Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Change the World Wednesday – 29th Oct

I was reading  CTWW at 2:30am this morning, such is the power of an elderly bladder.

So intrigued by the idea of this week’s post, that 20 minutes later I had finished my first coffee and I have Simon & Garfunkel’s tune “Hello darkness, my old  friend” running through my head as I gaze into my empty coffee mug. Ever since yesterday’s post Pusillanimous, I’ve had the song running through my head like a stuck record. I love it, but I just wish it would go away.

Eyes are not so rusty this morning. Last week was a bad case.

I was, and am still, adjusting to this damned DST. Russia has done away with it after adopting it as a permanent feature, they put the clocks back to normal for the last time.

Onions and jars ready for pickling

Onions and jars ready for pickling

This weekend I was round at the sacolão (fruit & vege shop), and they had a bin full of tiny onions. After rummaging through the bin I had a sack full of roundish onions, enough to make a couple of big jars of pickled onions. That’ll be my project for when I wake up.

My new herbs are doing well. I put a kebab stick (used and recycled) in as a small stake to support the spindly plant, and it is already twice the height. Yesterday I had to put in a bigger stake (a piece that was used to frame a discarded election poster I found on the street).

Good news! The owner of the botequim (bar) nextdoor, has finally been convinced to put his empty glass bottles out for the Tuesday recycle collection, instead of just in the normal rubbish. Now I have to work on him to do the same with all the PET soda bottles… *Evil grin*

He has cans too, but catadores (poor street collectors) often pass by and he lets them rummage through and take them. They sell them to the ferro velho (scrapyard), so they get recycled.

Click the banner for full post

Okay, it’s time for this week’s CTWW on dealing with our Comfort Zones.

I like my comfort zone… it’s comfortable.

This week, step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Need some ideas?

  • Turn off your heat or A/C for a day.
  • Experience life without a refrigerator for a day (or a week) by refusing to open/use yours.
  • Turn off the computer for a day.
  • Go grocery shopping and only buy organic.
  • Skip taking a bath for at least one more day than you normally would.
  • Eat raw, vegan food for day or longer.

comfortZoneVennThe idea, this week, is to force ourselves out of our comfort zones and try something which we’ve hesitated to try in the past. Who knows, it could open us up to a whole new world.

Steeping our of one’s comfort zone is a big deal because we have developed that zone over many years, and it’s, well… where we feel comfortable.

It becomes entrenched in our lives and we rarely step out of it.

But it’s not too late to change.

The awkward stage is taking that first step, and that’s what Small is suggesting we do in this CTWW.

COMFORT-ZONEsign

I did it recently. My comfort zone required that I eat sushi in a restaurant where it has become incredibly expensive. I dithered with the idea of making my own for ages; why? Because even though I am a chef, I was scared of using raw fish. I finally took the leap across that awkward zone when one of my students told me that she regularly made sushi at home. Now I reject the idea of restaurant sushi, and my comfort zone has been expanded, and cheaper. Plus I get the satisfaction that I am doing something different.

Let’s have a look at Small’s list:

  • Air conditioning and heat, don’t apply. I use neither.
  • Not using the fridge… how will I keep my beer cold? That would be a real step outside my comfort zone. I live in a hot climate, and most food is kept in the fridge, even vegan-like food.
  • Turn off the PC for a day. I am 24/7 on the PC. My step outside my comfort zone is my time out for my daily walk around the park. Besides, I need the PC for work communication as well.
  • Very difficult to find organic here, but it is appearing. Could be done.
  • I shower daily, in hot weather, more than once. Okay, cool days, I can skip a shower.
  • Eat raw food, I already do that sometimes.

The fridge and the PC would be the hardest. The others are doable.

But there are other areas where I have made it out of my comfort zone. Incandescent light bulbs, for example. I like them, but slowly I have become at ease with CFLs, changing one at a time. I have only the bathroom light to go. I would prefer LEDs, but they are terribly expensive here.

I’m off back to bed… It’s 4:40am.

See you next week.

Advertisements

Too Many Tabs Open

toomanytabs2Yes, that’s my excuse.

Too little sleep, not enough coffee, too much football and too many tabs open in my brain.

That’s why you got Monday’s post today.

I hit the ‘publish’ button and that’s when it dawned on me.

Whoops, too late!

So, maybe you’ll get a Nature Ramble tomorrow…

Change the World Wednesday – 12th Mar

Cloro was a great one for licking his, apparently, he kept them in good working order

Cloro was a great one for licking his nuts, apparently, he kept them in good working order…

I am crazy. It’s 2am and I’m at the keyboard with a tankard of iced sparkling mineral water, it’s too early for coffee; and too hot (I’m sweating). But don’t expect me to stay up and finish this, it’s just until I get sleepy again… then it will be crash until coffee.

I am still catless, but apparently not for long. You’ll have to read Legacy to find out why.

Carnaval is well in the past, back to work. The garis (street sweepers) and council have reached an agreement and are back to work.

My PC is still behaving like a PC should, so it seems as though my troubles are over for the present, despite the fact that it looks like a gutted box beside me with its blinking lights.

I like the lights blinking on and in the PC, they’re a comfort, they indicate that things are as they should be.

I had an interesting conversation with a fregües (regular) at the bar during the week. He uses disposable cups for his beer, which I think is totally crass.

Blue Plastic Cup

The terrible convenience

The bar has them for the kids who buy soda to drink in the praça (park) and some of the regulars have taken to using them for beer.

I challenged him on it. He just considered a convenience. When I asked him how many barrels of oil would be wasted in his lifetime just for his convenience, he replied, “guilty as charged.” Now this guy is no fool, he’s a maritime engineer, but even for educated Brazilian, it’s hard to get the message across. The next time I saw him at the bar… yes, he was still using a disposable cup.

Click on the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW. It’s a good one and I can get right into it.

If you haven’t already done so, replace at least one incandescent light bulb with a CFL or LED bulb.

 

OR … If you have switched all your bulbs to Eco-friendly varieties, please conduct a brief analysis of your home furnishings. Are items sustainable and Eco-friendly, made from materials like bamboo, cork, or recycled content? Were they made locally? How many pieces are second hand? Do any items contain foam (cushions, pads, etc.) which typically are treated with fire retardants (toxic chemicals)? Has anything been varnished or finished with lacquers (both contain harmful pollutants)? Do you have wood furniture? If so, do you know where the wood came from and whether or not the trees were sustainably grown? The idea, here, is to start thinking about the sustainability of our furnishings and raise our awareness on the types of items we should both support and avoid.

Part One I am in the process of changing over, as much as I was against CFLs initially, because of disposal and breakage problems, I have had to toe the line, because in Brazil this year incandescent light bulbs will become illegal, to make and to sell.

I would prefer LEDs, but I haven’t found them in our part of town yet, we do live out in the styx a bit when it comes to innovation. You see people think that Rio stops after you have passed the posh suburbs of Barra da Tijuca and Recreio, once you go over the hill Grota Funda (now you can go through it, we’ve got a tunnel) the world ends. But I will keep looking.

Part Two (This will have to wait until the real morning, you know with coffee and daylight)

Daylight

Coffee

Okay, we’re ready to continue…

At the start of summer I made a big purchase; not a thing I do often. I bought two new fans.

ana_pesquisa__17_Now fans here in Brazil, and probably everywhere, are big on plastic.

You can see them in all the stores.

In my efforts to avoid plastic, it was a criteria that I set myself.

ventidelta-coluna-premium-60cm-pretoI found what I was looking for a nearly all metal model.

One was an upright, the other on a tube base for a table.

The only visible plastic is the name plate on the front, the blades and the small clips to hold the front grill in place.

So yes, I consider the environment when I buy.

Now as for the rest of my furnishings.

In the living room, I have two new items, a coffee table and a bookcase stand; both are made of wood. But the wood is a composite type, which I consider more ecological that real wood because it is usually made from recycled wood.

beerboxEverything else is second hand and some is just boxes, like my beer box.

Oh, there is another one on the other side of the TV for my wine bottle candle holders.

My sofas, 3 & 2 seat, were rescued from the street as discards by a neighbour, they have foam in them, actually they had foam in them, there is not as much as there should be. But to compensate for this, the one I use most is covered by a camp mattress and a blanket and the cushion is an old doubled over pillow.

So rather than rushing out and buying new stuff, I make do with what’s available. When I do, I do consider the environment as well as the cost, because I can be a real Scrooge.

Change the World Wednesday – 2nd Oct

uhoh humpdayYes, it’s Humpday!

CTWW is always on Humpday.

This morning, I woke up at 7, looked out the window and it started raining, so I went back to bed.

Only logical thing to do.

Got up two hours later, still raining. I fought the urge to go back to bed, luckily the need for fresh strong Brazilian coffee overcame the urge.

Cloro has bedlamed, breakfasted and peed in the right place, so I have a few minutes of peace and quiet in which I can CTWW while he does the snooze on my our his bed.

Most of you are/have been parents, you will recognise those moments of bliss when baby finally falls asleep after a morning of mayhem.

Click on the banner for the full post

This week’s CTWW, easy peasy.

This week give your home a thorough clean. Preparing for winter by checking the seals on windows and doors ensures that warm air stays where we need it … indoors. The downside to that activity is that any toxins are also trapped indoors. So, cleaning our homes using non-toxic, safe cleansers will ensure that the air we trap inside will be pollutant free!

 

OR … If your home is spotless and doesn’t need cleaning, take a bow and relax. You deserve a break!

1a

My cleaning kit

My house is never clean, that’s impossible, especially when you’ve got a high adrenaline kitten hurtling around the house like a white rocket. Soil magically gets out of the pot plants, he’s learned he can push the kitchen trashcan around the floor, he loves the little plastic/wire tabs from the bread bag, the top of my printer has little muddy paw-prints, the TV remote is always on the floor, you know the stuff.

My cleaning kit consists of a broom and a mop. I don’t use fancy shit, if you can’t make the house smell nice with bar-soap and water, you’re not doing it right. The only fancy shit I have is disinfectant for the bathroom.

Oh, that’s not my bathroom; mine has grotty blue/green paint and a slate floor. Oh, my mop and broom aren’t that fancy either.

Sansevieria trifasciata - St Georges Sword

Sansevieria trifasciata – St Georges Sword

Of course, here in Rio with our springing into summer, we don’t have to worry about window seals etc. The windows are all open all day, and soon, most nights, so we don’t have a great buildup of toxins.

House plants are a good natural way of ridding you home of them. Sanseviera is good for this. I have seven pots in the living room along with ferns.

So my house, while not spotless, it is livable.

You don’t need expensive fancy shit to have a clean house.

Change the World Wednesday – 4th Sep

I make a lot of banana smoothies

I make a lot of banana smoothies

Last week was Zero Food Waste countdown. So here’s what I wasted…

Wednesday: 2x banana skins and coffee grounds to compost.

Thursday: (Birthday BBQ): Salad vege scraps on the compost, Plate scraps, not much probably less than a kilo (2lbs)

Friday: Half a bowl of coleslaw left over from BBQ. 3x orange peels from juice and coffee grounds to compost.

Saturday: Potato peel, pineapple trimmings and outer cabbage leaves on compost.  Last scraps of meat (500gm – 1lb) from 2nd BBQ (using the leftover meat from Thurs)

Sunday: Vege trimmings from roast vege – potatoes, stuffed tomatoes and carrots on to compost with coffee grounds.

Monday: Nothing. Made Bread ‘n’ Butter pudding from BBQ leftover bread rolls

Tuesday: Coffee grounds, a slice of bread that I had left on the counter. Made omelette using leftover tomato stuffing and two extra eggs. Had leftover B ‘n’ B for dessert; and there is more for tonight.

Wednesday: (while writing this post): Nothing yet, although a quarter small cabbage will be destined for the compost later. Drinking leftover coffee from yesterday (I always do this)

My coffeepot is not this shiny...

My coffeepot is not this shiny…

About the coffee, I make fresh coffee sometimes daily, sometimes every second day. If there is coffee left over from the previous day, I reheat it in a bain-Marie (to avoid that burnt taste if the fire has direct contact with the bule (coffeepot). I never throw coffee out, that would be like chucking the baby out with the bathwater…

You can read about my B ‘n’ B pudding and omelette on Felis piddloraptordactylosaurus.

So that was my week, I didn’t chuck out much in the way of viable food. My weeks are usually pretty much like this.

The link above and previous posts will give you an update on Cloro’s antics. I discovered she’s a Ragdoll cat; I had no idea that this breed existed, details in the post A Lazy Sunday Afternoon.

My Dizzy Lizzy spells are all but gone. This is the third day feeling great, although I still have to move slowly with the turning and standing motions. Started back at work as normal last night.

Still gathering tomatoes, one or two a day, just right for my usage. Looks like I will get another week of tomatoes, then the next plant will be ready in about three weeks.

Click on the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

Our challenge is twofold:

  1. Check out the fruit bowl and come up with an idea for using bananas (which is the 3rd most wasted food according to Mrs. Green’s “Zero Heroes”). 
  2. Clean out your fridge and check the temperature (to ensure proper food storage). When cleaning the refrigerator, move items around so that the oldest (and still usable) foods are front and center … and make plans to use those things up this week.

Fruit doesn’t stay in my bowl long enough, green bananas ripen quickly and usually look like this;

The more black bits, the better they are for you

The more black bits, the better they are for you

So the first bit is taken care of.

Number 2: I do need to defrost, so that will be this week. It is my practice to put older produce to the front. It’s part of food hygiene regulations, use old stock first.

So this week’s CTWW is all but done.

See you next week.

Change the World Wednesday – 24th Jul

brazil-nuts

Brazil nuts – castanha do Para

Brazil nuts are being frozen up and down the country this week.

I tell you, the climate skeptics are just plain WRONG!

Brazil is experiencing the worst cold in more than 40 years, and the most generalised cold ever.

A mass of chilled Antarctic air is stationed over the southern half of the country, and extending into the Amazon areas in the west. Eighty cities had snow yesterday, some of them hadn’t seen snow in 40 years.

Here in Rio de Janeiro we have been chilled since yesterday and expect to remain so until Saturday.

This weeks CTWW is just not going to happen!

Click on the banner for the full post

Let’s look at this week’s CTWW.

This week, rather than use your stove/oven to prepare meals, use counter-top appliances (crock-pot, toaster oven, electric skillet, etc.) or eat raw foods. No cheating … we’re not suggesting that you buy prepared foods or head for the nearest restaurant. The challenge is to prepare meals at home using the least amount of energy. Can you do it for one day? How about seven?

Sorry, but, no! Not even for one day under the present conditions… cold food, you’ve got to be kidding.

I’m heating lunch now!

LOL, gotcha!

I haven’t got one of those. I make real coffee with one of these…

Make you Fink on Friday

A departure from the normal.

Have you ever wondered about coffee rings. You know, those annoy stains that litter your furniture, or worse, your best white linen table cloth?

acoffeering
.

The Physics of Coffee Rings Finally Explained

It’s Monday morning. Another work week begins; another cup of coffee to the rescue. If you’re not careful, you might spill a bit of that precious coffee and then later wonder (à la Jerry Seinfeld) — What is the deal with that coffee ring on the table? Why does it form a ring with dark, outer edges? You can imagine Seinfeld asking this, right?

Well, it turns out there’s an answer for this. And it comes straight from a laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Yes, my friends, it all comes down to the shape of the particles in the liquid. Coffee is made up of spherical particles, and they get distributed unevenly, with some pushing outward towards an edge and forming dark rings. Meanwhile, other liquids are made up of oblong particles that get distributed evenly, hence no rings. The UPenn video above breaks it all down for you.

Amazingly, this isn’t our first post on Physics and Coffee. Here’s a quick look at how they drink coffee at zero gravity in the International Space Station. Enjoy!

coffee-on-rough-wooden-tableSource: Open Culture

Comment:

Why must everything be reduced to science? Can’t we just take some things as read, that happen?

Just enjoy the coffee!

%d bloggers like this: