• environment,  food,  meaning of life,  the ethical life

    costs both hidden and obvious

    I wrote before about how I enjoy playing coasterville because I break everything down in my mind – a quest isn’t really a quest, it’s a matter of eight clicks, three clicks from a friend and two clicks at two hour intervals. Well my same love of breaking things down makes me fascinated by looking at what goes into creating real things. What all goes into feeding a family? Occasionally I keep track of what my family eats for a week and occasionally I think about laying out an equivalent amount of food in the style of the What the World Eats Photo Essay. When I was a teenager, I…

  • food,  homeschooling,  science

    Christmas Time Fun

    So what did we do this Christmas time? We tobogganed, experimented with computer programming again, played board games and much more. Here are a few of our holiday projects. We had learned about the different types of levers earlier, including the mnemonic “ple” to remember which type of lever is with. Each letter of “ple” stands for what is in the center of the lever. A type one lever has the pivot in the middle, a type two has the load, and a type three has the effort in the middle. Well this Christmas we reviewed the different types of levers while cracking nuts. We only have one nutcracker, which…

  • books,  food

    Review: Cooking without Measuring by Rachel Wizenfeld

    Several years ago I went through a phase where I obsessively borrowed cookbooks from the library. I poured over them never to ever attempt to follow them. I couldn’t follow them. I was trying to eat seasonally with food from local farms, and I avoid white flour and sugar. Very, very few cookbook recipes met those limits, yet still I read them. I learned to use the books as inspiration. I learned about spice combinations and cooking methods. The internet provides a seemingly unending variation on any imaginable recipe or idea, so borrowing cookbooks from the library seems a little strange now, yet I’ve been thinking about doing it again,…

  • books,  culture,  food

    Can fast food be vindicated?

    I agreed to take part in a blog tour of the book Fast Food Vindication by Lisa Tillinger Johansen. Lisa Tillinger Johansen is a registered dietitian and health educator who teaches a variety of classes on diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, weight management, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and healthy eating for adults and teens. She holds a Master of Science degree in nutritional science, Coordinated Dietetics Program, from California State University, Los Angeles. I can agree with a couple of the main themes in the book Fast Food Vindication by Lisa Tillinger Johansen. She makes the argument very clear that fast food has been singled out and vilified beyond…

  • food,  seasons,  the ethical life

    Reflections on Thanksgiving

    It is Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I’m not entirely sure what to think. As a child in school the emphasis was on pilgrims and settlers and natives and pumpkins and turkeys. Now of course I know that the stories about the first European settlers aren’t exactly as simple and straightforward as they make it sounds to eight year olds and I’m not sure that time of history is something I want to celebrate. Should we celebrate the contact between the “old world” and the “new” when it resulted in such a loss of population for those of the new? Thanksgiving as a celebration of the harvest does make sense to…

  • food,  homeschooling,  science,  seasons

    Science in the Park

    I love October. We’re more settled into routines then we are in September. Schoolwork is going well. Right now we’re studying logarithms and geometry, and we’re trying to write lots of letters to relatives. We’re doing autumn-y activities too. We’ve gathered leaves and done leaf-rubbings. We’re drying apple slices to have for snacking on so I wake up to the smell of apples every morning and serve apple-pancakes for supper at least once a week. The children are talking already of Halloween. This is probably my favorite time of year. The weather is still nice enough we can spend quite a bit of time outdoors. Sure, the equipment is normally wet…

  • food,  seasons

    food in spring

    So far this spring, I’ve been able to harvest two small handfuls of food from my garden. The first was dandelion roots dug up, washed and then sauteed and eaten. The second was greens – radish thinnings, salad burnet, a tiny bit of tarragon (and some arugula I was growing indoors). Somehow those first handfuls of food always seem special too me, even if it is barely enough to make a single serving out of. It is the reminder that food will be arriving. It is the promise on my part that I will not let this season pass me by and I will not let food go to waste.…