Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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How Not to Waste Food: Eat Leftovers, Compost, Share with Dogs

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Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “food”

If I hadn’t written about my efforts to be a vegetarian just a few days ago, I would have written about that…..

Do you know how much food is wasted in the US? A lot!

My mother used to say, “We don’t throw away food.” She grew up in the depression and didn’t throw away much. But sometime, when it has mold on it, you do need to throw it away, unless of course you can compost it. We keep our compost in the freezer until it piles up enough to carry it out to the composter.

Having dogs also helps us not to waste food. And we eat a lot of leftovers. Sometime we can make a whole meal of leftovers, two meals even. A thin friend of mine told me that she felt like when she ate too much, it was wasting food, so it’s the same as throwing it away. I don’t know. But it got me thinking about how maybe I don’t need to eat something just to keep it from going to waste when I’ve already had enough. But I still don’t like to throw it away if it’s usable, meaning eatable.

My husband’s dogs, who are now my dogs, my step dogs, will eat just about anything, including kale, broccoli, carrots, apples and bananas. My little mutt has started to eat some of those things, too, since her step sisters seem to enjoy their raw veggies so much. But when we toss her the kale, or a piece of raw carrot, she mouths it and then looks at us like, what is this? This is not food.

Yet, for humans, it is food, unlike things like potato chips and candy – food like products, right? Except that last night, I had some potato chips for the first time in a very long time, and they were good, sort of, not wholesome, yeah, they didn’t taste like food. Okay, so I won’t do that again for a very long time. I hope. Because it’s true what they say about weight gain and getting older. It’s not mandatory to gain weight as we age, but it does seem to be a trend. And then there are those people who get thinner as they get older.

But back to food. I’d really like to eat mostly what God made, through nature, for us to eat to be healthy. We are blessed and lucky to have so many choices in the modern world. But I do like dark chocolate, and that is not made by God/nature. Cocoa beans are though. I don’t recall ever having a cocoa bean. I think it’s about time. Because beans are good for you. And I want to eat food that’s good for me. I want to eat to live, not live to eat.

If you’d like to join in the banquet of Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-2716/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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Tree-Hugger’s Confession

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First, the confession, inspired by Natalie Scarberry’s enchanting post on trees.

The fact that I am a tree-hugger, is not the confession. That’s something I’m proud of. The dilemma is what to do about the trees growing too close to the house. I waited several months for a hard freeze, hoping that maybe the trees would be sleeping and dormant, before removing several young trees growing right next to my father’s house. My husband couldn’t do it for me, because he was recovering from hernia surgery. My father is 84, and I wouldn’t want him to do it with his health challenges. We borrowed a tree-puller, an amazingly powerful, yet simple tool. Still some of the oak roots were deep and required considerable digging, clipping, and pulling.

It was dark by the time I finished the job. Even though the temperature had dipped below 40 degrees, I’d worked up  quite a sweat. Yet, the job was harder for me emotionally than it was physically, because I love trees. It was like those jobs I learned to set my jaw at back when I was single and had to do the hard things myself- or thought I did anyway.

I chopped up most of the saplings and seedlings, hoping they wouldn’t suffer so long that way. I decided to save the smallest sapling, a four foot pine, and two seedlings by wrapping them in a plastic bag and driving them home. They are doing okay in my kitchen, in a bucket of potting soil, until I plant them in my backyard – maybe Saturday if the weather feels right.

Along with the sapling, I’m collecting homeless poinsettias.

My church always has a lot of poinsettias leftover from Christmas Eve. Even after people have taken home the plants they want, there are usually 10 to 20 left unclaimed.

I worry that many poinsettias just get thrown in the trash after Christmas. The very least we can do is compost them. I’d heard poinsettias were poisonous, but have learned they’re not as toxic as I thought, according to this Mayo Clinic article.

Of the 15 or so poinsettias left behind at church, I brought the four worst looking plants home to compost, unless I can hold out until warm weather and plant them in the back yard. At least that way they have a chance. I left several other poinsettias (the ones with leaves still attached) at church with the plan to plant some in the church yard when winter is done.

Normally, outdoor poinsettias do not survive the winter here in the Carolinas, but anything is possible. One spring, I noticed something bright red along the fence in my backyard. I had no idea what it could be. When I got closer, I realized it was a poinsettia I had planted the previous spring and forgotten about. That winter must have been a mild one, or the poinsettia was a tough one.

Maybe I’ll pot one or two poinsettias and keep them inside, like the three year old below. I’d heard that if you keep an older poinsettia in the dark for about a month it will turn red. I put the one in the photo in our church utility closet for about two weeks in November. When I brought it out, tiny new leaves were light red. All the new growth since then has been a pinkish-red. Like magic!

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This three year old poinsettia bloomed red leaves when it came out of the closet.

I wonder if we will be able to use any of last year’s poinsettias for Christmas Eve of 2016!

 

 

 


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Jack-o-lantern Pie and Other Experiments

pumpkin-201956_150When my kids were still kids, we’d carve a jack-0- lantern on Halloween, saving the cut outs of eyes, nose and mouth for the pie.

The pungent scent of raw pumpkin innards still conjures up memories of fairy costumes, scary face paint and getting candy ready for that first knock at the door.

With a little patience, you can separate the slippery pumpkin seeds from the stringy stuff, and roast the seeds in the oven with olive oil and salt until they start to turn brown. They’re not bad and they’re full of fiber!  If you roast thin layers of the stringy stuff too, it caramelizes into a semi sweet, crispy treat.  The stem is generally compost, though there might be something you could make out of it. Nothing is wasted!

I’d usually cut up the rest of Old Jack after the Trick-0r-Treating was over, and keep the pieces in the frig til the weekend, unless I was really tired, then I’d put Jack in the frig whole to save for later.

At first, I followed a recipe from a tattered old cookbook that said to cut up the pumpkin, remove the skin, and boil the pieces until soft.  Next you drain the water off, and mash the pumpkin, like making mashed potatoes. But the filling was  still pretty soupy, especially after we added the milk and/or eggs. So I’d add less liquid, but it was still soupy. Once I added oatmeal as a thickener. It was, um……interesting.

After a couple years I tried a tip I heard from a wise old lady who said they used to just put the whole pumpkin in the oven and bake it, then cut it up, mash it and add the other ingredients. That worked okay. The filling was not so soupy, but it took a long time to cook the whole pumpkin.

This year, I think I’ll cut up the pumpkin and roast the pieces in the oven. Roasted pumpkin, brushed with olive oil or butter, sprinkled with a little brown sugar and cinnamon might be good even without the pie crust. But I’m still making a pie.

Who needs a recipe anyway.