Friday, February 20, 2009

I May Not Post Often Enough, But At Least She Does

I just discovered this blog about AIDS, gender and health. Despite the dismal and academic-sounding subject matter, it's hilarious, so I spend a lot of time procrastinating here.

Here are some favorites:
Get Money From the Global Fund
Play Public Health Bingo During Boring Meetings

Monday, February 16, 2009

Recycling Is Edible

Grad school is affording few adventures to blog about lately, unless you want to hear about how the Republicans slashed family planning from the Medicaid portion of the stimulus package.

(What's that? You DO want to hear more! Here you go then...)

Lately my life extends from my bed to my desk to my kitchen to my toilet to my bed to my desk to my kitchen to my

In Kenya I started taking inventories of the food in my kitchen, so I could better plan meals, reduce food waste and save money. There's something satisfying about using every last bit of the goat that you never asked for, but that your well-meaning friend brought you as a gift. (Unfortunately, in the case of the goat, I tried to make wontons and ended up with a very pungent bowl of soup that reminded me of a petting zoo. Goat is gamey, make no mistake about it. I conveniently left it on my doorstep overnight "to cool", since I didn't have a fridge. In the morning it was gone, but in its place was a thank you note signed by a mongoose.)

Anyway, I've imported the inventory-taking habit back to the States with me, and have developed a rigorous system of meal-planning around it. Actually, last year my inventory-taking was occasional and recreational. I didn't become hard core about it until I got back from Thailand. When I moved back into my apartment in January, I found stuff sitting in the back of the fridge, or in the boxes I'd packed away for storage, and decided that if it was still good, I'd use it.

Some of it was easy. Grits, oatmeal, curry powder, spices, dried shitake mushrooms, rice. That sort of stuff doesn't go bad.

I also found some other stuff that seemed questionably promising. Mayonnaise? Olives?

The olives were probably still good, but there were a few white floaties in the jar, so I tossed them. They were purchased as garnish for martinis, and I figured that I might benefit from fewer of those this semester, at least until graduation.

It also turns out that despite mayonnaise being a code word for "lots of eggs that would normally go bad pretty quickly," my jar of mayo was still good. Apparently that's because mayonnaise also has enough preservatives to ensure a half-life of several centuries. Thanks to calcium disodium EDTA, I made a tuna salad last week and a potato salad this week.

It has actually been really nice to cook and eat exactly what I want, and not have to spend a fortune on it.

But first, a segue.

How much would you suppose this juice would cost?

Let's consider what you're getting in this 15.2 oz bottle of 100% juice. It actually tells you. Inside this bottle you will find: 30 blueberries, 8 blackberries, 3.5 apples and half a banana. Also you get an assortment of vitamins and minerals, and supposedly all the ingredients are natural.

The suggested retail price is between $3.19 and $3.79, not cheap.

I PAID $4.25!!!!

What's wrong with this planet? This is why poor people buy soda when they don't feel like drinking tap water. (Which, by the way, isn't filtered in New York. Very clean, but not filtered.)

Last I checked, people were still quoting the liar who said that health is a right, not a privilege. Tell that to the folks who designed our health care system, the only one in a Western developed nation that isn't nationalized and universal.

I've been studying my health policy notes too closely. Switching gears...

Tonight's dinner was a meal-planning, food recycling success story. It's almost like having my own Iron Chef show at every meal. I opened the fridge to find today's special ingredients:

a bowl of leftover chicken broth
white mushrooms, getting old
brown mushrooms, getting old
shitake mushrooms
tom yam soup mix in a jar
half a container of tofu fa* I bought in Flushing** last week, getting old

* a very very soft tofu that is usually eaten as a very very delicious dessert
** better Chinese food than anything you'll find on the island; try Jade Asian Restaurant for dim sum, but be prepared for a wait

I was inspired by this Korean tofu pot restaurant I went to in Ft. Lee, NJ, a few weeks ago. I don't remember the name, but I think it was this one. I don't have a ton of experience with Korean tofu, but it was the best I've ever had, by leaps and bounds. I'm accepting eating buddies to accompany me on a second visit.

Anyway, I had a Thai soup mix, not a Korean one; and Chinese style dessert tofu, not Korean soft tofu. But, throw it all together, add vermicelli noodles and a raw egg, and voila...

A ridiculously delicious recycled meal.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New York in LEGOs

This is so creative...

I LEGO New York