Wednesday – The end of week +2

Today’s emails contained this week’s copy of the “Weeknight Kitchen Newsletter” from The Splendid Table. I’ve been listening to Lynne Rossetto Kasper on the Splendid Table Podcast for a while now and enjoying it immensely. This week’s newsletter contained a link to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. I had heard Lynne speak of them before but never taken the time to follow the link. Today I did…I would like to recommend that if you like eating and cooking (or vice versa) seafood you do the same. Their website explains what they do like this:

What is Seafood Watch?

A program of Monterey Bay Aquarium designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources. We recommend which seafood to buy or avoid, helping consumers to become advocates for environmentally friendly seafood. We’re also partners of the Seafood Choices Alliance where, along with other seafood awareness campaigns, we provide seafood purveyors with recommendations on seafood choices.

The why is just as important:

Why do seafood choices matter?
The choices we make as consumers drive the seafood market place. Your purchasing power can make a difference by supporting those fisheries and fish farms that are better for the environment, while at the same time relieving pressure on others that are not doing as well.

Some of the key problems that help us evaluate whether a fishery is sustainable include the level of bycatch observed, the fishing methods and their impact, if it is farmed—how it is farmed, and how well the fishery or aquaculture operation is managed. With nearly 75% of the world’s fisheries either fully fished or overfished, these issues are more important than ever. By using the Seafood Watch pocket guide you are making choices based on the best available information and supporting environmentally friendly fisheries and aquaculture operations.

Take a few minutes and swing over to their website. Download the printable “Seafood Watch Cards” they make available for your wallet. The cards look like a very good tool to have with you as you shop.

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Fred First informed me this morning that the summer hold on Floyd County has decided (at least temporarily) to release it’s grip. I don’t know if he was bragging or just sighing with relief as he told of having to close windows and put on a long sleeve flannel shirt. So, what was Fred musing about this morning at Fragments From Floyd? Bedbugs of course

I think I need to spend some virtual time in those cooler mountains today if only to escape the heat of the real world of SE Texas. The weather prognosticators are giving warning that rain is on the way though as a tropical depression has formed in the center of the Gulf and will be coming onshore somewhere in the next few days. The rains, they say, should start sometime this evening or overnight.

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While wandering the web yesterday I came across Susan Albert’s latest post at Lifescapes: and found her speaking directly to my heart…

There are so many new things to see here. It’s all still a mass of images. Oh, I don’t mean that I can’t see. Yes, of course I can. Rocks, massive rocks. Pine trees on the mountain, salt cedar and willow and sycamore along Manuelitas Creek, grasses and sages and wildflowers in the meadow, all very beautiful. But to see, really see, the landforms and the textures and colors, and the birds and mammals and insects, all the community of this land, of each different habitat, I need to learn more. And learning takes time, and close, daily acquaintance, just as it takes a long time to know a friend in all her various changing moods and seasons, to know her history and her wants and wishes. It’s taken me twenty years to learn just a little bit about MeadowKnoll, and about the Hill Country. A summer month in the Sangres, a month in the winter–it’s only long enough to tantalize me with possibilities.

I have felt that way about every “place” I have ever laid my head, if even for just a week or two. Even when on a business trip I can’t just go to and from, I have to explore…I have to see. If I am lucky, I’ll learn to know a little bit about the place I am in. In the end I have a need to feel a part of the place, if only for a bit. I invest every place I go with a bit of my…soul. I leave a bit of me behind. But it’s a fair trade because I take a bit of every place I have ever been with me.

I do not become as acquainted with most places as Susan alludes to in the quote. Most of the places I come to “know” do not call out for that from me…Ahhh, but the ones that do.

They call across the years. They call across the miles. They call across generations. These are the places I want the opportunity to become one with. To stand in those places and be enfolded by the life and soul of a place until it becomes you and you become it. Some people are given that gift, some people even recognize the gift they are given, most though don’t even see the trees for the forest they are living in.

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From Susan’s Blog I wandered over to The Ranchwoman where I was reminded of all of those summertime visits with my maternal grandparents.

Looking at the stars makes my mind tick.

Away from city lights, and when there’s no moon, the sky is so full of stars that I can’t fathom how the ancients imagined them into constellations. I have trouble finding them even with a chart. With less pollution, those folks could see even more stars. How’d they do that?

Even knowing that the stars I’m seeing are so far away, I look up and feel tucked in by an enormously fluffy velvet blanket. That’s because the moon, which of course is there even when it’s not visible; the planets; the meteors; are all close, relatively speaking. And even the stars I can see, though they are almost infinitely far away, are practically next door compared to the ones I can’t see.

And that leads to thoughts about life and death, space, time, infinity — all those big questions, scientific and philosophical.

Every evening after supper we would meet out by the back of the house. Everyone would claim a folding lawnchair from the backporch. We would all settle in and Grandpa would start to “inform” us about how it was when he was young. His informative expositions were usually in the form of a really tall tale. He would talk and chuckle, we would listen and roll our eyes…The sky would darken and we would start to see the stars come out.

Once the milky way became visible the game would begin…Who would see the most shooting stars? How about spotting a satellite? If the season was right, Grandma would come up with some canning jars with hole punched lids to catch lightning bugs in. There we would be, three generations laying out under the night sky until it would be bath time for the youngest (and you always needed a bath after playing hard all day outside). By that time the heat from the kitchen would have fled the house and the cooler night air would be filtering in through all of the wide open windows.

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Time to call it a muse…I have some reading to do, both online and the old fashioned kind. I have been receiving copies of the Foxfire series in the mail and I still need to finish “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”…Later

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