March 25, 2011


One of my classmates lives near a happy chicken farm (free range, vegetarian/organically-fed). She brings me eggs at wholesale price. For grad students, this is a major SCORE! Totally awesome protein for cheap! I share the wealth with other students (I doled out 23 dozen one record-breaking week recently). But last week I ended up with some extra. So I made 4 quiches. Yummy and simple.

Preheat oven

Fry finely chopped broccoli, onion, & garlic in butter.

Separate 4 egg whites and beat till frothy.

add a dollop of milk to the yolks, add salt, pepper, nutmeg, paprika, oregano, mix well, and then add this to the frothy egg whites, and mix it all together.

Sprinkle shredded cheese at the bottom of your pie crust, spread the broccoli mixture on top, pour the egg mixture over that, and finish with another sprinkling of cheese.

Bake 45 mins at 375 degrees.

Delicious, nutritious and a sure win with friends and family.

Extra yumminess factor: a dollop of tarragon pesto on top! (make pesto with tarragon instead of basil: tarragon, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper)

March 21, 2011


Also on my break, I'm reading lots about IMTA (Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture). That means raising finfish, shellfish and seaweed together in order to maximize ecological benefits (they feed and clean up after each other) while diversifying the farmer's 'portfolio'.
All the genus and species names of seaweeds reminded me of one of my favorite songs by Altan, Dúlamán, which means "Seaweed". It's an old Gaelic song that I learned when I was in my teach-myself-Gaelic phase. Seaweed was such an important part of the lives of those by the shore (fuel and food). Here's the version I was familiar with:

and one I was not familiar with by Clannad, but which is equally as lovely, and quite different in rhythm & tune.

And this "mouth music" (acapella) version by the Ferny Boy's Choir:

March 20, 2011

Spring Break Chillaxing

Spring break. Ben and I opted not to leave town for the break because I have homework to work on and because we're tight on cash. But that means we get to hang here without a lot of stress. And I am enjoying it! Last night Ben and I had a lovely dinner together before braving the torrential coastal rainstorm to go contra dancing for the first time here in Monterey. It felt so familiar, and good to dance like that. Today I spent a few hours laying in bed with the cats curled tightly next to me, computer on my lap, surfing wherever I found myself. I made two virtual cats to mimic our real ones.

March 15, 2011

Battle of the Wilderness

In glades they meet skull after skull
Where pine-cones lay--the rusted gun,
Green shoes full of bones, the mouldering coat
And cuddled-up skeleton;
And scores of such. Some start as in dreams,
And comrades lost bemoan:
By the edge of those wilds Stonewall had charged--
But the Year and the Man were gone.
--Excerpt from The Armies of the Wilderness by Herman Melville

Ben and I have been watching Ken Burns' Civil War documentary (in 9 parts), and were touched with the haunting poetry above about the Battle of the Wilderness (May 5-7, 1864). We are frequently moved to replay sections or discuss what we're watching. Burns' documentaries are truly incredible. The Civil War was such a different time; it's difficult to imagine our America then. The men of the Civil War: they are why America was such a strong, great country. Bravery, simplistic honor and pride.

March 11, 2011

TEDx Monterey??

I'm excited and humbled to be one of 3 students considered for the Student Speaker position at the TEDxMonterey event at MIIS on April 15th. Yesterday, we presented a short version of our proposed TEDx presentation at the Idea Slam. It was recorded for your viewing pleasure. I'd love to hear your comments/suggestions/ideas. I intend to slow down, flesh out some of the story/my idea, and perform the contortion parts how I usually perform: music, personality, following know, stage craft.

March 6, 2011

Kayaking Elkhorn Slough

Just wanted to share some pictures from a few weeks ago when our buddy Dave stayed with us for 10 days, and our friend BrieAnn stayed for 2 days. These are from our excursion kayaking the Elkhorn Slough, site of the greatest bird biodiversity in North America....and seals, sea lions and otters.

Also, we found a cake on the street that night. Weird, I know. We took it home with us, gave it to some friends as a sly/sketchy joke...but then we all ate some. It was sugary and fake-strawberry flavored, but not poisonous. It smelled good.

En Mi Clase de Español

I am really enjoying my Spanish class this semester. We have a small class size (7), the first ingredient to a good language course. Secondly, our profesora has us presenting material and leading class discussions ourselves, in rotating order. This way, we never get overwhelmed with material to prepare, but go through cycles of more or less homework. Finally, our profesora facilitates our learning by correcting our grammar/vocabulary as we go, rather than trying to mold us to a rubric. It works really well!
We are teaching one another about different environmental issues, and basing our discussions around the hispanic world. Some of the themes of discussion: biocommerce, sustainable agriculture, genetically modified foods, forestry, etc... We had a debate the other day on the pros and cons of biofuels. I never thought I'd be decent enough in a language to have a debate. My favorite days are when we have a charla (chat) with someone who works in a particular environmental sector somewhere in Central or South America. Last thursday, we spoke via Skype with a man who works on encouraging biocommerce in Bogota, Colombia. It was really amazing. He gave an hour long lecture/presentation first (all in Spanish), then we had 45 minutes of Q&A/discussion. You could see the mist coming down over the mountains behind the high rises in Bogota as we spoke with him.
See, over his L shoulder, those pink high rises?
The dark behind them are forested mountains,
and the white above them is mist.

I felt like "the future is here!"...amazing what technology can allow when it works! And I'm surprised at myself and proud that my Spanish skills are improving as much as they are. I feel free to speak in Spanish outside of class which is a paradigm shift for me.

March 3, 2011


Anchovies, also a fave

One of my favorite displays at the Aquarium is the Mackerel. Seeing them up close, in a school, swimming, swimming, swimming is surprisingly awe inspiring. Check them out here, in video.

March 2, 2011

Gorgeous Day

Today was gorgeous; 70 degrees and sunny.
I spent the first part of the morning watching the TED talks stream live in our auditorium on campus. Morgan Spurlock, a perennial favorite, was engaging and hilarious, "Mindful and Playful" as usual.
I had my first day of work at Seafood Watch, making packages for restaurants around the nation that strive to carry best choices for sustainability, and getting a good tour of the place, how it runs. This picture is from there. Like I said, gorgeous!