Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Keep 'em Fresh

Don't you hate when you buy greens and they're slimy within a few days? Especially if you spend extra money on organic greens?

There's a way to keep those greens fresh!
I ran across a great tip from Alton Brown (food genius extraordinaire) that really works.

- Rinse your greens

- Soak them in cold water for 20 minutes:

- After soaking, drain in a colander

- After draining, spin greens in a salad spinner. If you don't have one (like me), you can lay out the greens on a clean towel, and dab dry with another clean towel.

- Roll up the greens in a long paper towel. This wicks away moisture but still keeps them slightly moist. I've also used a thin clean kitchen towel - it works just as well:

- Store in a Ziploc plastic bag. When you've almost entirely sealed the bag, insert a straw, suck in to remove the air, then seal completely. Yes - low-rent vacuum sealing your greens.

Now you have clean fresh greens handy for daily salads. Unroll the paper towel and take out the amount you need.

Alton Brown says the best greens to use are bulk mixed greens (the "serve yourself" kind you grab with tongs in grocery stores/co-ops). I've also found this method works with spinach & arugula. Yea!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Action Day: Climate Change - 3 Simple Things

Happy Blog Action Day 2009! This year's theme is Climate Change.

Last year I wrote about 3 easy things one can do to help those in poverty. I'll stick with the same theme "3 Easy Ways". Ah...simplicity.

3 Easy Ways to Help Prevent Climate Change

Save Trees - Print on Both Sides of the Paper
Paper comes from ----> trees. Trees = good for climate.

If you need to print, give this paper saving trick a try:
  • Check if your printer has a setting to print on both sides. If so, use it.

  • Check if your printer can print 2 pages of your document on one side. If so, use it.

  • Now put it together and print your document. 4 pages of a document on one piece of paper.

  • Tell your collegues before the meeting to remember their reading glasses.
Thanks Peter at Project Oriel for teaching me this trick long ago!

Buy Used
These days you can find so many great used things - appliances, refurbished electronics, sports equipment, furnishings...it goes on. Keep reusable stuff out of landfills.

I'm especially a fan of buying used clothing & shoes - thrifting or consignment. Not that you have to buy all of your clothing used - sometimes you just have to have that newest/latest item (I understand these urges). Just start at the level you're comfortable with. Here are some sites I've discovered recently: check them before you go thrifting/consignment shopping to get some inspiration: Already Pretty and Fashion for Nerds. These girls got it goin' on!

Turn Off the Lights & Unplug
It's pretty simple -
  • If you're not in the room, turn off the light.

  • If you're not using it, turn it off.

  • If you're not charging it, unplug it.

Are you really paying attention to the TV when you're on the computer? Probably not. I'm guilty of this too. You and I - We can get better together.

That's it - 3 Easy Ways...how about you? Any other easy ideas out there?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Confession...and a few freezing tips

I have a confession to make: I let my garden go during the month of September.

Pretty much completely let it go...let it go to the weeds, left tomatoes unpicked. Shame shame shame. Why? Well I suppose I could rationalize. Here are my lame excuses:
  • September was a blur - our oldest started Kindergarten this year. I was very caught up in making sure she had a good start. Such a good mommy - doting on her daughter and ignoring the vegetables.

  • Scheduling changes this fall - It makes me want to spend my precious little free-time relaxing instead of pulling weeds. I suppose *some* people think pulling weeds is relaxing. I pity them (just kidding you two).

  • I spent some of my evenings doing short runs, slowwwwly building my stamina back from many years ago. I've got a ways to go on that front. Sorry - too tired to garden... I just ran 4 blocks.
Despite my neglect, we've had plenty of vegetables from the garden and our CSA. Ah, me. This was not a stellar gardening year - not even close. Just keepin' it real folks!

If you find that you have an over abundance of garden vegetables & fruit (or can't get through those berries from Costco), take a look at my Striving Green Delicious bookmarks under the "freezing" and "drying" tag (guess what I did this weekend?):

Garden - until next year: Try, try again.