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newsletter, summer 2004

Dear family and friends,

We hope you’re having a wonderful summer. For the past 3 months, we have been settling on our homestead in Weaverville, NC near Asheville. We will be living in our RV for another year while we build our new house and cooking school. We are excited and have been busy clearing land and finishing the design. The house will include a passive solar design, solar hot water for domestic and space heating and many other features which demonstrate sustainable living. Ground breaking is the first week of August!

We did put in a small garden with herbs. Fortunately, we have many organic gardeners in the area and have farmers’ markets many times throughout the week. Thanks to a wet spring, there is much bounty. If you don’t know where local growers are in your area, you might try the internet site: http://foodroutes.org

Books we recommend

For a good summertime read, try The Captain’s Wife by Douglas Kelley. It is based on an amazing, true story of a heroic woman on board a clipper ship. Also, as a reminder most libraries have books on tape which add to the enjoyment of long road trips or just good company on that drive to work. Joe just listened to Girl with A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier en route to Raleigh/Durham, N.C.

Sites we recommend
Our new address is about two miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and it is such a joy. Not only is the parkway a lovely, forested, unspoiled, leisurely way to travel over 400 miles across Virginia and North Carolina, but it also provides many pullouts and hiking paths. Several times a week we hike the Mountain-To-Sea trail here. What a great way to slow down, enjoy the moment and get exercise all at the same time!

Renewable and loving it!
One way to reduce energy consumption is to reduce A/C use. Create comfortable places out-of-doors to enjoy nature, pick up a breeze and stay cooler. We put a picnic table under a little canopy  near the RV and enjoy lunch outside almost every day. Individual room fans are a great alternative and may provide you more comfort, since they help you feel more than 5 degrees cooler.

You can also take heat sources outside of your house. We are using a solar cooker routinely. It cooks by itself for hours and it even cooks on partly sunny days. In addition, many nights we cook fish, vegetables, sweet corn and grain burgers outside on the grill and use the grill’s side burner to boil grains, beans and pasta.

Cook's Tip/Recipes of the Month
Summer is a great time for salads which have become our staple for lunch. We add grilled vegetables (we make extra the night before), avocado, garden-fresh herbs for zing, red radish, sliced carrots, kalamata olives, sliced cucumbers, roasted red peppers, roasted nuts and sometimes little bits of imported feta  or organic, raw goat cheese.

We rediscovered the tremendous difference it makes to dress the entire salad first:  We place the salad in a large bowl, add a small amount of a favorite dressing, toss for 30-45 seconds, taste, then add more dressing if desired. You’ll find that you will not use as much dressing (fewer calories), you won’t end up with a pool of salad dressing at the bottom of your bowl (less mess and less waste) and your salad will taste better! We really like Jonathan’s Cherry wood forked salad set to toss the greens: www.woodenspoon.com (800) 776-6853.

Products of the Month:
In search of the best tools, gadgets and ingredients

As promised in our last e-newsletter, our favorite cod liver oils (taste, quality, value) are by Carlson and Nordic Naturals. We highly recommend the flavored versions. The best quality, organic, extra-virgin, cold-processed coconut oils are distributed by Herbs of Life (386) 462-0026 and Radiant Life (888) 593-8333. Olive oil brands will be addressed in the upcoming fall e-newsletter.

Turtle Mountain has developed two more delicious, fruit-sweetened, frozen, non-dairy desserts under the brand name, It’s Soy Delicious: Almond Pistachio and Tiger Chai. They are so good, one tablespoon (each) satisfies us!

Pampered Chef makes a fabulous avocado peeler, stone muffin pan, apple corer and suds pump!

Jonas offers a very handy measuring spoon that Lenore is using all the time now. It’s one piece with a tablespoon on one end and a teaspoon on the other.

We have discovered the best grilling tools this summer: just about anything made by Charcoal Companion (800) 521-0505, Oxo self-closing 12-inch tongs, Pampered chef Barbecue Mitt and a silicone basting brush called Siligourmet, distributed by William Bounds (800) 473-0504.

Acme Bag makes a very useful, folding nylon tote that fits into a 2-inch pouch to take shopping (888) 707-3873. For more info, visit http://reusablebags.com/vision.php

Last, but not least, I’ve finally found a product that truly eliminates unwanted odors in the refrigerator, freezer or anywhere else where there are pets, dirty clothes, trash, etc. It is an inexpensive, activated charcoal odor absorber called Fridge-It that lasts 6 months. It is made by Innofresh  Products, Inc. (602) 866-0411 and is available at Wal-mart and Linens N Things.

If you are interested in non-stick Scanpan fry pans, they are all on sale now, e-mail or call us.

If you have a broadband connection and are a familiar with “The Matrix”, here is an interesting short film you might enjoy: http://www.themeatrix.com

We may live without poetry, music and art…
We may live without conscience and live without hearts…
We may live without friends…
We may live without books…
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
- Atheneus
Enjoy your summer and we wish you safe travels,
Lenore and Joe
(828) 645-1412
Please note we are no longer using (248) 752-7790

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