Monthly Archives: July 2006

Basil recipes, mostly vegetarian

It's August so it's that time of year to be on the lookout for basil recipes. Here's some collections and discussions.

Kitchenchick was profiled in the August 2006 Ann Arbor Observer; her most recent recipe with basil is pork with green beans and basil, using beans from her Tantre Farms CSA.

Dazzling Basil, a July 2004 post from the Chicago based Gapers Block. (Today's headline: "Do the heat wave", 97 degrees high, 77 degrees low.)

Seabreeze Organic Farm, a CSA in San Diego, CA, has basil recipes, mostly vegetarian and vegan.

The standby epicurious lists 1183 results for basil, and on the front page there's Basil Ice Cream.

kirinqueen on livejournal has a bunch of recipe suggestions from friends, including an idea for a basil mojito. (via

NPR's "Kitchen Window" has a 2005 story picking up on the basil mojito theme "Garden in a Glass".

Anna Maria Volpi has an illustrated insalata caprese recipe (tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil).

UPDATE: Kate's Kitchen Garden has a page of basil recipes, including Classic Pesto Sauce, Marinated Zucchini, Grate Bruschetta, Basil Butter, Purple Basil Mojito, and Corn Maque Choux. Kate grows for the Phoenixville Farmer's Market in Phoenixville, PA.

UPDATE 2007: Post Punk Kitchen has Tofu Basil Ricotta;'s Thai Food's Darlene Schmidt gives us Easy Basil-sesame Noodles; Simply Recipes spells out Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons; Food Blogga has Pesto Lasagna for One, Tomatoes for a Small Army; Arickard on GroupRecipes shares Basil Corn Off The Cob

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DTE’s Fermi 2 power plant offline, due to be restored Tuesday Aug 1

Firefoxscreensnapz001-5As seen on the Reuters feed:

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) – DTE Energy Co. (DTE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) expected its 1,111-megawatt nuclear Unit 2 at the Fermi power station in Michigan to reconnect to the grid later on Monday, a spokesman for the Detroit-based company said.

He said the unit, which was in restart, shut due to the loss of off-site power on July 29.

Electricity traders said it was essential the reactor return to service as soon as possible with Midwest demand forecast to reach record levels on Monday as a heat wave strains the system.

One MW powers about 800 homes.

The spokesman said the company expected the unit to synchronize with the grid late Monday and ramp up through the day on Tuesday.

The reactor trip occurred due to the loss of feed water, which in turn was due to the loss of power.

The unit had been operating at full power on Friday.

Amazingly enough, there is no mention of this major downtime on the DTE Energy News Releases page, and nothing (at least in the Google News feed search for “Fermi 2”) from any Detroit or Ann Arbor area paper.

Weather map from Weather Underground.

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Washtenaw County heat advisory for July 31, 2006 and August 1, 2006.

as seen on the Ann Arbor District Library site.


1200 AM EDT MON JUL 31 2006

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for the Washtenaw County area on Monday and Tuesday. With heat indices up to 105 degrees, there will be a serious risk for heat-related illness. The Washtenaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross will be opening a cooling center intended for the use of especially vulnerable persons, such as elderly persons, who do not have access to air-conditioned spaces… but may need several hours of cooling down.

The Red Cross cooling center will be located at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center. The hours of operation will be Monday from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The accommodations will include general seating arrangements with some cots available for resting. No overnight accommodations will be provided. Water, fruit juices, and light snacks (fruit and granola bars) will be provided.

I’m keeping cool for the afternoon at the Shapiro Library on the UM campus.

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Has DTE Energy learned from after-action reviews to restore service faster after power outages?

From Business Week Online, “Learning in the Front Lines”, on DTE Energy’s use of after-action reviews patterned on the US Army:

Learning on the Front Lines

How an Army process for acquiring knowledge from mistakes can help companies learn from their own

In 2004, DTE Energy (DTE ) wasn’t exactly known for speedy service. The Detroit-based power company took 230 minutes to restore power after an outage—among the highest in an industry where the average hovers around 120 minutes. “We kept wanting to attack [the problem] through this silver bullet eureka moment,” says DTE’s Director of Resource Management Shawn Patterson. “We ran study after study and had all these big initiatives.”

DTE quickly learned their attempts weren’t going to make any sustained improvements. “We didn’t have in place any kind of learning practice for how we could get better at restoration,” says Patterson. Rather, when power failures occurred, paperwork ensued. System supervisors filled out administrative forms that never got at the root of the problem.

Then in late 2004, the utility began applying a process its CEO learned from the U.S. Army. Tony Early had visited Fort Irwin, the Army’s National Training Center in the Mojave Desert in southern California, where it pits soldiers against a resident “opposing force,” which plays the enemy. During and after these mock battles, the Army uses a process called the after-action review to learn from its mistakes. Soldiers then take the process to real battlefields to make sure lessons are captured in the heat of fire.

The story goes on to say that their routine time to restoration is now down to 140 minutes from 230 in part presumably due to some learning about process.

This blog gets hits every time DTE power blips near Ann Arbor.

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Mockingbird Polka lyrics, from Brave Combo / Fink / Marxer “All Wound Up”

This is what I sing to Jonathan to get him to go to sleep.

30sec clip (courtesy of Rounder) will help you piece this together; it was written by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. It’s on “All Wound Up”, a great disc.

Hush little baby don’t say a word

Papa gonna buy you a mockingbird

If that mockingbird don’t sing

Papa gonna buy you a diamond ring

If that diamond ring turn brass

Papa gonna buy you a looking glass

If that looking glass get broke

Papa gonna buy you a billy goat

If that billy goat won’t pull

Papa gonna buy you a cart and bull

If that cart and bull tip over

Papa gonna buy you a dog named Rover

If that dog named Rover don’t bark

Papa gonna buy you a horse and cart

If that horse and cart fall down

You’re still the sweetest little baby in town

You’re the sweetest kid I know

Horse and cart got stuck in snow

Dog named Rover just barks all day

Cart and bull don’t want to play

Billy goat eats all the grass

Looking glass won’t turn to brass

Diamond ring will make you sing and dance the Mockingbird Polka.

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Menu planning for vegetarians for hot, hot August days

OK, early hot August vegetarian menu planning time coming up. Here are the constraints this week:

It’s hot. Horribly hot. So things like cold soups, salads, and the like that don’t

require a kitchen inferno are a big plus.

There’s lots of good produce at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market – sweet corn, tomatoes, Italian parsley, cucumbers, arugula from Brines Farm, new potatoes, basil, summer squash, green beans, yellow beans, purple beans (why is purple food so much fun!), more zucchini than you will ever want to have, and more.

In the fruit department, there’s blueberries, cherries, the first of the peach season

(clingstone for the most part but a few very early Red Havens), and some very early

apples from Mandy and Scott.

Some things on our list for the week –

  • salade nicoise (the veg version) – w/beans, potatoes, eggs, lettuce, olives
  • cascadilla from Moosewood – recipe from Mollie Katzen
  • bi bim bap from the “Bee-Bim Bop!” kids book by Linda Sue Park
  • tabouli, hummus, falafel, pita
  • pasta with pesto and zucchini

More suggestions welcome…

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Cindy Kallet, “Leave the Cake in the Mailbox”, Stone’s Throw Music STM-3

Cindy Kallet‘s 2000 recording “Leave the Cake in the Mailbox”, a disc of children’s music, has been our companion on a vacation and conference going trip through Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Favorite tracks include “Diapers by Heart”, which my 5 year old has been heard singing to himself in the back seat, and a version of “I’m a Mammal”. This is kids music, sure, but with all of the great harmonies and clear New England sounds of any of her regular stuff. Recommended.

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