Monday, November 8, 2010

R.I.P. Felix

Felix lost his battle today. We're devastated. He'll be missed tremendously.
There's not really anything else to say.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Did You Vote?

Well, did you? Regardless of your politics, if you live in the US I hope you participate/d in the political process today. If you do nothing else to influence the policies that shape how you experience life, I hope you took ten minutes out of your day to vote.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Got Chocolate?

Kristen at Rage Against The Minivan posted these videos today. You may have (hopefully) read about this issue before. But this series of short videos (there are five in all) really sheds light on the reality of cheap chocolate. It also highlights the illogical and immoral sense of entitlement to inexpensive indulgences that seems to pervade US consumer thought. I hope you'll watch these videos and then come back and share your thoughts here.

And then here, here, and here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What (To Do With) The Duck?

This is less an actual post than a request for input. I have had, for a while now, a duck in my freezer. I bought it at my son's request, but never prepared it because... I don't know what to do with it! The duck came packaged with a packet of sauce. But naturally (or, unnaturally, as it turns out) the sauce is full of stuff I don't want to eat or feed my family. So, I figured I would just check with all of you to see if you have any recipes you love for preparing duck. I don't have time to go surfing the net for recipes right now, so I'm really hoping your collective wisdom will come through for me! Whaddaya say?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where Should You Buy Organic Eggs?

Well, according to this morning's newsletter from Dr. Mercola, you should probably buy they from a small local producer. The Mercola article relates a report from the Cornucopia Institute (there is a good, short video on the front page if you scroll down just a little and then an organic egg brand scorecard located here) that sheds a rather dismal light on the production methods responsible for the majority of "organic" eggs in the US.

The short version is that eggs labeled organic which come from large producers are produced almost exactly the same way traditional eggs are produced. The one notable difference is that the chickens are fed organic feed (in their overcrowded buildings, shut away from the great outdoors). It sounds like these big producers are only paying lipservice to organic standards and the expectations of consumers. Newsflash, I know...

Just one more reason to support your local family farms!

This post is participating in Fight Back Friday hosted by Food renegade.

Friday, October 8, 2010

So, Here's The Deal. (In Which I Ramble)

Yes, it seems I've taken an unanticipated hiatus from posting. I've tried to write about that, to explain, many times. But... the right words just were not there for me. There's been a lot going on here. For months. More than a few crises, epiphanies, and changes of direction.

Initially, the lack of posts here was due to the combination of me being busy with what can be, fairly accurately, described as "many things breaking," and the simultaneous realization that what I wanted to write for Please Be Edible had moved beyond what I originally said I was going to write about that. That second bit resulted in my brain temporarily checking out while my emotions wrangled, in my free time, with the question "what to do?" If you just read "free time" and thought to yourself oh yes, I've read about that mythical creature before then you probably understand why this process took me so long to resolve in my mind. To the extent that it has been resolved.

As I was starting to figure things out, several things happened. It felt like they all happened back to back. Boom, boom, boom. But, really it's taken a couple months to unfold.

The boys in my life have been difficult. Well, except for Teak, who has been behaving himself. Good dog.

First, Felix relapsed. We almost lost him. Again.

And it was all my fault.

I was too busy, too distracted, too disorganized. I lost track of his medication schedule. But thankfully, when his condition changed, I noticed it. Today, he is improving.

Then school started. For the kids. For me. This is my second to last semester working on a degree I started almost ten years ago. My thoughts on that process and the state of education in this country could be a whole blog unto itself. But for now, it's a matter of balancing all the things I need to get done each day. This is a precarious balance. Little things can throw everything out of whack. Big things... well, it's just bad...

So, when I found myself at the ER with my son, who had a four inch wide hole in his abdomen and was pulsing blood onto the gurney, I just accepted right away that things were going to be tough for a while.  Oddly, or not so oddly, really, when you think about it, it has been rediscovering the joy of reading for pleasure that has helped me keep on an even keel. I owe Su-sieee! Mac over at This and That. Here and There. Now, Sometimes Then. a big thank you for this, because she suggested I join that Cozy Mystery Challenge. It's all about balance people.

So, that's where I am right now. Too little time. Too much to say, but can't find quite the right words. Trying to stay afloat. I will post more often, now that things are starting to settle a bit. But, I'm writing a lot, a ridiculous amount really, for school. And that has to get done first. Meanwhile, brace yourselves for a few posts on bigger picture topics. I've had these stuck in my mind for a while now and just haven't been able to shake them- so I've decided to share. You lucky folks you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Review And Giveaway!

Back a little while, I posted about the five Louise Penny books I read as part of the Cozy Mystery Challenge. At that time, the sixth book in the series was about a month away from being released. Well, Penny's publicist saw my previous review and sent me a copy of the new release, Bury Your Dead. I've written a review and will be giving away a copy! You can read the review below, but to enter the giveaway you'll have to click over to a new blog I've started, which is dedicated to books. The link is at the end of the review. More news on Please Be Edible's future coming soon.

If you’ve never read anything in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series, there’s something you need to know. This review is of the sixth book in the series. You will find no spoilers in this review. However, if you are new to Chief Inspector Gamache and company, start at the beginning with Still Life and work your way up to this one. This will both allow you to avoid reading spoilers in the later books and, at least as importantly in my opinion, allow you to learn the characters’ characters (did you get that?) in the same order Penny did. I believe you would have a very different relationship with some of the important characters if your first meeting involved only the full brunt of their superficial aspects rather than the nuanced introduction you receive when reading the series in order. It’s up to you; but I’m confident you will thank yourself for starting at the beginning.

The first books in this series were set primarily in and around the cozy, if somewhat murder-prone, fictional village of Three Pines in Quebec, Canada. Bury Your Dead gives the weary village residents a break. There is no fresh murder in Three Pines. Instead, Penny introduces us to some new characters during Inspector Gamache’s recuperative stay in Quebec City. Recuperative stay? Well, yes. While faithful readers were off killing time between books, Inspector Gamache was busy as ever executing his duties. In the course of things, something went horribly amiss. So, when we meet up with Gamache again in Bury Your Dead, he is in recovery mode. Unfortunately for the Inspector, someone forgot to deactivate the devil’s GPS and murder finds him even in Quebec City. Bury Your Dead dishes up one fascinating dollop of Quebec history, two murders, three four mysteries, and too many red herrings to count.

Penny is a devastatingly good mystery writer. You see this in the lyrical writing, the reticulating plot lines, and the vibrant descriptions that bring it all alive. But! The trait that really sets Penny’s books apart is their grounding in “the good.” All the traditional elements of a mystery are there, but Penny’s spin on them, woven quietly throughout each book, suggests an unflappable hopefulness about the world. Sure, you’ll meet characters who make terrible decisions with heart-rending outcomes. But this author just never takes the easy way out of a tricky situation, and doesn’t let her readers off the proverbial emotional hook either. Where others write characters you love to hate, Penny writes characters you hate to love. But you will love them, because Penny’s particular skill is in her portrayal of humanity. She presents characters as essentially good, but inherently fallible. If that sounds a bit heavy, relax. While you will meet complicated characters who are sometimes torn between emotions, who struggle to figure out how to do the right thing, and who sometimes fail, along the way they visit fascinating places, share what they learn, and eat decadently. And if that’s not enough for you, there’s also the judicious use of congenial snark.

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the review to enter the giveaway!