Friday, February 25, 2011

My Worms Done Dun Me Wrong: Where's the Nitrogen?

All these years of feeding those little suckers through rain and shine and what do they give me?  DIRT... (Granted worms gnaw at rather than technically sucking their food).  I'm not getting the nitrogen I need from my worm compost and it's breaking my achy heart.  Read some great research about the nitrogen to carbon ratio of work compost here. And now a word from our sponsor: The Worm Book: The Complete Guide to Gardening and Composting with Worms

Shine: Joni Mitchell Reports from the Collective Unconscious

Joni Mitchell has released a new multi-media project including music, ballet and art.  Reporting as always from the fringes of our consciousness her work touches on the state of the species with both clear insight and hope. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Real Legacy of Tiger Mom Parenting: A Report on Depression among Asian American Teens

On the heels of the Tiger Mom phenomena NAMI has published a report about depression and suicide among teenage girls in the Asian American community.  It's not pretty.  Among the findings on this report:
  • Asian American girls have the highest rates of depressive symptoms of any racial/ethnic or gender group;
  • Young Asian American women ages 15 to 24 die from suicide at a higher rate than other racial/ethnic groups;
  • Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among Asian Americans overall, compared to the ninth leading cause of death for white Americans;
  • Older Asian American women have the highest suicide rate of all women over 65; and
  • Among Southeast Asians, 71 percent meet criteria for major affective disorders such as depression—with 81 percent among Cambodians and 85 percent among Hmong. 
While the NAMI report raises awareness for an important problem, it also raises more questions that it answers.  For example, assigning all Asian Americans to one group is to combine almost unimaginably diverse demographic under a single banner; do different patterns emerge when you look at various subgroups?  What makes the numbers statistically accurate?  What are the cultural patterns driving this trend?  Does it have anything to do with what has recently become known at Tiger Parenting as popularized by Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother? I hope this report generates additional research to get more visibility into this topic.  You can read the NAMI report it here

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Useful Social Media Links from Twitter Today

  • 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Marketing Online: from @peterjamesfreer
  • Useful Resources and Tips for Managing Your Virtual Staff: from @peterjamesfreer

No one is glamorous all the time: Even Gloria, the Modern Family Colombian bombshell

Who is this woman?  On a gray cold day even Sofia Vergara aka Modern Family's Colombian bombshell Gloria looks a tad frumpy.  Can a good makeup artist transform me like that?! 

The Day in Great Links about Marketing and Social Media

  • RT @marshacollier: Excellent Social Media Guidelines from IBM #custserv
  • RT @copyblogger: The Guaranteed Way to Radically Improve Your Copywriting -
  • The 4 Stages Of Understanding Twitter… via @bitrebels @jeanettejoy:
  • online advertising banner ads rewards the wrong behavior in content that is volume=more money ; volume=crap; crap =unhappy users

Best of the Superbowl

Thanks to Adage for this look at the most remembered branding in the Superbowl ads.  While VW nails Miss Congeniality, people remember the brand for some of the other ads best.  Of course Doritos and Bud are top of mind for millions on Superbowl Sunday so do you think there's a bias in the environment?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Burmuda Grass, Fleas and Sin

Burmuda grass like sin grows up through the dark earth and wrecks a perfectly good garden. It's the "gift" that keeps on giving.  Because like sin and fleas, complete eradication of Bermuda grass is a lifetime avocation. In the hopes of making headway this year, I've started digging and pulling roots before my soil turns into rock hard clay.  The other choice is to smother the stuff with black plastic, burning the roots.  The bad news is, you get to look at black plastic all summer long.  It's just the way it goes....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

3 Skills Kid Need from Art Programs (and don't get from Screen Time)

Arts-based learning is known to promote skills crucial to success in the workplace
  • collaboration, 
  • creative problem-solving, and 
  • the ability to apply learning across different disciplines.
More on this here Learning, Arts and the Brain
Findings and Challenges for Educators and Researchers from the 2009 

On a related note, media has a disturbing effect on kid's who take too much of it.  Kids who spend too much media time using miss out on some important skills like learning to focus and set priorities. Details here: 
Media Education in the Practice Setting: An Over view of Media and the Pediatrician's Role

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Turkey Orloff with Asparagus

One fourth cup Plain raw white rice
1 big Onion
1 One half Sticks butter
One pound Fresh mushrooms
1 Handful fresh parsley
springs; (3 Tb minced)
One half teaspoon Fragrant dried tarragon
1 # turkey slices (5-6) 
5 tablespoon Flour for sauce; plus extra (I forgot to dredge the turkey...damn)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cup Hot chicken stock
One cup mild grated cheese (swiss?)
1 to 1 1/2/# asparagus

Described as "Turkey breast scallopini gratineed with mushrooms, onions,
rice, and cheese.

Rice and onion soubise: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drop the rice into a
saucepan with 2 quarts rapidly boiling salted water and boil uncovered for
exactly 5 minutes; drain immediately and reserve. Meanwhile peel and then
chop the onions in a food processor; (it needs no washing until after its
last operation). 

Melt 2  tablespoons of the butter+oil  in a baking dish, stir in the chopped onions, the drained rice, and One fourth teaspoon
salt, mixing well to coat with the butter; cover the dish and bake in
middle level of oven for about 1 hour, stirring up once or twice, until
rice is completely tender and beginning to turn a golden yellow. (I left out the egg)

Mushroom duxelles: While rice and onion soubise is cooking, trim and wash
the mushrooms. For the food processor, first chop roughly by hand into
1inch chunks, then process into 1/8 inch pieces, using the 1second onoff
technique. Mince the parsley in the machine afterward. By handfuls, either
twist mushrooms hard in the corner of a towel 

Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of the butter/olive oil  in a medium size frying pan over moderately
high heat, stirring and tossing until mushroom pieces begin to separate
from each other5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tarragon and parsley; season
to taste with salt and pepper. Stir half of the mixture into the cooked
rice and onion soubise; reserve the rest. Mushroom duxelles may be cooked
in advance and may be frozen.

Preparing the turkey scallopini: Pound the slices between 2 sheets of wax
paper, with a rubber hammer, a rolling pin, or the side of a bottle, to
expand them about double and to then them down by half. These are your
turkey scallopinip cover and refrigerate them until you are ready to saute
them.  (I forgot to dredge them... )
Chop asparagus and sautee.  I put some pulverized asparagus  in the dux. as well.

Sauteing the turkey scallopini: Salt and pepper the turkey slices lightly,
dredge in flour and shake off excess, saute fro about a minute on each side
in 1 tablespoon of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter (more if
needed)just to stiffen them and barely cook through. Set slices aside on
a plate as you finish them.

The gratineing sauce: Make a turkey veloute sauce as follows.

Sautee I large shallot and one small leek.  2 T flour. 2 cups chicken broth. squeeze of lemon and pinch of taragon handful of swiss? cheese grated.  Splash of white wine, 1 garlic clove.  blended to make it utterly smooth... it was a little strong. 

Melt 4
tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat in a heavybottomed 2 quart
saucepan, blend in the flour, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until
flour and butter foam and froth together for 2 minutes without turning more
than a golden yellow. Remove from heat and, when this roux has stopped
bubbling, pour in 2 cups of the hot turkey or chicken stock and blend
vigorously with a wire whip. Return to heat, stirring slowly with wire whip
to reach all over bottom, corner, and side of pan, and boil slowly for 2
minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. Sauce should be thick enough to coat
a wooden spoon nicely, meaning it will coat the turkey. Beat in more stock
by droplets if sauce is too thick. In the food processor or an electric
blender, puree the egg yolks with the cottage cheese (or push through a
fine sieve and beat in a bowl with a wire whip); by dribbles, beat the hot
sauce into the egg yolk and cheese mixture.

Assembling the dish: Choose a baking and serving dish about 10 by 14 by 2
inches; butter the inside and spread a think layer of sauce in bottom of
ish. Make a neat, slightly overlapping pattern of the turkey slices down
the center of the dish, spreading