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Burning up in the Arctic

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fire

This photo was taken in the living room of my apartment, just across from the window around 9 pm. The sun was nowhere near setting. The rosy glow is from a fire about a hundred miles away.  It is also HOT here again, 83 degrees F., which is a bit too much for we Nursing home workers although the people who live there don’t complain as much.

The problem is not the fact that there is no air conditioning. The problem is moving so fast like we usually do when it’s cold out. I had to channel my childhood self and slow down like it was summer in New England. Perhaps you don’t remember it that way but I never saw a runner look forward to an 85 degree race day with smoke. So when visiting Alaska, consider this. We have much, much more forest than California. No one needs to set a fire. The trees get fed up with the heat and decide amongst themselves to burst into flames. As you may know, fires are nature’s way of burning out the deadwood to make way for new growth.  Remember this next time you decide between engaging in life versus vegging out on the computer.

You probably weren’t expecting to burst into flames in Alaska. You will bring your long coats and boots and then be caught sweating and wishing your hotel had a pool which it WILL NOT! Okay, the Captain Cook and The Hilton have pools but most don’t. We do have lots of lakes. I blew up my tiny rubber raft last night and joined all the friends I do not know at Delong Lake. There were swimmers and paddlers, BBQers, also a sign on the dock which said NO SWIMMING. I have been swimming here for years and that is the first time I saw that sign. I swam anyway. Only as I was writing this did it occur to me it was probably because the lack of Elodea weed. Most of our other lakes are clogged with it.  Westchester Lagoon is full of it. I just looked it up and here is what I found under Elodea mitigation Anchorage:

1.4 Proposed Action Eradicate Elodea from infested lakes in the Municipality of Anchorage using a systemic herbicide. Fluridone in both liquid and pellet form will be used. Eradicating Elodea will allow native aquatic plants to repopulate, return habitats toward their natural state, and reduce the threat of this highly invasive species from spreading to other water bodies in the state. Eradicating Elodea will also reduce potential damage to native fish species resulting from habitat degradation or loss.

The expected time for the initial herbicide treatments to occur is June 2015. This will ensure maximum effectiveness in controlling Elodea by applying the herbicide early in the season when Elodea plants are actively growing and taking up the herbicide throughout the plant.

1.5 Location of Project The three lakes located in Anchorage that currently have Elodea are DeLong Lake, Little Campbell Lake, and Sand Lake. DeLong Lake is located at S3, T12N, R4W (Seward Meridian, Anchorage) in the Campbell Creek watershed. Little Campbell Lake is located at S5, T12N, R4W (Seward Meridian, Anchorage) in the Municipality of Anchorage Frontal Cook Inlet drainage basin in Kincaid Park. Sand Lake is located at S10 and 3, T12N, R4W (Seward Meridian, Anchorage) in the Municipality of Anchorage Frontal Cook Inlet drainage basin (Figure 2).

http://plants.alaska.gov/invasives/pdf/FINAL_EA_Anchorage2015.pdf

So maybe we had all better go swim in the gummy murky lakes or burst into flames rather than get poisoned. If this info had been posted I probably would not have swam but it is too late now and it is too hot to worry about as I sweat through my tank top in my kitchen hot from boiling rhubarb.

Here are some safer alternative ways to cool down.There are about 100 tee shirt shops downtown so don’t worry about finding a cool shirt if you only brought plaid flannel. There are only two ice cream shops downtown although it looks like we may be getting our very first gelato shop within the year. The line at the gourmet ice cream shop, Wild Scoops, is hardly worth it. I mean there’s a store which sells Haagen-Daz Bailey’s Cream & Brownie which is a 10 minute walk away and you can eat it and be back before you get in the door at Wild Scoops. That being said, you should try the fresh rhubarb or Spruce tip ice cream at Wild Scoops. I saw no less than 10 locals bringing in bags of rhubarb from their gardens the other day. They get a coupon for a free cone. If you are lactose intolerant, you can just hang around the freezer section of any supermarket. I find this is also good for Mitigating pollen allergies without having to ingest potentially harmful chemicals.

I’ve been making lots of rhubarb syrup. I add it to sparkling water which makes it just as bad as drinking Orange Crush. Except the garish color of Crush is due to some unknown, unnatural additive as we all know there is no orange in Orange Crush. Rhubarb syrup is a brilliant pink like Hawaiian Punch but a bit thicker, gummier.When the syrup is added to bubbly water it becomes a pretty pale pink and tastes so delicious even I will concede to boiling 4 cups of sugar, 8 cups of water and 8 stalks of rhubarb as the evening cools to 75 degrees. The gumminess is probably from the leftover rhubarb fiber as well as the simple syrup. Some people like gummier foods, like a work friend who made a stew from a bear paw which thickened itself with the melting of the tendons and ligament.

Alaska is all about harvesting your own food as the food in the stores is second in expense only to Hawaii. The exception here being junk food. If you buy 4 two liter bottles of Coke, they are only  $1.29 each! It might be good to have a bunch of these on hand as well in case you burst into flames.

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Impress your friends with a winter ice cream treat!

Got some friends held hostage by Trump’s demands? Host an ice cream party with your neighbors/community and find out what they need help with! Could be a group temporary loan, some sneakers for their kids or a ride to the doctor or church. Ice cream and commiserating also help if financial resources are unavailable.

Here in Alaska, WE LOVE ICE CREAM! Baked Alaska is basically an imitation of melting permafrost! But have I got a treat for you!  I served it last night after running/jogging a ridiculous 5k in zero degrees. It was such an Alaskan experience. They lent me used Ice Bug shoes to run in, just in case I wanted to purchase some later. Icebugs are shoes with screws in the bottom and they were absolutely outstanding.  I usually just wear strap on spikes but they constrict my shoes and also fall off randomly on bumps.  I am scared to see how much these Icebugs cost but was assured by a friend that they also have a guy at the store who will just drill some spikes into any of my old running shoes.

There was no real group start at the race. People just moseyed off and we followed them hoping we had the right turn around spot since there were only about 20 of us running in the dark. The cocoa and the free tee shirts from runs which happened 10 years ago were appreciated.

Anyway here is the ice cream.

icecream

This is what you do to make it even more delicious. Make some mini pancakes. Put  this delicious ice cream on top and drizzle with maple syrup. You could serve these at a restaurant and charge $8 and people would be loving it. But then I am someone who can eat a pancake anytime of the day.   I guess I would call this a  “Maple Heap”, ( you could even sprinkle chopped up maple sugar soldiers or put a Canadian sugar Maple leaf on top).   Perhaps marketing it as a “Vermont Landscape” – Maples and cows or “Over the River and through the Woods?” How about a classy French name like “Un Miracle Erable?”

The taste is like Christmas morning or Apres Ski in New England.  I don’t recommend it in the summer as it would be too sticky but you could eat it while watching “White Christmas” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

If we fed President Trump one of these he would forget about his damn wall for a minute and say, “Outstanding!”   If he ate a couple of gallons he might even pass on to eternity.

We eat lots of ice cream in Alaska because of the fat. I am skinny but I like to have a small roll of fat on my stomach just in case I need to avoid being the first one in a group to freeze to death. I would rather not be cannibalized but if I must be at least let me have something besides bone and sinew for my friends to feed on.

It is refreshingly cold today as well. Minus something. Nothing impressive. Minus twenty is the threshold for no physical exertion if unnecessary.  We are not there yet.  Tomorrow I go back to work from my mini staycation. It has been a great chance to meditate on my post holiday Seasonal affective disorder and my positive response to increased outdoor time and exposure to friends. I highly recommend these to anyone with emotional fatigue. And ice cream!

 

Anxiety Woman tries every peppermint product of the holiday season!

BE MERRY!  The season demands I comply. Peppermint disappears from the shelves like eggnog and its predecessor pumpkin spice. It dies a cruel death even though you and I know it will bloom in every crevice of free soil come June.  I need PEP to get through the winter. PEP smells good and it comes with sugar and chocolate. It is spirited!

Although I do worry a bit about diabetes, I worry more about depression, Donald Trump’s impact on my life and my own sanity so this year I tried peppermint. Lot’s o’ peppermint.  Here are the results.

Product number 1:  Peppermint cocoa or mocha.

I make it at home with the cheapest cocoa packet, almond milk and peppermint extract.  I never used to buy the packets because I always have baking cocoa on hand but you  have to put 5 minutes of work into that.  When I buy it at a coffee stand it better be great because I make this all the time and I want a treat. Give me the Goddamn whipped cream please!

Kaladi’s Brothers hot chocolate was too sweet so I could not taste the peppermint at all. Steam Dot was not sweet enough, more like chocolate mud.

The winners:  Starbucks in Anchorage for its  “treaty-ness” and Peet’s Coffee overall because of customer service, ambiance and superlative everything.

Product number 2:  Peppermint ice cream

The overall winner is Tillamook. Both creamy and pepperminty, you can’t beat it.  I couldn’t even find it this year!  I tried others which were just bad. Peppermint oil is very strong and cheap but some places use artificial flavor anyway, yuck! It also doesn’t have to be pink, thank you!

Product number 3: Candy canes

The expensive ones are no better than the cheap ones but I stick with peppermint or crème de menthe. Then there are those gigantic gourmet canes they sell at ACE Hardware. Go expensive if you must get a fruit flavor, pumpkin pie or coffee flavor or make some kind of impression. All the flavored ones at Fred Meyer’s are just citric acid and run off from Monsanto. Look at this $1 pack off the sale rack.

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I also keep a pack in my Subaru for earthquakes and getting lost in the wilds of Wasilla. I must have bought them a long time ago as the price reads 19 cents!

19cents

Product number 4: Peppermint chocolates.

This part of the experiment has been most fulfilling. Ghirardelli?– NO!  Too much packaging, too little peppermint. Lindt white chocolate peppermint balls – YES! Know that handsome beardless chef they have on their advertisements? Somehow the chocolate is as smooth and shiny as his face!

lindt

Chocolate peppermint bark from Walmart – okay but chocolate bark from Alaskan Sweet Things – MUCH BETTER. Walmart’s bark tastes like it could have been almond bark or toffee bark and they had some left over candy canes. It’s not even cheap. Alaskan Sweet Things is less smooth- thus less corporate, beautifully colored, tasty and uses -GLACIAL WATER, (perhaps from Anchorage taps).

I confess I would eat any of the above laying around but making your own white and dark chocolate peppermint bark is the best. See’s used to have some white peppermint truffles but I could not find them this year. They are GREAT! Andes After Chocolate Mints and York Peppermint Patties will do in a pinch.  They don’t really say “Happy Holidays!” , more like, “All I could afford was these.”

Winners:  Tie between  Lindt White Chocolate Peppermint Balls and Alaskan Sweet Things White Chocolate Peppermint Bark.

Product number 5: Peppermint popcorn. Yes, it tastes good but it isn’t really worth it because as I get older everything sticks in my teeth.

Default winner: Boom Chicka Pop White chocolate peppermint popcorn

I have a headache now. Too much peppermint, sugar and Bold Italics. So much money and calories spent on research. I panicked and signed up for a “You can be a copywriter” website to increase my income and an Online Dating Site to improve my self esteem.  I wonder what the flavor of 2019 will be. Any suggestions?

Trump & Pumpkin Spice – a holiday voter conspiracy?

pump1

The purchase of this aberration correlates and may actually cause voters to believe in and vote for Trump. Is it something in pumpkin? NO! As we all learned in grade school there is no pumpkin in Pumpkin Spiced anything. Pumpkin Spice is instead the very old fashioned mix of allspice, cinnamon and cloves which makes people think of their grandmother’s kitchen and how everything was better in the old days. The sad thing is that a child would never add allspice or cloves to their food, as it would be similar to eating potpourri or bath salts. Coincidence that before the opiate crisis we had the “Spice Crisis?” That bath salts and potpourri were the innocuous labeling under which Spice was sold? How about the idea that almost everything sold at a Trump hotel is a “Limited Edition?” Also cereal is the easiest food for an American to eat for breakfast lunch and dinner, besides pizza which is not really American.

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More likely it is the kind of mentality that we Americans have about always trying something new and spending money on frivolous items which draws us to Trump and Pumpkin Spice. This is the new renaissance of civilization, one which belongs to The White people of the USA just like Thanksgiving does.   People in the incoming Mexican caravan may have tasted apple pie or a hot dog. They may even put cinnamon in their hot chocolate but they probably have not consumed pumpkin spice cereal. In due time Pumpkin Spice will be integrated into citizenship tests.

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New voters are being manufactured everyday. What kind of parent would feed these frosted flakes to their children? A Republican, that’s who! The key to this conspiracy is that Pumpkin Spiced products always come out just before November elections.  They were in their infancy in the Obama days and I daresay they do not go very well with cigarettes or with Michelle’s propensity for healthy eating. These products were not created to take over the world but they have morphed into a polarizing force in our country. Either you love them or you hate them. And if you hate them you are probably not American enough.

My warning to you is to avoid purchasing such items until after elections and consider the presence of Pumpkin Spiced products on the shelves of your neighbors as similar to bags of cocaine or framed photos of The First Family. Do not directly challenge these neighbors but instead ask them to brunch at your own home. There you can introduce them to Matcha Tea, Marijuana Gummies or whatever flavor of Kombucha you prefer.  It is always graceful to meet people halfway so have some cinnamon, allspice and cloves on hand. Good luck in your fight to end this plague. Remember this Thanksgiving, you can always make a pumpkin pie bourbon flavored instead.

 

Take a bite out of Trump-cake

Wanted to share this Halloween treat hack with you in time for weekend parties. This is my effort to get out the vote in the sweetest way possible. Top your cupcakes with an upside down candy pumpkin add some eyeballs and a smush of yellow frosting and you will have your own “Take a Bite Outta Trump-Cake”

Trumpcake

Obviously, I am not the best decorator so if you create a successful rendition of this cupcake, would you mind taking a photo and adding it to the comments? I would love to see them.

Why eat ice cream

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  1. Because Donald Trump does not make ice cream.  No I meant “does” make ice cream but “does not” make it or sell it for outrageous amounts in Alaska where I live. He “doesn’t” make it personally so I can see how what I wrote might  be unclear or misconstrued. Please see   http://www.trumptowerny.com/ice-cream-nyc
  2. Because we can no longer process alcohol, are taking the highest dose of our prescribed anti-depressant and were totally unprepared for the potency of modern day marijuana. Resistance is futile.
  3. There are just as many flavors of ice cream, if not more, than there are of Oreos. If  only the flavors existed that did when I was a child I would not eat as much.  We ate ice milk. It was not as creamy or fluffy as what people eat today. When people are poor, they will eat horsemeat. Japan has a horsemeat ice cream but I can not imagine it is for poor people. It’s for people like me who need something to feel brave about, to laugh over a bowl with a few close friends and then vomit. It’s a crazy adventure – and the meat is even raw! I would eat ice milk again rather than horsemeat or breast milk ice cream. Well, maybe I would try them once. https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/recipes/top-10-weirdest-ice-cream-flavours/37558
    ice cream neigh
  4.  It is generally considered sad to eat ice cream alone for dinner but given the alternatives – yogurt, expired tofu, carrots, it’s a viable choice. Also it’s a better choice than actually telling people how you think you really feel when you’re exhausted after work. Believe me, you won’t be telling people you’re exhausted, that’s not the way it works. That’s why ice cream was invented.

5.  When it’s hot outside, ice cream makes you sticky and thirsty!

6.  Ice cream is served in hospitals so it can’t be that bad for you. Unless you are on the renal diet, the heart diet, the gall bladder diet or the lactose intolerant diet because ice cream is trying to kill you.

7.  I can congratulate myself when I purchase a half gallon of ice cream rather than an absurdly priced pack of ice cream novelties or a fancy creation from an ice cream shop. Oops, I just found out that Carl’s Jr. has a Hostess Ding Dong Ice cream sandwich. I wonder if they are still open at 11 pm?

https://www.dairyfoods.com/media/photos/86-12-new-ice-cream-novelties-and-other-frozen-novelties

8. It’s always nice to support your local ice cream truck. Except when it plays a racist song.  https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/05/11/310708342/recall-that-ice-cream-truck-song-we-have-unpleasant-news-for-you

9.  It’s okay to eat ice cream to stop someone else from eating the last of it.

10. It’s a nice thing to eat under a pile of chocolate sauce. I could eat just the sauce, and I have before, but I feel better about eating them together in public.

If you haven’t seen enough to convince you to have some ice cream right now. Take a look at these:

https://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/packages/best-summer-and-grilling-recipes/summer-dessert-recipes/photos/the-craziest-ice-cream-creations-ever

https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/giant-milkshakes-drawing-huge-crowds-york-city/story?id=36376855

 

 

In my culture – Tips for eating in the USA

In my culture, we reward the ingestion of nutrients with a non-nutritious dish

In my culture, only the ancient ones are allowed to consume non-nutritious dishes before the nutritious ones. If a nurse attempts to move the non-nutrition out of your reach it is within your rights to kick them.

dessert-far-left

In my culture, there is one meal which is so delicious that many restaurants serve it all day. This meal often includes a salty/sweet/greasy crunchy strip of meat as well as a batter which has been pressed into patterns that can hold a heavenly tree sauce.

In my culture, chocolate can be served in a solid, liquid, puddingish or cake like form. It is also available in an e-cigarette.

In my culture, a pizza can now contain Nutella.

In my culture, what goes in the spring roll, stays in the spring roll.

springroll

In my culture, you can kill someone with raw cookie dough

In my culture, almost everything is better with mix-ins.

In my culture, it is acceptable to sell Nyquil in several different flavors.

In my culture, Oreos lead the way in diversity

In my culture, eating more than your share of donuts may result in being shunned.

In my culture, it is possible to purchase a gourmet garbage meat tube in a roll or on a stick.

In my culture, “artisanal” usually means “rip-off.” It may also mean “Made by hipsters.”

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