Death By Screen Time

If you follow the Bellevue Farmers Market on Twitter (@bvfarmersmarket), you've been getting Director Lori Taylor's fabulous, envy-producing twitpics from the bottom of the world: Fiji and New Zealand. Yes, it's summer there and the farmers markets are in full swing. If the woman weren't quite clearly lying on the beach and enjoying herself, I would have demanded she do a guest blog on her adventures. Maybe afterward?

For the rest of us, we have commute-hour snow to look forward to, followed by days of rain. But we're not jealous! No, dang it. We're cozy. I bet Lori isn't cozy. (Excuse me, while I briefly indulge in some tears and drumming my fists on the floor. Okay--all better.) And I may be cold and growing moss in my scalp, but at least I can bake some tasty treat to comfort myself--oh, no--hang on--I forgot I'm still only to Day 11 of Sugar-Free January.

Well, while I'm feeling sorry for myself, I might as well dish out the other bit of bad news, courtesy of The Telegraph: our friends across the pond report that spending 4+ hours of screen time per day, including computer monitors, video games, and television, more than doubles your chances of suffering "major cardiac problems." Not only that, but exercise doesn't help! I have a couple questions about this study. (1) How on earth did they find a control group? A group that didn't spend 4+ hours/day in front of some kind of screen? You'd have to unearth some unusual combinations--lumberjacks who are also bookworms, or construction workers who happen to be blind. And, (2) if exercise doesn't help, and we don't want to give up our job or evening entertainment, what is the take-away? I guess it's, If you're going to be spending all that time in front of a screen, at least multi-task and draw up your will while you're at it.


Well, let us eat and drink and send email and watch TV, for tomorrow we die. And since it's cold outside, how about a recipe for Chili? It's mild, family-friendly, so feel free to ramp up.

Chili (adapted from Cooking Light) Makes lots of servings but cooks 1.5 hours!
1/2 lb. Skagit River Ranch Sweet Italian Sausage
1 lb. Skagit River Ranch or Samish Bay ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
4-8 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 T prepared garlic)

Remove sausage casings and brown above ingredients.

2 T chili powder
2 T brown sugar
1 T cumin
3 T tomato paste
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t ground pepper
1/4 t salt
bay leaf

Add above seasonings to meat mixture. Cook one minute. Then stir in: 
1-1/4 c leftover wine
2 28 ozs cans diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney or black beans

Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about an hour. Stir once in a while. Then uncover and cook another 30 minutes. Serve with toppings!
shredded cheese
sour cream

I'd make some cornbread and spinach salad to go with it, if I could only tear myself away from the TV...