Archive for March, 2009

Spring cleaning the green way

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Spring is just around the corner, or so they want us to believe because you sure could fool me if I look at the rain and listen to the wind howling; but as the weather turns warmer comes the desire to let in lots of fresh air, and to get rid of the accumulation of wintry grime around the house. It is the time when we want to have clean windows so we can admire the flowers or look at the birds, give the bathroom a good scrubbing, clean the kitchen cabinets, the oven – you get the idea, right?  Except the work itself is drudgery, it is not something I look forward to and in the past I was forever looking for new products to try. However …

now is a time to think green once more. We are careful how we shop, what we eat, doesn’t it make sense to also keep to the same standards when cleaning? And just in time I discovered this article that not only ensures that no poisons get introduced into the home, but shows how we can actually make cleaning products quite easily and a lot cheaper. The ingredients are easily available, you probably don’t even have to run to the store for many of the recipes. Great stuff, try it out!

The federal vegetable patch

Friday, March 20th, 2009

With the days getting a little bit warmer and fewer reminders of winter out there, my mind has been going round and round about what to plant this spring in my vegetable garden. Apparently this condition is not unique to me. It seems also the case in Washington. I just found out that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, is also planning a vegetable garden on the south lawn of the White House where she intends to grow healthy, organically grown foods. Sure sounds to me like the petitions many of us signed had an effect.

first harbinger of spring

Monday, March 16th, 2009

as I opened the window this morning it was evident that spring is not far in coming. There is a sweetness in the air, the birds have dug out their songbook with chipper tunes, and when I go outside spring flowers have pushed up through the earth seemingly overnight.

A lovely time of year, this early ‘not quite there yet’ time between winter and true spring where anything is still possible; there might be snow tomorrow, but today, ah today, the first bee is busy flying from one crocus to the next, the sun is warm on my face, and my legs carry me to the still dormant vegetable garden. My blood starts to hum – soon, soon . . .

The story of the lamb shank and cold water pasta

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Do you know the story of the newly married wife who goes to buy a leg of lamb? “And cut off the shank end of it please” she asks the butcher. He does what she wants done and the wife proceeds to make a delicious roast. When her mother sees that the roast is in two pieces in the roasting pan she asks her daughter why. “Because you always did it this way” the daughter replied. The mother burst out laughing, sputtering “only because my pan was too short”.

A cute story which does raise one point though: how often do we do things without ever questioning the ‘why’ of it? JG pointed me to a story that deals with exactly that issue and how best to cook pasta. This method needs a little bit more attention while things are cooking but it does save energy. Well worth a read, and something I will definitely try next time it’s spaghetti day at our house.