I try to grow enough food in my garden to share with the birds, insects and animals. It’s really worth it! I stumbled across this berry eating party over the weekend when I was clearing out some weeds way, way in the back of the garden. I’m not too worried about this one eating too much, because I think he’s already stuffed (har, har).
Photo by: Elizabeth Fiend
Happy New Year
from all of us at
BiG TeA PaRtY
Love, VaLerie Keller and Elizabeth Fiend
EAT MORE VEGETABLES IN 2012
Scientists Hint at Why Laughter Feels So Good
Source New York Times
Written By JAMES GORMAN
Posted by Elizabeth Fiend
Laughter is regularly promoted as a source of health and well being, but it has been hard to pin down exactly why laughing until it hurts feels so good.
The answer, reports Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford, is not the intellectual pleasure of cerebral humor, but the physical act of laughing. The simple muscular exertions involved in producing the familiar ha, ha, ha, he said, trigger an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals known for their feel-good effect.
His results build on a long history of scientific attempts to understand a deceptively simple and universal behavior. “Laughter is very weird stuff, actually,” Dr. Dunbar said. “That’s why we got interested in it.” And the findings fit well with a growing sense that laughter contributes to group bonding and may have been important in the evolution of highly social humans.
Social laughter, Dr. Dunbar suggests, relaxed and contagious, is “grooming at a distance,” an activity that fosters closeness in a group the way one-on-one grooming, patting and delousing promote and maintain bonds between individual primates of all sorts.
If you’re looking for me, check the garden ! I’ll be working, lounging or eating there every week from now on. Enjoy some photos from last years efforts.
Garden and photos by: Elizabeth Fiend
GARDEN WREATHS written by Elizabeth Fiend
I recently created two wreaths out of vines from my garden. One wreath is ‘living’ so I guess I could call it topiary. It’s like a magical window I look through to the rest of the yard.
I started it with a hula-hoop, if you look closely you can see the green and white stripe of the hoop. With a piece of string I suspended the hula-hoop above the grape vine, hanging it from the cross-beam of a seating area Mr. Fiend built in the way-back of our yard. At first I tacked another piece of string from the bottom of the hula-hoop to the ground so the wreath wouldn’t swing around in the wind.
Every couple of weeks during the growing season I would wrap and tie down the vines around the hoop, at the same time cutting back vines that were growing in the wrong place. It was slow going at first and tricky to keep the vines growing in the proper direction and I almost bailed on the project. But I kept at it. Three years later it looks smashing. Don’t you agree?
I came up with the idea of using a hula-hoop as a base for the grape-wood circle because when the wreath was sturdy enough I could easily cut open the hoop and twist it out leaving a truly amazing circle of live wood suspended in the air. I think I’m ready to cut the hoop, but I’ll wait until the winter when there are no leaves.
Help BiG TeA PaRtY name our new sustainable living DVD.
The DVD is a collection of short videos that suggest ways to be more green at home. Like: Green Everyday; Food Choices; Reusing; How to Compost; Conserving Water; even a Vegetarian Cheese Steak Recipe. The DVD will also include bonus videos like Elizabeth Fiend’s appearance on NBC’s the Today Show and a brand new More Fiends video! Exciting stuff!
We want to come up with one-word name/acronym that has pizazz. And then we need your help decoding the title acronym to create a subtitle that further explains the video concept. Pick your favorite name/acronym , and if you have subtitle ideas, write them in. Have a better name/acronym for us? Write it in.
We’re thinking of names like:
Choose your favorite name or suggest a better one.
Take the poll, it only takes a sec. Click here to vote.
Happy New Year!
Wishing you a new year filled with all the good things you want.
Thank you for your support.
With Love, BiG TeA PaRtY Sustainable Living
Eat more vegetables in ’10.
Holidaze greetings from the Fiends:
Like birds, leave behind what you don’t need to carry. Life is beautiful, enjoy it.
Happiness in the New Year! Love, Elizabeth and Allen Fiend
Salute from VaLerie K:
Orange Creamsicle Cake
RECIPE BY ELIZABETH FIEND
A favorite childhood memory of mine was running outside when the ice cream truck came around my block. I would always get the Orange Creamsicle ice cream bar. Orange sherbet coating over a rich creamy vanilla ice cream bar, this treat always spelled carefree days to me! I’ve duplicates these flavors as a refreshing, fruit filled cake. Yes, there really are two pounds of fruit in this cake!!!
Quick and easy. Dress up a store bought cake or if you have a favorite recipe, make your own angel food cake. You’ll get raves, trust me!! Only takes 1/2 hour (with store bought cake).
THIS CAKE JUST SCREAMS FUN!! MAKE THIS CAKE FOR YOUR NEXT PARTY.
Category: Vegetarian, Dessert Recipe
OK, a cake’s a cake. It’s dessert and there’s no denying it. But I’ve tried made this cake more healthful by incorporating two pounds of fruit into the recipe. (I must be a genius!) Plus I’ve lightened up the custard filling by using yogurt and mascarpone cheese, a soft, sweet Italian cheese with half the calories of butter. And — angel food cake contains less fat than most other cakes.
Special tools: Angel-food-cake cutter. This looks kinda like an Afro comb. You first slide it down thru the cake poking little holes in to the cake which will enable you to then slice the cake with a regular knife. (If you don’t have one, it will be a little harder to slice, but not the end of the world.)
Use your favorite recipe for angel food cake. Or to save time use a store-bought cake.
8 oz mascarpone cheese
12 oz orange-cream yogurt
Two 15 oz cans mandarin oranges (drained)
8oz prepared whipped topping (if frozen, defrost) or fresh whipped cream
½ cup sliced almonds