Top Ten Tips for Emergency Food Preparedness

We’ve all seen the photos of empty grocery store shelves raided by paranoia and self-preservation when an impending doom is near. What about those who aren’t able to get to a store after doom has hit? Cyclones, ice storms, earthquakes, heat waves or disasters of the human kind like the chemical spill that poisoned a West Virginia water supply are seeming to occur with more regularity than I remember in the past.

After the 3/11 earthquake (flickrcc2.0-jacejudith)

After the 3/11 earthquake (flickrcc2.0-jacejudith)

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Chilling Out

With the exception of a couple of holiday parties and a football game, our calendar has been void of activity for the past two weeks. We’ve slept in, gone for walks, seen a movie, made some nice meals and caught up on odds and ends. Whether you refer to it as down time, chilling out, R&R or simply recess, this lack of activity holds a lot of promise as a way to recharge. Want to amp it up even further? Go offline.

Ice Box Pickling

Ice Box Pickling

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How to Hack Happiness in 2014

Google trends shows strong upward movement around the term Happiness. Of course, this is driven by uses of the word such as Quarterback Brett Smith finding happiness in Wyoming but overall, the trend is indicative of a world that is seeking to learn more about happiness and endeavoring to find ways to become and remain happy.

Night School Photo by Director, Piya Jacob

Night Labyrinth

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Chicken with Glory-Twig; One Common Plate

The kitchen should always remain the laboratory. Whether it is to reveal the essence of an earthy spice, the nutritional contribution of local legumes or simply to discover a new method of preparation, the cookery is where research and creativity marry in an unbridled dance. In the words of, the great Harvard Psychologist, Boring (yeah, pity of a name), “anyone who knows the difference between work and play doesn’t belong here”.

Found in the 10th century Lacnunga Manuscript

Found in the 10th century Lacnunga Manuscript

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Merry Christmas

Chocolate and Sea Salt; One Common Plate

There is much written about how to fight the commercial engine of Christmas and simplify the holidays. Each year we take a couple more steps to resist antagonistic stress and embrace the good cheer of holding our families and friends dear. This December, I did the majority of my shopping at second-hand and consignment stores. We worked on a holiday greeting that we’ll send out as a New Year marker and for the Christmas baking, I embraced a low-involvement and no-sugar recipe that used the combination of chocolate and sea salt as directed by the efforts of 1Common Plate at slurrpy.com.

Simple Holiday Cookies

Simple Holiday Cookies

The notion of raw foods always captures my attention as I near the new year. It seems a terrific time to reset expectations, set goals and draw up plans that I hope to accomplish. Near the top of my list in 2014 will be a lighter, more enlightened diet as a food centric lifestyle has manifested results in clothes that aren’t fitting well and a general concern for other health risks that follow. This recipe easily becomes raw with a different choice of almond meal and a replacement of the maple syrup with another sweetener such as agave. The result is a not too sweet treat that also doesn’t tax your time.

Nearly-Raw Chocolate Cookies with Salted Caramel
from the Sweet Life Online
yields 16 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked 4 hours
  • 1 3/4 cup almond meal (mine is from blanched almonds)
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 5-6 tbsp Nearly-Raw Caramel Sauce (see recipe below)
  • sea salt for topping

Directions:

Drain and rinse the walnuts and place in a food processor with almond meal and cacao powder. Blend until well combined. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp sea salt and blend again until a thick dough begins to form.

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Roll dough into balls about the size of a large tablespoon. Flatten each ball and press an indentation in the center of each with thumb.  Place cookies in a food dehydrator set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 3-4 hours, until cookies are crisp on the outside but still soft in the middle. Unwilling to drag the dehydrator in from the garage, I used our warming tray for this and left the cookies for about two hours.

While cookies are dehydrating (or warming), make the Caramel Sauce. Remove cookies from the warming tray. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of Caramel Sauce and return to the warmer or dehydrator for approximately 20 more minutes. Top with fine sea salt. Store in refrigerator.

Nearly-Raw Caramel Sauce
yields 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Macadamia nuts, soaked 4 hours
  • 1/2 cup (about 6) Medjool dates, pitted and soaked at least 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt

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Drain and rinse nuts and dates. Combine all the ingredients and process in a food processor or vitamin until very smooth. Process until very smooth. Store in a jar in refrigerator for up to 10 days. (Good for many other uses like ice cream topping!)

One Common Plate; Fish and Fruit

Fish is not plentiful in the desert. Perhaps that alone is one reason why it is such a welcome meal. It is what we receive from relatives who come to visit from waterways across the country. Fruit however, and especially citrus fruit, is common place here. It is what we take to relatives when we go visit across the country. IMG_1950 IMG_1953

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One Common Plate; Cinnamon and Pear

One common plate is all it takes to bridge a gap. At least that is the thinking of the progressive folks at Slurrpy where during the month of December, they are highlighting 10 women across the globe who are blogging about food. We’re of different ilk. We work in different kitchens. We use different recipes. Yet, this month, we’ll collectively focus on the same ingredients to bring you a concrete example of the power of diversity to create a collective response.

Cinnamon and Pear

Cinnamon and Pear

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I’ll be the One in Greens

I am a person of color. Perhaps not in the same sense as others who use this statement but I enjoy bright vivid colors. It’s reflected in my home, in my wardrobe, in the art that I admire and the objects that I photograph.

Look familiar to anyone?

Look familiar? Super pixelated romanesco cauliflower

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Scarlet Queen

When you hear the words, “Scarlet Queen” what sort of visual does your imagination summon? Do you think of a dark-haired vixen dressed in red satin or are you moved to an image of the 1970s rocker chick Stevie Nicks making her way across the stage in a long flowing red cape?

While there is likely a handful of both men and women who would love to take on the title, the name Scarlet Queen was made famous in the late 1940s when producer James Burton created the radio drama, Voyage of the Scarlet Queen. The episodes were ocean adventures that took place aboard a 78-foot sailing craft with two masts known as a ketch.

Voyage of the Scarlet Queen from Old Time Radio CD Artwork http://www.otrr.org

Voyage of the Scarlet Queen from Old Time Radio CD Artwork http://www.otrr.org

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