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Showing posts from August 21, 2011

Things That Can Be Carried on a Bike (#349)

Three plastic soda crates full of groceries.

And a quick note: First ride with the new tires (installed them this morning)...nice, it's amazing the difference in good quality tires (much noticeable reduced rolling resistance).


A Rather Interesting Bread Recipe

OK, so if you've been to this blog before you probably realize a few things--that I like cooking, bread making, and bike riding--but also that I have sort of eclectic tastes, meaning I have never really been one to stay "inside the box." Anyhow, this is a good segue to this rather odd-sounding bread recipe (which is actually very delicious and economical)...

Whole Wheat Spelt Bread with White Beans and Maple

Don't laugh; it's delicious and nutritious. It's the outcrop of having soaked too many beans for this soup recipe the other day. I boiled the extra beans in plain water, reserving the liquid, and made bread in the same way I make Ezekiel Bread (click here, here, or here), and substituting maple syrup in place of honey. The beans become part of the dough and are barely visible, but they add flavor and texture...actually making the dough a little lighter in some way. The maple is only mildly noticeable, but it does add a sweetness to the bread. It'll m…

Who (or what) has been Eating My Corn?

A few days ago I noticed one of my cornstalks was either knocked or pulled down, and it looked like it was partially eaten. It annoyed me but I brushed it off thinking it was some neighbor kids who pulled it out and a rat nibbled on the fallen stalk. Well, it's been going on for the past three nights now (I figured it wasn't neighbor kids after the first night), and it's gotten progressivly worse. I only grew about 20 stalks this year so it doesn't take much to wipe out the entire crop. At present there are two left...I figure they are goners tonight. Anyhow, a neighbor (not one of the kids; an adult) told me he saw a city raccoon down the street the other night; I hadn't seen one in the city in a while. Anyhow, as I was talking to him--and we were following the trail of corn debris across my front yard and another neighbors--he noticed some up in the tree. Yup, definitely a raccoon. I've grown a garden in the front yard for the past 9 years (here's one of…

Ride a Bicycle, circa 1919

I came across this and thought it was interesting enough to share; it's from 1919. What I found really interesting is what the advert says on the left-hand side of the page, about halfway down (click the image; you may still need to enlarge it to read it). It states, "Ride a Bicycle. Physical fitness will safeguard the Peace, Health, and Prosperity of our Nation. The Bicycle is a health-builder, a time and money saver." Did I mention that this ad is nearly 100 years old. Hmm...

R.I.P. Val Kleitz

Image found here.
I just learned that cargo biker Val Kleitz has passed away earlier this month at the young age of 51. I did not know Val, nor have I ever met him, but I felt like I knew him. I had seen many postings about him on the Internet in previous years and have watched the below video on more than one occasion. If you have not seen the video I encourage you to watch it. I love when he discusses the reasons he rides and also--about half-way into the video--where he takes the interviewer on a tour of his customized long-tail cargo bike. Rest in peace friend, you've ridden enough.
To read a short bio about Val at Momentum Magazine, click here.

Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup

This full-flavored and nutritious soup is so easy to make and hearty enough to be a full meal (with some good bread, of course). In fact, it is so hearty if you add pasta to it (especially ditalini) and some Parmesan cheese you'll have a sort of Pasta e Fagioli. Here it is in pictures; a recipe follows.


Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup
Makes about 6 quarts 1 ½ pounds dried white beans 3 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup diced ham 1 red pepper diced 1 small onion, diced 2 ribs celery, diced 2 carrots, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper 1 teaspoon fennel seed 1 teaspoon rosemary 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 4 tomatoes, diced 4 quarts chicken broth
Soak the beans in water overnight, or at least 1 hour. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot and sauté the ham, pepper, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, hot pepper, fennel, and rosemary for about five minutes. Add the beans, salt, black pepper, tomatoes and broth. Bring the soup to a boil then lower it to a simmer. Cook the beans…

Employee Meal 24 August 2011, Pâté de Campagne

Pâté de Campagne translates from the French as "Country Paste." How's that for demystifying something that sounds overly fancy or complicated. This is simple to make and can be eaten cold as an appetizer (sliced thin and served with toast points, gherkins, onion, and mustard) or sauteed for a hot sandwich. I don't have a typed recipe of my own for this, but this one looks pretty good. In the one pictured above we studded it with diced ham, pistachios, and green peppercorns (...mmm). A couple things: Make sure you keep all of the ingredients cold as you assemble it and go a little lighter on the spice mixture than this recipe recommends. And remember if you call it by the French name your friends will think you are a fancy gourmet cook (but you probably already are).

Five Quotes from Simone Weil

Simone Weil
3 February 1909 - 24 August 1943
To read more about Simone Weil, click here and here.

"Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life."

"It is not the cause for which men took up arms that makes a victory more just or less, it is the order that is established when arms have been laid down."  

"A hurtful act is the transference to others of the degradation which we bear in ourselves."

"Petroleum is a more likely cause of international conflict than wheat."

"I can, therefore I am."

Interesting old Bicycle Adverts

I enjoy old advertisements...it gives a glimpse of life during certain periods, and I particularly like old bicycle adverts (these two were found here...there's many more if you're interested). What I found interesting about these two--despite their odd titles--was their subject matter...both are promoting the bicycle as a healthy way to travel; that they are good for you on many levels...including your body. And these are from 1892 and 1893. Both, I feel are just as relevant today as they were then (though I'm still not so sure about their titles for contemporary culture), but this is especially true for the bottom one. With today's energy issues, global warming, and the fact that there are so any overweight people in the world today--especially in the good ol' U.S. of A--it seems like there should be an ad promoting bicycle's benefits on every corner and in every magazine. Instead, we get commercials for new cars every five minutes on prime time television. S…

Things That Can Be Carried on a Bike (#348)

A new set of tires.  .