Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Political Mashing

Outraged with Harper's second proroguing of Parliament? Not impressed with Ignatieff's ambivalent leadership of the federal Liberal Party? And then there is the plethora of grievances against George W. Bush. If you are dissatisfied with our leaders past and present, and are looking for a little creative retaliation - then look no further. Potato mashers never looked so good, or generated so much fun!
These fun & funky mashers are made by Québécois artist Pascale Hebert and are available through the on-line gallery and boutique "Sell your work, not your soul" is the gallery's tag line. Pascale's studio is called Métal en Jupe, in addition to the Harper potato-masher, she also offers up George W., Michael Ignatieff, Jean Charest and even France's top man - Nicolas Sarkozy. The website has a photo of the Harper potato-mashers at the December 2009 Copenhagen Conference where I am sure they were put to very good use. Potato mashers are $39.00 each, bon appétit.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chick (Pea) Power

First and foremost, Season's Greetings to one and all! The "holiday" is always a super busy time for everyone, let alone being a self-employed foodie whose busiest work month is inevitably December, and being the mother of three kids, with one dog and a husband. A female friend described Christmas as a part time job, the kind that men just wouldn't get - on any level. Private baking kept me busy, making well into the thousands of the now famous Chai Snaps (photographed in the previous blog entry), as well as macarons, bûches, spiced almonds, lemon curd, paneforte, chocolate snowflakes and cheese crackers. Friends with restaurant kitchens are good friends indeed. On the family side, Christmas dinner was chez nous, I did everything but the 20 lb. plus turkey - which my sister-in-law raised, and my mother-in-law roasted and it all worked out very well. We have since had leftover turkey dinner, turkey pot pie, turkey soup, and finally the bones & bits have gone out in the green compost bin. We are officially turkeyed-out. Enjoyable as it was, it is now time to re-tool the menu.

Many people are making concerted efforts to eat less meat and for numerous reasons: from the ethical, to health, and for climate changing effects. I recently read that it is estimated that in the US alone, 7 billion, yes billion, animals are slaughtered every year - most of which are cattle.... I am trying to get my head around the math, the population of the US being at 305 million in 2008. Cattle in particular produce an enormous quantity of methane gas which contributes to climate change, therefore reducing one's meat consumption reduces the creation of greenhouse gases. I am an omnivore and a firm believer in a varied diet and most things in moderation. I enjoy all foods, but do not wish to eat meat everyday. I love the chick pea: it is versatile, cute, inexpensive, high in fiber and protein, and ethnically diverse. What is not to love about it? I often purchase 2 kg bags of dried peas, soak them overnight and cook them until just tender. I throw them into pasta to boost the protein content, make chana masala out of them - a good pot luck contribution when there is the odd vegetarian in the crowd and usually way too many meat dishes, and of course - hummus. Switching up the hummus is always fun, try using roasted garlic rather than fresh, roasted sesame oil, smoked paprika, smoked salts, all are great additions. The family cottage has no electricity but that does not stop us from making hummus. I purchased a hand-crank blender, the enticing photo on the box suggests that smooth margueritas and dacquiris can easily be wiped up in a canoe.! Our experience is not quite the same, a medium lump hummus is about the best that we can coax out of "The Vortex", oh well - it tastes great and goes well with a cold beer, or an occasional pop if you are a kid.

Here's to 2010, and to reducing the creation of climate changing gases - one chick pea at a time.

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