Happy Earth Day, everyone!
Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays. There’s not normally a lot of hub-bub surrounding it from the general population, but the hub-bub that is there makes me very happy. It’s so nice to have an entire day devoted to helping the environment. I think the biggest thing that made me excited about Earth Day when I was a kid was The Big Help on Nickelodeon.
Remember The Big Help? Where really cool people like Rosie O’Donnell and LL Cool J would try to convince kids to recycle and do good things in their communities? I remember this one animated commercial where a girl was brushing her teeth with the water running and outside the window you could see all the water in a pond disappear and a really sad-looking fish was left without any water. I never left the water running again after that! That poor fish. I always wanted to pick up trash on the side of the road and recycle like the kids in the commercials, but I guess my parents thought it was too much of a hassle. That’s why I make up for it now!
I try to recycle anything and everything I can, even if it means holding onto things for years until I can find a way to recycle them. I recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, tin, glass, lightbulbs, batteries, shoes, etc.. I can’t stand throwing something away if I know it can be recycled SOMEWHERE. Earth 911 is my favorite website for figuring out where to recycle odds and ends, and just finding tips to be more environmentally friendly.
Today me and my boyfriend went to our local metal recycling center (Recycle USA) to take all of our cans. It was so much fun! Everyone had on Earth Day shirts, they had a radio station out front, and they even gave you a free lunch after you took your receipt up to the cashier! It was a bag of chips and a roast beef sandwich (I think). I ate the chips and let Jon take the sandwich to give to someone at work. Obviously, plant-based food is better for the environment, but it’s hard to complain when they’re trying to get people excited about recycling! It was just so fun seeing people get into the spirit of Earth Day.
After that I came home and started making my green/earth-inspired Earth Day lunch!
I made Worms in Dirt using the chocolate pudding recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance and crushed Oreo cookies. I also made Candied Orange Peel to use for the worms!
For the Candied Orange Peel, you’ll need one orange (washed well), 3/4 C sugar (plus more for coating), and 1 1/2 C water.
- Cut the orange in half across the middle, then cut each half into an X to make four segments. Peel off the fruit and cut the peel into strips (don’t worry about the white part of the rind – the blanching will mellow it out).
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the strips for five minutes. Drain and repeat and until you’ve blanched the strips a total of three times.
- After the third blanching, bring the 3/4 C sugar and 1 1/2 C water to a simmer. When all the sugar is dissolved, add the orange peel. Simmer for one hour.
- Before all the liquid is gone, use a slotted spoon to transfer the strips to a bowl of sugar. Toss to coat, place on a baking sheet to cool.
These worms are SO good!
For my “real” food, I made the Spring Vegetable Soup out of the May 2011 issue of Everyday Food and the Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing from Veganomicon (I just left out the chickpeas). I sort of went with a “green” theme, can you tell? I added in the blue bowl to represent the oceans, though :-D The soup was so-so, but I loooved the salad dressing and the portobello marinade for the salad. For the greens, I used 50% Romaine and 50% watercress. I have a slight obsession with watercress lately.
I also went to Publix today to pick up a few last-minute things, and they gave me one of these adorable keychains!
While I was there, I picked up two new reusable holiday bags! I swear, I love that they sell holiday-themed reusable grocery bags. I have black and orange jack-o-lantern bags for my Halloween grocery shopping, red and green “Happy Holidays” bags for my Christmas grocery shopping… And they also have them for Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving! I’m wondering if they have any for the 4th of July.. I’m definitely going to be looking out for those this year! I did notice they had Earth Day-specific bags while I was there today, but I think the regular, old green ones are just fine for that :)
Sunday I’m having my boyfriend, my sister, and I think my sister’s boyfriend over for an Easter brunch. I’ve wanted to do this for years so I’m really excited to finally do it! Not excited about all the school work I still have to do this weekend :-\ Yuck.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back on Sunday!