First of all, proof positive that Bonnie Tarses takes better pictures of Kai than I do.
Secondly, I call the photo below “Bears don’t eat my garbage.” I live out in the boonies, surrounded by woods. Last year we had a record four bears wandering our road, treating the garbage cans as their own personal buffet. I like bears. I understand that they were here first and have certain rights to the salmonberries and blackberries. I do not, however, like picking up garbage every morning at 6am. It’s just not a great start to my day.
Putting the trash cans in the garage isn’t a great option, either, as one neighbor found out when they stored the stinky remains of a salmon dinner in their garage. A louvered garage door is not much challenge to a hungry 600-pound black bear.
An ecologically minded neighbor researched ‘bear-resistant” locking garbage cans, and came up with this brand as the winner. Then she got an eco-grant to help offset the cost of folks in our neighborhood purchasing them (don’t I have great neighbors?)
Judging from the tipped over can and the claw marks, the score thus far:
Garbage can: 1
On the weaving front, I am puzzling out a draft for my first summer-and-winter design on sixteen shafts. (Actually, it’s my first-ever summer-and-winter project, but there were sixteen shafts on the new loom, so it seemed like I ought to use them.) The way I’m going about it is slow, first entering the design into the peg-plan, and then adding the tie-down picks. I’m sure there’s a better way, but at least I’m learning how S&W works.
And finally, I’m not much of a cook, but occasionally I improvise something and like the results. I’ve test-baked the following recipe twice and had it turn out tasty both times. It’s my variant on oatmeal cookies. I especially like the way the cranberries and pistachios look together. Very colorful. I call ’em “Cranberry-Pistachio Oatmeal Cookies.”
3/4 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1-1/2 cup brown sugar
2 small eggs *
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp chai spices **
2 cups uncooked oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup hulled and chopped pistachio nuts
- Beat butter for 30 seconds.
- Add all-purpose flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, and chai spices. Mix thoroughly.
- Add wheat flour. Mix thoroughly.
- Add oats and mix. Check whether the texture will hold together for cookies. If mixture is too wet, add flour. If too dry, add water or part of another egg.
- Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
- Form into pancake-shaped cookies and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Cook in a 375-degree (F) oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
If you make a big batch, they freeze beautifully.
*My eggs come from my neighbor’s chickens, so they’re smaller than grocery-store eggs. This is probably the equivalent of one large commercial egg.
** I use Trikona-brand “Chai Masala” that I buy in the international district in Seattle. It’s traditionally used as the spices in Indian-style chai. Its ingredients are listed as ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, clove, and mustard. So if you have to improvise, that’s a starting point.