Eco Info – Part 2 of 6! Sustainability

Sustainability is the method of using a resource for environmental benefits without depleting or permanently damaging it.  This practice extends the natural life of the resource you’re using without negatively affecting the atmosphere or the environment.  This practice allows us to maintain the balance of meeting the needs of today’s population without endangering future generations.

Think bamboo – click on the word and find out about the myriad of possibilities of this miracle plant.  Then click here to find out its caveats.  A lot of the fabric you love is not so “friendly”.  But bamboo produced into hard goods( Lula loves her utensils, cutting boards and the like) is fantastic, as long as the farming to produce it doesn’t destroy other forests…in our consumptive society it’s always best to spend 5 minutes researching the hype.

So bear with me when I return to pickup my non-disposables …baskets and serveware should always have more than one use if possible, particularly if they’re a type of plastic, and you can trust we’re not putting any unnecessary chemicals in your body!  There are many more sustainable food related products out there and we’ll explore a few more of them in this series.

Eco Info! – Part 1 of 6

OK, so, not a beautiful picture of my food.  BUT…I ran across great, concise information from a vendor of mine and I thought I would share!  Over the next 6 weeks I’m going to share some terms with you and explain them – regarding our “trash”.  And sometimes I’ll add my two cents worth.   We’re going to start with the term RECYCLABLE. 

Recycling is based on the premise of “reduce and re-use” – breaking down and reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown away.  Recycling utilizes existing materials to reduce energy usage, decrease pollution, and conserve natural resources such as wood and water.  Repurposing waste products in an effective way helps slowly decrease the landfill sizes and increases air quality.

MY TWO CENTS WORTH:

In  the picture above, which items are recyclable?  THE MILK CARTON.  That’s it in our area.  Since China stopped accepting our waste in 2018 , we no longer have effective recycling (we really didn’t then either since what they do affects the planet too!)  Check with your recycler to see what items are currently USABLE for recycling.  Yup, they’ll still take everything you’re dumping in your green bin, but they’re sorting it and throwing it in a landfill.  Oh, my heavy head.

Happy Valentine’s Day – Drink WINE!

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I taught a “class” the other day called Passionate Pairings, and I paired brie cheeses and chocolates with different wines.  It made me remember a lovely bottle of wine Gordon and I shared some time back, and I wrote this:

Smell is your most powerful sense.  I don’t know about you, but I have been in the middle of nowhere, caught the scent of something, and it has brought back a memory I didn’t even know I had!

Recently, Gordon and I were drinking a bottle of wine, and as with all wines I find special, I was more into sticking my nose into it than tasting it.  There is a special delight in anticipating the taste when the bouquet is so enticing.  I take my time, inhaling sharply, inhaling slowly, swirling the glass thereby aerating the wine, inhaling again, sometimes repeating this process so many times that Gordon is frustrated and says “TASTE IT already!” – he wants to discuss what I find in my nose and in my mouth and compare it to his experience.  Yet another joy of wine tasting.  Frequently we will open a bottle, pour a taste immediately, then let the bottle sit for 10 minutes, and taste again, let the bottle sit 20 minutes more, then taste again…having lovely snooty discussions about the changes that have occurred.  And if you’re raising an eyebrow as to why I haven’t brought up decanting, let me tell you why.  Decanting can be a lovely way to show off the color of a beautiful wine, and a lovely way to aerate an important wine if you’re drinking it immediately.  But if you have the time to let the wine sit and settle, do it my way.  It’s way more fun.  And a lesser wine, sold for a premium price to an unsuspecting buyer, will fall totally flat after decanting.
This particular wine, a 2014 Cuttings from The Prisoner Wine Company, made me respond emotionally.  Sometimes I respond intellectually but this time, there was definitely a warm fuzzy safety elicited by the bouquet and I didn’t even struggle to figure it out.  I just “went there” and enjoyed it.  Then I tasted, and joy was definitely brought forth!  The palette lived up to the nose in an extraordinary way, bringing forth complexities to be mulled over; reveled in.  I began trying to put words to my experience.  “Leather”, I said.  “Fine Wool”, I said.  “Cherries”, I said.  “Tobacco”, I said.  “GRANDADDY!!” I said.  And joy was born.  I was back in my grandfather’s arms, on his lap in his armchair, with his pipe at the ready on the humidor side-table.  He liked a cherry tobacco.  He wore his business suit.  He had just come home from work and we were eager to snuggle.  Thank you, Cuttings, for the memory!  Wishing for you this Valentine’s Day the making of a new memory or two!!

A Note From Chef Lori

Don’t forget to check out Lula’s recipe for Winter Greens Lasagna in the latest issue of Edible Ohio Valley!

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A Brussels Sprouts Primer

Hurry, quick!  If you love Brussels Sprouts get them now before they leave the store.  In the US, fresh runs from about June to January.  But DID YOU KNOW…they get their name from where they were originally mass cultivate – Brussels Belgium?  They’ve been widely enjoyed since the 1500’s over there…but just in the 20th century did they gain in popularity in the US.  Mostly from California, you can get them frozen all year round, but fresh is best.

LOADED with good stuff our bodies need, BS (you know what that means right? and it’s so fitting since they can smell like a fart if you overcook them 🙂 ) are a super food.  Coming from the cruciferous veggie category, they contain the metals and micronutrients we need along with loads of Vitamins A, C, K, and B6, not to mention folic acid and fiber.

Lula’s BS recipes include but are not limited to Roasted (simple and our favorite),  Dijon Garlic, and a magnificent festive Fennel & Pomegranate Salad.  Relax…they won’t make YOU smell like a fart!