hinkyzine

Now in Hinkyvision!

By golly, it worked! April 2, 2009

Filed under: Food — hinky @ 10:15 pm

I’m so happy I have finally figured this out: I never seem to find a use for the leftover almond meal that remains as a product of almond milk manufacture. In another post, I’ll document how I do this, but for now, I want to tell you about my fantastic baking breakthrough. I have seen all over the interwebs that people like to use this stuff as a facial scrub, but I want to EAT it, not scrub with it. So today, I put two sticks of butter (you can adapt this using vegan substitutes, by the way), an egg, and about 3/4 cup of sugar in my standing mixer and beat it senseless. Then I added vanilla and the almond meal and enough flour to make it look like cookie dough. Using a teaspoon, I scooped humps of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, pressed them down with a sugared glass, and baked them til the edges were a little brown (at 375 degrees). It took maybe 13-15 minutes, but that will depend on how done you like them. Here’s the result:

Thievery!

Thievery!

Next time I’ll toy around with spices or replacing the egg with 1T flaxmeal mixed with 1/4 cup water (that’s a good egg substitution). Maybe I can enhance the flavor a little with some almond extract…hmmm…that sounds good too. I’ll let you know what shakes out!

 

Superfoods: a working definition March 30, 2009

Filed under: Food,Raw Food — hinky @ 2:33 pm

In case you haven’t heard, “superfoods” can mean many things, but it’s getting to where it means a product which contains phytonutrients and is high in antioxidants.  Okay, so what does that mean in lay terms?  A good list of the “old” superfoods is beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, tea (green or black), tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, and yogurt.  According to Stephen Pratt, M.D., the author of Superfoods Rx:

Available on amazon.com

Available on amazon.com

these 14 foods contain the highest amount of antioxidants of any food. Antioxidants are the vitamins, minerals, hormones and other chemicals that prevent the chain-reaction oxidation has on cells in the body. Oxidation stress causes all manor of havoc in the body such as cancer and heart disease. Here, just read this (if you are a scientific type and like food chemistry…or if you can’t go to sleep and need a catalyst): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioxidants.

Okay, so Stephen Pratt wrote this very readable, very helpful and easy-to-follow book about antioxidants and how to get them from your food. Since then, more research and publicity has surfaced from the food chemistry world that shows some other foods contain even more amazing properties including high antioxidant levels, and nutrient density. Many claim you can live on these foods alone. A few of these which are getting to be well-known even in your local grocery are acai juice, pomegranate, and certain types of cocoa (actually, cacao). Yes! Chocolate! But I digress… There are more exotic fruits/foods too like goji berry, maca, and mesquite which help make up good tasting health shakes, among other things, but also help regulate sugar and hormone production.

You'll find dry goji berries for sale in a bag.  They're about the size, and are similar in flavor to raisins.

You'll find dry goji berries for sale in a bag. They're about the size, and are similar in flavor to raisins.

So here’s the deal – you can research your brains out on this topic. There is plenty of stuff available for you to read and ruminate about. Just keep in mind that whole foods, especially the foods in the “superfoods” category, should be tops on your list for optimum health. To help you with this conversion or with your research, I am going to start sampling products from the superfoods world and report back to you about what I discover. At present I’m just using the raw components (gogi, cacao, maca, etc. – they make a great shake and substitute for coffee), but soon I will review commercial products (shake powders, meal replacement bars, juice, etc) available at your drugstore or grocery (or if you’re super-lucky, you have a health food store near you) and I’ll tell you just how super-human I’m getting to be. I’ll be sure to get someone to take my picture when I get to the point that I’m lifting the family car over my head. So far it’s just Matchbox cars:

OBSERVE THE BREADTH OF MY BRAWN.  Unnnghh!

OBSERVE THE BREADTH OF MY BRAWN. Unnnghh!

 

Good dog March 26, 2009

Filed under: General — hinky @ 2:28 am

If you haven’t seen this amazing clip of sheep herding dogs yet, allow me to bring you into the light (that’s a pun you’ll understand in about 2 minutes 45). Done? Okay, let’s continue. If you read the recent post from Pet Meds Online, you’ll recognize the smartest of the dog breeds, the Border Collie, in the clip above. I can’t tell what breed my little Leah is:

DUK: Dog of Unknown Origin

DUK: Dog of Unknown Origin

but I’ve always guessed it was partly Border Collie (and this was before I knew about the #1 smartest part).  She is an excellent herder, a watchful guarder (of the bird feeder), and gives impressive chase to kids, cats, squirrels and her now-deceased dog toy, Wishbone, rest his stuffed soul.  Leah came to us through a veterinary program at a local community college, where she had given birth to 5 babies, weaned them, had her teeth cleaned, her nails clipped, her worms de-wormed, and her puppymaker taken out.  Then she had a bath, and the vet school gave us our new beloved companion.  For free. They also threw in a bag of dog food.  This was 3 years ago.  Since then, she has been my constant buddy, and a gentle presence in a home fraught with the frantic activity only two little boys can provide.  I love watching her twitch in her sleep, and hearing her groan and sigh as she gets herself comfortable at the end of the day, retiring to her dog bed next to my side of the people bed.  I love my dog.  Since it has been proven her (suspected) breed is so smart, perhaps I shall teach her to talk, so she can say “I love you” too.

 

A little clarification March 18, 2009

Filed under: General — hinky @ 1:47 am

Hi Folks – There seems to be a little confusion about what I have been trying to tell you. I want us to understand each other! Don’t you see, I LOVE YOU! I want to be together foreeeevvvveeerrrr! So here, listen: I’m not writing my zine anymore. I hope I can return to it someday, but for now, it’s too much work. I’ll tell you what happened: Several years ago, I started a wee publication, the beloved Hinky, to help still the craziness I felt in my core from being the mother of small children. I loved my kids (still do!), but I didn’t handle the chaos of those early years with the grace I imagined other moms had. One of my problems was I didn’t know any other moms! So I stayed up late, writing funny stories, sometimes drawing irreverent pictures of naked game animals (I know, I know, they’re all naked – but mine wear kinky undergarments). This creative outlet kept me driven, and I looked forward to getting my thoughts out on paper every day. Once the copy was done, I took them to be printed, then I brought them home to assemble, staple, and mail. At its biggest, my subscriber list was 50 (thank you Marky G!), so the operation from start to finish was a bit involved. After a couple of years of this, something amazing happened – I got some friends! Real live other moms just like me who sometimes never got out of their jammies before dinner, moms who admitted they didn’t always feel like spending a 15-hour stretch with a toddler who didn’t necessarily have great interpersonal skills, moms who sometimes wished a jar of peanut butter and a handful of Cheez-Its could pass for “dinner.” In other words, I found out I wasn’t alone! And not only that, my friends had interesting things to share with me, and they liked hearing what I had to say too! I felt like I came out of the darkness and into the light. I still credit my mommy group for making my town a nice place to live, because once I met my new friends, all sorts of other opportunities and outlets for stir-crazy moms like me started to open up just because I had new input from other people who were looking for the same sort of distractions as I was. Suddenly, Hinky started to take a back seat to my new life as a mom who could actually handle things. My stories didn’t seem as outrageous anymore, none of my recipes seemed publication-worthy, and worse, I couldn’t think of any more large game animals I hadn’t already put into a skimpy nightgown. So I slacked off, dear reader, and I didn’t write much for what’s getting to be a year and a half now.

Several friends suggested I write a blog. I never liked that idea because with my Hinky zines, I told everyone you can just take them to the bathroom and read them piecemeal while you’re in there…doing, uh, other things. It was portable – you could give it to a friend, put it in your backpack, keep it near the toilet…whatever! You can’t do all that with a blog, and you can’t turn the pages, which I think is what I liked about it. Also, I don’t want to scan my pictures because it seemed sort of sterile. But since expressing this concern, friends have told me there’s nothing to using the scanner. So I’m going to figure out how to do that and see if I can’t start producing some artwork for youse guys.

I’ve missed you too! I don’t want us to grow apart! That’s why I’ve started this blog. And your job is to let me know how it’s going. Leave me comments, give suggestions, complain if you need to. I welcome your ideas. Let’s work it out. I think we belong together.

 

I’m lookin’ at the man in the basement March 17, 2009

Filed under: General — hinky @ 1:56 am

Something that happened this morning reminded me of something that happened on a different morning more than 10 years ago. Let me ‘splain. In 1996 or somewhere around that edge of the decade, I lived in rural Maine. I can’t emphasize how rural this place is. During the time I lived there, the population was under 2,000 and that includes the outlying countryside. “Town” was a main street plus a side street, and a couple of extra streets for houses. There was one bar, one little market, a drugstore, and about fifteen churches. It was close to the Sunday River Ski area, so we got a lot of tourists, but most of the time, you could see just about everyone from town just about every single day. Everyone knew everyone, everyone was related to everyone (except me), and if you found out you had a cold at 9 a.m., somebody would be asking you about it by noon. The post office was a huge social gathering space, and it didn’t matter when you went to get the mail – somebody you knew was bound to be there. This town is in the mountains, and everybody in those parts uses oil to heat their homes. If you’re new to town, people tell you not to let your tank run out, but having no experience with such things, I figured they were like the car – you don’t have to worry about them til something goes wrong. (I’m being facetious.) One morning, I woke up in the dead of winter, when the temperature rarely went above 10 below freezing, shivering in my bed. In the night I had had the wherewithal to put on a hat, a scarf, and mittens, in addition to an extra pair of sweatpants and a sweater. But it never dawned on me that anything other than cold weather was afoot.
In the morning, I mentioned my problem to a veteran northeasterner, who suggested my oil had run out. So I called the one place in town that supplied the tanks, and they sent over a hulking man who had to duck to get into my house, and when I said hello he replied, “WHAA YAAAHHH OOOOHHH TAAAA AAT?” Then he said, “HAA GIMMEL FRINK-A-DRAANNN” or some other such nonsense. I couldn’t understand a word. I instantly realized he was one of those guys who is basically a giant child, and although trained to fill oil tank, probably couldn’t be counted on to relay an accurate phone message. In other words, I think he may have been at a mental disadvantage.
He gestured toward his tool box, and I directed him to the basement, where I had not had the courage to venture. In fact, I hadn’t even unlocked the basement door. He did so, and, wielding his flashlight, descended the stairs. Slowly. I got the idea that maybe he was a little spooked by darkness. There was a bulb light down there somewhere, but I never had any desire to get close enough to it to turn it on, having always stayed upstairs, as it were. Nonetheless, the guy made it to the basement, I heard him click on the light, then heard a muffled shuffling of sorts, a series of whacking noises, and a “AAUUUGGGHHHH!!!” I ran to the top of the stairs, and called down: “What happened!?” After a few moments of silence, I heard (in clear English), “Nothing.” It was weird! I remember specifically wondering if something had reached out to grab this guy, who already seemed a little jumpy, and the shock of it all forced him to split off another personality to deal with it.
So this morning, a similar but very separate event occurred, reminding me of this other so long ago. My family sometimes goes to get hot chocolate at a chain coffee shop which shall remain nameless, partly out of my shame for giving them my business, and partly because they just don’t need my publicity. Nonetheless, there we were, the only people in the place save for one guy, who was sitting in the back with his feet up on another chair. Usually I don’t see people reclining with their feet up, home-style, but whatevs. Anyway, this guy was probably 60 or so, and looked normal enough, in a sort of Wilford Brimley sort of way. About the time we got our drinks, this man, silent up til now, lets out this long low moan like “UUNNNNGGGHHHHHH…..” with the expulsion of a certain force of air. I looked at my kids, who were looking at each other, trying to figure out what’s up with that. And then loudly, Owen says, “Did you hear that? That guy did that! That’s funny!” To which the guy replied nothing, of course, and left after 10 minutes or so.
So I guess my point is – what do you do when somebody makes a loud weird sound in front of you, a stranger, and doesn’t give any explanation? There really isn’t anything you can do, and what’s funny to me is the internal struggle I usually endure trying to pretend I don’t notice. I still wonder what happened in that basement!

 

Everybody bento! March 15, 2009

Filed under: Food — hinky @ 3:26 am

I love reading about bento boxes, especially when there are ideas for quick ones, or pictures of accessories you never would have dreamed of all by yourself.  Usually I read www.justbento.com, but today I stumbled on a new website that featured ideas for moms packing kids’ bento lunches.  Lunch in a Box has a crazy looking homepage that is visually so cluttered, I’m worried my eyes are going to start bleeding, but the ideas on it are great.  I need to figure out what sorts of lunch-y items are good to freeze in advance, thereby saving time in the morning, and I also need ideas for stuff kids eat.  This website provides both, plus many more great tips.  I would love to start packing lunches like this magnificent example:

Type "panda bento" into your google search bar...this ain't the only pic you'll find.

Type "panda bento" into your google search bar...this ain't the only pic you'll find.

But if I’m honest with myself (and I usually am, unless I’m being in denial), I know what I really want is a little mold that can press a boiled egg into the shape of a car.

If you read the following post, you can even see how to dye it:  http://everythingyourmamamade.com/2008/07/23/bento-egg-molds/

If you read the following post, you can even see how to dye it: http://everythingyourmamamade.com/2008/07/23/bento-egg-molds/

Bento boxes are supposed to be healthy, and help you control portion size. But if you’re a kid in elementary school, and you open a lunch box featuring cheese cut into shapes that resemble your favorite Nintendo character, do you really care about portion size? In reality, bento may just be good clean fun, and if it takes plastic accessories to lead us into good health, I think maybe duty calls.

 

Haircuts, plumbing, and work-at-home days March 12, 2009

Filed under: General — hinky @ 9:50 pm
Observe Leah, unable to give a rat's.

Observe Leah, unable to give a rat's.

Today a plumber told us our kitchen sink had digested a rubber seal, tried to assimilate it, and then attempted to barf it up through the faucet. Instead, what happened is the predigested seal made it partway up the spout, got stuck, and effectively turned off our water pressure. So we really need a new faucet. Good thing Kevin is at home today.

Kevin works at home on Thursday.

Kevin works at home on Thursday.

At lunch time we’ll go buy a new faucet, and install it ourselves having done it once before. Actually, Kevin will do it, and I will hand him tools and say things like, “Good job, honey,” while eating a banana.

Today I also clipped a little more off my bangs. I am trying to grow out my hair to donate to Locks of Love, and it’s taking TOO LONG. Some people have slow bowels – I have slow hair.  I’m getting bored.  I’ve been waiting for the minimum 8 inch growth for THREE FRACKIN’ YEARS.  Last week I decided to cut bangs, theretofore (looky!  I just made up a word!) non-existent, and NOBODY noticed.  Not that I cared.  But I did want to see if it made a dramatic difference and obviously it DIDN’T.  Today I thought, “Hmmm…maybe I need a few extra,” so I whopped off another 1/4 inch wide chunk or so, and here’s what it looks like:

See Kevin back there over my shoulder?  He looks like my elf advisor/parrot.

See Kevin back there over my shoulder? He looks like my elf advisor/parrot.

Kevin says it makes me look like Cat Power.

I wish.  No, I mean, she WISHES!

I wish. No, I mean, she WISHES!

I think I at least need to get a shirt like that.  Or a beach towel…is that a shirt?  I can’t tell.  It would make a cool shirt for the ultra-patriotic.

ANYWAYZ!  So I’m thinking about going to my hairdresser to see whether I can donate layers, or if I have to have it all one length, because if it looks more interesting (ie; not straight and limp as it looks now), maybe I can stand to wait for the next few inches.  As it is, I have enough to donate if I want to end up with super short hair ala my third grade school picture (hell-ooooo Dorothy Hamill!).

Leah just couldn’t care less.