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Mainely Tipping Points

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Turkey Tracks: Delicious!!! Massaged Kale

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Turkey Tracks:  October 30, 2012

Massaged Kale

Well, you are in for a real treat.

Don’t hesitate for a moment to make Georgeanne Davis’s “Massaged Kale” recipe–which appeared in one of our local papers, THE FREE PRESS, last week.  She also included a Chocolate Beet Cake and Squash-Filled Potstickers, so I’m including the whole citation so you can read the column “Home & Garden” for yourselves: http://www.freepressonline.com/main.asp?SectionID=50&SubSectionID=72&ArticleID=22592.

Son Bryan is here visiting–actually he’s trapped here due to the strange storm calledSandy, which has cancelled most flights along the East Coast–so we made Massaged Kale–with lamb loin chops and the roasted veggie dish I love to make when it’s time to pick the green tomatoes.  I wrote about this recipe last year and you can find it under the recipe tab on the right sidebar.  Basically you roast cup up green tomatoes, a deep sweet squash like a Buttercup, some fresh potatoes, some onion–all garnished with fresh rosemary, garlic, salt, and olive oil.  The sour tomatoes work beautifully with the sweetness of the squash, and I look forward to this dish each fall.

John, Bryan, and I all loved the Massaged Kale, and John doesn’t even like kale very much.  The tiny bit we had left over was very good the next night as well–and I shared it between the three of us.

Plus, it’s easy to make.  You just wash the kale (I used enough from the garden to fill a big bowl–Davis recommends two bunches of kale) and tear it into bite-sized pieces–leaving out the stalk and tough stems.  Mix up the following and pour it over the leaves.  Then start to rub the leaves–kneading them–with your hands–until they get shiny/glossy and have reduced by half.  This part only takes a very few minutes–maybe 5 or less.

I think sauteed pine nuts sprinkled over the top would be good, too.  Or, toasted walnuts.  This plain base would also be good for sandwiches or further worked into a pesto, as Davis notes.

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice–I just used the juice of one lemon

3 large garlic cloves, minced–it might be nice to grind them down to a paste with the blade of your knife and a bit of good Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 minced anchovy fillet (I keep a tube of anchovy paste on hand and used that so I didn’t have to open a bottle just for one fillet)

Sea salt and pepper–go slow with added salt as the soy sauce and Parmesan cheese are also salty and I almost got my batch too salty…

ENJOY!!!

Written by louisaenright

October 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Interesting Information: Walmart’s Campaign to Fight Hunger

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Interesting Information:  October 22, 2012

Walmart’s Campaign to Fight Hunger

A Walmart insert came in our local Camden, Maine, paper last week.

I was horrified by its contents.  And, saddened.

The front page of a four-page sale flyer announced–in big capitals–“ONE IN SIX AMERICANS STRUGGLE WITH HUNGER.”

The background picture (I would try to photo it, but I’m afraid of their copyright laws) shows four children (two African Americans, one with dark hair whose face is turned away, and in the center of the page, a blond white child with big blue eyes) and a “mom” or “teacher” adult.  So, unspoken is that we really have to do something about hungry children, not just hungry Americans.  (The last time I looked, childhood hunger was one in five children–and if Walmart paid better wages, they could help that problem immensely.)

In the foreground are 2 apples, four raspberries, six oranges, and a bunch of about 6 bananas.  Behind them–and filling the rest of the pages–are boxes of horrible, fake, sugary, unhealthy foods:  Honey Nut Cheerios, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Country Crock margarine, Jell-O Oreo Dirt Cup, Knorr Pasta with Chicken, Knoss Rice with Cheddar and Broccoli, a box of Hamburger Helper that promises seven meals, Kellogg’s Special K (really, there’s nothing in that box that’s good for you–see my Mainely Tipping Points essays), and Nature Valley cereal bars.

The other three sheets are more of the same kind of fake foods.  The only fresh foods are the token fruits on the front page–and they aren’t on sale in the flyer.

The logos of General Mills, Unilever, Kraft Foods, and ConAgra Foods are on the cover page.

Meanwhile, the government and the medical community and all the public health folks are running around screaming about the obesity epidemic.  Really, they don’t need to look any farther than this Walmart flyer.  Here’s what is massively wrong and why so many folks are obese.  They’re eating TOO MANY CARBOHYDRATES and fake foods, like the ones “on sale” in this ad.

Don’t for one minute think that Walmart cares about obesity or children.  Or, that Walmart is NOT making a huge profit on a sale like this one.  There is not one philanthropic bone in this corporation’s structure.  And, according to Tracie McMillan in THE AMERICAN WAY OF EATING (more on this book later), Walmart already controls 25 percent of the grocery market in America and is now threatening expansion that will harm inner city markets and urban farming efforts.  Don’t think Walmart will always keep prices low as they get more of a market share either.  They won’t.

So, don’t fall for this kind of appeal.

Don’t be a part of feeding hungry kids or your kids or yourself this kind of unhealthy food.  Find other ways to help feed the hungry and to eat yourself.  There’s plenty of help out there for you to learn how NOT to use these boxed fake foods.

Most of all, don’t shop at Walmart.  Yes, some things may be momentarily cheaper at Walmart, but there are huge costs in all kinds of ways in the Walmart model.  Walmart is part of why we have hungry children in America in the first place.

Written by louisaenright

October 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Turkey Tracks: Maine Woods are Fall Gorgeous

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Turkey Tracks:  October 22, 2012

Maine Woods are Fall Gorgeous

I probably say this every year, but the Maine woods this fall are in full fall foliage and are gorgeous.

One day last week was what I call a “pumpkin day.”  The late afternoon light coming through the orange and gold trees turns everything orange and gold.  The very air shimmers with color.  That effect is very hard to capture with a camera.  And, anyway, mine was way upstairs, waiting to be downloaded.  So, I didn’t stop and at least try to capture the light effect.

Last Friday, John went with me to Hope’s Edge, and we stopped and took these pictures along the road.  A storm was coming in–and it did rain for two days–so the shimmering effect is not there.  But the flaming hillsides are…

And, here’s one John took:

Here’s a view from the front of our house to the wetland area down by the road:

Our house is ringed with gorgeous views in every direction.  The woods up close often feel like the trees have donned frilly dresses for us to admire.  Remember, we had a storm coming in, so the special light that filters through these leaves is missing.

Camden is full of “leaf peepers” at the moment.  I hope most of them get into the woods on our many trails, rather than just riding in buses and cars and seeing only the one picture of the woods–in full color, yes, but not the frilly dresses we see when we get closer.

Written by louisaenright

October 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Turkey Tracks: Dog House Chickies Update

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Turkey Tracks:  October 20, 2012

Dog House Chickies Update

The Dog House Chickies are now nearly 3 months old and are close to being fully grown.  I closed up the dog house this week and put them into the big coop, where they are having a hard time of it.  As you may know, different coharts of chickens don’t like each other, especially at first, and the older bunch terrorizes the younger bunch.  Also, there is always a chicken who is the lowest on the pecking order, and that chicken takes an almost constant beating from some of the others.  It’s really quilt brutal.

(You can see earlier postings of these chicks by going to the right sidebar and clicking on chickens, under Turkey Tracks.)

Here’s what the three “chicks” look like now:

It’s hard to get a picture of all three of them close up as they are mostly wild.  Chickie Mommie (Sally) raised them entirely “on the economy” and taught them how to be safe.  Even when they were still in the dog house, I had to go out each night at dark and capture them in the large viburnum bush where they like to roost and physically put them into the dog house.

To remind, here’s a pic of Chickie Mommie (Sally) just after she brought her babies out of the dog house.  The chick in the foreground is the full-blooded Copper Black Maran.  See the feathered feet?  Note, too, the chick hiding beneath her body, just under her tail.

Sadly, about two weeks ago, a fox ate two of my chickens:  Annie, a full-blooded Copper Black Maran that I raised from an incubated egg and Chickie Mommie, one of the last two chickens from my original chickens.  She was a Wheaten Americauna and laid beautiful blue eggs.  Now I have one Copper Black Maran hen and one Wheaten Americauna.

I named one of the dog house chickies–Blackbird.  She’s the all-black chicken in the front of the first picture above.  I’m pretty sure she is a she since she’s very docile and acts like a hen.

Here’s a pic of the two mystery chickens:

I can’t tell which one is the Maran–I have to see his/her feathered feet.  The other one is the Americauna/Maran cross.  Both are looking like roosters…   The Maran, in particular, behaves like one.  But, the other  may well be a hen.  Maran roosters  have big combs and waddles, but Americaunas do not.  The highly colored feathers look like roosters.  I’ve never had the courage to upend either one of the two roosters we’ve had (Napolean and Cowboy) to look at their equipment to see if one can tell the sex.  Time will tell…

In any case, no names for these two as we cannot keep a second rooster.  Or, three of them.  Roosters fight, which is why on a farm they…provide meat.

x

Written by louisaenright

October 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Turkey Tracks: Scrappy Knitted Blanket Update

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Turkey Tracks:  October 20, 2012

Scrappy Knitted Blanket Update

I last posted an update on the knitted blanket I’m making back in mid July.  You can easily see that and earlier posts on this project by going to the right sidebar and clicking on the knitting category.  Earlier posts contain information about where I got the pattern–another blog–and how my knitting friends supplied me with their leftover yarn when I began to run out of color selections.

Here’s what the blanket looks like now:

The loose ends everywhere are either holding provisional stitches in place–they will be picked up when I do the edge–or are where I bound off the end of a block.  The binding off will get woven in when I finish the edges.  And I’ve adopted a practice of weaving ends in on the back as I finish each block.  That way the weaving in does not seem so daunting a project.

Since I started, I made the blanket wider–which is doable, but not as easy as starting it wide enough to begin with.  I’m now adding another two blocks of width since when Tami (daughter-in-law) was here a few weeks ago I couldn’t work on it because she wrapped herself up in it every night.  (I have a firm position that a heavy–and it is heavy–wool blanket is not appropriate for South Carolina.)  Anyway, Tami thinks it should be wide enough for two people to snuggle beneath it, so I’m now making it a bit wider still.  And, I’ll make it another row or two wider.  Knitting master Giovanna McCarthy is going to help me decide whether or not to crochet an edge or use the straight i-cord edge the designer used.

What I love about this project–in addition to the fact that it uses up leftover yarn–is that it looks like a quilt.  Here’s a closeup of the “on-point blocks”:

The “varigated” blocks happen when I combine several thinner yarns to make a thicker one.  And the bar in the middle happens as you decrease stitches in the middle to make the diamond shape.  It takes me about 40 minutes or so to make one block, but the work of it is very soothing, and I absolutely love choosing which colors will sit nicely next to other colors.  I work on it at night while we watch “stories” on television (movies, tv series, etc.)  I don’t think I could have watched the recent political debates (presidential, vice-presidential) without also knitting the blanket.

x

Written by louisaenright

October 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Turkey Tracks: Blue Hubbard Squash

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Turkey Tracks:  October 20, 2012

Blue Hubbard Squash

I’ve been fascinated with Blue Hubbard squash for some years now.

Last year, I planted seeds, but nothing came of them.  This year we had a very rainy, cool June, and I planted cucumbers and zucchini about five times before any of the plants really got going.  The zucchini finally produced enough for us to enjoy zucchini on a regular basis.  The cukes finally produced two small fruits in early September.  (Fortunately neighbor Susan McBride had plenty of cukes in her amazing hoop houses at Golden Brook Farm, so I made some of Sandor Ellison Katz’s New York pickles from his WILD FERMENTATION–and they were absolutely delicious.)

And, I kept planting Blue Hubbard squash in the long front bed where I also planted strawberries for next year.  Here’s what the vine looked like in late August–the pic is taken from the upper porch, looking down.

Nice, I thought.  Decorative even.  Lots of blossoms, too, but…  Then I noticed a pale growth underneath the leaves on the lower right, up next to the porch.

It was a BIG fruit.  Still green, still not blue, but a BIG fruit.  I held my breath about frost and left it alone.  I picked it about a week ago and put it into the garage to “sugar off” for a bit.  Squash almost always need to sit for a bit of time after harvest to get really sweet.

Here’s how BIG my Blue Hubbard got:

It’s as big as a chicken.  Bigger even.

Back in the day, folks would cut a hunk out of a Blue Hubbard for dinner and just leave the rest in a cool place for the next meal.  I’m sure I posted a blog on roasting one I bought last year–which is what I will do with this one.  I’ll cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, roast it in the oven (face down), scoop out the flesh and store it in meal-sized portions in the freezer.  It makes a nice pie, too.  The flesh is mellow, nutty, and lovely.

The squash I planted in the blue tubs also did REALLY well this summer.  Here’s a pic from sometime in, probably, July.

We harvested a box full of squash:  two beautiful little pie pumpkins, eight or ten butternuts, a buttercup, five or six delicatas, and an assortment of small blue hubbards that are probably edible.  I’ll plant squash here again.

Written by louisaenright

October 20, 2012 at 11:54 am