Monthly Archives: June 2012

Green Living: Compost-able Me

I bought a jar that looks like a fire hydrant to keep dog treats in because it looked like a fire hydrant…and what did cartoons teach us?  Dogs like fire hydrants…so you can see how my thought process brought me to my decision…turns out it was a compost jar…I’d like to pretend I knew that straight away but I didn’t…I did keep dog treats in for about a year though…Composting was not part of my life…we recycled…mostly beer cans and wine bottles…any leftover food was thrown out with the garbage…After going vegan and learning a few things…I wanted to do something more than just recycle, put in energy-saving light bulbs and use my own grocery bags (when I remember)…composting came up at some point…I’d love to give credit for my composting but I can’t remember where I caught it…but the more I thought about composting, the more pumped about it I became…so I had to learn how to do it…but now there is a compost jar and a dog treat holding cow shaped cookie jar

Worm composting caught my eye at some point and I knew I just had to try it out.  I did some research…could not find any worms locally… so I ordered a box o’ worms from Home Depot.  Naively, I believed that the worms would come to me in a white foam fishing cooler or the like…the worms would be fat and happy – ready to eat up some scraps…but no they came in a small box….poor worms were hanging out of the box when it arrived…they also look malnourished and a few sadly didn’t make it to their composting destiny…

So I built a composting bin myself out of a plastic bin…so I could raise my worms and maybe start some sort of worm dynasty…

Compost bin – pre drilled holes…must drill holes to drain worm tea…

Then added a damp newspaper bedding for my worms to nest in – the bedding is created by shredding the news paper by hand and then dampening it…

My worm condo…

 Now I must introduce my new worms to their new home.  I’m hoping they will eventually recover from the shock of their journey through the U.S. Postal system.   My composting has begun with some success…my worms seems to be growing…not sure if there are any new worm babies but I’m hoping they continue to thrive.  I’m by far not a composting master but I am learning…

Wormy the worm…

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On Cobbler…

One thing people tend to obsess over when the word vegan is mentioned is – giving up something or that they’ll have to miss out on something…but what you learn after going vegan is that it is not about loss but about gaining…a new perspective on things – exploring options – living a new way – retraining the brain…Also the word “Can’t” comes up – “Oh, you can’t eat butter” or “oh, you can’t eat eggs.” – Not exactly true, I’m still capable of eating those things, I just choose not to…I’ve had to retrain myself to not say can’t as well…still sometimes there is a noticeable pause…as I almost spit out the word can’t and then rephrase…so instead of focusing on loss, choose cobbler — or something else new!

In my backyard there is a tree which turns out to be a mulberry tree – I’ve always heard mulberry bush but this is definitely a tree…dropping many berries in my backyard subsequently attracting many birds and turning the soles of our shoes purple…so we decided to make something with this delicious backyard surprise!  I actually did not participate in the berry harvesting myself.  I was also the only one hesitant to use these berries for fear that I may hallucinate and/or die…I was not interested in either scenario…

Clean berries from the backyard – mostly bug free!

5-6 Cups of berries is actually a lot…many berries contributed to our cobbler…fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries, frozen berry mix…I’ve made this cobbler a few times now – and every berry ratio works…don’t be scared to mix your berries up or just use one berry…the choice is yours!  This recipe is easy – will please any sweet tooth veg or not!

Click here to  link to the recipe – Berry Cobbler 

Berry mixture:

  • 5-6 cups fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a mixture of these)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar

    Mixture of fresh, frozen and straight off the tree berries…Because using one berry is never enough!

Topping:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup fortified soymilk or rice milk

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Spread berries in a 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Mix in flour and sugar. Place oven until hot, about 15 minutes.

To prepare topping, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add milk and stir until batter is smooth.

Spread evenly over hot berries (don’t worry if they’re not completely covered), then bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

 Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life for Cancer by Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.

 

Ta-da! Finished product complete with Trader Joe’s vanilla soy cream and mint fresh mint.

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