We may be able to look back on 2019 as the year when the most people realized just how stupid it is to destroy our own planet and started changing their own habits and crying out for systemic change. I certainly hope so. It's about time! In fact, it may be just about the last … Continue reading Now Is the Cool of the Day
This year I've been helping with a local challenge to reduce single-use plastics. My church hosted a screening of Plastic Paradise, a documentary I highly recommend for learning more about where plastic stuff goes when we throw it "away." Of course we wanted to serve some snacks to welcome people to our parish hall and … Continue reading Party Without Plastic! How to serve less trashy refreshments
This is a simple homemade version of the delicious "creamed spinach with cheese" dish popular in Indian restaurants. We've tweaked the recipe enough that it's become our own, and meanwhile the recipe we started from is no longer online. Paneer is a firm, white cheese you can buy at an Indian grocery store--it's the best … Continue reading Palak Paneer
Garam masala is an Indian spice blend available in bulk at the food co-op. We've often boiled green lentils with garam masala in a pot on the stove, as a high-protein main dish to go with whatever Indian vegetable dish we were making. Sometimes that's been kind of annoying, though, as the cooking time is … Continue reading Garam Masala Baked Lentils
I was raised Unitarian Universalist in Oklahoma. In theory, UU is a religion in which you can "build your own theology" and believe basically anything that works for you. In practice, Unitarians living surrounded by evangelical Christians (or rebelling against Catholic or Jewish childhoods) tend to be outspoken in their criticism of certain beliefs, so … Continue reading Pick Up the Receiver
Here are some upcoming events in our Challenge to reduce single-use plastic products in Pittsburgh: Tuesday, March 5, Allegheny County Council will consider a resolution on plastic reduction, 5:00pm at the City-County Building. Saturday, March 9, a "No Plastic, Please" Awareness Blitz will train volunteers to visit (the same day) restaurants in Squirrel Hill to … Continue reading Help Save Pittsburgh from Instant Garbage!
Here in Pittsburgh, we're having a challenge to reduce consumption of single-use plastic (SUP) products. If you live somewhere else, launch a challenge in your area! Even if you make it just your personal challenge to use fewer SUPs yourself and to ask the stores and restaurants you visit to stop pushing so many SUPs on … Continue reading Go Green in 2019: Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic!
Split pea soup is one of the first things we tried making when we got a slow cooker 5 years ago. We made a basic recipe with carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, and thyme, and it was okay, but only Daniel really liked it. I thought it was boring. Then I spotted a recipe for split … Continue reading Split Pea Curry Soup for Slow Cooker (vegan) (GF)
I recently read two novels translated into English, a book written in English that attempts to translate "boy world" into ideas parents can understand, and an English mystery with some parallels to the Swedish mystery I'd just read. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami, translated from Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum A young man finds … Continue reading Wild Sheep, Wingmen, and Dueling Detectives [book reviews]
Executive Summary: This is a C+ sauce. If you don't have time to make your own, this is better than no curry sauce at all. The flavor is not fabulous, probably because it's made with a lot of the wrong ingredients. My 14-year-old asked me to buy this sauce as a quick meal option, now that … Continue reading Trader Joe’s Thai Yellow Curry Sauce review
Like last year, this was a year in which The Earthling's Handbook drew more readers to the articles that have been here a long time (and therefore have been linked to more often, on other sites as well as in my own articles) than to new articles. The list of overall most-popular articles is so … Continue reading Top 18 Articles of 2018
We've had two cast iron skillets in our home for years, and we use at least one of them almost every day. This year, we inherited three more! That's what inspired me to collect a whole bunch of recipes for foods that cook well in cast iron. My friend Alison Frane (of Chickicheesinara Sauce fame) offered … Continue reading Magic Breakfast Burrito + 70 Things to Cook in Cast Iron
Three weeks ago, a man drove into my neighborhood, stormed into a synagogue, murdered eleven people, and shot and wounded several others. Well, that's old news. Why I am I still talking about it now, after there's already been a mass shooting of twelve people elsewhere in America? Because NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL, none … Continue reading The Tree of Life in the City of Steel
"Wildlife" sounds like something that lives out in the wild, right? We picture wildlife in the jungle, in the desert, or at least deep enough into the forest that it can't hear motors. But wild animals live in almost every acre of Earth's surface. Squirrels are wildlife. Ladybugs, ants, and even pigeons are wildlife. Leopards … Continue reading A Certified Wildlife Habitat in an Urban Churchyard
Next week, I'll be starting a new job! That's great news in general, but it means I only have two days left to savor my daily bus ride with my four-year-old Lydia, bringing her home from preschool. My new job's location makes it too difficult and time-consuming for me to get to Lydia's school by … Continue reading Two Books for Me, Two for My Four-Year-Old
Purple morning glories are growing in the treetop!Last fall, when I pulled down dead vines from my front yard, I tossed them onto the hillside in the back to help control erosion. Some of the seeds fell into the soil and grew into vines that have climbed over everything that helps them reach the light. … Continue reading A Morning Glory Moment on Earth
It's great to hear from readers who say that The Earthling's Handbook taught them some incredibly helpful idea that they use all the time now. That's what I want to do! I want to make the world a better place by sharing things that work for me, especially things that help people conserve resources, eat … Continue reading Am I your role model?
It's been a great summer for tomatoes here in western Pennsylvania! Our CSA farm share brought us 27 tomatoes and 18 tomatillos last week, and 38 tomatoes two weeks ago. We expect to get more tomatoes today! We learned several years ago that roasting in seasoned oil makes tomatoes taste great, take up less space, … Continue reading Tomatillo Salsa and 3 Flavors of Roasted Tomatoes
After I wrote about a stranger's astonishment that my four-year-old daughter understands what I read to her, and the book involved happened to be On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder, my mom sent me a link to an article about the recent controversy over whether Wilder's books are appropriate for today's … Continue reading Cultural Sensitivity and Laura Ingalls Wilder
Most of my life, I've enjoyed reading the same books over and over--not too often, but returning to old favorites every few years. I noticed that what felt like "a few years" increased as I got older, but then when I was pregnant with my daughter I suddenly wanted to read only books that were … Continue reading Two Books to Read Once