What’s All the Junk in My Wine?

First off, other than looking bad, none of it will ruin the wine or make you sick. In fact in some winemaking processes (old world) tartrate crystals can be a sign of a quality wine.  That’s okay, …

Source: What’s All the Junk in My Wine?



My apologies for not posting regularly; I’ve split my time among writing three manuscripts and indulging in a few guilty pleasures (my favorite being Pinterest). The Vernal Equinox is soon upon us, which means this half of the Earth (the Northern Hemisphere) will awaken with fresh life (and I have to still order a few seeds and shop around for good garden soil, since my native garden soil has too much clay to grow beets, carrots, and parsnips – some of my favorite vegetables). This time of the year is also an awakening of hopes and dreams and goals, a time in which life eases into the colors that will soon be in full hue in summer, girls who want to look like fairy tale princesses beg their parents for frilly dresses, children squeal with delight at Easter baskets loaded with candy and colored eggs, and teenagers and young adults anticipate trips to sun-washed locations to spend spring break. It’s also a time in which many animals are born.

This spring, I am expanding my garden and will complete one manuscript before the Summer Solstice – that is, if my new cat, Joey, doesn’t become a mom this spring; otherwise, I’ll have to help her take care of her children for eight weeks. Joey was a kitten stuck in a grape arbor when I rescued her this past October, and I’m not sure if Joey is a girl or a boy; I’ll find out when I take her to the vet soon.

It seems that the Vernal Equinox is very much a time of expectation more than a single event; a sunrise of the year, if you will. I have to tie up a few loose ends and save up some tuition and book money so I can start college again in the autumn, yet I am eager to start my life again – not in the literal sense, since time would have to backshift 43½ years and then start in order for that to happen for me. Even if that could occur through some scientific or spiritual happenstance, I’d probably do the same dumb shit that got me to now; all I can do is start from now, which is all anyone can do.

Start from now; it’s as good a place as any to refresh your life.



I just stumbled upon a new dessert called the piecaken, a freaking beast of a dessert in which whole pies are baked inside cake layers and then the cake is assembled and frosted. I’m surprised some county fair hasn’t jumped on this and charged a crazy amount per slice. Try it for Easter or Passover dessert.


Foody Adventures


Piecaken... I only heard of this concept a few weeks ago but knew I had to try it.  Thankfully my wife’s birthday was coming up and I had an opportunity to give it a go.  I had a few near-failures along the way, but in the end it came together and I was pretty happy with it.

Step 1 – Bake pies – one berry, one apple


Step 2 – Bake pies inside cakes – Berry inside chocolate cake, Apple inside vanilla cakeImageImage

Step 3 – Layer and reinforce (mostly to stop berry leaking out the side), laugh maniacally


Step 4 – Decorate with blue icing and chocolate – Behold PIECAKEN!Image

Step 5 – Nom nom nom


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Origami Gone Biodegradable – How to make a newspaper pot for starting seeds

Time to prepare for gardening once again, though this winter has been absolutely brutal; fortunately, while I’m snowed in, I can make a few of these seed starting pots and save the cash I would have spent on plastic seed pots for buying fresh seeds and seed starting medium.


Goosie Girl's

For the last several years I’ve said that THIS will be the year I have pots and pots of sweet, little flowers on my porch. Then I stopped by my local nursery and reality hit.. the cost for my fantasy is no less than outrageous!

It’s okay, because this year I’ve devised a plan so that I can have the flowers of my dreams at a fraction of the cost.. and I can have My choice of flowers.. instead of those of my local garden center. How? I’m going to start from seed.

I attempted this before with only marginal success.. My problem was that everything I attempt to transplant my seedlings, I killed them. I guess I’m a brute on fragile little roots. So in order to rectify this problem, I’ve decided to go with biodegradable pots..no transplanting, just shove it in the ground and let it rot away…

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I’m back!

Well, I’m sort of back; it’s difficult to post to a weblog using a mobile phone, but I’m doing what I can until things improve. My computer died, which would partially explain why I haven’t posted in four years. I have unofficially ended my other weblog, Vicki’s Firesite, and sent my evil triplet alter-ego on an indefinite vacation at an ashram in an undisclosed location so she could work through her issues. My other triplet alter-ego, the eco one (from GreenSister Living), is doing research on various environmental issues involving the new green revolution. I hope to post again after I write a 50,000-word novel this month, or maybe sooner.
Namaste (I pray to God’s Love in you).


A Loaf for the Vegans

PeaNot “Meat” Loaf


1/2 cup peanuts
2 TB olive oil
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
One cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
2 TB ketchup
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. salt


Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8×8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8×8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the peanuts into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté any vegetables you’ve chosen in the olive oil until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired.

Cold leftover slices of PeaNot “Meat” Loaf make a great sandwich filling.

I generated this recipe courtesy of http://www.veganlunchbox.com/loaf_studio.html. I apologize for neglecting the vegetarians and vegans out there in not having a dinner loaf recipe as a meatloaf alternative. Feel free to use ingredients your family likes or can eat.