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For our health: a new pressure cooker

Monday, May 12, 2008

People who are (mostly) vegetarian & cook a lot of beans from scratch (that is, using dried beans) need to return to using pressure cookers. That's what my husband & stepdaughter told me. I was hesitant, since as I was growing up the pressure cooker was in use every day at our house but there were some scary accidents with it.

Turns out that these days there are some amazing pressure cookers with multiple valves, locking handles, & other safety features. We read some reviews & decided to go with the best, a Duromatic (Swiss made). Our order arrived last week, & on Saturday I tried it out. Since I had dried garbanzos on hand, I found a recipe for curried chickpeas. I soaked them ahead of time, & then they cooked beautifully in 10 minutes in the pressure cooker. We served them over skinny little Japanese noodles--really great!

Next I'm going to cook up the rest of the garbanzos & make hummus.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 5/25/2008 2:51AM

    That sounds absolutely delicious! I need to get a pressure cooker for our pintos... I live in KY (southern) and we like out pintos with cornbread and while it is not too healthy, fried potatoes to gowith it! Yum, Yum!!!

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ILYSE721 5/13/2008 7:33PM

    Wow, only 10 minutes? I've got to try one of those. Hummus sounds good, too but I just don't like what I have found out here. Maybe if I make my own...

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PJBOKC 5/12/2008 10:18PM

    Ruth - you are amazing! You have so much variety in your food. I, too, grew up around pressure cookers and was "taught" to fear them. So much of our food was home canned. My mother still cans at 83 y/o.

I want to try a pressure cooker, so thanks for the tip on the brand. It'll probably be a little down the road for me.

Great to hear from you today!

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I'm in!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I just heard that I'm accepted for the writers' workshop I had applied to attend this summer (the 2nd half of June). It's in Boston & will bring together many wonderful writers & activists; the focus is "war & its social consequences." I have a deep desire to become a stronger public poet, more skilled at writing protest poetry. This workshop is tailor made for that, & the instructors are wonderful.

I'll be staying in a dorm on another campus. Today I checked on MapQuest & saw that they are 3.7 miles apart! Maybe I'll walk (or run) back & forth each day; it would be great exercise, & I will have NO OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES that would require me to hurry! Of course I'll make sure I'd be going through areas that aren't too dangerous. I don't know my way around Boston at all.

I'm hugely excited!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 5/25/2008 2:48AM

    Ruth that sounds so exciting! I am very happy for you! Congratulations!

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MINEGA 5/11/2008 2:47PM

    How exciting for you, Ruth!!! What an incredibly exciting opportunity!! I wish you all the best with it!!

Thanks for dropping by my SPage blog. I was so happy to see you visit. I have been so busy since William was born.

I blogged again today with another picture of him if you want to see it.

I'm going to replace some of the photo's in my album one of these days. I'll let you know (I hope LOL) when I do - thanks again for dropping by.

I wish you a very blessed Mother's Day.


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PJBOKC 5/10/2008 12:03AM

    emoticon GOOD FOR YOU RUTH!! The workshop sounds like it's made for you. I've told you before - You are our voice through your poetry. I know this will be a wonderful experience for you.

I agree with Ilyse. Consider the weather conditions. Will Boston be much like Chicago in temp and humidity? I suggest some marathon type training prior to the workshop, and check out the mass transit system for Plan B - or maybe a combo of jogging and mass trans like you do now. Have you ever been to Boston? I haven't, but think it would be an interesting place to visit.

I'm so excited for you!

Comment edited on: 5/10/2008 12:02:12 AM

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ILYSE721 5/8/2008 7:00PM

    Way to go! I think that not only will you learn alot, but you will have fun too. As far as the running, think about the humidity too. Maybe bicycle?

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Learning new habits

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Today's NY Times has another good article on how we learn new habits--& why constantly trying new things (in small doses) is good for us. On lots of levels--for one thing, interestingly, when people do a small new thing every day (such as listening to a different radio station), they tend to lose weight! Now that one the scientists aren't yet able to explain. Also it's part of keeping our brains thriving as we age. Here's the link:

I do like my habits! Trying new things constantly is stressful. The article acknowledges that; one researcher says that the goal is to increase our "stretching," not to put ourselves under constant stress by trying to make huge changes all at once.

For some time I've felt a need to stretch as a poet; I'm hoping to attend a two-week workshop in Boston in June, to learn from some accomplished poets & try some new strategies/approaches.

The habit that I'm having a hard time establishing is earlier bedtime. Now that I've slept better for several nights in a row, it's time to try again to wrap things up earlier. Maybe I should try it in 15-minute increments: go to bed at 11:15 instead of 11:30 every night for a week, & then 11:00 & 10:45 & so on. The ideal, I think, would be 10:30.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 5/25/2008 2:45AM

    Ruth, that was a really good article and it made perfect sense. I am saving it and will look up that japanese technique to see what it is like, it sounds alot like what I call babysteps!

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PJBOKC 5/9/2008 11:58PM

    Hi Ruth,

I read quickly through the article. I can see where it would help to change routines. One thing I thought of as I was reading - if we listen to a new radio staion for instance, then maybe our mind won't be jogged to do what we might have usually done while listening to the old station - like stop and get donut on the way to work (just an example). So maybe one new habit allows us to bypass other habits we might have been practicing at the same time. Like they say not to eat in any room except the kitchen.

I feel the "stretch" is what we do with Spark People. So many gradual, small changes.

Your "time to bed" plan sounds workable.

Comment edited on: 5/11/2008 10:30:41 AM

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Funeral today

Saturday, May 03, 2008

& I've officially started on my mongo freelance project. Still, I took time for a run up to Morse Market. I came home running with two containers of oats, a jar of molasses, & a smallish papaya bouncing in my sling bag against my back. Felt as if I should be wearing a 'CAUTION--WIDE LOAD" sign. It definitely winded me more than normal running does, but there's no way to track the difference in the SP tracker. Guess I'll add 5 minutes to my running time to allow for it.

I'm going to shower now & get dressed for the funeral. Thanks so much for your kind words & prayers.


A shock

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My daughter-in-law's ex-husband, her daughter's father, was found dead in his apartment a couple of days ago. He had overdosed & died a whole week earlier.

My stepgranddaughter is 14 & going through a difficult adolescence. Her mom & stepdad (my son) are great, but her dad's issues (which I won't go into here) have cast a dark shadow over her life for years. Now he is gone; tomorrow E & K are helping his family clear out his apartment, & the funeral will be Saturday.

Please pray for them, & especially E, that God will comfort & strengthen them as they deal with the shock & grief (& maybe twinges of guilt for sometimes feeling relieved that he's gone).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 5/25/2008 2:37AM

    I cannot believe I have been unsubscribed from your blogs for so long and just now caught on to it!

I realize this is late in coming, but I sure hope things are better now for your grandaughter.


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PJBOKC 5/6/2008 12:44AM

    I'm so sorry for your step granddaughter and all she's going through. Fourteen is a tough age, and then to go through this.

I know God will be there for her, her mother and your son. I pray God will comfort all of them, and the bad memories will become distant, and over shadowed by the HOPE God gives us. It's powerful!

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KEEKEELEE 5/3/2008 8:24AM

    Honey, I don't know you but my prayers are sure w/you and your family at this time. Keekeelee

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ILYSE721 5/1/2008 5:55PM

    Of course I will pray for them. How terrible. Maybe your granddaughter can find closure for that 'dark shadow'. No reason to feel guilty for being relieved - I would feel the same way.

Ilyse emoticon

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