Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Okay, so I actually live on a hill, which, a quick surf to m-w.com tells me, is the exact opposite of a dell.  And baby chicks probably aren’t considered livestock (although this I don’t know for sure).  And buying five of them probably doesn’t qualify us as farmers. 

Regardless, Brian has spent a week or two building a coop and I picked up five two-week-old chicks today and we are officially ready to raise egg-laying hens.  Fun, right? 

Not exactly the ‘farmer in the dell’ story I was going for but it’s still… er, farm-ish. 

Not that we have aspirations to be farmers; no, we simply thought it would be fun to have pet chickens and reap the benefits of fresh eggs. 

Mmm… sweet grain-fed protein. 


WordPress tells me that this post was last edited on June 20th.  You see, I wrote this post just after getting the five chicks that we named after the spice girls… ginger, scary, sporty, baby, and posh.  Hubby’s idea, by the way. 

Yes, I had this all ready to post back and was just waiting for a blog-worthy shot of the little chicks… when disaster struck. 

As you must know by now, this blog is titled for my two chocolate labs, Nelly and Maggie (do you see where I’m going with this?).  It was the chicks’ first afternoon of freedom in their new running pen and the dogs’ first afternoon with cute, feathery, and very tasty-looking neighbors.  A slight error in fencing judgment was all that was needed to bring the two to a head. 

We found only a few feathers.  I like to think that they got away but Hubby points out that the dogs were strangely less hungry for supper that night. 

So here we are with five new chicks, wondering what to name them (they MUST have names so it makes it harder for Hubby to eat them).  Any ideas?


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Double double?

I was talking to a friend today about ordering coffee and she told me about an incident at a drive-thru in Rhode Island.  The clerk had no idea what she meant when she ordered. 

From this it seems the method for ordering coffee is different in the States than in Canada (or at least in some of them). 

I have a small (but awesome) audience here but they are scattered across the continent so I thought it would be interesting to do a small poll to determine if geographic lines really do come into play when ordering a coffee. 

So, if you please, answer me these three questions.  It won’t hurt a bit, I promise. 


1.  If you order a ‘Regular Coffee’, what would be in it? 

2.  If I asked you for a “double double”, what would you give me?  *

3.  Where are you from? 


* I realize this is just begging for a slew of funny answers that are not remotely coffee-related.  I welcome them.  But I really am curious so please answer seriously too! 

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The local radio station has started running ads featuring Matthew McConaghey’s voice.  What is he advertising, you ask?  A new movie?  No. 


I have mentioned before that I am a vegetarian.  Lacto-ovo vegetarian to be exact; I eat dairy products and eggs but no flesh.  No fish, no fowl, no pork, no beef.  Especially not beef; it definitely ranks highest on the ole gross-out meter although I don’t really have a reason why. 

But it doesn’t matter.  When Matthew McConaghey says, “Beef.  It’s what’s for dinner” in that raspy, playful, sexy voice… well, let’s just say that is one hunk of flesh I would not be kicking off my plate. 

I believe him and damnit, I want it to be true! 

Hubby, fire up the BBQ.  I’ve got half a cow strapped onto the car and momma’s hungry! 

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Hubby, I have found a new party game for our next summer BBQ. 

Cheese Racing!

How to play?  Players throw a slice of cheese on the grill.  The player whose cheese fully inflates first wins! 

(Don’t you all LOVE that this grill is leveled by beer cans?)

If this doesn’t have trailer park written all over it, I don’t know what does!  But I must say, I am more than a little impressed (not to mention dumbfounded and a little creeped out) that the wrapper on a cheese slice will not melt, despite the cheese inside eventually boiling. 

The folks over at CRASS (Cheese Racing Association) do issue the following warning:

Be sure to ingest large quantities of alcohol and/or other chemical relaxant before (and during) play.  This will relax the body and nervous system, thus minimising the pain of any injury and enabling you to play on. 

Uh… yeah. 

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FDA Declares Cloned Meat, Milk Safe 

First of all, let’s forget that I don’t eat meat, ok?  I do eat dairy products so this does affect me. 

One word comes to mind when I think about animal cloning. 


What pressing reason is there to clone a cow?  I haven’t caught wind of the cattle shortage that must be sweeping the world.  Did the farm animal’s union go on a no-sex strike?  Surely something has happened to threaten beef and dairy markets to the point where we need to clone cows to keep up with demand.  I must have missed something.  Boy… I really should check CNN more often. 

No, this isn’t about producing better beef or better milk, no matter what is said.  At the end of the day, a steak is still red meat with all of its fat and heart-stopping red meat characteristics.  Let’s face it… it’s about the “bigger, better, faster” mentality that saturates North American culture.  It’s about the bottom line:  Farmers get more money for semen/beef/milk/offspring when it comes from a cow that is a champion.  You clone that champion, you get champion junior. 

But it’s also about proving that we can do something, isn’t it?  I admit, I don’t keep up with the farm animal union like I should but the last time I tuned in, Bossy had no trouble at all mounting Bessie and Porky was still into Petunia.  No, it’s about a theory that something could be done and a driving, irresistable urge to prove that we can do it.  I suppose that’s science in general, isn’t it? 

Is there more to it than that?  Am I missing something?  Is producing beef that is a little bit better going to help the world in some way that I don’t know about?  Is a champion steak or pork chop going to make it any better for you?  Prevent cancer?  Promote world peace?  Make us stop giving celebrity couples disgusting, fused names like ‘Brangelina’? 

Really… am I missing something? 

While I certainly do not agree with many of the conditions that animals are housed in or many of the practices that are used while raising them, my vegetarian lifestyle has never been about saving a cow from being butchered.  It just isn’t.  This bothers me though: 

Clones are more likely to die in utero or shortly after birth and to have birth defects. They also pose a risk to their surrogates because they tend to be larger than their naturally conceived counterparts.

I am reading this to mean that, more often than not, cloned animals will die before birth or be born with birth defects.  They know this.  So what happens to these animals (she asks, knowing the answer)?  So every time we see a cloned animal in the news there are probably many others that ‘didn’t make it’ or had to be put down because of defects? 

I know, I know… birth defects and in-utero deaths happen with normal animals too.  Sure.  Shit happens.  But isn’t there something wrong with continuing a practice that guarantees a less than 50% success rate?  Would they perform breast augmentation surgery if more than half of women came out with ugly, misshapen breasts?  Would they continue doing vasectomies if they knew that there was a better than 50% chance that you’d never get an erection again?  Okay, so I’ll admit that the comparisons are not exactly the same but considering that both of those are practices as unnecessary (in most cases) as cloning seems to be, I don’t think I’m reaching too far. 

I do know that if the products of cloned animals are going to be put on the shelves at my grocery store, I damn well want to know about it.  I am beginning to have a much keener interest in the origin of my food and I think this is a growing trend as people lean toward being healthier.  That they would think this requires no special labelling just floors me, especially knowing, as the article points out, that as little as 46% of people would approve of animal cloning if the FDA approved the products.  That’s less than half of the population (although up from 22%, which adds up to a good amount of faith in the FDA)!  People should have the choice … it should be up to us to decide whether or not we want to buy products of cloned animals, not up to the government. 

I don’t know.  Maybe I am a little too soft-hearted toward animals.  Maybe I am too ‘old school’ because I think reproduction should involve a good, old-fashioned penis and vagina (and a good glass of wine, but that’s a human thing).  That tweezers are for plucking eyebrows or pulling out splinters and not for poking strands of DNA into an egg.   

I’m sure there are aspects of this that I don’t know about but it all just seems wrong to me.  Until someone can convince me, my “yuck factor” is off the charts and I just can’t ignore it. 


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Mr. Bacon vs. Mr. Tofu

I think you’re dead inside if you don’t find this at least slightly amusing! 


Look at that skinny bacon… there’s nothing to him! 

I think there’s little question as to who the ultimate fighter is in this case! 

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CBC News reported yesterday that a study recently done in Singapore suggests that the smell of a chocolate chip cookie can cause a shopper to stray from their intended path, throw their budget aside, and make impulse purchases.  Although the study was done with cookie-scented candles, it does go on to say that any trigger of the appetite could cause consumers to opt for more immediate pleasures… just so we’re clear. 

I especially like this part…

In a second test, researchers found that 67 per cent of women assigned to a room with a hidden cookie-scented candle were more likely to make an impulse sweater purchase, even when told they were on a strict budget. By comparison, only 17 per cent of women in a room without the scented candle decided to make the impulse buy.

Doesn’t that just mean that a good chunk of women are going to make impulse buys no matter what?!  And this is new?  I am not a woman that enjoys shopping but even I will admit … if I come across an item that I just love, I will justify it every time.  And it takes a lot less than a frigging cookie! 

So this all sounded far fetched to me at first and the study seemed a little weak.  But I’ve thought about it and guess I can wrap my head around it …

A lady walks by Tim Hortons and gets a whiff of fresh donuts or cookies.  Her mouth involuntarily starts to water.  She starts imagining the taste and texture in her mouth. 

That lady… well, she might just go and eat that donut. 

But maybe not… she might resist that cookie.  But if she does, there remains a nagging, lingering urge to be satisfied.  On her way to buy diapers she takes a longer look at that 2 for $50 sale on sweaters.  She swears that the clearance rack in the next store is calling her name.  Those red tags become irresistable beacons to her.  The changing rooms become wind tunnels that even the strongest of wills can’t ignore. 

And even if all of that isn’t true, she deserves a reward for resisting the cookie. 

Ladies, am I right? 

She probably should just eat the damn cookie … it would end up being cheaper. 

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