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Posts tagged ‘holiday’

Real or Artificial Tree?

Americans have mixed opinions about real and artificial Christmas trees, and everyone has an opinion.

Here’s a comparison of both kinds of trees – with the pros of each – to help you decide:

Real Christmas trees

  • smell better
  • family fun time cutting down the tree
  • helps support Christmas tree farms
  • more easily recycled than artificial trees
  • do not contain plastics that may contribute to indoor air pollution

Artificial trees

  • less expensive
  • easier to set up and take down
  • more durable
  • less messy

Which is better for the environment?

The manufacturing and shipping of artificial trees causes a much larger carbon footprint than the cutting down of a real tree, especially when one considers that 98% of the real trees used in the United States were grown on tree farms and not cut from the wild. If an artificial tree will be kept and used in place of a real tree for 12-20 years (depending on size), then the carbon footprint may become even. When it comes to indoor air quality, artificial trees may contain plastics that can contribute to indoor air pollution and may trigger respiratory symtpoms in sensitive people. Real trees that aren’t properly watered or that are kept in a heated environment for too long may dry out and become a fire hazard.

So what’s your pleasure – real or artificial?

Indoor Barbecue!

Fourth of July this year is a Wednesday and therefore we’re celebrating two holiday weekends!

This weekend, we’re having an indoor barbecue because NJ is in the middle of another heat wave with spotty thunderstorms. On the menu: Barbecued Pulled Pork and Brownies.

For the barbecued pork:

    1. Put a few sliced onions in the bottom of the crock pot with some salt and pepper and put a pork roast on top.
    2. Another sliced onion or two on top of that.
    3. Pour a can of beer and about 2 cups of water over it all.
    4. This cooks for about 10 hours in the crock pot on low. File:Germantown Commissary, BBQ Pork Sandwich.jpg
    5. Remove the roast and set it on a cutting board to settle, discarding the remainder of the contents of the crock pot.
    6. When it’s cool enough to handle, I use my fingers (but I suppose you could use a fork if you’re not into sensory cooking) to pull the roast into shreds and return it to the empty crock pot.
    7. Add some more chopped onion and a bottle or two of barbecue sauce (I suppose there are purists who make their own sauce, and to them I say, “Share your recipe!).
    8. Another 2 hours on high and this delicious pulled pork is fantastic on crusty buns.


For easy brownies:

  1. Mix 2-1/4 cups sugar with 2/3 cups cocoa, 1-1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt in the bowl of your stand mixer.
  2. Add 3/4 cup margarine and 4 eggs.
  3. Mix just until blended.
  4. Add 1/2 cup nuts – pecans, walnuts, whatever (or more, or less – they’re your brownies! Make them the way you want them!) and stir to combine.
  5. Spread it into a greased 9×13 inch pan.
  6. Bake 350 degrees for about a half hour. Let the brownies cool in the pan before you slice them.
  7. For real decadence, serve these brownies with vanilla ice cream!! And chocolate syrup. And whipped cream 🙂
Bon apetit!

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