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June 30th, 2003
Hempy Day

This article (Salon.com News | U.S. court rejects DEA ban on hemp foods) brings good news. The DEA ban was, simply put, ridiculous. A little research into industrial hemp reveals that this is a useful plant, which shouldn’t be banned because it happens to be the same species as marijuana. Industrial hemp is not a drug, and can’t be used as a drug. It IS however, extraordinarily useful as a fiber and oilseed plant.

It’s outrageous that farmers in this country can’t grow industrial hemp. I would LOVE to be using hempseed oil in my soap and lotions, but it’s all imported and I just can’t justify the cost vs. the benefits. I also would LOVE to be using hemp paper and sewing with hemp cloth…but once again… it’s all imported.

Here are some good links. Hemp Facts, and a LONG .PDF files can be found here at Vote Hemp. The .pdf is really good, it’s worth your time to read it all if you’re interested in this issue.

Posted by Claire at 02:40 PM | Activism | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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June 29th, 2003
Quick and Dirty

I give you tonight’s dinner: Quick and Dirty Tasty Tortellini.

This serves two really hungry people, or three not-so-hungry people, or possibly even four if you actually pay attention to the serving size guidelines on the pasta package.

1-1.5 cups Trader Joe’s dried pesto tortellini, before boiling. This stuff rocks. I usually don’t dig dried tortellini, prefering fresh ones, but these are really good. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, buy fresh pesto (or even plain cheese, if that’s the best you can get) tortellini.

1 BIG beefsteak tomato, chopped. I bought this puppy at the Farmer’s Market, and it’s enormous. If you can’t get a decent sized, flavorful beefsteak, use 2-3 roma tomatoes instead.

A bunch of fresh basil. It probably worked out to about 1 cup, coarsely chopped. If you can’t get fresh, don’t bother with this dish. You could substitute FRESH oregano for a different taste, you’d need maybe 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano.

4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed

4-5 fresh (or dried and soaked, if you absolutely have to) morel mushrooms, coarsely chopped (or use regular mushrooms)

Generous pinch of dried red chile flakes

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Boil the tortellini until they’re al dente (in Claire-speak, this means fish one out and drain ‘em when it’s tender). When they’re almost done, heat up 2 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy skillet. Grind two or three turns worth of black pepper into the pan (or several shakes of pre-ground, you heathen). Add the garlic (I use a garlic press and press it right into the pan, but you could chop it first if you have no garlic press). Stir this around for a minute or two. Add the morels and tomatoes, and the red chile flakes. Saute this mix until the it starts to get saucy and the tomatoes start to break up slightly. Add the basil, stir for 30 seconds or so until it gets wilty, and pull the pan from the heat. Put your cooked tortellinis back into the big pot you boiled them in, dump on the sauce and stir to coat. Serve with (FRESHLY!) grated parmesan cheese.

Serve this with a nice big salad.

Posted by Claire at 11:10 PM | Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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This isn’t exactly a weblog thing, but that’s the closest category.

Check out StumbleUpon. It looks totally cool!

Posted by Claire at 07:57 PM | Weblog | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Two cool things: a woman showed up at my booth today, and announced “I came down here just to buy some soap from you!” That was awesome! She had previously purchased two bars, decided it was the best thing ever (which, of course, it is!) and so she had to buy some more. I just LOVE IT when that happens.

The other cool thing was this very elderly woman (DH put her at 80 or more) who decided she HAD to have some of my chocolate lip balm (a new thing, just introduced today). Her younger companion (who wasn’t there when the woman initially sniffed the balm) was like, “It’s chocolate scented. Are you SURE that’s what you want?” The woman was quite sure, and seemed very happy with her purchase. What, did the younger woman think I’m a deceiver of old ladies?? Sheesh. But it was soo cool, we don’t often get very elderly customers, and I just love to see them out and about.

Sales were low. If they don’t pick up soon, I may have to start thinking of either seriously pursuing wholesale customers (a distasteful idea, unless I can find some awesome boutiques or spas interested in my soap) or else just getting out of the soapmaking business. I really wanted this to work, so I’m rather depressed about the whole thing.

Posted by Claire at 07:54 PM | Soap Habit | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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June 28th, 2003

It’s official. We can continue to live in Portland. We found Abhiruchi. It’s an Indian (as in India) restaurant out in Beaverton, that JUST happens to be the parent restaurant to Corvallis’ very own Evergreen. DH and I have consumed A LOT of Evergreen meals, since it was one of our two very most favorite places to eat out in Corvallis.

So, imagine our great pleasure, when we selected Abhiruchi from Portland Guru’s “preferred” restaurant listings. The menu looked right. In fact, it looked downright familiar. It’s also within walking distance of a MAX station, and since our apartment is too, technically, we are within walking distance of the restaurant (with some intermediary mass transit). Yippee!! We promise to walk next time.

I am in a state of bliss. Imagine finding your favorite restaurant in your new hometown. It’s amazing, I tell you. Can we pick ‘em or what…*grin*

Posted by Claire at 09:56 PM | Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Claire Luna Lundberg