Israeli Salad in a Smoothie!

Official way of making Israeli Salad - for the smoothie, just chop in large pieces and whir together.
Official way of making Israeli Salad – for the smoothie, just chop in large pieces and whir together.

Got lazy this afternoon and thought i’d try making a smoothie of my Israeli salad ingredients rather than chopping them.  Use fresh organically grown when you can, bring veggies to room temperature for best flavour!

Here’s the recipe:

1 medium home grown cucumber

1/2 vine ripened tomato

1/2 medium sized green pepper (or red, or yellow, or orange)

1 tablespoon dried parsley.

1/2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp Real Salt

pinch of cinnamon

Now, my smoothie maker isn’t real strong, so i put in about half the cucumber, then all of the tomato and whirred that until smooth, then added the rest as it made room.  Oh, made about a pint of drinkable veggie smoothie.  Now to be real Israeli Salad, you’d need to add a bit onion as well.  I’ll do that next time.

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

Eat ALL of Your Vegetables!

The Off Duty Wall Street article is subtitled, ”

Vegetable Scraps Go Haute: How to Cook Root to Stalk

My comment:

Interesting article – Neat how survival/frugal living/done-for-centuries lifestyles are now becoming ‘haute‘! Doesn’t everyone already do this?! Well, maybe not the fancy recipes, but food should never be wasted. Egg shells and coffee grounds make awesome soil amendments. Whatever parts of plants you simply cannot stomach can be turned into compost or fed to the chooks. Or feed all those scraps to worms which you can use to go fishing. But don’t ever let food go to waste!

and my comment posted to the article on the Wall Street Journal site:

“All the comments to the article are spot on and i can add nothing to them.  I thought most people already knew this stuff, but apparently not if the article is accurate in stating the 40% of our food produced goes to waste.  Then again, I have personally seen family members throw out a bowl of perfectly good fruit simply because one item had a soft spot on it!  I had to choke back my admonition!”

Now go cook or compost those stems!
tauna

Memorial Day – USA

Although the focus of Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day) is for our fallen war veterans (and rightly so), most of us also use this time to remember and honor our family and friends who have died as well. My routine is to take fresh flowers to the graves of my grandparents, Virgil Lee and Virginia Lea (Pulliam) Falconer, my dad, Stanley Lee Falconer, my great grandparents, Dallas and Hermia (Bowyer) Falconer, and Susan Emily Pulliam. Last year (2014) with Memorial Day a bit earlier and the extended cold winter, there were few flowers about and no roses at all. So I started looking for attractive greenery. These included eastern red cedar branches and wild grape vines stuck in with the few irises and peony blossoms made for what I thought was an attractive bouquet. Even tried some dusty miller, but it wilts too quickly.

Although it is cold again this year (2015) and Memorial Day is early, we have had an abundance of flowers for decorations.  I liked the greenery from last year, so I still included some this year.

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.

tauna

Memorial Day - 2014.   With fewer flowers available due to cold weather, greenery, such as cedar trees, grapevines, and other greens contributed to a lovely bouquet.
Memorial Day – 2014. With fewer flowers available due to cold weather, greenery, such as cedar trees, grapevines, and other greens contributed to a lovely bouquet.
More flowers available, including roses.  My grandma always enjoyed roses, so I put more roses in her vase.
More flowers available, including roses. My grandma always enjoyed roses, so I put more roses in her vase.
Linneus, MO dressing up for Memorial Weekend and Day.
Linneus, MO dressing up for Memorial Weekend and Day.

Locks of Love

I don’t make an idol of my long hair, but whenever I get it cut short (shoulder length) it always makes me catch my breath for a moment and i must remind myself it will grow back.  Is that weird?

Takes about 2 years for it to grow long enough to cut off 12 inches – the minimum necessary to donate to Locks of Love.

Cheers~

tauna

Stuck Ewes

Yesterday, I found two ewes and a young lamb stuck in the muddy ditch.  Of course, I had not worn my mud boots, so my short work shoes would suffice, though I was up to my shins in sticky clay.  They were a bit of a challenge to remove leg by leg out of the muck, but with their cooperation and effort, I made fairly short work of it.

Today, I drove up with the specific purpose of walking the ditches in case more had found themselves engulfed in mud, but none were thankfully.  However, the storm moved in and i was completely soaked from the thunderstorm.  Additionally, I counted seven live newborn lambs as well as two ewes were beginning to go into labor.

We have missed the worst of these passing storms, however, and for that we are grateful.

Stay safe!

tauna

Book Banning and Educational Freedom

Nathan Powell submitting his latest essay for English at Trenton College dual credit course.

Censorship is a topic often associated with totalitarian governments and repressive regimes, yet, in our own United States, many books, including such classics as Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, have been banned from public libraries at one time or another for various kinds of objectionable material.  Massive changes in the way society and individuals view once-uncouth topics have drawn the debate over where the line between free speech and dangerous expression lies into sharp focus.  In their article “Counterpoint: Book Censorship can be[sic] Justified in Some Cases,” authors Christina Healey and Tracey M. DiLascio eloquently and convincingly argue for the use of censorship as a precise tool to protect children from concepts and ideas that could negatively affect the child’s development.

Healey and DiLascio emphasize the power of books to influence a culture and the need for parents to be able to choose what books their children read.  They say, “[books] can be used to educate, to inculcate values and transmit ideology, and to stimulate the imagination.  They can instruct in civic virtues or contain instructions to build a bomb” (Healey and DiLascio par. 5).  By this, the authors mean to inform the reader of the importance of the debate over whether books can severely influence those who read them.  The authors state that “ … it is important that parents be given information about the books that are being made available to their children” (Healey and DiLascio par. 9).  Healey and DiLascio believe parents armed with this information would be better able to make wise decisions about what their children are exposed to, and thus, better able to challenge what books should be purchased with public funds and what books should be removed from public libraries.

To establish a framework for their paper, Healey and DiLascio give a brief overview on the history of book banning in the United States, stating, “Book banning in schools or public libraries generally begins when a concerned parent or group of parents takes issue with a literary text on (usually) moral grounds …” (Healey and DiLascio par. 1).  They list several examples of books which have been banned and the reasons why, ranging from inappropriate language to depressing content.  This context they provide is vital for a realistic discussion of a hot-button topic such as censorship, as it allows the reader to understand that the form of censorship in question is not repression of divergent ideologies, but rather is the careful consideration of what topics young minds are prepared to understand, for which there is a strong precedent here in the United States.  This list also demonstrates the variety of reasons that could cause a book to be considered worthy of a ban, and shows that we must not take the power of censorship lightly for fear of overextending across the boundary between protecting our children and oppressing free expression.

Next, Healey and DiLascio discuss some of the issues surrounding young adult (YA) literature, a highly controversial genre, that make the censorship of these books from public libraries seem sensible to some parents.  As they explain, “One is that many books targeted at or assigned to the teen audience have increasingly graphic violence, sexual content, drug and alcohol content, and obscene language” (Healey and DiLascio par. 8).  This dark turn in YA books can be seen simply by investigating the youth adult section of one’s local library.  From post-apocalyptic gladiators to fantasy settings shrouded in shadows, the literature gracing the shelves may capture the imagination, but it no longer does so through inspiration and encouragement, but rather through visceral shock value.  Proponents of these books say that discussing topics that are normally considered taboo can increase awareness of persons in these situations.  However, critics, myself included, contend that books such as these glorify lifestyles and actions which are dangerous and that these concepts should not be perpetuated by public funding in school and public libraries.

Finally, the authors emphasize the importance of parental engagement in their children’s literary pursuits, advocating, “Just as parents monitor the music, video games, and movies to which their children are exposed, parents should be aware of what books their children are reading” (Healey and DiLascio par. 4).  Healey and DiLascio contend that the parental right to educate one’s children in the way one sees fit supersedes the right of free expression where public funding is concerned, so parents should have the right to petition for books to be removed from school and public libraries.  While some might see this as suppression and exclusion, I think the reality is that restricting books that convey negative messages with which a parent disagrees allows parents to better impart their sense of morals to their children.  Rather than relying on the permissive morals of the collective masses to decide when a child is ready to learn about a certain topic, the parent can make an informed decision on a child-by-child basis, which encourages greater diversity of ethics.  In other words, giving the parents the right to control what their children are exposed to can create greater expression instead of repressing it.

The perfect balance between censorship and expression will probably never be struck, but the fact that we have this conversation gives me hope that as a society we will continue to search for it.  In “Counterpoint: Book Banning can be[sic] Justified,” Healey and DiLascio offer a compelling line of reasoning to support parental censorship of children’s reading material and in this specific scenario, I find myself in support of their argument for replacement and restriction to introduce children to difficult concepts in due time.

Works Cited

Healey, Christina and DiLascio, Tracey M. “Counterpoint: Book Banning can be Justified in Some Cases.” Points of View: Banning Books 2015: 3. Web.