Tag Archives: food

Kid’s Stuff–Something To Do When There’s No School


When I put together my Kid’s Stuff book someday, this will be one of the activities. It’s the directions for making a homemade ginger ale, called ginger bug, the all natural way. Tell your kids this is how the early settlers would do it. It makes it more interesting to them.

The recipe comes from http://www.foodunderfoot.com, a web site about edible plants that grow wild in your neighborhood. (And it is a great source of activity ideas to teach your kids cool stuff about the world around them. Boy and Girl Scout kinds of things.)

School will be out for the holidays. Maybe you can make this fizzy beverage together to keep the kids out of mischief, for a few minutes each day anyway. Be sure to serve it icy cold.

To make the ginger bug:
■3 cups water
■2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger (unpeeled, washed)
■2 Tbsp sugar (organic is best)

To a glass jar add the above ingredients and stir well. Cover with a cloth and leave on the counter for 2 days.

After two days, add 2 tsp chopped unpeeled ginger and 2 tsp sugar each day for a week. Stir a couple times a day. Keep covered with a cloth on the counter (not refrigerated.) It should get fizzy and taste like ginger ale. It is now ready to use.

Lessons Learned from Hurricane Sandy


Before Hurricane Sandy hit U. S. shores, I heard a few emergency preparedness public service announcements that urged people to collect food, water, and other supplies needed for three days in the event Sandy cut off access to services.

What Sandy–and Katrina for that matter–taught me is this:

  1. The loss of electricity means more than the absence of lights. Use of gasoline pumps, ATM machines, heaters, cold food storage and other necessities can be lost. Pharmacies close so that those who are ill can’t get prescription medications. Refrigerated or frozen food at home or in grocery stores and restaurants spoil. Banks close so no one has access to their money.
  2. The loss of access to necessities can last much longer than anyone anticipates. Older or disabled persons living on top stories of buildings without electrical power to run elevators or health-related equipment may be cut off from things they need to stay alive. In the aftermath of Sandy, some communities were told the citizens would have to make do without power for six weeks or more. At the onset of winter, life can get brutal quickly if one has no way to keep warm.
  3. The destruction of infrastructure impedes the flow of commerce. In the aftermath of Sandy, it was difficult to get food and water to stores or distribution centers because debris clogged roads. Further, disruptions in energy distribution meant folks had a hard time buying gasoline to fill tanks so they could drive outside the destruction zone for supplies. Or vehicles were destroyed by flood waters, leaving owners stranded. One cruise ship that departed before Sandy hit, and was scheduled to sail for seven days, returned to New York to find the port closed and access denied. On the 15th day, the ship was still at sea, uncertain when it could return to its home port. Those on board didn’t know if their cars were still where they left them or washed away.
  4. To complicate matters more, society breaks down. Tempers flare and fights start over situations where one person attempts to take advantage of another. People cut into line instead of waiting their turn. Vandals use the cover of chaos to steal or damage property. Price gouging is rampant. The vulnerable are fearful. Children are sent to the safety of homes of distant relatives, while parents stay behind to clean and defend the homestead, which may have become a hazardous dump site.
  5. Few individuals had a plan for how to survive a disaster of Sandy’s magnitude.

When writing about a disaster setting, be accurate about the depth of the devastation. In the days following Sandy, several persons who were directly impacted by the storm said to us, “It’s nothing like you see on TV. It’s much worse.”

NEWS ALERT-Should You Rethink Eating Seafood from the Pacific?


Sorry to go off topic, but when I saw this today, I felt an obligation to share it. I don’t like seafood, but others I love do. This story has not been verified. I am sharing it here to provide information. It’s up to you to see if it is true through your own research.

On the financial news web page ZeroHedge.com, I found an article about radiation discovered in 15 separate bluefin tuna LAST SUMMER by government test agencies. Only now is the news breaking. The ZeroHedge.com story quotes several mainstream media sources. The full article can be read here:

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-05-29/%E2%80%9Cabsolutely-every-one%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%93-15-out-15-%E2%80%93-bluefin-tuna-tested-california-waters-co

Read what news sources are saying after interviewing those involved in testing the fish.

CNN reports today:

Low levels of radioactive cesium from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned up in fish caught off California in 2011, researchers reported Monday.

The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources

The Wall Street Journal quotes the studies’ authors:

“The tuna packaged it up and brought it across the world’s largest ocean,” said marine ecologist Daniel Madigan at Stanford University, who led the study team. “We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.”

***

“We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium-134 and cesium-137,” said marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York state, who was part of the study group.

As Reuters points out:

Unlike some other compounds, radioactive cesium does not quickly sink to the sea bottom but remains dispersed in the water column, from the surface to the ocean floor.

Fish can swim right through it, ingesting it through their gills, by taking in seawater or by eating organisms that have already taken it in ….

As CNN notes:

Neither [of the scientists who tested the fish] thought they were likely to find cesium at all, they said. And since the fish tested were born about a year before the disaster, “This year’s fish are going to be really interesting,” Madigan said.

“There were fish born around the time of the accident, and those are the ones showing up in California right now,” he said. “Those have been, for the most part, swimming around in those contaminated waters their whole lives.”

As KGTV San Diego explains:

The real test of how radioactivity affects tuna populations comes this summer when researchers planned to repeat the study with a larger number of samples.  Bluefin tuna that journeyed last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. The upcoming travelers have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period. How this will affect concentrations of contamination remains to be seen.

One of the studies’ authors told the BBC:

The fish that will be arriving around now, and in the coming months, to California waters may be carrying considerably more radioactivity and if so they may possibly be a public health hazard.
READING THIS PUTS A WHOLE NEW SPIN ON MY RECENT WORKS: Haiku “Something Dark This Way Comes” and my 55 word flash fiction piece “The Good Ship Diaspora.”