New Toy!

I FINALLY got the toy of my dreams!

Ok, I know, it is a little twisted to get so excited about a mixer. But, I figured I deserved a new toy since I’ve been really “good” lately. How, you ask, did I do it?

First, I had a long corazon a corazon platica with my Mexican Devil. He is my house protector and gives advice on living and cooking (he holds my hand back when I want to put in too much salt). Anyway, here are some of my rationales for buying the mixer:

1. I have resolved to ride my bike to school instead of driving. I live 2.5 miles from the university, the weather is perfect right now, and I need 30 minutes of exercise daily anyway. So, el Diablo said, “Nalgona, ride your bike to school.”

2. I have been recycling like a fiend for a long time now. We are averaging less than one bag of trash per week with our intensive composting and recycling program.

Here’s my homemade compost bin (I couldn’t justify spending $$ for a composter)

and here’s part of our recycle system:

We recycle glass, cardboard/paper board, paper, newspaper, cans, and #1 and 2 plastics. Lincoln does not have curbside recycling (although one can pay to have someone pick up your materials). So, every so often, we schlep our trash to the recycle bins around town. I have been trying to cut down on plastics — I reuse plastic bags and don’t buy overly packaged foods. But it is almost impossible to NOT buy some plastics. As a result, non-recyclable plastics are the bulk of our weekly trash.

3. Organic gardening. Although my garden is limited to a small raised bed and a swath along the driveway, I have been able to produce a little bit of our own food. I am still a fledgling farmer and learning to deal with bugs in a non-pesticide way (not always with success). Our lawn is NEVER watered (it is Zoyza grass) and I plant mostly locally adapted flowers for the front beds that don’t require much water.

Here’s round 2 of my raised bed. I just planted beans, chard, spinach, lettuce, and carrots. The eggplant is still flowering, the tomatoes are still producing, and I have lots of herbs that need to be cut and dried for winter.

4. We have adopted a “Flexitarian” diet. Tom and I still can’t bring ourselves to entirely eliminate animal products from our diet. However, we have really limited our consumption of meat. I buy cage free eggs (and don’t forget, by next year I plan on raising my own hens), and try to buy only fish that is non-endangered and/or raised with ecologically sound practices or wild caught (i.e., Pacific rather than Atlantic salmon). We eat vegetarian meals at least 3-4 nights a week (no fish, pork, poultry, etc.). I have to credit my daughter and her partner (they are vegans) for encouraging us to be more conscious of our use of animal products.

5. Higher energy efficiency. I have replaced at least half of our bulbs with CFLs. Some fixtures in the house don’t work with CFLs, darn! Tom also just replaced the furnace, AC, and water heater with high efficiency models.

6. A mixer will allow me to bake my own bread! This will reduce the amount of plastic we buy and we will be able to eat fresh, preservative free bread made with organic flour!

In sum, I think I have convinced myself that I deserve my new toy!

4 Responses to “New Toy!”

  1. I have kitchen envy. I so want one of those big Kitchen Aid pro mixers. I think that it will pay off in so many ways. Fresh bread, cookies, homemade pastas, you name it!

    I couldn’t bring myself to completely go vegan, but I admire those who do.

    Next time you are in the OC, you must visit my friend’s environmental product store. I link to her blog on my own. Its called viva verde, and she has lots of great ideas.

  2. Well, there goes our counter space. Funny, as well as I think I know her, were I to have guessed what Dr. Girlfriend’s “Toy of My Dreams” was, I don’t think this is what I would have guessed. Not that I’m complaining. The longer we cohabitate, the less time I seem to spend in the kitchen. (Our running joke that I can’t find anything in the kitchen anymore has been running so long that we rarely even run it anymore.) Since my old oven died and the good Dr. bought a new one, I don’t really even know how to work the oven anymore. And I was never the kind of guy who was totally lost in the kitchen, even if I was no gourmet. I was very well versed in the basics of Rice-A-Roni, Ramen Noodles, Brown Rice, and the George Forman indoor grill. But, I guess it’s kind of a case of what you don’t use, you lose. I mean, if you were living with Norm Abrams, you wouldn’t say, “Move over there Norm, let ME do the carpentry tonight!) Add my limited repertoire of dishes to the fact that Dr. G has carefully arranged our diet into a well balanced, healthy fare, I’m all the less inclined to cook. I was doing good to get edible food on the table, the task of coordinating it and thinking of food groups, fiber, nutrition…. aack! I just can’t wrap my brain around it. When G let’s me know it’s time for me to do the dishes, I go into the kitchen. Otherwise, it’s justly quick forays for a beer or a snack, and then quickly back out again. I am a conservationist, in that I try not to make any dirty dishes. (Though I often leave a trail of banana bread crumbs)
    Ah well, think of the banana bread that will be made with this new baby! I just wonder how hard it will be to clean afterwards. While my mouth begins to water whenever she gets out the food processor, because I know what wonders she can produce with it, I immediately begin to think about what a pain it will be to clean. I guess life is just like that, huh? There’s no such thing as a free four-star meal. You at least have to do the dishes.

  3. I got one for our wedding in ’05 and still haven’t gotten it out of the box yet for lack of space. I may just have to do it! Your counters are just as tiny as ours are.

  4. ted the anti obama Says:

    Britta is the real conservationist, buying bread at the store is much more energy efficient than baking at home. Talking about not eating meat, my favorite TV show is on the travel channel don’t recall the name, I believe it is Zimern. Travels all over the world and will eat just about anything, his favorites are brains and nuts, of well since you have killed the animal might as well eat all of it.

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