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September 2007
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November 2007

Posts from October 2007

Las Delicias


Bread from Las Delicias bakery / Trenton, NJ / Oct. 2007

This is the best bread. Light and airy and especially good when heated. It's from a Guatemalan bakery in Trenton that also makes delicious sweet breads, pastries, and donuts. A 35-year civil war drove thousands of Guatemalans out of their country and many came to the U.S. La Antigua Guatemala is a blog about Guatemala with wonderful pictures: more bread, marimbas (scroll down to listen to the national instrument), and Guatemalan dolls.

“Most archaeologists agree that ancient Guatemala was the cultural and commerce center of the Americas, and that the Mayan civilization, is the jewel of all ancient American cultures, and one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known.” (via Authentic Maya)

A device used for fastening


An old box of dressmakers' pins / New Jersey / Oct. 2007

This box is a treasure from an earlier era. A quarter pound of dressmakers' pins. Packed in a very sturdy cardboard box and Made in England.

From the 1937 and 1946 editions of Fabrics and Dress by Rathbone and Tarpley via fabricsnet:
“Ordinary pins are obtainable in papers. The better qualities of pins are usually sold by the box in ¼ lb. sizes. Box pin sizes are classified as bankers, large and coarse; dressmakers, medium; silk, finest with sharp points. Pins are made of steel or brass with a tin coating. Rust is less probable when the latter is used. In selecting pins for dressmaking, choose smooth, sharp-pointed ones.”  



Adding a little "passementerie" / New Jersey / Oct. 2007

When I fixed up my office 18 months ago, I began sewing these curtains and hung them even though they weren't hemmed. I finally decided how to finish them and have been sewing by hand and adding trim. I find that I enjoy the zen of hand sewing. The irregular stitches. The needle pricks. The feel of the fabric. When I make curtains I usually start out with some idea in my head and then figure it out as I go along. A little embellishment is just what these curtains needed. (Passementerie is the French word for elaborate trimmings or edgings.)

Aromatic carrot goodness


Carrot Mufffincakes / New Jersey / Oct. 2007

I can't live without bread-like items. That no-carb diet is not for me. Give me bread every day of the week. Yesterday I was inspired by a huge bag of carrots to make a muffin that is really more like carrot bread or a light carrot cake. It's full of carrots, walnuts, and currants and the only reason that there are any left today is that the recipe made 30 muffins.

A few carrot facts:

  • The wild ancestors of the carrot likely came from Afghanistan
  • Falcarinol (a fatty acid in carrots) was shown to have anti-breast-cancer properties
  • Originally carrots were grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds (maybe that's why I like to buy them at the farmstand with the greens still attached)
  • Some relatives of the carrot: parsley, fennel, dill, cumin
  • Not just orange: there are purple, yellow, white, and red varieties

You shall be a miracle


Warrior Girl / Savannah, GA / August 2006

"Do not pray for easy lives, but pray to be stronger ...
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers,
but pray for power equal to your tasks.
Then the accomplishing of your work shall be no miracle,
but you shall be a miracle.
Every day you shall wonder at yourself
and the richness of life which has come to you
by the grace of God." 

~ Phillips Brooks

Astonishing pertinacity


tenacious, steadfast / Oct. 2007

I like the sound of this word. Pertinacity. I found it in the following passage where the social activist and champion of women's rights, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, is writing about a trip to France in 1892:

“At Jacournassy, the country seat of Mme. Berry, whose daughter my son Theodore married, I spent a month full of surprises. How everything differed from America, and even from the plain below! The peasants, many of them at least, can neither speak French nor understand it. Their language is a patois, resembling both Spanish and Italian, and they cling to it with astonishing pertinacity. Their agricultural implements are not less quaint than their speech. The plow is a long beam with a most primitive share in the middle, a cow at one end, and a boy at the other. The grain is cut with a sickle and threshed with a flail on the barn floor, as in Scripture times. Manure is scattered over the fields with the hands. There was a certain pleasure in studying these old-time ways. I caught glimpses of the anti-revolutionary epoch, when the king ruled the state and the nobles held the lands. Here again I saw, as never before, what vast strides the world has made within one century. ”
~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton, writing in her memoir: EIGHTY YEARS AND MORE REMINISCENCES 1815-1897

The curious paradox


End-of-summer organismic Garden State goodness / New Jersey / Sept. 2007

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

    ~ psychologist Carl Rogers

Dr. C. George Boeree writes that Rogers believed we need the following qualities to become fully functioning human beings:

  • Openness to experience (this is the opposite of defensiveness).
  • Existential living (living in the here-and-now).
  • Organismic trusting (allowing ourselves to be guided by the organismic valuing process; i.e., trust ourselves, do what feels right, what comes naturally).
  • Experiential freedom (make our own choices when choices are available to us and take responsibility for those choices)
  • Creativity (if you feel free and responsible, you will act accordingly, and participate in the world).