Saturday, November 29, 2008

Crazy Carrot

I can't believe I never mentioned this...When we moved into our new house, we inherited a beautiful garden. The soil is adobe clay heavy (typical Santa Fe), and when we began to harvest the remaining carrots, we found the most beautiful mutant-monsters I've ever seen. Behold:

Filmmaker Marc Israel!

BALANCING ACT: Kombucha/Museum/Event/Travel Documentary preview!

My good friend Marc Israel is a kick-ass filmmaker, and it's about time I mentioned him on my blog. This is his most recent documentary, "A Balancing Act". Back in the day, I helped him to edit his other feature-length doc, "Nearer My God to Thee". Both films showed at numerous film festivals across this great land, and "A Balancing Act" won Best Comedy Documentary at The Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival (DocuFest). Check out what Davy Rothbart (Found Magazine, This American Life) had to say about him:

"Delightful and enormously entertaining, A Balancing Act bursts with the energy and unexpected swerves of a motorcycle joyride. Marc Israel is a daring, imaginative filmmaker with a dazzling sense of play. His honesty, deep sensitivity, & intelligent humor make him one of my favorite filmmakers working today."

Check out his myspace page, to see some of his shorts (I recommend Barkley the Cat: the music video). I hope you enjoy, and if you watch any of his stuff please leave him (or me) feedback!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rocket Stove

A rocket stove is an extremely efficient alternative cooking device. It's a wood stove built out of a stovepipe chimney enclosed in an insulated box of some sort. We first heard about them on Homegrown Evolution, and we followed a plan from Toolbox for Sustainable City Living. With a rocket stove, you can cook an entire meal with a handful of sticks.

We built this stove a few weeks ago using bits of stovepipe purchased at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. We've since used it for boiling water or oatmeal here and there, but never to cook a full meal. Until tonight. It being a 70 degree November day (weird...), we decided to have a cookout. We set the rocket stove up outside (usually it lives in our fireplace) and used it to grill some chicken and stir-fry some veggies. It's easier to control the temperature of the rocket stove than it would be to control the temperature of a campfire, and it uses far, far less fuel.

So tonight our delicious meal was prepared using scraps of wood and cardboard instead of natural gas.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stocking Up

Lately I've been focusing on stocking up for the winter months. Since I've never attempted to do this before, I'm kind of sticking with what I know will keep. I'm hoping we'll be able to eat locally grown through more of the year this way, and in addition we can get good prices on flour, rice, and other things that are expected to increase in price. And with the amount of bread and seitan I'm hoping to make this winter, it will be handy to have large quantities of flour available.

I got a 50lb bag of locally grown/milled whole wheat flour through the co-op, and am currently in search of a container to keep it in. We're going to be ordering large bags of rice and quinoa as well, and our housemate should be home soon with a 25lb bag of local organic pintos from the farmer's market. We also invested in that most New Mexican of ornaments, a ristra from our old neighborhood in La Cienega. Unlike most Santa Feans, we will not be hanging ours outside to rot--we'll be using it to cook all winter long. Next week we are going to invest in a very large jar of local jam, because we did not manage to make jam of our own this summer.

We also joined a 10 week winter CSA from Harmony Farm in Abiquiu. We came home today with Spinach, Kale, salad greens, carrots, beets, and a daikon radish today. Yum!


After a morning at the Farmer's Market, we came home and had a late brunch. We made omelettes with eggs from our chickens, homemade goat cheese from local milk, organic garlic from the farmer's market, organic mushrooms, and organic local spinach from our new Winter CSA. It was pretty damn tasty, pretty damn local, and pretty damn pretty.