The accidental vegetarian

On Tuesday I found evidence that my mushroom log is definitely not (entirely) dead:

Also on Tuesday I found a book by Tom Brown at the DI. It sounded interesting so I read a page of it. I liked it enough that I bought it. Since then I have read most of it in small chunks. Tom Brown writes in such a way that he makes me want to move back east where I can enjoy a non-arid landscape again.

Alison and I continued our ongoing discussion of the merits of moving back to Michigan (or, for the first time the Appalachians). We are currently leaning toward moving close to Andy some place near the eastern seaboard. If we were to do that and Becky and Chauncy were to move to New England then we would have the majority of the Poulson clan living out east again (perhaps that would be enough to convince Craig and Julie to move out there as well).

If we were to move out there we are talking about getting a few acres and building a small home and farming and foraging for most of our food. I would become a contractor and only work when I wanted to, and we could sell produce at local farmers markets.

One reason for the idea of moving out east is that we have been trying to live in a way that is less harmful to the environment and that allows us to be more self sufficient, but it is hard in Utah. Living in a desert makes farming more difficult as well as foraging more difficult. In this Information Age we have the ability to work remotely, so why not also live in a remote area and work remotely as well.

I realized this week that we are often accidental vegetarians in our house. We don't set out with the intention to be vegetarian, but since we discovered paneer we don't really use meat that much anymore. When cooked correctly paneer is an excellent meat substitute (or should I say that it is a meat superstitute).

On Thursday we went to see a play entitled "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee". It was funny at times. The best part was sentences that they used as word usage examples. They also had audience participation (though I am glad to have not volunteered).

We had our ward game night this week on Friday. We played a game of Dancing Robots with the new rules and multiple games of Two Rooms and a Boom. Both games were fun.

Ever since I had kabuli naan bread on my trip to Florida I have wanted to make some. Saturday we made some. It is a flat bread that is stuffed with ground up nuts and chopped raisins. It ended up pretty good, though it should have been a little bit puffier.

Also on Saturday we made a 3 lb batch of feta. It didn't get as acidic as it normally does (by 0.2 PH), but it ended up coming out pretty good. It still has a nice flavor. I think that we are going to add a little bit more salt to it before I consider it 'complete', but after that we will be having tomato and feta spaghetti.

During a lull in the cheese making (which comes in waves normally) Alison went to a baby shower and I helped a new ward member to move into the house which used to belong to one of the bishop's councilors. This combined with the calling of our ward young men's president to a stake calling is likely to shake up our ward council. I have been in my calling as a ward mission leader for over two years, so perhaps I will be involved in the shake up.

After completing the feta I said to myself "Self: this precipitation when combined with the falling temperature precipitates the growth of fungus of the shaggy mane variety". Having said that I decided to take the girls (and Timmy) on a mushroom hunt (since Alison was out of the house at the women's conference).

We walked around in a park that is just west of our house for about a half hour. We found only one mushroom, and it appeared to be an agaric of some sort (though it was too old to tell for sure). We went home a little bit wet (since it was raining the entire walk).

Sunday morning Craig texted me with the following picture:
Mentioning that he found them in his flowerbed.

I told him that they looked a lot like shaggy manes, and after getting some more pictures I told him that they were definitely shaggy manes. I decided that I should go out and hunt some more (just to see if I could find any since my suspicion that the mushrooms would be growing now were confirmed).

We went back to the park and found the following mushrooms:

Two of the types we found seem to be in the coprinus family (the family that shaggy manes are a part of), however we didn't find any shaggy manes.

I texted my dad and asked him to check out the drainage basin that we found shaggy manes in last year and he responded with four pictures:

Apparently I just chose the wrong place to look.

Sunday was Fast Sunday (since General Conference is coming up), and Rea and Sara were excited to participate.  All week they have been practicing by going up to our nightstand, climbing up on the exercise step next to it, bending down our adjustable lamp, and speaking into it.  Sunday Rea went up and all by herself gave a wonderful testimony; it sounded like an 8 year old!  She is an amazing girl.  We are so proud of her.

Through concentrated effort we have finished drying all of the apples that we got from our parents house. We ended up with 10 gallons of dried apples. It should hopefully last us most of next year (or at least half of next year (as our last batch which was about 5 gallons lasted only 3 months))

For those who have been following the tale of Rea's preschool woes, this week Alison went to preschool with her and she actually liked it.  Alison is hoping not to have to always go, but in October it will be at our house, so that might help.

Timmy is growing so fast!  He has full control over his head and will track with his eyes.  Right now he's working on sitting up by himself and grabbing things.  He can successfully grab sometimes now.  He likes to rock himself forward and back in a sitting position, which has got to be building up good trunk muscles, so he should be sitting fairly soon.

For Family Night, we had a treat of unbaked crustless apple pie (called paleoscallywag by yours truly, "Sorry food" by Sara, or Haroseth in the traditional Hebrew).  It was very well received. The recipe is as thus:
10 tiny apples (probably 3 store sized apples if you are not using home grown apples) peeled, cored, and diced into tiny pieces
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 T grape juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c rasins
mix all ingredients and enjoy.

It ends up being a delicious and healthy fruit salad.

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