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Travel, Food, and Slices of Life


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Using ALL the Carrot

My daughter Lisa came to visit for a bit and brought her juicer with her. While I had read about the nutritional value of juicing, my personal experience included only a few weeks of carrot juice back in the 1970s and occasionally enjoying the juice produced by Charleston’s Mission Savvy and sold by The Wild Ramp Market in Huntington.Mission Savvy juices

Lisa quickly started keeping our produce drawer in the refrigerator well stocked, and then well used. Graham is our main cook in the family and he was told not to put the trimmings from veggies into the compost but into another container for juicing.

We have had interesting concoctions. For example, as happy as I was when I purchased brussels sprouts on their stalk, after using the whole stalk in one juice we learned it produces discomfort in the tummy caused by gas. Not to be repeated in that quantity.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

We like adding beets not only for sweetness but they color the juice a pretty purple. And carrots also add sweetness. Lisa uses the whole carrot, including the greens.

One morning we looked at the pile of pulp taken from the juicer and put into the compost and I started to wonder if there was any other possible use. I quickly found a recipe for carrot pulp-orange marmalade. As it needed 3 cups of carrot pulp, it took a few days to collect that and finally, with all the hoopla of the Thanksgiving weekend slowing down, I was able to process the batch.

I found an easy recipe on Mother Earth News from 1977 by Peter Ditzel. I needed to add a bit more water but I did not need to add any pectin.  I was disappointed it didn’t turn out as bright orange as the photo on the Mother Earth News recipe, but it sure is yummy. This recipe yielded 6 pints of marmalade.

Carrot Pulp Marmalade Recipe

3 oranges
4 cups of water
3 cups of carrot pulp (only carrots, no greens)
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 cups of honey
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 package of store-bought dried pectin

Peel all three oranges and cut the rinds into very narrow slices. Cook the slices in four cups of water until they’re tender . . . then let ’em sit at least seven hours (or overnight).

Once the peelings have had a chance to stand for seven (or more) hours, add the carrot pulp to them and boil for 10 minutes. Next, chop the oranges into a bowl and remove all seeds. Then introduce the oranges, lemon juice, honey, and ginger to the pulp/peelings mixture and boil for 20 minutes more.

If — after 20 minutes — the marmalade has begun to jell on its own . . . terrific! Pour the mixture into hot, sterile canning jars and seal. Otherwise — if the jam hasn’t thickened-you should stir in the dried pectin at this point. (I don’t know why, but sometimes you’ll need the pectin and sometimes you won’t. All I can say is, when in doubt . . . use the pectin.) Boil the pectin-enriched marmalade for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, but continue to stir for an additional seven minutes. Finally, pour the marmalade into hot, sterile canning jars and seal.carrot marmalade


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Juiciness

Years ago, when Lisa was a junior in college, she spent the fall semester abroad at an English language business program in Copenhagen. She loved it so much she arranged to stay the second semester as well. Among a kazillion other things she learned, she started drinking freshly made juice from vegetables.

Some time after she returned she asked for a juicer as a Hanuka present and enjoyed using it, long before the juicing craze hit here in the US.  She brought it here since she is staying with us for a while to get some medical issues addressed and heal.  So juicing has entered my diet routine. DSC_0001

Today she pulled a bunch of things out of the frig and started to concoct a healthy lunch for us. The stem from some broccoli, 4 small beets and their leaves, 6 apples, 3 carrots, several leaves of kale and who knows what else.

She takes the ground up vegetable matter and puts it through the juicer again, getting about another cup of liquid out of it,DSC_0003

still giving us vegetable matter to put in our compost pile.DSC_0010

Together with Graham we talked about making our own V8 juice, something he likes to use in cooking from time to time. It will need to wait until next tomato season, plenty of time for me to acquire my own juicer, since Lisa will most assuredly, taking hers home with her when she leaves.

juiceYes, Graham drank it. 🙂


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Why Bother to Recycle?

There is no question about it. The Left Coast is much more in step with making steps to be more environmentally aware than anywhere else where I have lived.

Visiting Burlington for Sam’s entry into the University of Vermont very much raised our awareness of the steps people can take. I posted some photos on Facebook during our orientation visit in June, 2013 where we saw trash centers that had multiple barrels for recycling and composting. Trash is termed “landfill” and perhaps that is a good term to use to get people to understand where it all is going.IMG_2145 I also mentioned how the campus had banned selling water in bottles and offered numerous water stations where people could fill there own bottles, thereby reducing the use of plastic on the campus.

DSC_0171

When I moved to Huntington, West Virginia I opted for recycling pick up and was surprised, but willing, to pay for the service. That service was poor, however and we cancelled after months when many pick-ups were no-show events. That company closed and the City was able to establish more recycling centers to make it more convenient for drop-offs. However, most people in Huntington, as well as when I lived in Nashville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and West Hartford just don’t bother to recycle.

When we called WOW (Western Oregon Waste) to set up trash pick-up in McMinnville we were asked a number of questions to determine the size trash can that we needed.  The service fee between a small and large bin was $5 a month so we opted for the large bin. We also requested a large recycling bin (no extra charge). Trash is picked up once a week; the recycling every other week. Watching the pick up last week was interesting…the truck pulled up to our can placed near the curb, extended the arm, lifted the can and dumped its contents into the truck, and then moved on. The driver and another worker in the cab never got out and the whole pick up took less than 10 seconds. Clat_recyc-trk

As you can imagine, we had a lot of boxes for this move and although I posted the empty boxes on Freecycle, I only got one response who took a few small boxes. We also loaded up a friend’s truck, as he plans to move the end of this year.  However, we still had quite a bit of cardboard.

flyingThat needed to be taken to the recycling center.  It is a huge place on a at least 10 acres of land. One part of it is used by the city’s trash and recycling trucks and the other two parts were open for residents to drop off…and pick up…recycled items.

There is one large area for yard debris and building materials. This is the area where residents can go buy compost or wood chips or even stone for walls.DSCF5563

Another area was where I dropped off the microwave that died and the mass of cardboard. Bins are available for glass (sorted by color), other paper products like books, textiles (I saw clothes and household linens), motor oil, car batteries and more.DSCF5564

One benefit of having a place to bring large items that are not usable is that people’s yards are not trash piles.  Another benefit is that those items that are brought in for recycling are in turn processed to be reused in another manner.

Recycle these items at The Recovery Zone:
No Charge:

  • Office Paper
  • Newspaper, Magazines,
    Phone Books, Cardboard
  • Tin & Aluminum
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Glass Bottles & Jars
  • Motor Oil
  • Car Batteries
  • Electronics, including computers, VCRs, printers, Computer Monitors, Televisions and
    stereo equipment.
  • Scrap Metal
Fees Apply:

  • Appliances
  • Refrigerators & Freezers
  • Clean Lumber
  • Car & Truck Tires
  • Antifreeze

Fees apply for some WOW
Customers*

  • Yard Debris (bring to NW Greenlands)

*Some cities have opted to include these services in their residents’ trash rates


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Learning New Ways

Life takes such interesting meanderings. Who would ever have imagined that a person growing up in the area of New Jersey which is NOT the “Garden State” would love visiting farms as I did in West Virginia the past two years?  As I met the farmers I came to admire their ethic of hard work and passion for producing healthy flavorful food. I know I could not easily take on their life; I work pretty steady but not the kind of hard labor these people do to feed us. I respect them deeply.logo

Here in Oregon I am in the midst of one of the nation’s best growing areas. Renown for its pinot noir wines, the Willamette Valley also produces much of the country’s grass seed and landscaping plants. But in between, in all the beautiful farmland, are the family farms where vegetables, fruits, nuts and animals are raised.Sheridana

I met Jana when she came to pick up some of my moving boxes when I advertised them on Freecycle. We sat on the porch chatting (can you imagine me NOT sitting and chatting with someone?) and I learned she and her husband had moved from Colorado to Oregon to try to do what they could to produce as much of their own food as possible. They currently have goats, sheep, rabbits and chicken and expect to again have cows. Her kitchen garden is still producing abundant amounts of tomatoes and peppers, cabbage, squash and volunteer tomatillas.garden

I mentioned to her that I wanted to learn to can and she invited me to join her in preparing some tomatilla salsa. What a wonderful time!!!

First we needed to peel off the outer layer and wash the tomatillos.

First we needed to peel off the outer layer and wash the tomatillos.

Once washed, I then de-stemmed and cut them into quarters

Once washed, I then de-stemmed and cut them into quarters

Then into the food processor to do the chopping.

Then into the food processor to do the chopping.
salsa simmer

Simmering on the stovetop with the peppers and other ingredients added.

In the jars ready for the hot water bath

In the jars ready for the hot water bath

Yumminess for us!!

Yumminess for us!!

I picked up some tortilla chips on the way home and Graham dug into it with a huge smile!!!tools

I need to pick up some more jars and some other tools and I think I found an interesting recipe for something to do with all those apples next!!


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Healthy Sourced Fast Food

Can fast food, with the typical burger and fries menu, ever be considered to be healthy? Since the 1960s we Americans have been eating more and more at places like McDonalds. In fact, many of the people who eat daily at fast food places no longer cook at home and believe they eat more cheaply than purchasing the whole food and preparing it.  bv_giftcards_beige

When I mentioned I was driving to Vancouver, Washington to pick up Graham from his conference, one of my new local friends told me that Burgerville is a place to consider stopping for lunch as we drive through Newberg on the way back to McMinnville. I checked their website and was surprised to find that the sources for their food – their beef for their burgers, their chicken for the chicken dishes, the pork served as bacon and sausage, and more – are almost all local!

If healthy, quick food seems like an oxymoron, you haven’t been to Burgerville, a chain of 39 Pacific Northwest quick-service restaurants. Burgers here are made from pastured vegetarian-fed and antibiotic-free beef. The eggs on the breakfast biscuits are from cage-free hens that have never been treated with antibiotics. Salads offer mixed greens topped with smoked salmon and Oregon hazelnuts. Even desserts and sides rely on seasonal, local ingredients – blackberry milkshakes are only available in season, as are the hand-prepared buttermilk-battered onion rings made from Walla Walla sweet onions grown in Washington and Oregon.

Burgerville purchases wind power credits equal to 100 percent of their electricity use, recycles used canola oil into biodiesel, and offers its hourly employees an affordable $30-a-month health-care plan.   As their sales increased, it is clear that conducting business sustainably is good business.

Because of the timing of the trip, I grabbed a breakfast “basket” instead of stopping for lunch. The sausage came from a farm that raises its animals without antibiotics and hormones in a humane environment.  Orange juice from California. Buns baked in Portland. Potatoes from Washington. And more. The effort is to use local as much as possible and where the distance is needed, like the orange juice, the concept is to keep it as minimal as possible.brgrvl brk

I support the company’s effort to support local farmers. Although I have made an effort over the past few years to eat less fast food because of how it is prepared,  if I find myself on the road and need some food, at least now I have a option where I know I am getting real food and not pink slime.Last_Burgerville