Saturday, January 7, 2012

E-Reader Vs. Library Card


We never owned a ton of books, but I was a voracious reader as a child, because my mom and I would go to the library weekly. I'd come home with armloads of books, and organize them from shortest to longest to decide which one to read first because I just couldn't decide where to start and that seemed the most democratic. (Looking back, I guess it's a more socialist notion).

Within the last year, my mom purchased a Nook because her local library started providing books electronically. I also downloaded the Overdrive app on my iPhone, which allows me to borrow electronic library books. However, the selection is limited and I find myself still reserving the hard copies through the library.

My husband keeps saying I should buy an e-reader because we'll save money, and I keep telling him we will spend more money because I'll have to buy the books I want to read rather than borrowing them from the library. But it made me wonder about the economic impact of reading library books versus buying them on an e-reader. So I did some research. I found the following:

Taken from
Okay, so once you've purchased 20 brand new books, you'd be better off with an eReader. How does this translate to the library? For me, I need the library to have the books I want electronically in order for it to be worth it to make the switch (both for my interest and for my wallet). So, I'll continue to browse my e-library, but I think it will be a while before I make the full electronic switch. However, if you are a book buyer, I'd recommend an e-reader for you! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Melissa and Doug

We were happy to receive a Melissa and Doug Shapes Sorter from Uncle J and Aunt M. Melissa and Doug toys are sustainable products made of wood and non-toxic paint. The company is also based out of the U.S. They leave a low carbon footprint and use high quality, long lasting materials. For more details about Melissa and Doug, visit their website

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Homemade Chicken Stock

I love to buy whole chickens at the St. Paul Farmer's Market and from my parents' good friend who grows delicious, giant free range chickens, but I'm less inclined to cook them for just two adults. So when we had another couple over for dinner and New Year's festivities last night, I was excited to bust out a frozen young chicken.

I was inspired to save the leftover bones and skins to make my first chicken stock after reading about how much healthier it is than store-bought broth or the bouillon cubes I typically use when a recipe calls for chicken broth.

By cooking my own stock, I was guaranteed a healthy, organic, free range broth that didn't require an extra trip to the food co-op.

Here's what I did:

Stick the whole carcass in the crock pot. Stick in a celery stalk cut into slices, a handful of baby carrots, a small onion quartered, and a clove of garlic. Season with spices as you wish. I included 5 sprigs of thyme (which I have growing in a pot after plucking the plant from my garden-I can't believe it's still alive!), a bay leaf, some dried parsley, and a dash of course grind black pepper. Cover the whole shebang with water-I used about 6 cups.

I cooked on high for about 7 hours, and it wasn't tasting like much more than gross water, so I turned it down to low and cooked another 3 hours. Much better!

Strain the whole thing and stick it in the fridge. Tomorrow, I'll skim the fat off the top and voila! Chicken broth for the chicken soup I'm sure I'll be making soon, inspired by the recent snow!


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