Tuesday, February 20, 2018

19 February 2018

Today I served vegetables at the dinner line at Record Street, what used to be known as Tent City, but I just call it serving dinner at Record Street. A different group serves dinner every night, and some plan their meals in advance, but we just sort of bring what we make. Some people from my church and those with the other church are a little more organized than I am, and actually have a weekly e-mail about what everyone is bringing, which I've just gotten onto, so now I can feel a little more in the loop. I usually get there late, a testament to my less than stellar planning and organizing skills with cooking. That's actually a good thing, though, since we always run out of food. Tonight I was there on time and noticed I was trying to add my vegetables to their already full plates, but then when I was running out, the food on the plates was scarce.

In any event, I've been thinking about what I could make for next week, when it will certainly be crowded, but I just realized that I actually can't go next week. I could make something up and put it in the church kitchen, however. So I started to look for a cooking blog that is specifically about cooking and serving large groups of people. I found a bunch of youtube channels that mostly seem to be about the fact that people are serving food to the homeless, and less about the actual cooking process. Cooking and preparing a large amount of food can take a goodly amount of time.

Today I went to Costco to buy vegetables. I had originally planned to go to either Winco or Trader Joe's, but had another reason to go Costco, so I figured I could find big bags of veggies there. I got a bag of fresh green beans, a bag of broccoli and a bag of asparagus as well as a bag of frozen corn. Most of this was organic, interestingly enough. I think the asparagus was Green Giant and not organic, and it was really thick, yet cooked down to almost mush, sadly, because I didn't manage the cooking times well. I'm thinking I should probably do the shopping on Saturday, and then figure out how I'm going to cook, reheat or transport on that Monday.

So here is the Costco receipt--I actually used to blog all my Trader Joe's receipts at one point in time. I like having a record of prices. I bought Taylor Farms Organic broccoli florets, $5.99 for 3 lbs,
Fresh Wave organic green beans, trimmed, 2 lbs for $4.99,
JMB farms Asparagus, 2.25 lbs for $4.99,
Watts Brothers organic sweet white corn, frozen, 5 lbs for $5.89,
Earthbound Farms organic baby kale for $4.79,
although I bought that for my daughter and didn't cook that this evening. I also bought some vegan Yakisoba bowls and vegan Don Lee Fiesta bowls as well as a pack of hotdogs for $12.99. There were three packs together, so about 30 beef franks in all.

Generally the food I make is vegan or vegetarian, but after Thanksgiving this year, I asked for donations of turkey carcasses, since I find people do not use their Thanksgiving turkey carcass to the full degree; if you are going to suffer and die to be food, you should be fully utilized in that capacity. I don't want to add to the demand for poultry by purchasing it, but sometimes I do want to make things that include meat, dairy or eggs. Today I made vegetables and I had just purchased a single stick of Organic Valley butter, which was $1.99 at the food coop, and I purchased it for my younger daughter who visited a dietician. The dietician told her margarine was garbage, so I decided I'd get her a stick of butter, which should last for awhile, but it was the only stick I had and it's gone now. I guess she will have to use Earth Balance if she happens to need something like butter. I suppose I could have purchased that at Costco, and I did consider it, but it is in huge quantities.

I didn't start cooking until close to 1:30 pm, and I did the asparagus first, steaming it in the Instant Pot for 3 minutes. I transferred it to a crockpot, and put some raw broccoli florets in on top of it, as well as a cube of vegetable bouillon. I did the green beans next, snapping them into 2 or 3 pieces, also cooking for 2 or 3 minutes along with broccoli florets on top. The broccoli in the Instant Pot became a drab green, but the stuff that was put into the crockpot stayed bright. But then I felt like I needed to fill up the pot, so I added more broccoli, probably about 2 lbs in all. I added some garlic and onion powder too, since I didn't really notice much salt or extra flavoring, even with the bouillon. I also added half a stick of butter to the crockpot. I cooked the 5 lbs of corn in my small stockpot, and added the smaller half of butter to that, along with salt. The broccoli was unevenly cooked, and the asparagus turned to mush, so I might just do it in various pots on the stove if I have to cook a lot of vegetables again soon.

Here is a photo--I'm trying to remember to take more of them so I have a record. If I keep up this new purpose to this blog, then I will post them here. The corn filled about half of my 8 quart stockpot.

Friday, January 6, 2017

6 January 2017

Apparently I have two drafts I never posted. Also, I haven't updated in 10 months. However, today I was just going to log one of my old grocery receipts. I kept them, and actually used to blog them because I thought it could be an interesting snapshot into prices some day. So here is one from the Trader Joe's at Reno in the shopping center at the corner of McCarran Blvd and Smithridge Drive. I made this purchase at 3:28 PM PDT on July 13, 2009. My cashier was Kristi.

Organic milk 2% gallon -- $5.99
Cranberry Raspberry juice -- $4.49
Organic strawberry lemonade -- $3.29
Soda Virgil's Root Beer, 4 bottles -- $3.99
Squeeze Mtn Raspberry juice, 4 bottles -- $2.99
Chai Instant spiced -- $2.99
Coffee decaf organic fair trade -- $7.99
Half & Half quart - $1.29
Margarine Earth Balance -- $3.69
Sour cream, pint -- $1.49
Organic Vanana yogurt - 27 oz. -- $2.79
Peanut Butter organic crunchy -- $2.99
TJ's tomato basil pasta sauce -- $1.79
whipped cream cheese -- $1.49
grocery, non-taxable -- $9.77
Beef conventional ground 20% fat -- $1.99
sliced black forest ham -- $3.49
TJ sliced colby jack cheese -- $2.99
TJ Goat cheese crumbles -- $2.19
TJ Monterey Jack sticks -- $3.49
cheese, shredded mozzarella -- $2.99
Mint chocolate chip ice cream, 1 quart -- $3.99
hash brown potatoes -- $1.99
hash brown potatoes -- $1.99
eggs cage free x-large, brown -- $2.99
Tacos, mini beef -- $2.99
Roast beef & cheese panini w/ -- $2.99
Crackers 12 grain prebiotic mini -- $1.99
Nature's Path hemp organic cereal -- $2.89
TJ's Honey Nut O's cereal -- $2.??
salsa chipotle hot -- $1.99
artichoke hearts, can in water -- $1.99
TJ's Canola spray -- $2.29
Organic blueberries -- $2.99
A-plums sugar 1 lb -- $1.69
Nature's Toaster Pastry straw -- $2.59
New Belgium seasonal 6 fl oz for $7.99
Milton's Gourmet White Hamburg -- $2.29
Blueberry pie -- $8.99
Organic avocados (4 ct) -- $4.69
sourdough english muffins -- $1.99
Fresh N Spicy Guacamole -- $2.79
Sunny California Roll -- $2.99
Chewy Chocolate Chunk cookies -- $4.29
Bananas organic 6 ea @0.29/EA -- $1.74
A-Tomatoes heirloom 18/1# -- $2.99
sliced sourdough bread $2.29
pasta bowties -- $0.99
Tortilla white triangle organic -- $2.59
popcorn organic with olive oil -- $1.79

Subtotal -- $161.43
state tax -- $0.62
Total -- $162.05

So it occurs to me reading this that a lot of these items do not list quantities, and therefore prices might not be useful. The juice and lemonade was in 2 quart bottles, eggs were a carton of 12, the fresh blueberries were probably about 6 oz. The individual bottles of soda or juice were most likely 6 oz but possibly 8 oz for the rootbeer. The packaged cheese was most likely 12 ozs, but the mozzarella could have been a full pound. The english muffins come in a sleeve of 6, the triangle tortillas were chips, and that was probably a largish bag, at least 14 oz. The popcorn was also in a similar sized bag. I have some TJ's decaf and artichoke hearts in water in my pantry today, and those sizes are a 13 oz can of whole beans and a 14 oz can of artichokes. Some stores slightly downsize their packaging rather than change their prices, but I don't think TJ's does that. I have been buying their heirloom tomatoes for about $4.99 a lb lately.

I also think I must have been planning for a pool party, since I normally don't buy all those sugary drinks at one time.

A photo from a few days later.

Friday, April 1, 2016

28 March 2016

On Monday, it snowed. I made a snowman.

26 March 2016

Saturday was a beautiful day, so I went and parked at the food co-op, then took a walk near the river. I saw a pick-up game of basketball at Barbara Bennett park as a woman in a pedicap rode by. In Wingfield Park, on the island side, some people were playing croquet, while on the western side, people were practicing tightrope walking on a slackline attached to two trees. There were a number of kayakers in the river, practicing on the eddies. Lots of dogs were walking by, and there were plenty of cyclists navigating the streets. I saw Daughter's Cafe and the statue of justice in front of the law office. The big chimes at the Lear Theater were sounding--later I saw people pulling them to make them ring.

I saw balanced rock art in the grass near the Truckee river where it runs along first street. Then I saw the artist, Reno's Hobo, Cyrus, with his bucket for donations. I saw people standing on the other side of the river, fishing. I saw people sitting outside the Hub coffee, and I saw a man who was riding his bike with a lot of his blankets stacked on top. He had a stack of blankets on his handlebars, and a cat sat atop them. He was petting and even kissing the cat, smiling, as he rode along.

Monday, December 21, 2015

21 December 2015

I extended an invitation to my husband to come to the concert tonight at Carmel of Reno, because it occurs to me that it is the type of thing that he would actually like, and it might help to give meaning to his holidays, which are generally about him sitting in his chair, re-watching series he's already seen, and playing games he's played for years. So I asked him if he has any interest, because it it's at the monastery, which has an impressive view, and the music is professionally done, for the most part, excluding the part where I have a solo, but then he would get to hear a song where I have a solo verse. Also, this type of Christmas music is the type that he likes. If he didn't like hymns and sacred, classical holiday music, I wouldn't invite him.

And he replied that he was sorry to miss it, but no, not this year. I don't believe he has actually come any other year, but this past weekend, he had to spend time fixing his computer, which cuts into the time where he can play a game he's played for over 10 years, cursing all the time at it. If he had mountains of free time and no stress, he would come, I'm sure...or find a reason why he couldn't. Which is fine, because we are all different and have different needs. But I know the feeling of living my life with dread, which colored everything I did; the feeling of not ever wanting to go anywhere or do anything. But realizing that what I thought I wanted was never enough, and getting tired of getting to the end of the day and still feeling unfulfilled, I pushed myself out there, against my comfort level, to have what might be interesting or meaningful experiences. Life is too short, and free time too valuable to not partake of beautiful things. But that is only my view, not his, so he has to do what he thinks will be meaningful to him, I suppose.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

23 June 2015

I haven't written in awhile, but if I had been writing a month ago, I'd have been talking about the rain. We had a lot of overcast and rain for awhile, and we could turn the sprinklers off and wear jackets. A nice, cool May. Then the sun came out and it felt oppressive, but after awhile, we got used to sun again. And it's been pretty sunny, although we've had some days of thunderstorms. Unfortunately, lightning started a wildfire, and even with the rain we had before that, the Truckee looks pretty empty. It's dismal.

And now it is hot and sunny, and there are all sorts of tall weeds that look noxious, even if they are technically on the Noxious Weed list for this area. Dandelions that are spiky and almost as tall as I am. So, yep, that about covers it for the local scene. Now I can move onto my opinions about stuff.

I was born and raised in Manassas, Virginia. I attended Stonewall Jackson high school. One of my great grandfathers fought in the Civil War. We knew about the first and second Battles of Bull Run. We lived near Bull Run Mountain at one point in time. Somewhere near there, I suppose, is a stream. I learned at one point that the Northern forces named the battles after the nearest body of water, while the Southern forces named them after the nearest settlement. If you put Bull Run, VA in a google map search, there will be a red outline around the place where I lived a lot of my childhood. The stream is near that area, and it's not far from the Battlefield Park.

I went to the Battlefield Park early on, probably when I was about 5 or 6. I don't know exactly when it was, I only know that my earlier memories seem darker and my memories from about 6 or 7 on seem brighter. I feel like I wasn't yet in school at the time I went, and I went with my parents. I started kindergarten at the age of 4, and I have some clear memories of that, so I really don't know what to think. I just remember standing in the museum, and I was short, I don't think I came up as high as the display case counter. There was a docent there, I'm guessing. We were looking at things in the case. I don't really remember much other than asking if our side won. Our side meaning the side that my people were from, the people of Manassas. My dad said we didn't win, that we were from the south, and the south lost. I was shocked. I wanted to be a winner. I didn't know I was from the South. I thought I was from the side that got rid of slavery. I asked, "Which side was the one who wanted to get rid of slavery?" Someone told me that was the North. I remember feeling angry and defiant as I said, "Good, I'm GLAD we lost." I think the adults around me chuckled.

I learned a lot about the Civil War in high school. I think what I learned was biased, but at one point it was thorough. I gave a long lecture about the Civil War to some visiting relatives who were going to visit the Manassas Battlefield Park one day. I had learned about the economic reasons and the issues leading up to the war. I learned that a lot of the causes of the war did not have anything to do with slavery, per se, not in the ideological sense that most people fighting on the side of the North were abolitionists and were fighting for freedom for slaves. Really, why would they be? They were white people too, and part of the racist structure. With the status quo, anything that departs from it seems radical. We have to be reasonable. We can't move too far from the norm. In the SRA's I took as a junior, they used a piece of Union recruitment poster that we had to interpret for some of the multiple choice questions. It was a line drawing with some sort of pledge that stated that the soldiers were not fighting to advance the colored race, and anything they did for this war was not for that purpose.

It was part of the SRAs!!! We took those every couple of years. They were just standardized tests. I felt like this was just more proof that the Confederacy wasn't the bad side, that the Union didn't care about black people either. This little bit of propaganda was presented in the context of interpretation and analysis for a test. It wasn't biased, it wasn't a teacher just giving his point of view, it was a national test, right? The tests were so nameless and faceless that the creators seemed to be too. It was like the tests themselves were written by the same type of computer that would ultimately grade the test. It didn't really occur to me that the entire selection and construction of curriculum could be subject to the biases of a few. I had to grow up to realize that.

I vaguely remember seeing the Confederate (battle) flag in some places in school. I think a girl had one on her class ring. Or someone had one on their car. I didn't really get it, honestly, and found it slightly confusing, but then I decided it was because people liked that Dukes of Hazzard show. Their horn played Dixie. I liked that song, honestly. We used to sing in in the car on long trips, along with This Land is Your Land and She's a Grand Ole Flag. My Dad would always sing, "Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton/My feet stink, but yours are rotten/Look away, Look away, Look away, Dixieland. I didn't want to have the rotten feet, so I'd always tell him to sing it properly. It seemed to speak of a person who had left their home, but remembered earlier times with fondness, and wanted to return. It took a number of years before I realized the serious privilege of this kind of viewpoint.

At some point I must have decided that the Confederate flag was something more along the lines of KKK sympathizers, because I do remember feeling confusion when nice people seemed to like it. They never said anything against black people, to my knowledge. I didn't understand the whole "The South Will Rise Again" thing that seemed to be a part of popular culture in some ways. I truly didn't understand people who spoke about the Civil War as if it were a War of Northern Aggression, or had just happened yesterday. I did not get it. Because, on some level, to me being part of the South was a point of shame. I wanted to distance myself from the idea of The South and think of us as all one country, the USA. I was always a big fan of the American Revolution. That war seemed romantic somehow. The Civil War didn't.

When I got to college, I met people from the south who defended the Confederate flag. They were proudly from the South. They felt like this flag did represent a part of their heritage. They didn't like Yankees. They actually used the term Yankees to mean people from the north, not in the way I used it, which was Yankees=Union, Rebels=Confederacy. Oh yes, that reminds me: one of our movie theaters in Manassas was called the RebYank. So these people defending the flag, claiming as their own were white males...gay white males...pro-MLK nonviolence loving gay, white males. Liberal gay white males. And they felt this was a part of their heritage. So I could see how maybe it wasn't really a symbol of the KKK, but the symbol of a heritage, that, even, I, as a white girl from Manassas, Virginia with Confederate relatives, did not share. I never considered myself a Southerner. There was no pride in that. Ultimately, the south supported slavery.

These same men, much more intellectual than I was, and not at all shy to let me know it. I got schooled in my privilege by people who didn't seem to realize they, too, had any. But maybe they had been thinking about it more; I sure hadn't been. I, like many, might have been a little too focused in on advantages I didn't have when it was pointed out to me that I had more. Looking back, though, I remember classist and sexist things that were said. I remember the little jokes said about black people just to, it seems, get a rise out of me, because it was funny to some people to get a rise out of me. I stopped reacting predictably. I also stopped taking everything people said to heart. Maybe there is truth there, maybe not. I have to look at statements and really investigate them to see if they are true or not, even if they just feel like wholesale criticism at the time.

So the upshot of all this rambling mess is just to say I'm not a little kid anymore, and either are any of my friends. Grow the fuck up. Stop defending this horror-filled racist, white supremacist flag as part of your culture. Look at your own privilege; you don't get a free pass. Just because you are you can still evaluate your place in the world and what perks that you have that others don't. The south should NOT rise again, and this old-time nostalgia is a killer.

Before I ever even knew that I knew any gay people, I decided that same sex marriage should be legal, because I read about same sex marriages being done in certain churches in the 70's, and I realized it was denying people civil rights not to allow them to have the same legal status. In 1985, if you mentioned you supported gay marriage, most people thought you were a morally bankrupt deviant. Now only a small percentage of people think that. In 2000, I was so angry at Prop 22 in California, and I tried to appeal to other Democrats and find out where to get No on 22 signs. Oh no, they didn't actually support gay marriage, they were fine with Prop 22 passing. But now, guess what? The people who DON'T support gay marriage are seen as the intolerant, civil-rights denying outliers.

So here is what I say about the Confederate Flag. Dump the damned thing. It is shameful, you are shameful, stop trying to dress it up in some Holy of Holies freedom of speech argument that is supposed to somehow trump any kind of reasonable discourse. Grow up and put away childish things. Realize that you are the privileged one who can choose speech that is not a symbol of hate. It seems about as likely as abolishing slavery or allowing two women to marry, but once states take it out of sanctioned display, you'll one day be wondering how you ever thought it was acceptable.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

14 March 2015

Today was a warm day, and I spent part of it walking around looking at the blooms on the trees. I've decided that with California having only about a year's worth of water, Nevada may not be here next year, but instead of complaining about the lack of snow, I'll just enjoy the warm weather for what it is at the moment. I'm not watering my lawn, however.

Today we went to Carson City, then I took a brief nap once home. Later we went to the food coop with the elder daughter. She drove. As she was driving on Arlington, a police car came up from behind, so she pulled over. The car went buy and stopped a guy in an SUV. He had his hands out the window at that point. We went to the store and were there for awhile, then we walked around the area with the dog.

There is a new restaurant right across from the GBFC called Pignic Pub & Patio. They were having some sort of party/soft opening thing going on. There were lots of people there. The police were still out, however, so when we got down to the street, we turned away from all the commotion and walked back. There was a quail standing on the white dividing line that separates the bike lane from the rest of the street. It didn't seem to move much even though cars were coming, but it could walk. Just a little way down the street there was a paddy wagon, a bunch of police cars and a news van. There were reporters there, I'm not sure what it was about.

That's basically what I saw in Reno today. In Carson we went to the Friends In Service Helping thrift store. They have a soup kitchen next door, and you can donate perishable food there. I loved the thrift store because everything was so neat and organized, and the clothing was organized by color and type, so it was easy to look for things.