Earth Fare Earthlete

Good news! I've been selected to be an Earthlete - an Earth Fare Athlete Ambassador.

For those of you reading this blog that don't live around here, Earth Fare is my grocery store of choice. It's like a super-healthy boutique take on Whole Foods. To be blunt, I all but live there. Their produce makes me cry, it's so pretty. I'm on a first name basis with 90% of the store employees. I eat lunch there at least twice a week. I know on which days at what times they set out their free sample foods. You get the idea. 

Part of being an Earthlete is a 15% discount - stoked! (Actually Blair is probably more excited about that then I am.) Plus I get to represent the store at a few events I compete in throughout the year --they're sending me free gear which probably translates to "Wear our t-shirt when you run" but I don't mind. Love that store, love the people there, love their food philosophy. 

I just received the official e-mail this morning so there will be more details to follow. Presumably something outlining the red carpet roll-out when they present me with my crown and scepter. 



Smug Marrieds: The "I Love You" Chicken

Before Blair left for work yesterday, he walked into my office and gave me a kiss good-bye.

"Love you," he said. 

"I love you, too." 

He walked outside, got in his car and drove away. Three minutes later my phone rings. I see it's Blair. I pick up. "Hello?"

"I love you." 

"Aw, that's so sweet," I say, touched. 

"And the Earth Fare coupon for a free whole chicken is sitting on my printer upstairs."

"Aaaugh, you ruined it!" I said, laughing. "You didn't call to say you loved me! You called about chicken."

"No! I called because I was thinking about you and wanted to tell you I love you." He paused and then added sheepishly, "But, you know... I mean, it is a free chicken."

My next book is going to be on the different stages of romance in a marriage and how the hot passion of the early years somehow folds itself over into, "I love you--and don't forget the chicken," without you ever really noticing.

It's all good though.

Chicken and love are two of my favorite things in life. 



Oh, Beans...

Canned beans are expensive. No, wait. Let me qualify that. The variety of canned beans I prefer to buy at Earth Fare (Eden Organic and Muirs Glen) are expensive because they contain less sodium and preservatives than other beans.

My answer to this quandry has been to buy dried beans and cook them as needed. This, however, requires a level of pre-planning of which I'm not always capable. Soaking beans overnight does not come naturally to me. So I was happy to read a blog post the other day that recommended making large batches of dried beans at one time and freezing them in 2-cup portions. 

This never would have occurred to me. I'm suspicious of the freezer. Recipes always talk about making double batches of muffins or whatever and freezing the second batch, but I never do. Seen too much freezer burn in my life. And I get nervous keeping any sort of food in my freezer for over a month. But I decided to give freezing beans a try. 

What you see here is Bean Central. We've got some black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas working. Blair wandered into the kitchen while I had all these on the stove and was like, "Ooh, what are you cooki--Ah, I see. So... beans for dinner then?"

I'm quite proud of my beautiful stack of ziplocked bags of beans, neatly stacked on the top shelf of the freezer. I'll be prouder still if I remember to use them. Until then, this is Dena, reporting from Bean Central, signing out. 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I just finished reading the wonderful book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. In it, the author and her family decide to become locavores for a year and eat only locally grown foods. They grow quite a bit of the food themselves--including chickens and turkeys for slaughter--and rely on local farmer's markets for the rest.

It sounds like a lovely idea, romantic in its pioneer "can-do" attitude, until you really delve into what's involved.

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