UPDATE: Recycling: it's so hot right now

We're full-swing into recycling over here at the McBride household:

You can't see them all, but I have four bins stacked in the corner of the balcony -- one each for paper, glass, cans and plastic. This small effort and investment has already cut our waste down from two to three bags per week to one every week to 10 days. It'd be even better if I had a bin for cardboard, but it's only recommended to stack four, and I couldn't reach if I had another one on top, anyway. I just need to find a place to stash one more bin, and we'll be all set! :)

A little TOO green

As we know, I'm a big fan of environmentally friendly behavior, but I think Crate & Barrel has managed to take it one step too far. For the small price of just 39.99, you can now be the proud owner of a countertop compost pail.

"Countertop-worthy design, an odor-absorbing filter, and generous one-gallon capacity make this shining stainless pail the ideal way to compost right in the kitchen. Dishwasher-safe pail is outfitted with a replaceable charcoal filter. A single filter absorbs odors for approximately 3 months; simply remove the filter from the lid and replace with a new one."

Composting is great -- we always did it when I was growing up. But our compost was in a barrel.
Behind the garage.
In the back of the yard.
In the garden.

Not on my kitchen counter.


I just realized that after a spurt of blogs -- I disappeared. And I'm going to post another spurt and then disappear again. My apologies in advance, but I have a good reason, or at least the combination of several good reasons:

1) Grad School -- normally not so bad.
2) Summer School -- little more intense than a normal semester
3) Maymester/Intersession -- 2.5 hours, 5 days a week, 3 weeks
5) Corporate Finance during Maymester/Intersession -- with a ridiculous prof.

I may or may not resurface on weekends....

It's in my roots

My mom and dad both went to vocational school while they were in high school -- mom studied horticulture, and my dad studied culinary arts. Dad wanted to go to a culinary arts school, but he married mom and had a job at Kent State, so he stayed put. He is still an excellent cook, when he makes the time. Maybe that's where I get my love for food?

Mom went on to work at Ravenna Floral and Kent Floral before deciding to go to college, where she eventually earned bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education. She's been teaching for 15 years, but is an avid gardener and, along with my dad, works hard to keep the yard looking good. She always had gardens when I was growing up, and tried to get my sister and I in on the fun. We were as tolerant as we could be and still keep her happy, but I surely was not committing much to memory.

Now that I'm out on my own, I miss having fresh vegetables in the summer and I'd love to have fresh herbs to cook with. Unfortunately, I walked into Home Depot and was so lost I had to call my mom and have her walk me through what to look for and what would grow on my balcony. But despite living in an apartment that isn't the best environment for a garden and my lack of a green thumb, I've managed to do pretty well!

I bought a pot of tomato/cherry tomato/green pepper plants, a jalapeno pepper plant and planted a box of cilantro, basil, parsley and mint. Today, I picked our first cherry tomatoes and last week I picked some cilantro and made guac in my authentic Mexican molcajete. I can't wait for the jalapeno to start making some peppers as I have discovered a delicious way to make healthy jalapeno poppers at home.

Hopefully the rest of the summer is just as fruitful -- or, vegetableful!