Ask the Bartender, Ask the Plants, Ask Karoline #80

    It feels as though summer might finally be here to stay in the city of suds (Milwaukee, that is).  We've been plagued with weather akin to the Pacific Northwest (cool/cold and rainy) ever since winter ended...but with the Midwest bonus of huge bloodthirsty mosquitoes that will eat you alive as soon as the sun goes down.  Today is HOT and sunny and I'm proud to say that our little communal house garden seems to be flourishing out there in the back yard.  We've made plenty of mistakes (this being our first garden endeavor) like digging out too small of a bed for all the things we wanted to plant, then planting everything later than we probably should have, (which turned out to be a good thing this year because all of the early starters Patsy and I spoke to said much of their crops rotted due to all the rain) and not being really on top of the proper companion plants to battle the potential pests.  All that being said, we've got squash, broccoli, zucchini, watermelon, peppers and tomatoes on the way and we've already been eating homegrown spinach on our breakfast sandwiches (see 'recipe' below).  It sounds silly, but I'm darn proud of us.  The potted herbs (lavender, sage, rosemary, nettles, parsley, oregano) on the front porch are thriving as well and they get used regularly for cooking.  Unfortunately, the raccoons ate our little fledgling strawberries.  Oh well.  On a different note, if you're looking for an interesting road trip, check out Northern Wisconsin (up by da U.P., oh yah) and you'll be in for a stunning array of forests and lakes and if you can find Hurley, WI you'll see the world's largest corkscrew.  I only mention this because Robert and I drove up there to see my dad a couple of weeks ago.  Good stuff.
breakfast sammies and rosemary in not much time...
    The old man and I are true creatures of habit and we like to eat the same thing for breakfast several days a week. We call 'em breakfast sammies and they go something like this (with lots of room for interpretation):
-toasted english muffin (matthew's all natural or jeanne's are our brands of choice) smeared with margarine, nutritional yeast, cayenne and sriracha hot sauce (affectionately called 'rooster' in our house).
-some sort of fake bacon type product, fried up with vegan cheese (usually vegan rella) on top.
-spinach (we like it raw, but you could sweat it for a minute or two with the bacon if you prefer).
-slices of raw onion.
-fresh basil leaves (just a few).
Pile all of this together and devour.  Quick, easy and delicious.
Another quick and easy tidbit for you is this:
Rosemary Oil  (from Herbal Rituals by Judith Berger, August chapter)
-cold pressed organic olive oil
-fresh or dried rosemary leaves
-glass jar with lid (a mason jar works fine)
You can either use fresh Rosemary leaves or dried.  The leatheriness of the leaves protects the volatile oils of the plant until they are released into a liquid matrix.  If using dried leaves, only fill your jar 1/3 of the way as the leaves will draw the olive oil into themselves as they impart their own volatile oils to the matrix.  The last time I made this oil, I let it 'steep' in the pantry for about 5 weeks.  Really pungent and delicious for cooking.  If you substitute jojoba oil for olive, you can use this oil for problematic scalp issues (itching/dandruff).
one quick shot...
    Summer is kinda crazy in the bar business and I haven't really had a chance to be creative with the booze this time around, but I did come up with this little gem the other night.
-Stoli Raspberry Vodka, Chocolate Liqueur, Silk French Vanilla Soy Creamer.
Take equal parts of the liquors (maybe a teensy tiny bit more raspberry than chocolate) so that a 10 oz. rocks glass full of ice is about 1/2 liquor and 1/2 soy creamer.  This baby is a little sip of heaven, just like an incredible candy or a scrumptious adult milk shake.  Be warned, though, too many of these and you'll be praying to the porcelain gods for sure.
gotta love that Sam Mcpheeters...
    I meant to mention my love for Mr. Mcpheeters last time around, as I've always been a huge fan of his writing over the years (columns in MRR, Punk Planet, and his zines I, Yeast Roll and Dear name a few), and I would also say that Born Against is one of my all time favorite bands (EVER).  His column in Punk Planet #61 (May/June 2004) (entitled 'Tweakers vs. Shredders') is a work of sheer genius.  I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but if you have any love of paper shredders, you must get a copy of this column.  I swear that I must have laughed about it for at least a week, and as I was digging the issue out of the 'to be filed' pile, I started giggling all over again.  Sam, you are a brilliant writer.
exciting tour news...
    The Subhumans are coming back again this fall (end of October!) for a 3 week tour of the midwest/east coast and it looks like I’m finally gonna get to go on tour again!  Woo-hoo!  Two years without a tour is just too darn long.  Hue and Cry (Arwen, Clara & Chloe from San Francisco) will have already finished their 10 day Milwaukee to New York tour by the time this issue comes out, but I'm sure those ladies will have rocked your world just as they did mine.
I guess I'll end with a period...
    I haven't done any research into this subject, other than talking to a woman that I work with who is taking this, but is anyone else freaked out by the new birth control pill that only gives you 4 periods a year?!  I don't love having my period, but I am totally intrigued by the cycles and 'flow' (on many levels, including the blood) of a woman's body system.  It seems to me that suppressing something that we are genetically programmed to do is dangerous and falls into that whole 'give me convenience or give me death' mentality.  I know that millions of women have incredibly painful periods and this is probably a good quick fix on some levels, but how long have they (drug companies) been testing this?  What are the long term effects? Judging from the television ad campaign I've seen, the current 20-something generation of women are the guinea pigs/target market.  Society is so wrapped up in extreme measures these days...doesn't anyone remember that good old word called moderation anymore?!  I want everyone to read the book 'Cunt' a declaration of independence by Inga Muscio (Seal Press).  Okay, enough of my babble.  Take care of yourselves, think about the possible long term effects of what you put into your body (food, alcohol, beverages, pills, whatever) and take some time to check out all the incredible plant life growing around you.  Take nothing for granted.  Life is short.  -karoline