Go Plastic-Free in 2018 (or Close to It)

If you’ve arrived at this blog, you’re probably aware of the plastic pollution problem so I won’t spend time discussing it. You can read recent news on that here, here and here. Instead, I’ll discuss changes we can make in our own lives. Individual choices may not seem like much in the face of this disaster but […]

Fermentation Tools, Equipment and Ingredients

You can spend lots of money on tools and gadgets designed specifically for making fermented foods—airlocks to let gas escape from jars, lids with small “windows” you open in order to release gas, glorified glass jars rebranded as “small fermentation crocks,” expensive weights, mandolines to cut vegetables quickly and uniformly… These tools all sound nice […]

What Is Fermentation and Why Do I Go On About It So Much?

fermented vegetables

If you have read my blog at all, at some point, you may have had one of the following thoughts: Fermentation sounds revolting. Why does she keep going on about it? OMG. I love fermentation. I named my sourdough starter [insert name]. On [insert date] she turns [insert number] years old. We will throw her […]

12-Step Program to Cut Processed Food

I admit it. I love sugar. I eat less sugar than I used to but I still eat it. And although I don’t believe sugar is as addictive as cocaine, food manufacturers certainly seem addicted to the stuff—or at least to the huge profits that added sugar enables. A University of North Carolina survey found that […]

How to Organize a Produce Bag Making Meetup

lemons in a cloth produce bag

This past Sunday, eight people from the Meetup group I belong to met to sew a pile of simple cloth produce bags. Everyone pitched in. Some ironed, some cut, some sewed. In the flurry of activity, I didn’t do an exact count of the bags we churned out but including the handful I finished up […]

5 Ways to Persuade People to Break Free from Plastic

Perhaps you recently watched Blue Planet II and learned about the catastrophic effects of plastic pollution on our oceans and marine wildlife, you heard a story on the radio about plastic microfibers in almost all drinking water or you read today’s British report which predicts that plastic debris in the oceans will increase by threefold within the […]

9 Items I Banned from My Kitchen and How I Replaced Them

In 2011, my daughter MK and I decided we would try to live without plastic. Because I’ve been at this for a while, I take for granted many of the early changes we made back then to wean ourselves off of the stuff. But with all the welcome press lately on the plastic pollution crisis […]

Charlotte’s Granola Bars

Click here to jump to the recipe I’ve filed these granola bars under cookies and cakes in my recipe index. From Merriam-Webster  cookie noun  cook·ie  \ ˈku̇-kē \ cookie : a small flat or slightly raised cake These are cookies. Bar cookies to be more precise. Unlike Big Food I will not market these as energy bars, meal replacements, […]

Take Your School Zero Waste in Three Steps

I recently interviewed Greg Ellis-Valencia, Executive Director of One Cool Earth, a non-profit in San Luis Obispo, California, that builds and maintains school gardens. The organization currently oversees 18 of these educational gardens. It has also worked with these schools to build the largest student-run zero-waste program in California schools. If you live outside of […]

How to Ferment Vegetables in Brine

fermented vegetables

Click here to go straight to the recipe When I prep sauerkraut, I add salt to a bowl of chopped vegetables, crush the vegetables, let them sit while they release water and then pack everything into clean jars. When I prep kimchi, I add a lot of salt to a bowl of chopped vegetables, pour […]

How to Maintain and Revive Cast Iron Pans

If Cast Iron Protective Services was a thing, my two pans would have been taken away from me long ago. I never cooked in them. I stored them in the oven—and kept them there with the heat on. I rarely seasoned them. When I saw Heidi Alvarado’s post on Instagram explaining her clever (and easy!) […]