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Archive for March, 2011

What I’m Reading… Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon

March 31st, 2011 Comments off

You don’t have to be a proponent of survivalist training to understand the joys of preserving what food you are giving so you can enjoy it later, usually when the food would not be available otherwise. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It runs the gamut of preserved foods. The title says it all and then you add in salad dressing recipes, beverages, candy and more.

As with most food books I read, this one has many paper markers sticking out of the binding. There are many things I plan on trying, given half a chance. The section on making your own butter and cheese caught my eye immediately. I have been exploring making my own cordials and hard cider, so a little cheese to go along with them would be a great next steps. Of course, as harvest time arrives this year, I will be well prepared to save some of the abundant fruit for those long Winter nights in the form of jams and jellys.

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon from

I first heard of this book from Eric Rochow over at He followed some of the recipes for making his own cheeses.

How to make cheese, ricotta cheese, queso blanco:

Product Description from

Do you relish the joys of hot toast spread with your own homemade butter and jam? Love to dazzle your friends with jars and tins of choice goodies–all created by you? The kitchen is a paradise for crafty cooks, and whether you’re a newcomer to the realm of amateur artisanal edibles or a seasoned food crafter on the prowl for your next batch of appetizing challenges, Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It has recipes galore for you (75, to be exact).

Projects range from perfect pantry staples (Butter, Crackers, Pasta) to festive giftables (Toasted Walnut Brandy, Lemon Curd, Peanut Butter Cups); some give quick gratification (Mayonnaise, Rumkirschen, Potato Chips), while others reward patience (Gravlax, Ricotta Salata, Kimchee). Practical prep-ahead and storage instructions accompany each recipe, several give variations (like Caramelized Onion and Thyme Butter–yum), and most share ideas on how to use it, serve it, and give it away.

Complete with color photographs and the accumulated wisdom of author Karen Solomon’s years of food crafting, Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It is your one-stop resource for turning your culinary inspiration into a pantry full of hand-labeled, better-than-store-bought creations

Karen Solomon is a food and lifestyle writer and veteran culinary tinkerer and food crafter. She is the author of The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to San Francisco, a contributor to San Francisco magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, and a former editor and columnist for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She has also contributed to Chow! San Francisco Bay Area, the SF Zagat Guide, and dozens of Bay Area and national publications. She lives with her partner, son, and food-focused dachshund in (you guessed it) San Francisco, California. Reach her at


Categories: Books, Cooking, Food, Video Tags:

Is it Summer already?

March 30th, 2011 Comments off

The thermometer read 84 degrees when I walked out the door for school pickup. I hope we have a few more cool days ahead of us, but Summer often comes upon us without warning. We might have seen our usual 2 weeks of Spring last week when we got all that rain.

Time to pull out the Summer clothes and also go buy some new stuff. Also have to consider how to best stay cool in the coming months.

As for me,’I am already tired of the heat. (Blah)


Categories: Special Tags:

I Like This – March 30, 2011

March 30th, 2011 Comments off

A collection of interesting items I found in my daily reading.

Categories: Shared Items Tags:

Event: Historic Walking Tour of Van Nuys

March 24th, 2011 Comments off

#alttext#Historic Walking Tour of Van Nuys

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., attendees can prepare for a stroll back in time through the “Town That Was Started Right!”

The development entity known as The Syndicate began the process in 1910, but William Paul Whitsett saw it through to the end. Originally a barley field, Van Nuys became a prosperous center of City Government, agriculture and industry. Come explore what remains to be appreciated: original 1911 buildings hidden beneath modern facades, first churches, a civic center with many special revelations, one of the main hubs of social and official activity, the Women’s Club building, Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monuments #201, #202, and #911, and National Register of Historic Places Monument #2509.

Learn about the origin of the Daily News and the company which was a nationwide maker of silent movie theatre organs. Who were Hobart Johnstone Whitley, Wayne E. Bechtelheimer and Whitley Van Nuys Huffaker? Relive “Wednesday Nights on Van Nuys Boulevard.” We will have historic photographs and stories to share as we wander this surprisingly historic San Fernando Valley treasure. Tour highlights include:

  • Van Nuys Bungalow
  • Women’s Club
  • Old Van Nuys Library (1927)
  • United Methodist Church
  • Municipal Building Façade
  • Van Nuys Post Office
  • Abeles Map
  • Fernando Statue, Crystal Plunge
  • Bob’s Big Boy, Busch Gardens
  • Lankershim, Van Nuys, Whitsett, Whitley

To RSVP, please call 1-818-347-9665, email at

Cost: $10 per person suggested donation

Attendees can pay in advance on the Museum’s website at; go to Events, then Tours; Scroll down to Donate button and order tickets.

Okay to pay at the beginning of the tour.

Parking: Street and metered parking in area

Thank you for Sponsor Universal City/North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

For more information and to RSVP, please go to or to the main website under Events, Tours, where attendees can pay in advance for the tour.

Categories: Announcement, Event, LA Tags:

Photo: Sort of sums up the day — Coffee!

March 23rd, 2011 Comments off
Categories: Photos-Photography Tags:

I Like This – March 23, 2011

March 23rd, 2011 Comments off

A collection of interesting items I found in my daily reading.

Categories: Shared Items Tags:

Simply Cool Persistence of Vision on a bike wheel

March 16th, 2011 Comments off
Categories: Elsewhere, Fun, Video Tags:

I Like This – March 16, 2011

March 16th, 2011 Comments off

A collection of interesting items I found in my daily reading.

Categories: Shared Items Tags:

Wildflower and California Poppy Bloom info

March 15th, 2011 Comments off

After a good year for rain, like this one, the California Poppy bloom, along with other wildflowers should be quite dramatic. You can keep abreast of what is happening by visiting the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR web site or calling their hotline at (661) 724-1180.

Here is there latest report…

Latest Poppy Reserve Research Field Notes and Observations
3-10-11: Mary Wilson
Antelope Trail North Loop
Poppies are just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, and slender keel fruit.

Antelope Trail South Loop
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, and slender keel fruit.

Lightning Bolt Trail
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, bush lupine, slender keel fruit, lacey phacelia, red maids, Western for-get-me-not, a tiny for-get-me-not, sun cups, hairy lotus, cream cups and rattlesnake weed.

Poppy Trail North Loop Trail
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, slender keel fruit, fringe pod, wild onions, red maids, sun cups, gold fields and owl’s clover.

Poppy Trail South Loop
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, goldfields, silver puffs and slender keel fruit.

Tehachapi Vista Point Trail
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, goldfields, pygmy-leaved lupine, slender keel fruit and grape soda lupine.

Valley Vista Point
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, and slender keel fruit, forget-me-nots and evening snow.

3-10-11: Mike Powell

I think the best trails right now are the North Poppy Loop trail (it has some, already, impressive displays of owl’s clover, the cream cups, goldfields and a few poppy blossoms among others). The northern segment of the trail leaving the parking lot (it has some nice displays of forget-me-nots and, late in the afternoon, evening snow and a few poppy blossoms). The last is the Tehachapi Vista trail with its grape soda lupine, goldfields and some poppy blossoms.

Categories: Announcement, Event, LA, Nature/Outdoors, News Tags:

CareerCampLA-2 happens this Friday, March 18, 2011

March 14th, 2011 Comments off

CareerCampLA-2 is almost upon us.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from a day of career development presentations and discussion, please join us! I will be leading a discussion on Social Media and Your Career and there will be a host of other great content.

CareerCampLA-2 takes place at Los Angeles Southwest College, 1600 W. Imperial Hwy, Los Angeles, CA from 8am-2pm. You can find complete information, video of previous CareerCampLA talks and register for your free tickets by visiting

I hope to see you there!


What is CareerCampLA?

What is CareerCamp and Career Camp International?
CareerCamp is a community organized, career-focused, unconference which calls upon local communities and people to share their knowledge, expertise and other important information on developing yourself and your career.

What is an unconference?

Unconferences are self-organizing conferences, similar to many professional conferences, but instead of hiring well-known, professional speakers, they call on the attendees themselves to provide the content and focus for the event. Every person who attends is highly encouraged to present on some topic deeply important to them or, barring that, to facilitate an open breakout session or round table discussion or even just to engage and converse with their fellow attendees between presentations. A few organizers band together to find a venue for the event, recruit sponsors and invite attendees, but the focus of the unconference is driven solely by the attendees.

Some might question the usefulness of presentations by their peers, but we have found that there is an enormous amount of real-world expertise available in each and every local community. CareerCamp utilizes a format that draws out that expertise and benefits everyone. CareerCamp (and other unconferences) provide a structure and an opportunity to share this expertise in ways that traditional conferences do not. Additionaly, CareerCamps also attract career development professionals who can use CareerCamp as a way of introducing themselves to a new audience of potential clients.

How was CareerCamp developed?

The genesis of CareerCamp was found by attending BarCamp unconferences held around the world. CareerCamp founder, Douglas E. Welch, was a long time attendee of BarCamp, which is an event that embraces any topic, although it often leans toward technology. After seeing the success of BarCamp as a way to illuminate and educate within a community, Welch applied the unconference concept to the specific world of Career Development.

What is the typical structure of CareerCamp?

Each CareerCamp can and should be different, but there are some basic steps that suit the purpose of the day.

Much like any unconference, each CareerCamp is driven by a small group of passionate organizers in the local community. These organizers locate a venue, select a date, collect volunteers to assist on the day of the event and sponsors to cover the minimal costs of the CareerCamp. Local restaurants can be recruited to provide breakfast or lunch. Local stores can offer gift cards for their services to be used in a free raffle for attendees, often held at the end of the day. The organizers are also responsible for promoting the CareerCamp by reaching out to local media for coverage, sometimes bringing in various media as sponsors.

On the day of the event, attendees arrive, check in and are greeted in an opening session where the organizers briefly explain the mechanics of how the day will proceed. Typically, there will be a schedule board, divided into a grid of rooms and session times. Most CareerCamps have 3-5 session rooms for each hour of the day, as well another series of rooms or seating areas are available for open, un-moderated, “breakout” discussions. This combination of presentations and open discussions allows for a wide variety of content to be shared across the day and allows the attendees to choose among this content as most benefits them.

After the opening session, attendees proceed to the schedule board and begin placing their presentations, and breakout discussion topics on the board — selecting both a room and a time for their presentation. As the time for first “session” period approaches, attendees make their way to the session or breakout rooms and the first presentations begin.

Between each session, attendees are given 15 minutes to re-visit the schedule board and select their choice for the next session period. This process then repeats throughout the day. When possible, a catered lunch is provided, allowing the attendees to remain on-site and continue their discussions and networking between morning and afternoon sessions.

A closing session ends the day thanking the attendees, sponsors and organizers, soliciting feedback from the attendees and, in some cases, offering a door prize raffle of items from various CareerCamp sponsors.

What is CareerCamp International?

CareerCamp International is an organization dedicated to facilitating CareerCamp unconferences around the world. We provide information and resources to those local organizers who are interested in hosting their own Careercamp. Through web and mailing list resources, we connect past, current and future organizers to share best practices, promotional materials and expertise.

Past CareerCamps have included:

CareerCamp Online 2009

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