August 21, 2008

Last Remaining Speaker of a Language

My closest friend is dying, and will be gone by the time you see this post.  She and I have known each other since college, and through over 30 years of shared experiences, laughter, tears and wonder, we have in a way been our own little country.  She has a darling family, raised two wonderful children, and yet there have always been things only we understood about each other.
I have other good friendships, but somehow it was like we had grown up together when we met.  Her family welcomed me, we traded visits, made road trips and pub and gallery crawls, I cheered her starting her design career and family, she visited me in grad school, we traded art books and recipes and plants. We laughed, cried, encouraged, helped and understood each other.  Her bright smile, sly sense of humor, endless curiosity, prodigious capabilities and vast kindness I will always treasure.  She could pull me out of a funk with smart ideas, funny stories, outrageous suggestions.  I hope I have been even half as good a friend to her as she has to me. 
As she dwindles, I'm feeling like an explorer at a far outpost, with the radio connection to home fading into silence.  When she is silenced, part of me will be as well.

August 15, 2008

This can't be what they meant to happen: FDA Globalization Act of 2008

While it sounds good to increase funding for the FDA and its food protection capabilities, this act as currently written would put most home business cosmetics makers out of business with enormous fees and burdensome manufacturing and paperwork requirements.  A $2000 yearly registration fee (even if you only make lip balm!) plus separate facilities, inspections for them, and registering each formula and re-registering every time you tweak a formula (add more cocoa butter and that has to be re-registered).  While Revlon or Estee Lauder could easily afford this change, in their beginnings at kitchen tables, they would not have been able to.  At a time in this country when it is ever harder to make a living, the economy is tightening, and home-based businesses are a major way for women to be able to support themselves and their families, this legislation comes along to make things worse, not better.  Small businesses were not taken into consideration by the people writing this legislation, and the sooner they realize how damaging this would be, the better.  For more information, and to watch a video on the impact of this legislation, or to sign a petition to stop the Act as it is now written, visit the Indie Business Blog.

August 10, 2008


It's raining--enough to drip off the roof, even!  This hasn't happened for a month or more, and it is amazing and desperately needed.  Likely it won't last much longer than it takes to type this, but it's good to remember it can rain.  Yesterday at the market, it poured and hailed briefly--enough to soak all the vendors and our displays.

I got Chioggia beets from another vendor for Mom, and she gave me some cukes to make potato salad with.  That recipe I will dig out and post later.  The beets (pretty red & white striped ones) are lovely just steamed and eaten with a bit of lemon juice and butter.

The first of the currant tomatoes are coming on, and they taste better even than I thought they would: intense tomato flavor, with a savory sweet aftertaste.  I will definitely grow these again!

Here's a dinner dish using them:

Currant Tomato Pasta Salad

  • Currant tomatoes about 1/2-2/3 cup, fresh picked & rinsed
  • egg noodles, cooked & drained--about 4 cups cooked
  • sour cream & crumbled feta cheese, equal parts--about 1/2 cup
  • ranch style dressing mix powder (I use that made by one of the vendors at our market, Barb Hansen)--2 Tbsp
  • dab of butter

Toss noodles with butter.
Blend sour cream, feta and dressing mix; stir into noodles.
Add currant tomatoes, stir together, and serve.

The translucent golden-orange tomatoes are like flavorful jewels in this fast summer salad.  Enjoy!