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Something Good for the Planet

November 30th, 2008

This time of year most of our mailboxes are stuffed with catalog’s for various retailers. All of them offering the latest and greatest things to spend your hard earned money on. I dislike getting junk mail in general, not just catlogs. For one, it’s a waste of my time. Second, it’s a waste of paper. Third, It’s a waste of money for the company that sent it (and mine if I happen to order something).

A year ago, I came across Catalog Choice. It’s a great site for deleting your name from various retailer’s mailing lists. All you have to do is sign up for an account and every time you get a catalog, you sign on, find the catalog and have your name checked off of their list. Easy as can be! I signed up in January of this year and I am receiving noticeable fewer catalogs (particularly this Christmas season). I must say, I’m a big fan (and I’m sure the earth is happy as well). Now if only they would offer it for credit card applications.

Is your mailbox overflowing with catalogs this time of year?

It’s Not Over Yet

November 29th, 2008

Thanksgiving is gone for this year but it’s not over yet. Not as long as there are leftovers in the fridge. Everyone has their own method for using up leftovers. Some refuse to eat them at all, some eat the same Thanksgiving meal over and over until it’s gone, others try to creatively eat them up so their families don’t ban turkey until next Thanksgiving.

We do a little of everything here. First, we try to not end up with too many leftovers by cooking smaller amounts of things. Second, we eat a meal or two of Thanksgiving day menus. Our best way of getting rid of leftovers however is to come up with creative ways to eat them up. In the past we have enjoyed things like grilled turkey & cheese sandwiches, turkey & vegetable stew, turkey chili and turkey quesadillas. This year will be no different, I’ve been searching around the internet and reading through all my cookbooks looking for some good suggestions.

I haven’t decided exactly how to consume these leftovers (I was able to give some to my sister & my parents so we don’t have much turkey left to eat). I am making some stock to keep in the freezer, that will flavor winter soups & stews. I found a few interesting recipes on-line that I might try.

Kalyn’s Kitchen had a delicious looking Turkey & Barley Soup recipe Wednesday that I may try.

Jenny Yu over at Use Real Butter is eating turkey reubens, that could be interesting.

I also found another page devoted to leftover turkey recipes that has some interesting options, perhaps a turkey curry (that sounds good to me!).

Any suggestions? What’s your favorite leftover meal?

Thanksgiving Day Success

November 28th, 2008

Yesterday morning Mr Chiots and I woke up before the sun to head to Canton to run in the 12th Annual Perry Rotary Turkey Trot. We have been doing this for 4 years now. It’s always a fun race, nothing like starting your Thanksgiving off on the right foot. When you run a 5K you don’t feel so bad for eating tons of turkey & trimmings later that day!

This morning we packed up the car (with all of the food we were taking to my parent’s house) and headed out. It was a crisp 18 degrees on our way in to town, perfect running weather. We stopped in town to meet some friends that were running with us and off we went. By the time we arrived and picked up our numbers, the sun had come out and it was warming a bit. It was the perfect morning for a race (although I do love it when it’s snowing). There’s nothing like running with 1,400 other people to kick of your Thanksgiving day festivities.

After the race we headed to my parent’s house to get the cooking started. The turkey went in the oven, the rolls and stuffing were made, chestnuts and sweet potatoes were roasted. A few cups of coffee were enjoyed (and a quick slice of pie) while everything was baking, roasting and rising away!


I must say it ended up being the perfect meal. Everything was fantastic, from the delicious local turkey to the local green beans & corn my sister brought, all the way down to the perfect turkey gravy, 3 different kinds of squash pie and the wine a friend gave us (a delicious Winter Reisling from a friend’s winery in Indiana), I don’t think there was a better Thanksgiving feast being eaten anywhere in the country!

We still have 2 more official Thanksgiving meals to go to (not counting all the leftover meals), so our festivities are not over yet, we’ll be eating more turkey and trimmings. So how many Thanksgivings do you attend?

Happy Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2008

Here is an interesting article on the history of Thanksgiving and what kinds of food were consumed back then. It includes a menu of what they would have eaten. It was kind of a forced local and seasonal Thanksgiving back then with no supermarkets.

Our modern Thanksgiving repast is centered around the turkey, but that certainly wasn’t the case at the pilgrim’s feasts. Their meals included many different meats. Vegetable dishes, one of the main components of our modern celebration, didn’t really play a large part in the feast mentality of the seventeenth century. Depending on the time of year, many vegetables weren’t available to the colonists.

The pilgrims probably didn’t have pies or anything sweet at the harvest feast. They had brought some sugar with them on the Mayflower but by the time of the feast, the supply had dwindled. Also, they didn’t have an oven so pies and cakes and breads were not possible at all.

Regardless of what we eat, we celebrate this holiday as a day of giving Thanks.

What am I thankful for this year?
for the great country that I live in
for Mr Chiots of course (and Lucy and the cats, Samson & Sofie)
for my family and our friends
my health and the health of my family
the local farmers that spend their time growing healthy veggies and raising healthy meats for us to eat
and all of my blog readers of course!

What are a few things you’re thankful for this year?

OOOOOOO, Opossum

November 26th, 2008

Last week we spotted a baby ‘possum by the garage here at Chiot’s Run. It sure was cute.


I had to laugh because when I posted about our local turkeys I made a comment about how creepy opossums were. Lee commented about opossums on that post, this is what he said,

“Opossums are not so ugly. Baby opossums are very cute. They come to my backyard to eat the cat food and the fruits from my trees. Once in a while the babies come in the house so I grab them and take them to animal control. The ones that stay outside I leave them alone. Opossums are considered beneficial animals so they are not euthanized over here in southern California. They are taken to the hills and released. The babies are taken to opossum sanctuary where they are kept till they are big enough to be released in the hills. Isn’t that great? By the way, opossums are resistant to rabies so they are pretty safe to have them around in the backyard. Since the opossums showed up I no longer have slug and snail infestation. They love to eat the slugs and snails. I no longer have to use baits. One problem I have with them is that they love to leave presents in the greenhouse where I keep my orchids. Sigh lol.”

I guess he’s right, the baby ones are pretty cute. The adult ones however, still creep me out.

What do you think? creepy or cute?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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