Mar 162012
Prune Baby Food

Prune Baby Food

My latest health-food discovery is baby food, particularly the fruit flavours. The PC Organics ones have a very short ingredient list, usually it’s just what’s pictured plus ascorbic acid.  No sugar, no other additives.

They’re smooth and pudding-y, which gave me the idea to make a chocolate pudding with the prune flavour.  It’s SO simple!  Not quite as velvety-smooth as normal chocolate pudding, because the prunes have some fibre, but since it’s so much healthier and all natural, I don’t mind one bit!

Dark Chocolate Pudding for One

  • one jar of pureed prune baby food
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • sweetener to taste (optional)

Empty baby food into a bowl, add cocoa and sweetener and mix well.  Enjoy!

Notes:  I like my chocolate dark and bitter.  I could easily eat this with lots of cocoa powder and no sweetener, since the prunes are already pretty sweet, but you might want to start with 1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa.  Also, use a sweetener that will dissolve easily, like maple syrup or not-too-coarse sugar or sugar substitute.  Add it 1 tsp at a time until it’s sweet enough for you.

Posted by Carolyn
Sep 052011

This is a very satisfying winter meal.

Irish Stew

Somewhat Vague Instructions (because it’s hard to screw this up):

Peel a handful of garlic cloves, peel and halve 10ish shallots.  Sautee shallots and garlic in olive oil, until they smell delicious, then add a couple handfulls of the cutest tiny button mushrooms you can find and sautee a bit more.

When things start to look a bit toasty and you’re afraid it’s going to start burning, add 1 cup red wine, 2 cups broth, rosemary, thyme, salt pepper, 1 tbsp Bragg’s and 1 tbsp maple syrup.

While that heats up, dice a few carrots, potato, sweet potato and/or turnip and your preferred protein.  I used a package of Tofurkey Breakfast Links, and I’ve also used tempeh.  The tempeh is good, but the Breakfast Links definitely felt more authentic for an Irish stew.   Bring it to a boil and let it simmer, covered, until the veggies are tender.

Here’s the tricky part: to thicken the gravy I carefully sprinkled arrowroot powder into it, stirred, and repeated until I was happy with the consistency.  Most recipes say to take some broth out, mix it with arrowroot or flour and then mix it back in. . .but that never works for me.  The arrowroot just gets clumpy and no amount of whisking will save it.  So I prefer to lightly dust the stew a few times.  If you have a sifter, try that.

I ate it with Schnicken Brot from the Gingerbread House.  It’s a dense, chewy sourdough. It’s a real comfort-food meal for me, and I end up with most of a bottle of wine left over.  :)

Posted by Carolyn
Sep 042011

I find it interesting that ‘pith’ seems to have two contrasting meanings or connotations.  Literal orange pith is the annoying crap that I carefully pick off as much as possible to get to the figurative pith that I want to eat.  If pith is the extraneous, inedible sponge, then why does pith also mean ‘the essence or core of something’?

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Posted by Carolyn
Aug 232011

Melted Fabric Flower

This is my first attempt at making fabric flowers. I found this tutorial at Simply Vintagegirl and I’m really pleased with the results. It doesn’t require sewing like most of the other tutorials I found; you just cut out a pile of circles and melt the edges over a candle.

I’m glad I’ve finally found something easy that I can do with all my fabric scraps.

Posted by admin
May 162010

Earlier this week I went to a Professor Yogananda’s laboratory for a workshop in making stabilised mudbricks.  We learned about getting the right proportions of sand, mud and cement and made some test bricks and saw how they are loaded to failure to determine their strength.  I took lots of video, but have no editing software so if you have lots of patience, here they are:

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May 162010

Yesterday the elephant parade went by the office. Chitra told us to go take pictures, so I took my camera and followed the procession. There was an elephant at the front with a headdress and blanket, followed by a crowd of men in white with orange hats. Some of them were playing drums and little cymbals. Behind them was a crowd of women in bright, shiny sarees holding coconuts in silver vases on their heads.

We followed the parade around the block and past Chitra’s place and then we came to a tent set up over the road. The elephant went through it and stopped on the other side and the women started dancing. They held hands and spun in circles, and encouraged me to join. I tried it once; it was fun.

Then I gave the elephant 10 rupees which it took in his trunk and it touched my head to bless me.elephant blessing

Posted by admin
May 072010

I have to coolest boss ever!

Here are three of the many reasons why:

  1. I said that I missed baking, and she said “Go buy an oven.”  And that was that.  I went with her and Sandya, the Office Manager, during work hours, to buy an oven for her house that I’m welcome to use whenever.
  2. She invited me over for dinner last night and it was really good.  She made roti from scratch (which, I guess everyone does here, but these were really good) and the veggies were really good, too.
  3. We were walking back from the site yesterday on an isolated road when she pulled over a tractor and asked him to give us a ride.  That was so much more exciting than taking an auto.
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May 072010

Pancakes are not a common breakfast here.  There is no wonderful breakfast restaurant like Cora’s. So, when I was thinking about pancakes the day before yesterday, I thought it was pie in the sky to think that I could get them without making them myself.  I told my roommate about them while we waited to meet coworkers for a site visit and I imagined all the things I’d need to make them at the office, and wondered whether or not our tawa would suffice as a frying pan.  I put a spatula on my mental shopping list.

After our site visit (see the next post for details) Chitra knocked on the door of the house of a previous client of hers, the owner of the complex.  They talked for a couple minutes in Hindi (or Kannada, I don’t know) and I heard the word pancakes.    I thought I was hearing things – that maybe a Hindi word just sounded like pancakes.  Then Chitra said “but I’m sure Carolyn would love some.”  I don’t know how she knew, but it made my day.  We all went in for pancakes while I marveled at the nature of the universe that manifested pancakes for me.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Tomorrow I’m going to think about crepes all morning.

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Apr 292010

Here’s the blog article about the cottage in the ISKCON ecovillage that I went to last week.

BIOME  Govardhan Cottage Article

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Apr 262010

I love how instead of “Detour  –>”, construction signs here say “Diversion  –>.”   There’s something fun and exciting around every corner!

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