December 29, 2008


The Quest for Good Tasting Raw Sugar

OK. Here is the problem. We don’t use much sugar in this house except on the rare times that I do a bit of baking. I do keep a small sugar bowl in my cupboard for the occasions when I need a dash or so for a particular dish, or to sprinkle on some fruit.

I like the taste and color of what we used to call 'raw sugar'. The somewhat large crystals impart a subtle but rich flavor compared to refined white. For years, we simply bought a small box of C & H Raw Sugar that lasted considerable time.

A few years ago, I slowly began to change my diet. I started to eat whole foods as much as possible. By that, I mean to say that I want to eat food as close to natural as possible. Whole brown rice and grains instead of refined and bleached. I want my vegetables as fruit to be organic if I can find them and prefer locally grown produce if available.

Regarding food, the simple rule I’d like to live by is to eat anything that one could grow, gather, hunt, or make in the kitchen. This little rule means that one should avoid ‘white’ ... any food that has been refined, bleached, processed or or otherwise molecularly changed. Potatoes are OK and good for you.

So, for instance, some time ago we switched from Morton’s Salt to a naturally mined ancient sea salt that is not bleached and or refined, kiln dried, heated or altered with chemicals or pollutants. The Redmond RealSalt we buy comes with a full complement of beneficial trace minerals that occurs naturally. The taste is rich and wonderful, and you actually find yourself needing less salt to bring out the true flavor of foods.

I admit that I am still an omnivore, and as much as I think it would be better for the planet if we all kicked the meat habit, I haven’t yet made that transition. But that is another story.

Back to sugar. I want my sugar to be made from Sugar Cane and liked the brand I was buying at Whole Foods Market. But things change. The Whole Food chain is getting larger and as they grow, I’ve noticed that they have stopped carrying many of the brands I loved. The sugar I bought there had a wonderfully rich flavor that did not contain a heavy ‘molasses’ taste. I’m not really fond of molasses. I can’t remember the brand name of the sugar I loved and none of the current packages look familiar anymore. That is what presented my current delimma.

A few weeks ago I spent considerable time reading all the labels of the different boxes and packages of the sugars exhibited on the shelf. I choose a Turbinado sugar that was fair traded. Wrong choice. The taste of that brand of sugar was heavy instead of mild. The crystals were the same as granulated sugar instead of the rather large crystals I preferred.

In doing some research on sugar, I think the kind I loved was is Demerara Sugar. Now back to the store to find a package of Demerara Sugar.

Voilà! This is it! What did we do before the internet?

If you are interested in sugar you might want to link here.

Posted by Judi at 10:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 14, 2008


“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new.”

-Ursula K. Le Guin

Posted by Judi at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


It seems that I am never really among strangers.

People I have never met before often tell me incredibly personal things about themselves. I am no longer surprised by this, but every time it happens, I continue to be amazed that perfect strangers will reveal such incredibly personal things about themselves during casual meetings in public places.

I'm not sure exactly what I do that seems to send a signal that it is safe for people to tell me these things. Maybe there is something about my face, or the way I smile, or simply the fact that, I too, am reaching out.

Whatever it is that I do, I know that it rose out of the deep loneliness I felt as a child and a basic bravery that grew out of my need and my desire for friends. Due to this innate desire, I am naturally a pretty friendly person.

The truth is that I am genuinely interested in the stories that people tell me. I am usually happy to visit with anyone, and there is part of me that is always reaching out in order to connect with other souls. I don't think I am alone in this. We are all wanderers, and we all seek to reconnect with the greater IS.

It seems to me that most people are intrinsically lonely, fearing to be completely open with the people they know the best. We are all looking for love and we all fear rejection. We express these human emotions in differing ways. It is not unusual to find that many of us are often kinder to strangers than we are to those we love the most.

In these busy times, there seems to be an increasing number of lonely people who go about their days doing what they they think they have to do to get by, and who long for a connection with someone with whom they can reveal their hopes, dreams and fears.

There certainly have been times that my openness has resulted in rebuff and in rejection rather than in friendship, but there came a time that I decided that I would rather reach out, and take the chance of making a connection, than to hold back and continue to feel alone.

Although I certainly have not always been my best self and have my share of regrets regarding the times I was not kind and hurt people deeply, I really do believe that there must be something unique, unusual and wonderful about everyone I meet. I am generally interested in finding out what this something is....

I believe that most people are essentially kind. I think this is a human trait that arose out of our need to cooperate with one another in order to survive. When this trait seems to be absent, I believe this is a result of great trauma and pain.

Over the years, I, personally, have been the recipient of many extraordinary and unexpected acts of kindness from complete strangers, from people I barely know or am meeting for the first time. People. in general, are usually very kind to me. My wish is to return that kindness or at least pass it on.

Posted by Judi at 9:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack