And I (for the most part) did better than I expected to. Of course, there were some important nonacademic things learned along the way as well...
As I’ve mentioned a time or two in this space, for a couple of years now I’ve been eating more or less primally (for those who don’t know, it’s a variant in the paleo approach to eating and health that says dairy products are fine to eat if an individual has no problems with them). Because of his relaxed, “try various things and go with what works for you” approach to eating, I’ve made Mark’s Daily Apple a site I visit daily, and one I regularly check for food inspiration.
But the large backlash against the paleo approach set me to wondering if my results were fortuitous—due more to other factors than my change in foods. After reading the Atlantic’s lengthy (and somewhat sour-grapesy) article on the subject—This Is Your Brain on Gluten—I decided to turn my recent dietary slide into something of a case study.
[This is the handout for the cast iron seminars I've been giving this fall. Very well received so far.]
The local food movement has been big out here long before it really became a thing—which shouldn’t be surprising, since this region has a lot of agriculture and a fairly long growing season (and a lot of hippie types of all ages). Newly ensconced in one of the oldest sections of town one year ago this month, we were very happy to see that several homeowners nearby had converted their boring lawns into prime gardening spaces. A few have really invested in their urban gardening, constructing attractive raised beds and filling the area around them with warmth-hoarding rock.
And I have a mission for 2013.
I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned it here previously, but two years ago the snolfs and I started celebrating the winter solstice. Since I’m not a Christian, it seemed silly to celebrate Christmas, and to me personally New Year’s Eve is nothing special, since it’s simply a marker of time on one of many arbitrary calendars. I turned to my Scandinavian heritage and—not surprisingly at all—discovered that the winter solstice was a very important occasion for my ancestors. That made the decision to celebrate it very easy; but it hasn’t been until this year that we’ve been fully free to create our own celebration.
I have been deep in home-improvement projects of late—mostly painting the interior, although there’s plenty of outdoor work that needs attention as well. The very short days make that difficult to get to, however; by the time I’m done with work, the sun is low enough in the sky that I’d barely get started before it faded enough to make it time to stop.
The big project—and topic of discussion for the three of us—has been how to celebrate the solstice this year. We’ve celebrated it the past couple of years, but this is our first opportunity to go all out. I suggested a Scandinavian pagan theme for the festivities, which was warmly received, so we all have been exploring ideas. It’s been a lot of fun, learning about ancient customs and thinking about which ones to use.
There is another holiday tradition that I sort of fell into; and I would be greatly remiss if I were not to continue it this year.
If you eat paleo or primally, at least. For those of you not on one of those bandwagons, you may find some amusing items nonetheless ...
Well, stupid me, actually—but like any other big-brained ape, I need a scapegoat to point to.
I have always disliked "leftovers." With a few exceptions, most foods are just more appealing to me when fresh made. When I had a family, that was seldom a problem, but in the nearly 25 years I've lived alone, it has often caused me to struggle to balance between the frugal use of my resources and my food preferences.
As a charter member of the "old too soon, wise too late club," I think I finally got a handle on at least some of it. Better late than never.
I could have posted this at my own blog, but Sunni often features food-related topics.
New method for making human-based gelatin
Scientists are reporting development of a new approach for producing large quantities of human-derived gelatin that could become a substitute for some of the 300,000 tons of animal-based gelatin produced annually for gelatin-type desserts, marshmallows, candy and innumerable other products.
Have fun. [evil grin]
What a ridiculous question that is, right? After all, I’m quite certain no beavers or termites are among the seven regular readers here. Still, some of you might be consuming cellulose from wood and not know it.
Well, it’s actually a five–volume set of books. Even at that, the price is outrageous—upwards of $500 once sales tax is added. But I’m still trying to work a way to acquire it.
I like chili sometimes, especially on a wet, cold, windy day such as today, but I have never really managed to get the seasoning "right" unless I used the package chili mix. And, all too often, I use canned beans and sauces as well. Tastes good, and it's easier.
Today I decided to make chili and discovered I had no packaged seasoning. I also thought it was a good idea to use dry beans, since I don't always have consistent results and need to practice if I'm going to live on the things in the future.
I should have seen this coming—I’ve been pissing and moaning about how technology is destroying food quality, and while that can happen, technology can also improve some things.