Monthly Archives: January 2009



This is the first meatloaf I’ve made in years.  I can remember helping my mom make it and her telling me that ketchup and mustard were the secret ingredients.  This time, I pretty much just took everything in the fridge and spice cabinet that I thought would taste good and put it in there.  It turned out very moist and tasted really good.

  • 2 lbs ground beef (from our 1/8 cow in the freezer)
  • 1 finely chopped large onion
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • leaves from 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp A1 steak sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • dash garlic powder
  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon (from our 3/4 pig in the freezer)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Combine all ingredients except bacon in a large bowl using clean hands.  Pour mixture into a loaf pan, then top with bacon strips.  Bake 1 hour or more until internal temperature reaches 160°F.  Let stand 10-15 minutes then serve sliced with mashed potatoes.  It’s also really good the next day in a sandwich.


Filed under Food, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living, What's for Supper?

Tag I’m It!

I got tagged to do this meme.  So here goes!

Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog – some random, some weird.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Facts about myself:

  1. I haven’t always wanted to be a teacher.  While growing up, I wanted to be a mermaid, a hairdresser, a veterinarian, and a nurse before settling on teacher.  I still want to be a mermaid.
  2. I really like desserts of all kinds, especially fruit desserts or chocolate.  I eat it really slowly and Ed tries to steal off my plate, which makes me really mad because I don’t think that’s funny.
  3. Some of my students really give me hope for future generations.
  4. I really miss gardening this winter and can’t wait to start seeds.
  5. My favorite TV shows include Desperate Housewives, Jon and Kate Plus 8, Barefoot Contessa, Law & Order: SVU, Big Bang Theory, The Office and Deadliest Catch.  The Northwestern is my favorite boat, and Sig is my favorite captian.  I will always root for him.  Wow, I guess I watch a lot of TV.
  6. My wonderful hubby Ed has built me a TV cabinet, a coffee table, a bed, 3 bookshelves, a table for my Christmas village, and a house (with help, of course), in that order.  I still have a wish list of things I want him to build for me that includes mudroom cabinets, office cabinets, a dining room table, a barn and…
  7. … a salt water pool.  See #1 above.

So, I tag:


Filed under Home

Teaching on the Phone

ngjune04Even though it was a snow day, I still got to educate someone about sustainability.


Me: Hello?

National Geographic Representative: I’m calling from National Geographic.  We’re going to send you a free satellite map and a trial of our new video to thank you for being a customer.

Me: Oh, that’s nice. 

NGR: After your 14-day trial, you can either purchase the video or send it back to us for no charge.

Me: Oh, then why don’t you just cancel the video now.  I’d like to save on any unnecessary shipping.

NGR: Well we won’t ask you to pay for shipping.

Me: Haha! I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about fossil fuels.

NGR: What?

Me: You know, greenhouse gases.  I’d prefer to limit those.

NGR: I don’t understand.  Us shipping a video contributes to greenhouse gases?

Me: Yes.  Shipping items across the country burns fossil fuels, leading to pollution and greenhouse gases which cause climate change.  I’m not going to purchase your video, so sending it back would mean more shipping.  I’m just trying to do my own little part here for the environment.

NGR: Um, okay…  Well if there’s anything else we can do for you give us a call.

Me: Thank you!

Haha! Have I turned into that crazy person who’s trying to educate anyone unfortunate enough to talk to me?  But seriously, I would expect someone who works for National Geographic to be educated on the issue.  I do love National Geographic.


Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

Place-Based Learning: Long Island Sound

outer-islandAfter my experience at the Island School, I came back wanting to incorporate what I had learned about place-based learning into my teaching style.  Place-based learning involves learning the subject through an exploration of where you are, your “place.”  I’ve done a good job doing this with my Botany classes, since we spend a lot of time outside identifying plants.  It’s the botany/biology of Connecticut, and biology is my area of expertise.  Although I do a lot outside with my environmental science students, I feel that I have a lack of understanding of the geology and environmental chemistry of our area.  That’s why I’m so excited that I signed up for the course I’m taking this term: The History and Management of Long Island Sound: Environmental Issues.  Since we live minutes from the Sound, it’s so exciting to be taking a course that’s place-based.  Now I’ll have the background I’ll need to better teach my students, and I’ll enjoy the course because it’s so relevant to my life.  Ed’s family’s aquaculture business (clams and oysters) is of course dependent on the Sound, and my professor is part of a group that just got a grant to study oysters in the Sound, so I’m very interested to hear about that project.

I already knew that Long Island Sound was formed when the glaciers retreated about 15,000 years ago (actually it started as a lake), but I picked up some interesting points when the professor discussed its formation tonight.  For example, 10% of the population of the United States lives within 50 miles of Long Island Sound.  Also, the Connecticut River, which feeds into the Sound, has a watershed that runs through all of Connecticut and parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Canada.  Essentially what that means is that all of the pollution that finds its way into the Connecticut River eventually ends up in the Sound.

this-fine-piece-of-water1The text for the course is This Fine Piece of Water:An Environmental History of Long Island Sound by Tom Anderson, a local author who may come in to speak to the class.  We’ll also take field trips to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk and to Outer Island  (one of the Thimble Islands off the coast of Branford), where the Environmental Education program conducts a variety of studies.  I’m also planning to take a course at Outer Island this summer to continue my place-based learning adventure and enjoy the outdoors.  Ed said he and Chris might even swing by in the clam boat to say hi to my class.


Filed under Local Agriculture, Outside, Sustainable Living

Pantry Doors

Ed’s been working on our pantry cabinets, and he spent last weekend working on the doors.  We decided to make Shaker-style doors to match our kitchen cabinets, and we’re currently trying to decide what color to paint them.  I’m leaning towards a blue-green paint with a black glaze to antique them, similar to our island cabinets.  We really love the simplicity and functionality of Shaker furniture, and it fits so well in our home. 


Ed glued the doors in the basement so they’ll dry where it’s nice and warm, instead of the chilly garage.


I’m already imagining filling the pantry cabinets with quarts of tomatoes and peaches, pints of strawberry jam, and stocking up on staples so I can cut my grocery trips in half.  Hopefully, our pantry will have “a place for everything and everything in it’s place.”  Ed’s a wonderful craftsman and I’m so happy I married him.


Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

Morning Glory Seeds


Believe it or not, I’ve already gotten started on the seed saving aspect of the Growing Challenge.  While snapping pictures of dormant perennials for the Sunday Stroll yesterday, I decided to pick off some of the morning glory seed pods to save for planting next year.  Our morning glories were so abundant, vibrant and beautifully blue, so I’m very happy to have saved the seeds for next year.  I kept meaning to get them in the fall, but repeatedly forgot.  I’m going to pop them open and pick out the seeds, but couldn’t do that with my gloves on outside!  If you’re going to save morning glory seeds, be careful that you store them in a safe place because they are poisonous if ingested. 


Last summer’s morning glories


Filed under Gardening, Home, Outside, Sustainable Living