9 February, 2016  |   Comment

Today I researched my passion

 

This community college adult education food class was marvelous. They all are.
(Pro-tip for your next wine country trip, pop in a cooking class at our community college.)

Secrets of Archetype class

We learned all about some of Archetype restaurant’s best dishes. I learned about making chicken and gnocchi, tandoori cauliflower and brussels sprouts with chinese mustard sauce and now I feel I can win your reality show.

7 February, 2016  |   1 Comment

Mustard Season

In wine country, this time of year brings the runny noses, the deep coughs and the irritable allergy response from the pollen in the air.

And it’s glorious.

This weekend, we celebrated the Superb Owl by taking our yearly photos in the mustard flowers. This weekend, I watched my friend Kristen targeted by internet commenters about the way she shares her family online.

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The words we currently have for that kind of targeting, of relentless negative commentary sound like physical threats. When someone’s being targeted online, the words we have to describe it removes focus from what’s really happening.

Yes, it’s unlikely that that threat isn’t real, but my brain can’t yet distinguish between these internet threats and real life ones. 

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If I have 100 acquaintances, and 3 don’t like me, that’s normal. I can deal with that.

If I have a public internet presence with 100,000 visitors and 3,000 don’t like me and they tell me all about it every day, that’s not normal. I cannot deal with that. Even thought the math makes sense, my brain cannot handle the load of having 3,000 people not like me. My brain’s reaction to a perceived threat doesn’t scale like that.

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What do I deserve to get by putting up these photos of my children? What form of punishment is enough for me? When does the internet majority decide to turn on me? When will I get what I deserve?

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The network has outpaced my ability to process it.

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Maybe my kids will have an advantage. The advantage of a structure, of new neural networks, of language to describe it.

Maybe they’ll be less unkind online.

3 February, 2016  |   Comment

Helen Jane’s Granola Recipe

I feel like this should be said in the tone of the Law & Order beginning. (Indulge me.)

Every year, we make granola for our friends and family.
This is our recipe

Granola Jars, ready for filling.

This granola is perfect on thick yogurt. I’m currently loving it with blueberry Noosa, but you could love it with a Gogurt. I won’t judge, it’s your life, your yogurt.

Ingredients
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dried peaches, chopped small

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350° F, and then cover a baking sheet in parchment paper and set aside.

Put the almonds in a plastic bag and smash them with a hammer or mallet until they are smaller than pea sized, but not yet dust.

In a large bowl, add oatmeal, almonds, salt and coconut flakes.

In a saucepan over low heat, mix canola oil, honey and vanilla until it is all well-blended and warm.

Combine the oatmeal and honey mixtures in the large bowl until it’s coated and spread onto the covered baking sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Then stir in your cup of dried peaches.
Stir a little more.
Let cool completely on the pan.

Then squinch up the granola from the big nuggets before adding to jars.

Happy granolaing!

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