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newsletter, dec 2003 - jan 2004

Dear family and friends,

Our best wishes to you and your family for a joyous and blessed holiday season. If you are traveling, have safe journeys. We are still on the road where our national book tour takes us to the sunny, warm Southeast US...of all places.

Our thanks to Gerard Lum who has taken over webmaster duties for www.lenoresnatural.com. He has updated information and added the latest e-newsletter to our home page. The listing of stores where Lenore's books are available is now up-to-date. Gerard did an excellent job of working long distance with us, understanding our needs and filling in the blanks! If any of you need some reasonably priced web-services, you can reach him through e-mail: GerardTL@aol.com

Our fall travels ended in the mountains of western North Carolina, north of Asheville, where we fell in love with the area and the people. We have decided to open the cooking school there when our tour ends.

In the meantime, Florida (December & January) and Georgia (February) and miscellaneous book signing appearances (spring & summer) in the mid-Atlantic states will be on the schedule. Our plans to go to the Northeast and Alaska will have to wait until 2006.

Sites we recommend
While on tour, we are staying at many Florida State Parks. We are pleasantly surprised with such abundant beauty, peace, ocean beaches and trails. Most of these campgrounds are nestled within huge wildlife preserves. This is the "Real Florida" at a fraction of the cost of any resort. www.floridastateparks.org

Renewable and loving it!
Instead of buying a lot of things for each other that you might not need or use, consider investing in a low energy usage refrigerator if yours is older than 10 years. You will save considerable money on your electric bills and burn fewer "dead dinosaurs". The industry has come a long way in addressing the energy consumption of this major home appliance which is on all the time.

If you're looking for a very worthwhile charity to support before the end of the year (or anytime), consider the Solar Oven Society, a non-profit organization. The Solar Oven Society provides low-cost, effective, durable, attractive solar ovens, education and training to help families in sun-rich, fuel-poor countries improve their environmental, health, nutrition, time and finatial resources. Millions of people living in developing countries have major health problems related to contaminated drinking water and cooking over wood fires. You can help. For more information, go to their website www.solarovens.org or call at (612) 623-4700. After we visited their office this summer, we were so impressed with the good work that they're doing that we have helped do what we can to support their effort. And their ovens are made from 68 20-ounce plastic beverage bottles!

Recipes of the Month
If you've never made Creole Pea Soup (p 76, from my Sublime Soups cookbook), try it if you want a warm, wonderful, spicy soup with a twist. On the other end of the spectrum, try Puree' of Parsnip Soup for a soothing, creamy soup (p43 of Sublime Soups).

Products of the Month
These are a few of my favorite things...I may not be Oprah, so I can't give everyone who reads our newsletter these products that I use and love. However, I can highly recommend them for you to use or to give as a gift:

  • Maranantha Peanut Butter - It is alfatoxin-free, has a nice roasted flavor and is organic. It will be easy to get kids to eat because the taste is so much better than other P.B.s. For variety, try their almond butter, cashew butter and roasted tahini.

  • Jonathan's Spoons - A big selection of beautiful and functional wild cherry tools and spoons are available at www.woodspoon.com.  I use them every day because of their so aesthetic and really work.

  • Silicone Zone - They make 100% silicone products like muffin "tins", cake pans, etc. Nothing sticks or stains their fabulous baking liners for cookie sheets and they can be cut to fit any size pan! Best silicone around, better than even the European silicone products. All baked goods brown well with super-easy clean-up.

  • Cool Touch, Oven Rack Guard by Jaz-Innovations - They use a heat-resistant fabric to snap on the outside edge of an oven rack. The amazing thing is that you can grab this protector bare-handed and pull out the oven rack to check food's done-ness. Even when I am just reaching my hand in the oven without pulling the rack out, it has kept me from burning my arm against the oven rack. Available through the William Sonoma catalog.

  • Leifheit Tea pot - This company makes the best glass-lined teapot I've been using for years for steeping tea. It is the Leifheit Columbus Carafe 2000 at $25. They are available in many colors at www.leifheithousewares.com.

  • Scanpan Frypans on Sale from January through March - Classic: 9-inch $29, 10-inch is $49, 11-inch is $59, 12-inch is $69. Ergonomic: 9-inch $29, 11-inch is $49, 12-inch is $69, Square griddle is $49.

  • Only have things around you that are useful or beautiful.

  • A North Dakota farmer on his marriage of 40 years: "Kissin' don't last but good cookin' does." - On the Road by Charles Kuralt.

  • In time for New Year's Resolutions, How to Build Community (a poster put out by the Members of SCW community"):

    "Turn off your TV · Leave your house · Know your neighbors · Look up when you are Walking · Greet People · Sit on your Stool · Plant Flowers · Use your Library · Play together · Buy from Local Merchants · Share what you have · Help a lost dog · Take children to the park · Garden together · Support neighborhood schools · Fix it even if you didn't break it · Have pot lucks · Honor elders · Pick up litter · Read stories aloud · Dance in the street · Talk to the mail carrier · Listen to the birds · Put up a swing · Help carry something heavy · Barter for your goods · Start a tradition · Ask a question · Hire young people for odd jobs · Organize a block party · Bake extra and share · Ask for help when you need it · Open your shades · Sing together · Share your skills · Take back the night · Turn up the music · Turn down the music · Listen before you react to anger · Mediate a conflict · Seek to understand · Learn from new and uncomfortable angles · Know that no one is silent though many are not heard...work to change this."

Dieting Rule#1: If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories.
Dieting Rule#2: If you fatten up everyone else around you, you look thinner.

Since our travel schedule is changing, we don't expect to have as much news. We will begin sending the e-newsletter out quarterly, so look for the next newsletter in March, 2004.

Happy Holidays,
Lenore and Joe
(828) 645-1412

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