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Day 126 - Toy

Toy

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 126th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

Here’s one of Jeffe’s favorite toys, orange plastic thing. The rest of the shots, Day 126 – Cat and Stuff.

-Cara

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Scotch B

Summer is coming up, which means for me, it is time to make my Jamaican jerk sauce. Unlike most commercial jerk sauces, this one is not over sweetened and under spicy. This is the real deal. I have yet to make an entirely organic recipe as I have not found organic scotch bonnet peppers anywhere. I e-mailed a few companies today asking if they sold any organic scotch bonnet peppers or seeds. I will let you know what I find out. If you do find the organic peppers you can have an organic version of this Jamaican jerk sauce, which is how I will write it…I am just warning you if I can’t find organic scotch bonnet peppers anywhere in New York City, it might be hard for you as well. :)

Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup organic ground allspice berries [you can use organic allspice berries, if available, but use enough to give the equivalent of 1/2 cup ground.]
  2. 1/2 cup packed organic brown sugar
  3. 6-8 organic garlic cloves
  4. 4-6 organic scotch bonnet peppers [to control the temperature you can take out some of the seeds for less heat]
  5. 1 tablespoon organic ground thyme or 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves
  6. 2 bunches organic green onions [also known as scallions or spring onions]
  7. 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  8. 1/2 teaspoon organic nutmeg
  9. Organic salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 tablespoon organic tamari [or Bragg Liquid Aminos if you’d like] to moisten

Tools

Food Processor

What to do!

Place the allspice, brown sugar, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and tamari in a food processor and blend until smooth!

Once you are done put it in the refrigerator to chill. This sauce, if kept in the refrigerator, never goes bad. I usually rub it on my homemade organic seitan and leave it for a few hours to soak in, then cook it in a pan with a bit of oil for a few minutes on both sides till it’s warm enough. Then throw it on a roll will lettuce, mung bean sprouts, raisins [mine soon to be made in solar powered food dehydrator], and carrot shavings. It is the best, filling, and puts some pep in your step!

Scotch Bonnet Peppers are very tasty and one of the hottest peppers [a heat rating between 150,000–325,000 Scoville Units], some say it is the hottest, others say the habañero [a heat rating between 200,000-300,000 Scoville units] is. I say as far as heat I can tell no difference between the two, but I think scotch bonnet peppers are the best.

While doing my research on scotch bonnets I discovered this guy Neil who runs www.thehippyseedcompany.com. He created a YouTube channel dedicated solely to testing the effects of consuming a variety of hot peppers. In his own words, “Hey, ill test all my varieties, put the vids here, People can see my review buy the seeds if want and mabee get a laugh if its a Hot variety..”

His test rules are as follows,
1. Eat a whole chili
2. Chew a minimum of ten seconds
3. Swallow it (if can)
4. Wait sixty seconds
5. Note results

Sounds simple enough, but watching him go through it all is an experience in itself. If anyone has seen a friend in a bet eating a hot pepper or the millions of other YouTube videos where British guys are crying in pain as they eat their peppers, they are in for a surprise with these videos. This guy, he is serious…see for yourself below where he eats a whole scotch bonnet pepper and discusses in real time the effects it is having on him. Sometimes I really like the World Wide Web and what it brings to the table.

There are health benefits to eating scotch bonnet peppers as well. The active ingredient in scotch bonnet peppers [and all chili peppers] is Capsaicin. It has been said to be a miracle drug. I take it to increase my circulation, especially in the winter, in capsule form.

Here are some other ways chili peppers are healing according to SixWise.com,

1. Fight Cancer

A study published in Cancer Research found that capsaicin caused cancer cells to commit suicide. The substance caused almost 80 percent of prostate cancer cells to die in mice, and prostate tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of those in untreated mice.

“Capsaicin inhibits the growth of human prostate cancer cells in petri dishes and mice,” says lead researcher Dr. H. Phillip Koeffler, director of hematology and oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Further, researchers say capsaicin pills may one day be used to prevent the return of prostate cancer.

2. Provide Pain Relief

A topical form of capsaicin is a recognized treatment for osteoarthritis pain, and may also help alleviate pain from diabetic neuropathy.

Capsaicin is also known to inhibit Substance P, a neuropeptide that is the key transmitter of pain to the brain. Substance P can cause swelling of nerve fibers, which may result in headaches and sinus symptoms. Studies have found that capsaicin both relieves and prevents cluster headaches, migraine headaches and sinus headaches.

3. Prevent Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion

Capsaicin has potent antibacterial properties that fight and prevent chronic sinus infections, or sinusitis. Because it is so hot, it also helps to stimulate secretions that help clear mucus from your nose, thereby relieving nasal congestion. This phytochemical may also help relieve sinus-related allergy symptoms.

4. Fight Inflammation

Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It works by inhibiting Substance P, which is associated with inflammatory processes. Capsaicin is being looked at as a potential treatment for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy.

5. Soothe Intestinal Diseases

A Duke University study found that capsaicin may lead to a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The substance can also help to kill bacteria such as H. pylori, which can help prevent stomach ulcers.

6. Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Capsaicin is a thermogenic agent, which means it increases metabolic activity. This, in turn, helps to burn calories and fat. Many popular “fat-burning” supplements on the market contain capsaicin, as the substance may significantly increase metabolic activity for over 20 minutes after it’s eaten.

7. Protect Your Heart

Capsaicin may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. It may also help the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Further, cultures around the world that use hot peppers liberally in their meals have significantly lower rates of heart attack and stroke than cultures that do not.

Eat well.

-Cara

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Fish make vibratory sounds with various “calls” that researchers have identified as communicating alarm and aggravation. They possess fully formed nervous systems as well as complex social behaviors. They are also capable of learning complicated tasks. British researchers discovered in 2003 that fish have the cerebral mechanisms to feel pain. As one animal activist once put it, “Fish are not merely vegetables that can swim.”

I do like themes. I like “Shopping” Friday and “Game” Sunday. Lately I’ve been feeling like Saturday needs to be something Saturday. I mean a non-theme stuck between two themes is crazy. What I came up with is a good-for-you-vegetarian-recipe-that-I-like every Saturday entry… :D

I would like to welcome everyone to the first official “Veg Recipe” Saturday.

Let’s start off with a staple of the vegetarian world…

Organic Seitan

2 cups organic gluten flour

1 teaspoon organic garlic powder

1 teaspoon organic ground ginger

1 1/4 cup organic vegetable stock

3 tablespoons organic tamari

3 teaspoons organic sesame oil [optional]

Add garlic powder and ginger to flour and stir. Mix liquids together and add to flour mixture all at once. Mix vigorously with a fork. When it forms a stiff dough knead it 15 times.

Let the dough rest 5 minutes, then knead it a few more times. Let it rest another 15 minutes before proceeding.

Cut gluten into 6 to 8 pieces and stretch into thin cutlets. Simmer in broth for 60 minutes.

Broth

4 cups organic vegetable broth

1/4 cup organic tamari

3-inch piece of organic kombu

3 slices of organic ginger [optional]

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring broth to a boil. Add cutlets one at a time. Reduce heat to barely simmer when saucepan is covered. Seitan may be used, refrigerated, or frozen at this point.

I use this recipe all the time. I usually use vital wheat gluten when I do. It is great in a sandwich with homemade Jamaican Jerk sauce, lettuce, mung bean sprouts, raisins and carrot peels. I love it!!!

 

Bon Appétit

-Cara
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Every spring, neighbors of chicken feedlots in North Carolina desperately complain about the stench. It is then that ammonia-laden fumes from adjacent manure lagoons begin to permeate everything porous that they own: clothes, rugs, drapes, and hair–haunting them for weeks. But unlike the state’s infamous pork industry of 10 million hogs, poultry growing is virtually exempt from environmental regulation. For North Carolina’s 165 million tightly confined birds, there are no rules, because their waste is considered less noxious. But over a year’s time, the droppings and mortalities accumulate in pits below to about a foot deep and, to some, smell even worse than lagoons of pig excrement. Nearby wells become tainted from runoff, but it’s nearly impossible to trace this kind of pollution back to the polluter.

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