The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: February 2008

February 14, 2008

Weekly Recipe: Curried Lentils with Yams & Swiss Chard

Mmmmmmm… Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s a nearly plastic-free recipe that Michael first made for Thanksgiving and then I recreated this weekend. Enjoy.

Curried Lentils with Yams & Swiss ChardBased on this recipe from the NY Times.

Ingredients:2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 medium onion, chopped4 garlic cloves, minced1-1/2 teaspoons ginger powder (Recipe calls for fresh ginger, but we didn’t have any in the house.)1-1/2 teaspoons garam masala1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder 4 cups “Better Than Bouillon” broth mix2 pounds yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)1-1/2 cups dried lentils1 bay leaf1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste1/2 teaspoon ground black pepperFinely grated zest of 1 limeJuice of 1/2 lime

Notes on ingredients packaging:1) Lentils purchased from bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery. Zero packaging.2)… Read the rest

February 13, 2008

Plastic-free sex, part 2: "Pedro offers you his protection"

Couldn’t resist the above. In our house, we quote Napoleon Dynamite whenever possible. Clearly, this post has nothing to do with Pedro, but everything to do with protected sex. And despite the fun title, this post is going to be more serious than yesterday’s, so once again, consider yourself warned.

Looking over yesterday’s post on using olive oil for lube, I realized it was written from a totally married hetero-centric point of view. Which makes sense, considering this is the blog of a married woman in a monogamous het relationship. I don’t worry about whether or not using olive oil will break a condom because, like my kitties, I’ve been fixed. But you can believe that if I were the parent of a sexually active teenager, I’d be harping on them night and day to use a condom every single time and would make sure they had access to as much water-based condom-friendly lube as they wanted. (Oh, what an annoying, creepy… Read the rest

February 11, 2008

Plastic-free sex, part 1: "reducing friction in relationships"

Happy Valentine’s Day week. We’re all adults here, right? If Burbanmom can make the astonishing admission that she and her husband like to do it (gasp!) then I’m prepared to grab that ball (NPI) and run with it. Warning: this post gets a wee bit explicit. Read at your own risk.

So I’m sitting here looking at a #3 (PVC) plastic bottle of Liquid Silk sensual lubricant. The long list of chemical ingredients includes many parabens: methyl paraben, butyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, as well as the preservative BHT. And this is what Michael and I are putting on and in our bodies each time we get extra specially close. The Skin Deep database gives it a provisional moderate hazard rating of 4, which is not what I’m looking for when I get in bed with my guy.

Now, I know there are natural, non-toxic water-based lubricants on the market: Firefly (formerly Nude), Good Glide, O’My Natural Lubricant, Love Lube, Sensua… Read the rest

February 10, 2008

Week 34 Results: 2.6 oz. of plastic waste

I’ve finished my last plastic-wrapped block of cheese for a while. I’m not saying I won’t ever buy cheese again. But I am going to cut back significantly, to spare the plastic and also my cholesterol count. It’s okay. As you’ve seen from my recipes (and will continue to see) we eat very well without it. So, let’s get started with the weekly tally.

Items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began: 1 plastic lid from a metal can of curry powder. As I use up my containers of spices, I replace the spices from the bulk jars at Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl, or Rainbow Grocery.

1 32-oz bottle of Albertson’s white vinegar and 1 plastic cap. The bottle is #1 PETE plastic and is recyclable in Oakland. The cap is not recyclable. Both bottle and cap will go into my plastic collection, however. I’ve since switched to Spectrum Organics distilled white vinegar (for general household cleaning) in a glass… Read the rest

February 8, 2008

Giving up the struggle: stories of ants and cats and hair products gone awry

I was planning to write about DIY hair care products this week. But so far, my experiments have been less than successful. Take, for example, the sugar water hairspray, exhibit left. Here’s the recipe:

Dissolve 1 tablespoon sugar in a cup of water. Boil 3 minutes. Be sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon vodka and 2-3 drops essential oil of your choice for scent. Pour into a spray bottle.

The instructions should also have said, “Keep out of the reach of ants!” But then, I guess the writer figured most sane people are aware that sugar attracts ants. Just to clarify, this hairspray ant invasion happened a month BEFORE last week’s sugar incident. You’d think I would have learned. And you would be wrong.

So, about the hairspray. It didn’t work anyway. Still looking for a plastic-free alternative. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this post.

What I want to talk about is letting go of … Read the rest

February 6, 2008

Weekly Recipes: Lentil Loaf & Turnip Mashed Potatoes

I tell ya, vegan-hood is not far away. We made this lentil loaf over the weekend and served it to a couple of friends. Let’s just say, there weren’t any leftovers. The only animal products were one egg in the lentil loaf and a bit of butter in the potatoes, which could probably have been omitted. You’ll see why.

Recipe 1: Red Lentil Loaf(based on the recipe posted here: 1 cup dried red lentils (Purchased from bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery w/ my own bag. Zero packaging.) 1 cup rolled oats (Purchased from bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery w/ my own bag. Zero packaging.) 1 whole egg (Carboard egg carton. Usually I can return these to the guy at the farmer’s market when he’s there.) 1 cup cooked quinoa (Purchased from bulk bin at Berkeley Bowl w/ my own bag. Zero packaging. The original recipe calls for brown rice, but we were out and the quinoa worked out fine.) 1 cup grated carrots (Purchased naked.… Read the rest

February 5, 2008

The Archive Meme (Killing time while awaiting election returns)

Another day, another meme. This one is kinda cool because it’s a way to go back through previous posts and revisit some favorites. Burbanmom tagged me for this one. If you haven’t visited her site, you should. She proves that being “green” can be not only fun but also funny as hell. Anyway, here’s my trip through the dark, cobwebby halls of my own archives. Enjoy.

First, the Archive Meme Instructions: Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written. … but there is a catch:

Link 1 must be about family. Link 2 must be about friends. Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are… what you’re all about. Link 4 must be about something you love. Link 5 can be anything you choose.

I think this is a great way to circulate some of the great older posts everyone has written, return to a few great places in our memories and also learn a little something about ourselves… Read the rest

February 5, 2008

Election Day 2008

It’s Super Tuesday, and California is one of the states electing our presidential nominees today. In a few hours, the polls will open. Which candidate do you feel will do the best job of protecting our environment, and by environment I mean the water we drink, air we breathe, food we eat, and all the systems of earth that support our quality of life?

Regardless of whether or not you’re a Clintonite or Obamian, how are you Californians voting on Prop 93, the term limits proposition? Many, many environmental organizations are supporting it. Californians Against Waste, a group I support, sent me the following email outlining the reasons they are endorsing this proposition:

On Tuesday, February 5th, you will have the chance to make an important decision about the future of California’s environment.

Californians Against Waste has been helping California’s environment for over thirty years now and we couldn’t have… Read the rest

February 3, 2008

Week 33 Results: .8 oz. of plastic waste

We are besieged! It’s been raining non-stop for days and days, and what that means are hordes of ants running for cover. Our kitchen is over-run. I mixed up an anti-ant spray using vinegar, dish soap, water, and cinnamon. The vinegar and soap kill them. The cinnamon’s supposed to keep new ones from entering, but it doesn’t seem to work. Why am I mentioning this? Because of the first item in this week’s plastic tally:

Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began: 1 bag of C&H raw cane sugar. The bag wasn’t closed properly. The ants took over, so I ended up having to pour out half a bag of sugar. What a waste. This is the last plastic bag of sugar, and from now on, I’ll be buying it from the bulk bin and storing it in Mason jars to prevent another ant invasion. For right now, I’m trying a new strategy which may work or may be disasterous. I poured some sugar into a little bowl … Read the rest