Thursday, October 22, 2009

Box of Veggies (20 of 22)

We split the peppers, squash, cauliflower and the turnips (we took the greens, E&A took the nips). We took the spinach. E&A took the kale, onions, lettuce, and potatoes.

We stir-fried the cauliflower, peppers and spinach. We ate the turnip greens as is with potatoes mashed up with last week's celeriac. I think we will be stuffing and roasting the squash.

The yard produce is done for the year. I pulled out the last tomato plant and all the fruit trees are finished. There are still some grapes on the vine to snack on, but I won't be making jelly or anything with them.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Box of Veggies (19 of 22)

We split the leeks and peppers. E&A took the onions, bok choy, broccoli, squash, and tomatoes. We took the potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, and celeriac. I lost track of who ended up with the lettuce (we have wilty lettuce in our fridge, but that could be from last week).

Chris made a pumpkin pie from scratch using last week's pumpkin. We have so much pumpkin left over that we're still trying to find uses for it. I made pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin scones. There was also a failed attempt at making pumpkin leather in the dehydrator. I think Chris is planning on making a pumpkin liqueur and/or syrup. We haven't even considered the buttercup squash yet. We still have half the ambercup squash left over from 3 weeks ago to use.

I made yet another batch of carrot cupcakes. They're still tasty, but we must be growing tired of them; they're lasting longer than they used to. I brought half of them into the office.

The leek, of course, became a quiche. I will never get tired of this.

The celeriac is a challenge. I found this recipe for root vegetable gratin that has celeriac, butternut squash, and leek - like they knew what was in our CSA box! But I'll probably just add celeriac to this gratin recipe instead.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My First Joint

I just mailed in Chris' and my Oregon Income Taxes (on the last possible day, of course). It's the first time we've ever filed a joint tax return. It's a tedious bit of bureaucratic hassle, but one that reflects a shift in cultural attitudes toward gays and lesbians in America. It's weird - paying my taxes has never seemed so historic.

The main problem for Registered Domestic Partners (RDPs) filing jointly in Oregon is that the feds don't allow us to file married and the state doesn't allow us to file single, so we have to come up with a work-around:

- We each have separate 1040s prepared as 'single filing separately' (like we always have) to file with the feds.

- We have a 'married filing jointly' 1040 prepared to be included with our state return, but it is not actually filed. This is the "as if" return (seriously, they really refer to is as the "as if" return on the official on-line instructions - I find that funny for some reason).

- We mail in our state return with copies of all three 1040's with the phrases "RDP - As Filed" (for the individual copies) or "RDP - For Oregon Only" (for the 'as if' copy) stamped in red on each page of the return.

- If RDPs file "married filing separately", they still must send in their separate returns in the same envelope, but not stapled together (but you could put them in a binder clip - it would be 'as if' stapled).

I'm really grateful that I work at a tax office, because I wouldn't have wanted to figure this out on my own. Also, ours is not the first RDP return I've had to process, so I'm grateful to the first RDPs whose return I processed for helping me work out the details.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Box of Veggies (18 of 22)

We split the peppers, the beets (we took the greens, E&A took the beets), and corn. E&A took the potatoes, lettuce, onions/shallots, squash, and tomatoes. We took the carrots, kohlrabi, cabbage, and basil.

Gathering Together Farms had a potluck for all their CSA members last Sunday. I brought a quiche made with the kohlrabi, and E&A made black bean couscous with some of their CSA vegetables. We each got a pumpkin out of the deal. We also saw pigs, turkeys, and poodle-chickens, but I couldn't find my camera, so no pictures. Sorry.

I used the beet greens, a pepper, and a carrot in a stir-fry on Monday. We fried up another pepper with our burritos on Tuesday. Half of the cabbage went into the duk-bokki on Wednesday. Last night we made a wonderful cream of pumpkin soup with last week's ambercup squash (instead of pumpkin).

We still have the basil, which I think I'll put on a pizza this weekend - whatever's left will be made into pesto. We also have most of carrots left - maybe enough for cupcakes? The remaining cabbage and pepper will be easy to use in stir-fry or something; the corn is also easy. We still have half the ambercup and a whole pumpkin left - perhaps a dessert?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On Adoption

Last year I mentioned that of all the heartbreaking anti-gay election defeats in California, Florida, and Arizona, it was the anti-adoption measure in Arkansas that I found the most worrisome. With the stated goal of preventing gay and lesbian couples from adopting, the Arkansas Family Council wrote the measure broadly enough to ban even straight unmarried couples and single individuals from adopting.

It's important to point out to these social conservatives that gay and lesbian couples can and do have children the old-fashioned way. Mary Cheney, for instance, has recently confirmed she is pregnant with her second child. There is no law that they can pass to stop this. This measure doesn't thwart gay couples from starting families; it just takes away the option of adoption. So the only victims of their vindictive measure are the kids in foster care hoping to find homes.

This measure got less notice than California's Proposition 8, and I wished it had gotten more attention. That's why I was heartened when I read this interview with Scott Fujita, the NFL linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, where he talks about this measure and how it bothered him as an adopted child.

"what that is really saying is that the concern with one's sexual orientation or one's sexual preference outweighs what's really important, and that's finding safe homes for children, for our children. It's also saying that we'd rather have kids bounce around from foster home to foster home throughout the course of their childhood, than end up in a permanent home, where the parent, whether that person's single or not, gay or straight. Either way, it doesn't matter. It's a home that's going to be provided for a kid who desperately needs a home."

I just wish more people were saying things like this before the election.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Box of Veggies (17 of 22)

I was at the Portland Juggling Festival last weekend, so Chris picked up the veggies and divvied them up with E&A. When I came home, I found some carrots, half a head of lettuce, some peppers and a tomato - I presume we split these with E&A. We also had cilantro, a squash, a zucchini, kohlrabi, and spinach. E&A must have taken the potatoes, cucumber, onions, and pears.

The zuke, peppers, carrots, spinach, and last week's fennel have been fried up in stir frys or served on pasta this week. Some spinach was used for omelets one morning. I'm planning on making a quiche out of the kohlrabi. The squash may be stuffed and baked, or Chris will turn it into a pie. Some of the cilantro, some tomatoes from my garden, and some jalapenos from my coworkers garden were made into salsa which I canned.

The backyard produce is diminishing. I'll harvest a few more tomatoes this weekend - next weekend I'll take out the vegetable garden for the season. I'll harvest the green tomatoes to see if they'll ripen off the vine, and I'll pick the 2 tiny eggplants that are left. The concords are finally done - I juiced a bunch, and gave the rest to a friend. The red grapes and green grapes will be ripe very soon, so I will make more jelly.