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Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
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Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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Gifts That Keep On Giving

If you are not done shopping yet. Please consider these alternatives!

"Rather than hopping in the car and schlepping out to the mega-mart on the bypass, how about slipping on the walking shoes and stepping downtown to buy from home-grown, locally-owned merchants (assuming there are any left in town)? Yes, you might pay a couple of bucks more, and you might have only three red wagons to choose from instead of fourteen, but you'll get some exercise, chat with someone who knows about the products she sells, and keep more of your hard-earned dollars in the community where, Lord knows, they are needed.

If walking is out and surfing is in, paddle over to www.SuperMarketCoop.com. The market is a project of the nonprofit Rural Coalition, an alliance of organizations working 'to build a more just and sustainable food system that brings fair returns to minority and other small farmers and rural communities, ensures just and fair working conditions for farmworkers, protects the environment, and delivers safe and healthy food to consumers.' Not a bad set of goals.

At the website, shoppers will find products from small farmers, cooperatives, and rural businesses here and in South America. The goods range from holiday wreaths and maple syrup from Maine to sweet potatoes and quilts from Mississippi, from Native American art to Guatemalan tapestries to-my personal favorite-Wisconsin 'Family Farm Defender Cheese'.

A third alternative is to buy gifts that don't really go to the recipient, but rather to someone really in need. Alternative Gifts International (www.altgifts.org) grew out of the efforts of Harriet Prichard, the children's director at a Presbyterian church in California in the 1980s. Now an interfaith, international nonprofit, the organization helps set up alternative gift markets at more than 350 churches, synagogues, schools, and businesses each year here and abroad. It also 'sells' gifts on its website.

Since incorporating in 1986, AGI has raised more than $15 million for the 'empowerment of the world's poorest citizens and the preservation of the planet's environment.' It does that by offering donors a chance to buy food, supplies, livestock, training, you name it, in honor of someone on their gift list. For twenty bucks you can supply schoolbooks for a class of ten Haitian students (instead of dropping it on a remote-controlled doodad that will end up broken or forgotten before the kissing starts on New Year's Eve). Fifty-five dollars will send a baby llama to poor Bolivian farmers. Forty-eight will provide one year of care for a Chinese orphan."

From: Rural Policy Research Insititute

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