She Brings Me Water

An aeclectic look at the nearby world

Archive for Proust

So you don’t have to…

I have a cyber-friend who occasionally puts up a post on her blog that she calls “I surf so you don’t have to”.  The posts usually contain many links to interesting, informative and creative sites that she’s run across on her travels through the Web-o-sphere.  So I’m taking a page from her book today and posting a few links to some things of interest I have encountered to share with you, beginning with her blog:

I belong to an online community of people who love books; it’s called Library Thing and today they posted an idea they have come up with for the holidays called Santa Thing.  It’s sort of a Secret Santa project where you can sign up to secretly give $25 worth of books to someone (chosen by Library Thing) and sign yourself up to receive books as well.  They say it’s better to give than to receive but I may be on the fence with that one when it comes to books.  Just kidding.  Maybe. Oh well, here’s the link:

Speaking of communities, perhaps you’ve been searching for just the right place to jump into the Web 2.0 world but don’t know where to start?  Some places are too huge and impersonal, or have no “real-world” components, or no mission in cyber-life other than to make as many “friends” as possible…here’s a place, a new-kid on the block, where there is a mission and a real-world aspect.  It’s called Avanoo and one of it’s founders has just set off on a trip across the US to “Share the World”.  Whose world?  Go see:

But wait!  Perhaps you are put off by that term “Web 2.0”; what does that mean, anyhow?  Learn all about it, how to participate in it, and all kinds of other interesting things along the way at  Start at step one and work your way down the path.  Be sure to bookmark this journey because other steps will be added as the days count down to Christmas.  Brought to you by the good people at Soul Food.

Okay, you have a lot to do now, get going on all these links and when you have mastered it all, head over to Web Worker Daily and write up a post (for your new blog or for Avanoo) so you can have a chance at winning a prize!  And if you win, remember who tipped you off!  Me!!

And to end on one last shameless plug for myself, a recent commenter on my Proust blog revealed to me that Starbucks (I’m not putting a link here, we all know where they are) carries madeleines!  I am not a frequenter of Starbucks but I had to check this out, so last Friday, while on a shopping trip, I stopped in at Starbucks.  I didn’t see any madeleines so I asked and sure enough, from behind the counter in a little fridge, they pulled out a box of them.  “How many would you like?” the barrista asked.  I said, “I was told you had them and just wanted to see if you did”.  So they showed me the package (3 madeleines for $1.95!!), I decided to buy one and was asked what I wanted to drink with that?  Nothing, I said.  Strange looks all around.  I put the madeleines in my purse and ate one with my homemade chocolate coffee when I got home.  How were they?  Okay.  But here’s a link to the post, which also contains a link to recipes for regular and chocolate madeleines.  Much better and cheaper made at home:



Yellow Squash, Native Americans and Locavores

Want the good news first or the bad?  Okay, bad news first: A night or two of freezing temps have killed the squash.  It was a gamble from the start and we (or they) lost.  The good news?  Our survival doesn’t depend on the success of our squash crop.

The early English colonists to this country were dependent on their crops for their survival.  When the pilgims in New England had a really good year, they decided to give thanks by having a big feast.  They invited the locals, the natives who had helped them survive and taught them what was good to eat here and how to grow it.  According to one of the only two period accounts that tell of that first “Thanksgiving”, the natives brought five deer.  There were games as well, and a good time was had by all.  That’s the good news.  The bad news?  Our United States government still refuses to grant some Native American tribes in Virginia sovereign Indian Nation status (read more about it here).  So the descendents of some of the Native Americans who may have aided the colonists at Jamestown and other East Coast settlements, are not being recognized or assisted by the federal government that they helped make possible.  Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

Native Americans at a Powwow in Virginia Beach, Va. 

I’m sorry I did not ask their names or their tribe.

And while we’re on the subject, we (husband and I) don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but this year I cooked a meal for us that (almost) falls within the definition of the word that was just voted 2007’s Word of the Year by Oxford University Press: locavore.  The word means someone who eats only food that has been grown or harvested within 100 miles of where they live (this 100-mile zone is known as your “foodshed”).  Here’s what we had:

Swiss chard from our garden (chopped, steamed briefly and seasoned with lemon pepper, garlic powder and olive oil)

Sweet Potatoes from the neighbor’s garden (sliced in half, placed in a casserole with butter, cooked till tender)

Corn Pudding from our corn and using a recipe from Barbara Kingsolver’s new book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (see recipe here)

Cranberries from the grocery store (organic in a bag, cooked with sugar and water)

I said almost locavore because the seasonings in all the dishes and the ingredients in the corn pudding (besides the corn) were not sourced locally.  Kingsolver’s book is about the year her family went locavore; I recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about being a locavore or anyone who just wants to read a really fine writer.  Or you could read my latest work called Proust was a Locavore.  Just kidding.