Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Martha Stewart's Kale, Bean, and Barley Soup

From October 2009 Photos

My version above is only slightly different from the "Black-Kale and White-Bean Soup with Barley" shown on page 186 of the November 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living. For instance, I used vegetable stock instead of chicken. I also used plain, ol' kale from the co-op. But otherwise, it was the same recipe, and looks very similar to what shown in the photos.

I wish I could share the recipe with you, but it's not available on the Martha Stewart site yet. Suffice to say, it's wonderful stuff with loads of nutritional value (without fat or cholesterol). Great for chilly days.

What I can recommend is that you pay a visit to your local library, or check your state library's web site to see if they have a copy you can borrow and photocopy the recipe for your own use (not for distribution or publishing on your blog, if you have one, without permission).

One last thing -- the recipe says it serves 4. Serves four giants, more likely! I got more than 10 servings, plus some for the freezer. Just bear that in mind. The photo above shows my largest dutch oven.

What's your favorite soup?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stopping in for a Little Catch-up

I feel like I've been neglecting this blog in favor of my independent study, my online class, my other class, my agave nectar blog, and my life offline. So, here's what's been happening (insomuch as I'll share up here).

When I look at it objectively, there is a LOT on my plate. But, it's mostly enjoyable stuff. For instance, I like the challenges of learning all kinds of new things related to digital and brick-and-mortar libraries. It's been very interesting investigating collections of artists' books, as well as other digitization projects for research purposes. It's amazing how many different ways people describe the same things.

I also have enjoyed making new friends in the MLIS program. There are some very sharp and amusing people who are becoming librarians right now. I've also enjoyed doing some fun things with friends I already have, like visiting the new wood block prints exhibit at the Zimmerli with Tanya.

There also have been very nice visits with Mom and Dave, especially their annual cousins party, where my tuna, egg, and pasta salad was a big hit. (I really should make that again soon. It's yummy!)

And, I've taken advantage of the fact that both my courses are online this semester. I've attended a bookmaking workshop at Mason Gross (Rutgers' art school), and I'm scheduled to attend an archivist conference at the end of this month in Jersey City.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll be able to juggle it all, plus the other life stuff (time with John, exercise, cooking, blogging, etc.). I guess the thing is that I already am, and that's good because I only have the rest of this semester and the spring to finish in order to earn my degree.

One last thing -- one of the primary foci of this blog has (in the past) been gardening. I will get back to that in the warmer months, but in the meantime, here's an early photo of my spring garden to keep you warm.

From first May 2008 garden updates

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Wish I Was There Standing Up with You for Equality

I wish I had gone to Washington today with Thom as I originally said I would instead of staying home to work on school projects. I hope he's there. Today is an important day for taking a stand. Well, every day is an important day to take a stand for equal rights.

Even as someone who has experienced discrimination and hatred against my gender and religion, I cannot possibly understand how my LGBTQ friends feel every day that their legal rights are not the same as mine. If you don't know what I mean, let me expand a bit with an example.

God forbid anything happens to me, John can sit at my beside with me and potentially pull the plug because we're married. My social security benefits automatically go to him as well as many other monetary benefits. He also has access to my medical records. This is not the case for my LGBTQ friends in most states of the U.S. There needs to be a national policy because otherwise, my friends are not considered equal despite the fact that they are 1. American, 2. just as human as I am, and 3. love just as deeply as I do (although that doesn't enter into it, legally speaking -- I'm just a bit wound up about this whole thing so bear with me).

Yesterday, President Obama spoke at the national annual dinner of Human Rights Campaign. I was home and watched his speech. It struck me that he committed to a few things, but not everything. It also seemed like a very politically driven speech, and not as well written as many of his other speeches. It was like half of it was coming from him and half were words that were concessions. However, he did go further than any other president has ever gone. He might well be the first president to ever say "Transgendered" in public.

There is much work to be done, and I'm glad that the Human Rights Campaign folks are working night and day to change things. There are many other organizations that are trying to move our country in ways that promote equality (here's a great big list). I hope that you'll consider standing up for equal rights today and every day until everyone regardless of their gender identity or sexuality gets the same rights across the board.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Visit Your Local Museum

Wherever you live, there are museums, and they are wonderful places to explore new ideas, images, and more. They also tend to have loads of events for kids and adults. Tonight, if you are in the New Brunswick, N.J. area, I recommend visiting the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum.

Tonight, a guitarist will be playing throughout the evening, the film Mechanic to Millionaire: The Peter Cooper Story, will be shown at 6:30 pm, and tours of select exhibitions will be given at 7 and 8 pm. At the same time, a poetry showcase will be ongoing followed by open mic opportunities for poets.

You should definitely check it out!

Image credit: Copyright The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum