Monday, March 29, 2010

pictures- running in the woods, etc.

Just another manic Monday

oh oh oh
I wish it were sunday....

sunday I cooked breakfast and feel in to the longest, hardest, 3 hour afternoon nap I have ever had. I went int to Montpelier for the evening to check out a film at the last day of the green mountain film festival. I went to see this amazing amazing film Orgasm Inc. Really, go see it now. NOW! the film maker was there, and spoke afterwards- so fascinating, well filmed, disturbing, and necessary. (blurb below)
  • in the shocking and hilarious documentary ORGASM INC., filmmaker Liz Canner takes a job editing erotic videos for a drug trial for a pharmaceutical company. Her employer is developing what they hope will be the first Viagra drug for women that wins FDA approval to treat a new disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). Liz gains permission to film the company for her own documentary. Initially, she plans to create a movie about science and pleasure but she soon begins to suspect that her employer, along with a cadre of other medical companies, might be trying to take advantage of women (and potentially endanger their health) in pursuit of billion dollar profits. ORGASM INC. is a powerful look inside the medical industry and the marketing campaigns that are literally and figuratively reshaping our everyday lives around health, illness, desire — and that ultimate moment: orgasm.
Today I was on for breakfast, but a co-worker had some crazy teeth things happening so I ended up cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner- something I have never done here... it was long. breakfast went well (nature muffins) but lunch was rough. All of the office staff ate and I underestimated the amount of food I had and a few people had to wait 20 min for food... I was a little over ambitious with the hot pasta bar for lunch...
since tonight is passover a few of us had talked about doing a Seder.. I have been to one or two, but that's it. so I ended up cooking a good amount of Seder appropriate food for dinner- most of which I had never cooked or eaten before- at the end of a crazy long day- for 15 people.
meal included:
matzah ball soup, with homemade veggie stock
latkas (so fun to make)
wasabi sour cream dill sauce
homemade apple sauce
spankiopita (made by another kitchen cook)
chocolate covered matzahs

after dinner 4 of us went back to our place and did a Seder meal with much red wine, guitar and singing, and followed the Haggadah put together by Steve's (the only one of us who is actually Jewish) family. It was so nice to have the spirituality, tradition, and community tonight. Even though it was a 12 hour day of work, and I made all these complicated things, it was one of the best days I have had here... Everyone loved the food, and I got to cook for people tasty things that they really appreciated.

photos of the food and fun to follow/

ye long awaited news

So it's been quite awhile... As is typical when I forget to write for a bit I can't really recall everything I have been doing, lots of cooking and tending to little seedlings, trying to figure out the garden plan and (of course) solutions to how to keep the chickens safe from predators...

Some highlights of last week included:
  • a staff/ intern fun day - with a great game called "bite the bag" where the staff made fun of me that I would go home and blog about it (Since the name of the school is on my blog, every time I write it shows up in their google search thing, so frequently people will comment on things I write. A little challenging since there is no privacy here any way (not like their is on the Internet either-I know...))
  • Dad turned 60! and I had to celebrate from a far...
  • I gathered my first bunch of worm castings (read- worm poop) from the worms and used them mixed with potting soil to transplant my tomatoes in to bigger pots... One does this by putting the worms on a tarp, waiting a bit and in theory they will dig down to the bottom of the pile and you sift the castings off the top. It's quite a bit more messy than that... but eventually I got castings and no worms..)
  • went for the best hike in our woods in the rain and found a nice nook in a hillside (rock?) to snuggle in to
  • 2 of my house mates found a dead pigeon and brought it home to take the wings apart, defeather it and take out all the bones... I couldn't watch any of the gruesome work, but I did spend a few hours drawing the wings and feet...
  • went to a co-workers house in the woods...beautiful timber framed house and chilaxed there all weekend. The rest of the interns came out and we all spent hours cooking and had a leisurely meal. I made a chocolate rum pudding cake (from vegan with a vengeance) for dessert... and the house had a center wood stove/ stone fire place that had an oven in it- so I made bread in a wood fired oven for the first time ever... it was AMAZING!!! and beautiful and tasty. A 6 grain french bread...
    • pictures that follow include: bread, a wicked awesome mushroomy hot an sour soup, breakfast (egg over rice with sauteed greens and mushrooms and avocado) amazing salad, etc.
    • some photos of my walk in the woods
    • and the dead pigeon that Erin and Rob brought home

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday and Monday

Saturday I went to the spring gathering at High Mowing Seeds- a fantastic local seed company that has all organic seeds and has people all over that grow seeds for them. I learned so much about the difference between growing plants for seeds vs. growing plants for eating- so different!
Went out to Thai food with a Minneapolis friend who became a Vermonter. Cooked Sunday breakfast- vegan biscuits and gravy. yum- think i need to work on a better biscuit recipe though... I use the baking powder biscuits from Vegan with a Vengeance and they were kind of rock like- but heart shaped rocks they were...
then a trip to Montpelier, with a bunch of stops for photography. I was with a friend and used her nice camera (Digital, but with lenses and dials) ah, I forgot how much fun photography is. We spent a lot of time at this beautiful cemetery with rolling hills, lots of stumps carved in to seats, statues, and so many beautiful trees. It's on the way in to the capital city, with the river do you right, and the whole cemetery goes up a rolling hill on the left. lovely.
Followed by some bowling and skee-ball.
Today was rainy, rainy and pretty cold. just a usual cooking breakfast and lunch sort of day... most exciting parts- a mixed tape in the mail from Allison- and it's the best mixed tape ever... I haven't gotten a tape in years... and a phone call from Jill... and a phone call from Mom tonight. I think the realization today is I'm much happier when I remember to talk to the people I love and stay connected to my non yestermorrow life, thus allowing me to feel like myself, and be able to be happy content and fully present here... working on it. reading lots of Thich Nhat Hahn.

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fires and farms

photo update! a fire we had in the fire pit- first fire of the season. The other two photos are from the bike ride I wrote about a few days ago- just a farm up on the shoulder of the mountain.. so pretty.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday was my day off, and I treated it like one. Lots of sleeping/ lounging/ chores and such to catch up on. Lovely. Feeling a bit tired and blue in the early evening, but then I stopped moping around and we had a wild game of pictionary and lots of laughing. The seedlings are getting big, and the Zinnias I planted 3 days ago are already sprouting! quick little buggers. Today= perhaps some frolicking in the city...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

how does your garden grow

my little seedlings are getting bigger!!! tomatoes and chard/ kale in front
lettuce mix behind them

it's a beautiful day for a bicycle ride

ah springish. yesterday I made green eggs and ham for breakfast, to celebrate the holiday. Around 5 I tagged along on a bike ride with MK. My poor little body hasn't been on a bicycle in nearly 4 months! 4 months! So my first bike ride of the season, and first in Vermont was 4 miles- up an intensely steep road (airport road) that is usually a dirt road, but yesterday was a mud road. We bike/ walked up this beast and frolic to the co-op, then down paved brook road (runs along the brook) and back to the school- a good nine miles, and it took us around an hour, without the stops (i think) really, if you are thinking "hey, you know what would be fun? lets climb a couple 1,000 feet up a mountainish thing with bikes in the mud" i might advise against it. A fun adventure though. Finished off the evening with a huge plate of Seitan, potatoes, cabbage and carrots, a beer and some trashy TV (thank goodness for ANTM on the inter webs)

Today I finally got started on drafting the garden plan. eek! it's a lot of space. I think I will do 4' wide beds that are 15' long, with a 1.5' small walkway between each bed and a main 3' walkway down the main center cut throughs.... this means I will have aprox 40 beds! holy moly me oh my.
Also figured out some solutions for keeping chickens contained, safe from predators and still roaming- think it's going to be an electric fence, and maybe a little wing clipping if we have ones who like to fly the coop...

taking daily lunchtime walks across the road to the swimming hole. (clothing strongly discouraged- I love Vermont) laying on a big flat rock in the water- I feel like a seal /or Ariel from the little mermaid.
enough computers- I'm going for a walk!
hearts and seeds and spokes

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunday and now spring

Old bike at a store in Burlington.
Sunday lunch and dinner- Brown Rice, Chipotle black bean tostados, and a mango avocado salsa. it turned out really well! and a chocolate fondue party later on in the evening.
Today felt like I woke up out of a dream. It was 60 out, at least, and everyone was playing outside. I planted seeds, and transplanted tomatoes in the sun on a picnic table listening to a friend play guitar and harmonica. THe woodworking Intensive folk are making really beautiful green ladder back chairs, and they moved all their saw horses outside- so curly wood shavings all over the ground.
Lots of chicken plans going down. how to keep them safe but more contained.
quite the headache.
Late afternoon treat- sitting on our front porch in a sleveless top, with salt and vinegar potato chips, the best ginger brew ever (megan K-S, I thought of you so much) sunglasses, and a book on chickens. oh, and a friend is giving me her old sewing machine!!!! so I can still sew after the Machine in our house leaves in July....
happy springish, friends!!!!

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so much. so sorry i've been a lazy blogger. don't fear though, just because i haven't posted doesn't mean that nothing is going on. Friday I helped Heidi make some sweet potato gnocchi. yum. I made some (failed) attempts ant sourdough bread and crackers. Turns out, I don't really like sourdough ( I knew this) but i really like keeping starter and feeding it, and the process- just not the taste. Friday night we went to a local bar for a local band playing three sets- one set was all Sublime covers- fantastic, quite a great place to be a people watcher (and to dance) played lots of pool and one game of big buck hunter- surprisingly, played both of them better than I ever have before.
Saturday we spent all day in Burlington- so fantastic. the boardwalk at lake Champlain has swings all along it- like 4 person porch swings- such a cool idea. (picture 1, looking out at the lake- picture 2, a typical 'family portrait' of the three of us)
Ran in to this fabulous industrialish building turned art spaces and cafes and saw the $5 cheap art show- some amazing prints (picture 3) and really beautiful tiny landscapes all made out of cardboard (picture 4)
The evening concluded in going to a Green Mountain Dames Roller Derby bout. More relaxed and family friendly than the girls in MSP- but really really fun. made me want to get a pair of skates...
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

more creation

a skirt i made a few nights ago. (it has two pockets. they are great ) more on the way (I hope) and i started making some wooden jewelry this evening...
and some better photos of the little chicken...

the opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation

Yesterday was pretty rough. I think I'm more shaken up than the chickens are. In general I'm pretty frustrated that we lost the ladies to a dog, rather then to a natural 'wild' predator, and frustrated that the dog's people are trying to blame everything on us and not having chickens penned in. There are leash laws in the counties, but not chicken laws, and it was our property. A sticky situation, now I'm just worried about the rest of the flock and keeping them safe. I'm nervous about letting them out again- for now they are just in their run, and the coop.
Last night I coped by getting some local beer, and I made this cute little stuffed chicken out of a coworkers old sweater... it helped to create something to continue on the little chickens spirit and memory.... also made some sourdough poolish that I had been ignoring in to bread dough, and cracker dough... and we move on. slowly.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

a sad, sad, day

Lylee, and the terrible, horrible, no go very bad day.

a neighbor's dog killed 3 of our chickens and came back few hours latter and terrorized a few more... so livid.. and the neighbor's so didn't care. grrrrrrr

really really upset.

tomorrow will be better

rest in peace little lovelies

Monday, March 8, 2010

i say dinner you say yum

I love cooking eggplant. actually, i love everything about eggplant, but I am quite the fan of cooking it. tonight's dinner was tempeh springrolls... I'd marinated the tempeh in tamarind and soy sauce and garlic and things for a few hours, then baked it all, then cut in to thin slices and rubbed them with chipotle powder and smoked salt (thanks liz!) then filled them with basil, lettuce, zucchini, red peppers, carrots, spicy mustard greens, purple cabbage....
top photo: garlic ginger basil eggplant, it was yum.

middle: that same tempeh, with tamarind sauce, carrots, red peppers, cauliflower, yellow squash, green onions, lemongrass

bottom: sticky sweet black coconut rice balls with mangos
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fires and puppies (not together, don't worry)

Friday night we got rid of a bunch of wood from the burn pile: tons of gasoline, 4 torches with rags soaked in gas, lighter, huge blaze, 1 small hole in my vest from ashes. Fire combined with Friday's beer thirty?! great idea.
Saturday was a quarterly board meeting, which we were invited to. Fascinating to get to sit in on. In the evening we went to the dinner- quite fun to meet some of the board and just get to see how people interact, learn the personalities and hear more history of the school. A lot of the folk have been friends for 30 years and it's fun to see them doing work but enjoying it too.

in the afternoon I started some seeds across the street and got to use a soil block maker! the coolest, most useful thing ever!!!! it gives you the opportunity to totally remove plastic seed trays from your gardening process.

Sunday breakfast- I made a strata with red pepper, onion, sun dried tomato, mozz, basil, mustard greens... turned out pretty well, not sure if i like bread baked in to my eggs though...

we took Erin's puppy to it's new home for the next few months. These folks live off a bunch of dirt roads in the woods, and it turns out that they lived in St. Louis for 30 years and all of their kids went to new city school! crazy small world!

Started making a skirt - jersey fabric in purple, (i'm actually making a pattern and using it and everything- trying to make my sewing a little more professional and a bit less 'throw it together style' )

breakfast today (sorry, no photos) easy cheese blintz puff- from Sundays at Moosewood. smoothies, Maine blueberries and Vermont maple syrup- Super tasty!

It's sad to see (most) people leave after they've been here a while. A rad wood working prof took off, back to NYC, and it was sad to see him leave- he told me he thinks I make a great kitchen/garden intern, and that was good to hear....

I have a Chinese Eggplant basil dish and other yummies in the works for tonight- i promise photos (maybe even some mango sticky rice!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

hold your judgements

Yesterday I planted my flats of seeds in the conference room- I'm so excited to have new life starting. The evening was one of the most beautiful scenes here- just don't be too quick to dismiss it as just totally hippy. After dinner Heidi started to screen print in the kitchen, this lovely pattern of roses that forms a heart with grateful dead bears in the middle. A bunch of folk started up a jam session with a stand up Bass, guitars, a flute and some harmonicas, and we played scrabble and some banana grams. It was so beautiful and perfect.

Tonight we had a huge bonfire of a pile of old wood and cast offs that needed to be gone.the pile was at least 12 feet high, covered in gasoline and had flaming toarches thrown in to light it...wonderful.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

how long am I gonna have to wait for you seedlings...

A little nod to
Sharon Jones in the title- listened to that track at least 20 times yesterday, singing at the top of my lungs. yesterday was quite the day. I cooked breakfast (smoothies and lemon blueberry muffins) then we had an intern/staff meeting- fabulous but long, a good 2+ hours...
we started our fun at Vermont compost - an amazing place that is truly taking 'waste' and turning it in to this fabulously lush and nutrient potting soil, and compost. And the main workers in this whole business are chickens, 100's and 100's of chickens... such a cool place. We walked through all the piles at different stages, then got to watch them bag up our potting soil and throw it on our shoulders... perfect.
Finished up the afternoon by going over to the house of someone who teaches here. He is totally off the grid and built everything- and his daughter's middle name is heart! awesome! he helped me start tomato seeds, and is going to take care of them for me in his beautiful greenhouse... it's so refreshing- he has this relaxed loving personality and that radiates through both his home and his gardening style, he isn't too particular or calculated. My favorite was stories of eating a great tomato, spreading the seeds on a paper towel, letting them dry then just folding the towel, labeling and throwing it in to the box of seeds...
started my seeds today in community flats on my new shelves. onions, tomatoes, lettuce greens, kale, chard, for now.
more tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


ah Tuesday! breakfast = asparagus, ham, brie, red pepper, and zucchini omelets. It's so fun having a small class here and getting to cook in (almost) normal size portions. We had some bananas that were going so I made a raw pecan, walnut, date crusted pie with cashew banana cream and coconut butter chocolate... turned out well... I don't think I like the banana one as well as the raspberry ones I was making this summer, but it was nice to have a dessert (because we always do a dessert for lunch and dinner- rotating sugar/ fruit at every other) that wasn't sugar, wheat, dairy.exciting!
Tomorrow= trip to Mont P, picking up soil! starting seeds! busy garden rest of the week and I'm sooo! excited for it.

birch trees and late night sewing projects

what happens when I watch three episodes in a row of project runway? I go home, pretend I know how to make clothing, and make a skirt...
I have a few things to fix, but I think it'll be cute eventually!