“The Coming Plague”: The big book of nasty diseases

I first read “The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance” by Laurie Garrett nearly eight years ago. I have a penchant for “disease books,” and as Garrett’s book covers hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, hantavirus, and Ebola), yellow fever, meningitis, swine flu, AIDS,...

Adding SOLE to your pet’s diet

Man of La Muncha and I are currently "owned" by a small tortoiseshell cat, Ms. Teeth and Claws.  Ms. Claws is our third cat; previous cats included a pretty black and white girl and a large Maine coon cat.  We have loved all our cats, and have always fed them "good" pet foods, figuring that while they cost...

Carbon neutrality – the holy grail

The idea of "carbon neutrality", or reducing one's carbon footprint, has been much in the news lately, what with Al Gore's Academy Award win for "An Inconvenient Truth" and subsequent reports related to the amount of energy his Tennessee home is reported to consume. While the Gores do have a fairly large...

Currency – the next frontier

On Thursday night I was driving home from work with my radio set to NPR like the good Seattle liberal that I am. The BBC World Service was airing, and I paid partial attention as I maneuvered onto the freeway. I really enjoy listening to the BBC, even if the tone of the announcers does occasionally veer...

Potatoes as far as the eye can see

First of all, let me state for the record that I love potatoes. LOVE THEM. So much so that Man of La Muncha gives me a hard time about my potato love. Baked, boiled, mashed, or fried--potatoes in all forms are typically a welcome addition to our dinner table. However, I admit that they were much more...

Biodynamic vs. organic

Recently, Man of La Muncha and I have been seeing an increasing number of wines on the shelf of our local grocery store touted as biodynamic--far more than are labeled as organic. When we ask wine vendors about the difference between biodynamic and organic, we typically are told that biodynamic wines are...

New Year’s Empanadas

Man of La Muncha and I were both on vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year's, which opened up many possibilities for cooking and eating some of the bounty from our Crown S Ranch meat CSA, using recipes that aren't really possible during a work week, and not something we tend to want to try on...

Risotto a go-go

About four years ago, I was laid off from my job during the Great Economic Downturn of 2002.  After the requisite month of blind panic, I settled into what I think of now as an unemployed lifestyle; that is to say, I exercised more, read a tremendous number of books, and made sure that when Man of La Muncha...

There’s a reason eggs are associated with spring

Last weekend, I was making French toast for breakfast, and pulled out the carton of eggs we received with our last beef CSA shipment.  Upon opening the carton, I was surprised by how much smaller the eggs are now that the seasons have changed.  Where I would normally use two eggs, I used four.  As a result,...

Butter in the raw

Until fairly recently, I reserved the same fear for raw milk as I did for rare hamburgers and pork chops--things that were as likely as not to kill me through the introduction of nasty parasites and bacteria into my digestive system.  But shortly after we started this blog, I realized that if I wanted to...

A time to give thanks: Thanksgiving weekend at Sineann

Several years ago, I worked for a local natural food chain store in Portland, Oregon as a wine, beer, and cheese monger. One of my regular customers at the time was a man named Peter. Peter came in on a regular basis, bringing his absolutely adorable daughter with him. We would talk about food and wine, he...

Not just for Oompa Loompas – a tour of Theo Chocolate

A couple of months ago, Man of La Muncha brought home a chocolate bar along with our normal haul of groceries. I pounced on the bar as it emerged from the shopping bag, to find that the flavor was, (ahem), "Bread and Chocolate". The brand was 3400 Phinney, and the maker was someone we had not heard of...

« Older Entries