sprouts (See above in the food waste challenge)
Prep Something: Got my starter pots ready to go with soil
Reduce Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair: Fix a pair of Channel Lock pliers, the holding bolt and nut was stripped out, replaced it! MORE IN THE Crunchy’s Food Waste Challenge above
Learn a New Skill: Nothing really
Work on Community Food Security: Shared this week on my blog how to make starter jars for sprouting

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Did good this week. Just groceries and I did buy some repair parts for plumbing in my bathroom

Crunchy’s Freeze Yer Balls off Challenge: Still at 55/65 here.

Sergeant Chile’s Operation Clean Out-Last report as Chile is shutting this one down- but I need to get the garage done, if it is to be a working studio. Figure if I go in there an hour each day it will be done soon

Vegans...Turn Your eyes away!

With all this talk about not eating meat being the way to go green, and slow cookers i.e. crock pots, it all fired up my carnivore instincts. So I cooked a pot roast in the slow cooker. I know, meat is the root of all evil, but I love a good pot roast. Especially one made with cola! We ate a small bit for dinner, for three people, and have plenty to take in sandwiches for work. The juice left over I will freeze and make soup later. This very well could be the most unsustainable recipe post ever!

Here is the recipe for those who care:

Coca Cola Roast

1 2 1/2 - 3 lb roast- you can go with a cheaper cut of meat like chuck roast

1 can of Cola- not diet as the sugar in the cola is part of the process that tenderizes the roast

1 can of French onion Soup (I used Campbell's)

whatever veggies you want to add

Put roast into crock pot, dump in the soup, dump in the cola add vegetables. Cook on low setting for about 6 hours.

Friday, February 6, 2009


This Valentine's Day, why not be kinder to the earth and use plastic free wrapping for your loved ones gift. One way to do this is FUROSHIKI, the Japanese art of wrapping gifts. Simular to oragami,except you use cloth, it is an easy simple way to wrap- you can use scarves, napkins, tableclothes whatever here is an easy video to show how via life less plastic's blog

Furoshiki gift wrapping from RecycleNow on Vimeo

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sprouting - gardening inside

Delicous radish sprouts

Since my new founded interest in sprouting, I would dearly love to try one of those fancy sprouting systems sold online, But instead I madesome new sprouting jars. The easy answer is to use a meshy fabric like cheesecloth or some nylons and wrap around the top like in the second video. But, being a guy, I don't have nylons lying around and not about to go out and buy some Big Mama nylons. These are easy to make- don't buy sprouting jars or lids. Here is how I make mine. Take an ordinary mason jar. You need to buy some type or mesh or netting to use in place of the cap. I use plastic canvass, which is available at JoAnn's and I would imagine Michael's has them as well. Take a mason jar and put it on the plastic canvass lid side down-
Take a mason jar and put it on the plastic canvass lid side down- and a sharpie to mark the circle.
Then simply cut the circle out of the canvass. Now place it ontop of the mason jar and screw on the lid. There you have a sprouting jar in whatever size you need! For instructions on using your sprouting jar, go to sproutpeople or or best yet the
Roger and Anna are a tad bit irritating but give good info:

Good info one making sprouting jars using cheescloth or nylons:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weekly Challenge Update- Catsup and Birdbaths

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge-Week 33
Plant Something: Just some lentil sprouts
Harvest Something: Some radish sprouts, some alfalfa sprouts
Preserve something: Just some frozen food
Store something: Just some food I put in the freezer
Manage Reserves: Did a quick check of the freezer, made a mental note of whats in there for later, did a quick check of the garage Frigidaire too
Cook Something New: Mung Bean Sprouts Slaw, Homemade catsup
Prep Something: Made some new sprouting lids to fit on mason jars
Reduce Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair: This is a tricky one this week- My Microwave died, one of those over the stove models so I had to buy a new microwave and a vent hood- before taking the old micro to the appliance recycling at the local land fill, I stripped the power cord off of it to use on the vent hood and I took out the glass off the turntable and the turntable ring to reuse them as well maybe as a tray or a small table top or something or keep around as a replacement, and I reused all the ducting since it was the same as what I needed; Turned grandma’s roll-away tool box into a sofa table; Bought a lamp, a silver plated tray at thrift store and made a birdbath out of them
Learn a New Skill: Learned how to make catsup- very easy; learned how to make “bows” out of plastic shopping bags- a “skill” that may come in handy for the holidays next season or for gifts during the year
Work on Community Food Security: Got into sprouting again; showed a couple of people at work how I make my sprouting jars;

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Well it is all in how you conceive it- I bought 4 Pyrex ramekins, a Pyrex cake pan and a Pyrex loaf pan and a pyrex pie pan at the thrift store for $14 all while I was looking for a cheese grater and I found a metal tube turkey baster!. I finally ended up buying a new cheese grater at the local kitchen shop, so while new it was a local purchase from a local merchant- and was still $2 cheaper than the ones at the grocery stores; My Microwave died, one of those over the stove models so I had to buy a new microwave and a vent hood- before taking the old micro to the appliance recycling center at the local land fill, I stripped the power cord off of it to use on the vent hood and I took out the glass off the turntable and the turntable ring to reuse them as well maybe as a tray or a small table top or something or keep around as a replacement, and I reused all the ducting since it was the same as what I needed, I bought some screws from the hardware to put up my vent hood; But I reused the power cord, and the ducting from the old, saving $$$ and crap from going into the waste stream; Bought some Dog Stew for Romeo at the Natural Pet Food Pantry; Bought a lamp, a silver plated tray at thrift store and made a birdbath out of them

Crunchy’s Freeze Yer Balls off Challenge:Same – 65 when here and awake- 55 when gone or asleep

Sergeant Chile’s Operation Clean Out-Working on straightening up my Craft and Hack supplies into Grandma’s tool boxes

Crunchy’s Food Waste Challenge: first night- made leek soup-found some leeks that definitely seen younger days. Came up with a recipe for Mung bean sprout slaw, before my Mung bean sprouts went bad; Cleaned out Frigidaire to be in compliance with the challenge