Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy Holidays from the Pretty Damn Sad Dept.

Hey kids! Please don’t eat the cute ginger bread house your parents bought at Whole Foods, because it might make you puke your guts out:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 24, 2010 – Whole Foods Market announces that it is recalling assembled Ginger Bread Houses sold in, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin that came from its supplier Rolf’s Patisserie of Lincolnwood, Illinois. The recalled ginger bread houses may have been assembled, decorated and packaged in clear plastic wrap and sold with a Whole Foods Market scale label; some scale labels also may list “Rolf’s Patisserie” as part of the description. This includes all ginger bread Houses made after Nov. 1, 2010.

Products produced by Rolf’s Patisserie have been connected to several outbreaks of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) food poisoning..

S. aureus can give you stomach cramps, the running vomits, and the vomitous runs – for as long as three days. Now that’s a merry Christmas for you. Continue reading »

Posted in Be Afraid, Verbatim

Pecanomics 101

A ribald economic discussion erupted over Paul Krugman’s recent attempt to define monetary supply, the upshot of which made me realize:

Money does grow on trees. Out in my back yard.

Photo shows about a house payment worth of pecansKrugman readers noted that the definition of money simplified is “that which is a medium of exchange.” Dollar bills are one such, of course, but a wily retail merchant can print his or her own currency by issuing “gift cards,” and brokerage houses can create money from thin air by packaging a mixed bag of home mortgages and labeling them as “AAA.” So it isn’t just the Fed/Treasury that holds the power to print money, and has been thus for quite some time.

Here at home, two enterprising women are at work right this minute picking money out of my front yard, in the form of a late pecan harvest. I am still at occasional work processing those nuts that have fallen out back. The women, who live nearby, have been roaming the neighborhood on a daily basis since mid-November, picking up pecans as they’re available.

My guess is that they are exchanging the nuts in-shell at the rate of 75 cents for every pound of pecans, from the big Bagley Brothers operation at the end of the road. My friend’s 8th grade son arrived with his mom and brother to vacuum the front yard a couple of weeks previous, and drove the haul to a more distant pecan purveyor, with whom the nuts were exchanged for 80 cents per pound.

Relatives: Don’t read beyond this point!
Here at the One Acre Ranch, we’re creating a value-added monetary exchange by cracking, shelling and roasting the pecans. Shelled but un-roasted pecan halves are selling for $8.25 or more a pound, which means that by roasting them and securing them in a cute jar I could probably exchange them for enough cash dollars to purchase someone an acceptably nice Christmas present.

Preferring to use the pecans as a pure medium of exchange, however, I intend to make them become the Christmas present. Really, roasted pecans taste pretty good, but if you got some and didn’t care for them, you could probably trade them for movie tickets or anything else of equal perceived value. I have been told that the middle toll booth lanes on the Sam Houston Tollway now accept pecan halves in lieu of quarters, for instance.

I am currently at work trying to elevate jalapeño jelly into a medium of exchange, but it turns out the currency conversion rate breaks down depending upon whether you get too much or too little pectin into the jelly batch.

Also, rumors are that Beijing is planning to flood the market with Chinese jalapeños, which could just screw everything.

Posted in Garden

Barefoot Christmas

Honeybees do their part to assure a loquat crop

It’s about par for the course that the kids are wearing shorts and barefoot and burying pecans in the sand out back during the first day of winter, while the air conditioner runs inside.

We’ll swing from 80 degrees today, down almost 50 degrees by Christmas night, to perhaps 33, because that’s the way we roll around here.

The tops of all the banana plants are yellow and frost-burned. But bunches of fruit hanging down below the leaves are unscathed and ripening still. All except the green leaves right along the ground have withered on the tomato vines. Yet the green fruit are hanging in there turning orange. The bees are swarming all over the loquat trees, doing their business with what will become next year’s first flowers, although they technically started blooming in the fall.

With Christmas approaching there’s much to be done – smoking, baking, wrapping, shopping, mailing, banking. But I’m here instead, observing nature and wild children at an equinox gone awry, because a certain car battery went so dead last night that we’re holding a memorial service in its honor next week.

Posted in Nature

Pecanomics 101

A ribald economic discussion erupted over Paul Krugman’s recent attempt to define monetary supply, the upshot of which made me realize:

Money does grow on trees. Out in my back yard.

Photo shows about a house payment worth of pecansKrugman readers noted that the definition of money simplified is “that which is a medium of exchange.” Dollar bills are one such, of course, but a wily retail merchant can print his or her own currency by issuing “gift cards,” and brokerage houses can create money from thin air by packaging a mixed bag of home mortgages and labeling them as “AAA.” So it isn’t just the Fed/Treasury that holds the power to print money, and has been thus for quite some time.

Here at home, two enterprising women are at work right this minute picking money out of my front yard, in the form of a late pecan harvest. I am still at occasional work processing those nuts that have fallen out back. The women, who live nearby, have been roaming the neighborhood on a daily basis since mid-November, picking up pecans as they’re available.

My guess is that they are exchanging the nuts in-shell at the rate of 75 cents for every pound of pecans, from the big Bagley Brothers operation at the end of the road. My friend’s 8th grade son arrived with his mom and brother to vacuum the front yard a couple of weeks previous, and drove the haul to a more distant pecan purveyor, with whom the nuts were exchanged for 80 cents per pound.

Relatives: Don’t read beyond this point!
Here at the One Acre Ranch, we’re creating a value-added monetary exchange by cracking, shelling and roasting the pecans. Shelled but un-roasted pecan halves are selling for $8.25 or more a pound, which means that by roasting them and securing them in a cute jar I could probably exchange them for enough cash dollars to purchase someone an acceptably nice Christmas present.

Preferring to use the pecans as a pure medium of exchange, however, I intend to make them become the Christmas present. Really, roasted pecans taste pretty good, but if you got some and didn’t care for them, you could probably trade them for movie tickets or anything else of equal perceived value. I have been told that the middle toll booth lanes on the Sam Houston Tollway now accept pecan halves in lieu of quarters, for instance.

I am currently at work trying to elevate jalapeño jelly into a medium of exchange, but it turns out the currency conversion rate breaks down depending upon whether you get too much or too little pectin into the jelly batch.

Also, rumors are that Beijing is planning to flood the market with Chinese jalapeños, which could just screw everything.

Posted in Economics