Thursday, May 19, 2011

Test Tube Burgers?

I know I said I wasn't going to have any new posts until after the honeymoon, but I heard this news story on the radio today and was perplexed.

Yesterday, NPR aired an interview of science writer Michael Specter, who wrote an article for The New Yorker about labs which are experimenting with in vitro meat. Using stem cell technology, scientists have come up with a new solution to the problems of world hunger and animal cruelty.

Cool, now somebody can patent animal flesh along with GMO seeds and salmon. Just fascinating.

Click here to listen to/read the article.

In a world where much of the food products we consume originated in a lab, I'm almost not surprised that this is the next wave of food technology.

Monday, May 9, 2011

what's occupying my mind

With the wedding a month or so away, my mind is certainly more focused on the zillions of little projects I've committed myself to than on my garden or what I can whip up in the kitchen. In fact, my gas bill was at a record low last month because I hardly used my stove. I've been busy splitting our list of invitees into "yesses" and "no's" as I get reply cards back in the mail, being the guest of honor at a couple of bridal showers, putting together favors, finalizing details with vendors, applying for a marriage license, figuring out what song I want to walk down the aisle to, calling my parents often because I miss them, etc. etc. etc.

Usually when I have a lot on my mind I find solace in my garden. Not right now. What's the light at the end of the "omg there are a umpteen million things to do to finish planning this wedding" tunnel? My friends, it's planning the honeymoon (to Belize!!) And today, I put together a sample itinerary so I could make sure I budgeted the right amount of ka-ching. When it was all said and done, I was bursting at the seams with excitement. Allow me to share said travel plans....

Day 1: Arrive in Belize at 2:55pm. Hidden Valley Inn to pick us up from the airport. Dinner at the Inn. Do a little exploring as daylight allows, settle in to our room.

Day 2:  Free day. Unwind and rest from traveling, explore property some more if we want.

Day 3: Trip to Caracol (Mayan Ruins, still being excavated), Rio Frio Cave, Rio On Pools, and Hidden Valley Falls

Day 4:  Day at Butterfly Falls (I'd like to see if the inn will let us do the romantic lunch thing here instead of at Secret Pools. They give you a picnic lunch and sparkling wine and the falls are yours for the day).

Day 5:  San Ignacio (village with shopping and good food), Cahal Pech & Xunantuich (more Mayan ruins) and stop at the Mayan village of San Antonio on the way to or from.

Day 6: Breakfast at the Inn. Drive back to Belize City with stops at Belize Zoo, Caesar's Gift Shop, and Cheers for lunch (highly recommended by my uncle). Take the water taxi from Belize City to Ambergris Caye and arrive at Cocotal Inn.

While we're on Ambergris, we'll have to explore the island to get food since our Inn doesn't have a restaurant. I imagine we'll have some meals on the north of the island and some meals in the main city of San Pedro. We can cook if we wish b/c our room has a kitchen, however I feel like we probably won't want to do much cooking!

Day 7: Relax, + 1/2 day snorkeling at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a protected reserve where we can see sea turtles, rays, grouper, and huge schools of fish.

Day 8:  Full Day Trip of Snorkeling + Manatee Watch, lunch included

Day 9:  Take the water taxi to Caye Caulker for lunch and spend some time exploring.

Day 10: Free Day. Relax, explore, mourn the end of our honeymoon, and take a Romantic Sunset Cruise.

Day 11: Head back to Belize City for our flight home. Sniffle!

Doesn't that sound miraculous?

Back to the subject of gardening for one second. Dad, here is the proof that the tomatoes are flowering, and some other snapshots of recent garden additions:

brandywine tomato flowers look strange

cherry tomato flowers

chard is getting bigger

hello. I am an okra sprout.

...I planted too much basil in this pot. oops.
Alright folks. I'll be back with a full report from our tropical getaway. Off to finish wedding details, get married, and spend 10 days in honeymooning bliss. Don't expect any new posts until July.