Thursday, April 12, 2007

We Didn't Start The Fire... was always burning since the worlds been turning...OK, so double purpose title today. First, is the off the shoulder 80's style I'm pushing buttons with at work today. Why not? I gave notice last week (3 weeks notice) and I work so much more efficiently when I'm able to "be myself". The other reason for the fire reference is my daughter's unexplained fear of fire now days. She claims she had a bad dream and doesn't want to talk about. Fire on our gas stove (along with candles and laterns and...) have been freaking her out MAJORLY for several weeks now. Last night, she overcame. Pizza has the power. I'll share my favorite pizza sauce recipe from the New Farm Cookbook!

Pizza Sauce
(improvised slightly due to spices on hand and my own taste)
1 sm onion diced
3 T olive oil
4 oz tomato paste
1 cup water
3/4 t garlic powder
1 t oregano
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 pinch black pepper
1/2 t basil
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 t salt
1 t sugar

(I usually 1 and 1/2 this recipe just because I typically buy 6 oz cans of tomato paste and love pizza sauce!) First, saute the onion in oil until translucent. It's not necessary to use 3T of oil - I've used every increment inbetween and have found very little variation in taste. Once the onions are cooked, add the other ingredients, mix well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes and viola!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Beautiful Little Cupcakes, Great Big Debt!

Dolt! So, neither of us intended to do this trade fair "for profit". Really, we were hoping to buy some of the supplies we'd need to make cupcakes in large batches and break even. We didn't break even, either. But, I loved the endless compliments about how great they looked and especially the "are they edible"? I soaked that right up! :-) I was even asked if I take "special orders". I guess so! The lady who asked bought a cupcake for her boyfriend/husband - Pat, the drummer from Anti Flag. I'm not the starstruck type and had no idea who he was before Michael told me. They were pretty excited about vegan cupcakes. I wonder if he's vegan. We saw them again last night as we were taking a night walk and they excitedly recognized us and waved! I joke that instead of being a hippie in the woods I'm going to morph into celebrity baker. Boy, I'm dorky. Anyway, the trade fair averaged maybe 200 visitors and we sold about 60 cupcakes. Considering the fact that there was another booth with vegan cupcakes run by the Big Idea (0ur local anarchist bookstore) and yet another table with "traditional" cupcakes, I was impressed with our sales, all in all. We got the word out about our vegan meetup group, as well and passed out quite a few "Why vegan" pamphlets.

I find myself becoming more and more internal and reflective and simplistic. I spend less and less time in front of the computer and have little desire to even surf the net during down time at work. I'm ready to soak up the sun and spend time with my family. I still intend to update this blog so don't assume that long intermissions mean I've given it up! As always, my inspirations come in spurts!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sweet Home West Virginia?

The "For Rent" sign went up yesterday! Here is a picture of where we're moving (far left - yes, trees soon to be completed with a tarp, some selected strawbales and a tent)! I'm not certain when this image was taken but since, it's been cultivated and is primarily an organic vegetable garden. Not only organic - "veganic". I'd already heard that many organic fertilizers contain animal blood and bone but decided to really look for myself a couple of weeks ago when wandering around the Home Depot. Wow. It's so insanely difficult to be ethical! I imagine we'll still be relying on others for awhile but do get excited about the prospect of being more self-suffient and self-reliant. I'm looking forward to growing some organic herbs and veggies of our own, as well! Seeds of Change is great and just so happens to be the place were the bulk of the seeds for this garden are purchased! Southern Exposure Seed Exchange interests me, too, but simply because it is an outreach/business of ACORN Intentional Community!

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Marriage, New Shoes and A Cupcake Order!

No, not me. I'm not the marrying type. Heck, I'm the kind you don't take home to mother...I will never let your spirits down..I'm a superfreak(which reminds me of "Little Miss Sunshine" - anyone see that movie? Satirical and rather funny)...anyway, I guess I'm "the new generation". The ones that say, hey, I have no moral issue with living with the person I love and feel no obligation to have the state/government/church recognize my companionship. I find weddings to be a waste of money and seriously rooted in tradition. I'm all for dispelling tradition and following what is logical. The marriage, I should add before I get too sidetracked, is that of my ex. This should help him obtain the Canadian citizenship he desires. He was quite stressful to live with - I'm hoping things have changed and that they are a better match than we were. I have, afterall, won the lottery in the compatibility department. Unfortunately, I did NOT win the PA lottery this weekend.

Look at these beautiful, all-purpose, all-terrain, summer, hippie shoes! I don't own them yet but I will in two weeks! Does that make you as happy as it makes me?? $85 is a big OUCH. But, look at the description - it's a hiking/water shoe! How appropriate for our summer. Really, I can't imagine needing much more. (The justification is in full-swing!)

And, guess what?! A lady from my work ordered a dozen Tiramisu cupcakes from me! I'm bringing them to her on Wednesday! I wasn't sure about what to charge her so I ended up saying $12/dozen. Is that high? low? Michael had suggested $15 but I wimped out. They are probably worth that - especially given the market rate but I'm not business saavy. I just like to make pretty things. I also have another cupcake venture approaching soon!

We'll be tabling at an "activist" trade fair. We have loads of vegan literature (including hundreds of "Why Vegan") and I'll be selling vegan cupcakes! Plus, the venue is about 3 miles from my house! Given that I'm actually quite shy and socially akward, I'm slightly nervous, but, given that I'm creative and love food activism, I'm excited, too! :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

First Stop - Hell!

That's right folks, I visited Hell today and I can't even say "and all I got is this lousy t-shirt" because there is no flipping way I'd ever buy a t-shirt at that place. I literally wanted to scream at everyone in the store "DON'T LOOK AT ME! REALLY, DON'T LOOK AT ME. WE CAN NEVER EVEN NONVERBALLY COMMUNICATE BECAUSE I HATE YOU!" Hmmm. When did I become so hostile, I wonder? I was in tears at this store. Physically shaken. I should have had at least SOME idea of what I was going to see but, nothing can prepare you for reality like...well, like reality. To clarify more - the store is a "hunting, fishing, outdoors, camping" store. It's right off of the highway on the way to Wheeling, WV and we saw some impressive camping supplies online that we wanted to at least see. Ultimately, though, we both want to make most of our supplies - instead of erecting plastic and nylon in a natural and beautiful woodsy setting. Inside of the Cabela's, you will find a hundred dead and stuffed animals - set up almost like a museum exhibit and thoroughly disgusting. We walked out the door, looked at each other and exclaimed that we couldn't every buy anything from that store. Never. bleck. Horrible.

Fortunately, our next stop of the day was extremely pleasant - we drove into Wheeling to stop at Jebbia's Market - a wholesale produce market with incredible prices. We left with a box full of produce for $20. We'll be able to live as royalty this summer! That may be a stretch according to society's standards but not for us! We took a short stroll around New Vrindaban today - the rain eventually stopped us. I love Michael! Love him and I love our night hikes, and snow hikes and rain hikes and...