Jun. 28th, 2009

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Last night I watched Ricki Lake's documentary, "The Business of Being Born."  Highly recommended for anyone who is ever going to have a baby, knows someone who might ever have a baby, or already had a baby but is interested in how the whole American birth thing has gotten pretty out of whack...

(I remember Ricki Lake back when she was new and fresh, in the pre-Springer days, when her talk show was just fun and happy and great to watch, before the entire genre went to hell in a handbasket and hell decided it didn't want them either and spat them out into some strange limbo existence...)

Lake has had two children--the first in the "typical" American hospital way, wherein she went in and didn't progress as the doctors hoped, got Pitocin, got epidural, got cascade upon cascade of intervention until she wound up with a highly medicalized delivery. Then her second time she went an entirely different route, home birth with a midwife.  She made a documentary about her research, a really good and balanced (okay, biased balance, but definitely fact-based and presenting differing opinions) look at what happens in hospitals in this country with the second worst maternal and infant mortality rate, and in this the only developed country where 70%+ of births aren't midwife-attended.  (With numerous interviews with my favorite birth activist, Robbie Davis-Floyd; check out her articles at davis-floyd.com/ShowPage.asp )

Put it in your Netflix queue, or rent it at thebusinessofbeingborn.com/ ...

Very good.

greenmama: (Default)
My husband is a good man.  I have said this before.

Yesterday on impulse he spent some appalling amount of money buying fresh swordfish, which he promised to cook tonight.  A good thing, since I was wiped out from several hours of gardening this afternoon.  He starts the fish while I'm up taking a shower.

For some unknown reason, despite an opened bottle of olive oil, an opened bottle of grapeseed oil, and an opened bottle of almond oil sitting on the counter, he decided to go into my cupboard and get out the brand-new bottle of walnut oil I'd bought on sale and was keeping unopened to help its shelf life last a bit longer, and didn't really know what to do with it.  (He's always doing things like this: opens the brand-new bottle of walnut oil in order to smear half a teaspoon on the fish, buying a bottle of Karo light corn syrup--yuck--to use two tablespoons in a recipe, stuff like that.)  So now I have to figure out what to do with walnut oil.

God bless the internet, of course.

First of all, it's something that people with nut allergies need to avoid. (Fairly obvious, I guess, but there it is.) 

In cosmetic use, it seems to be a good carrier oil for massage or skin creams, and absorbs well.  The refined stuff has very little odor.  Newdirectionsaromatics.com  says that walnut oil "is an excellent emollient with moisturizing properties for dry, aged, irritated skin. In aromatherapy circles, Walnut Oil is also credited with being a balancing agent for the nervous system. " Commenters on that site praised its use to soothe sunburn, or as a slightly astringent oil for oily but mature skin.  Oddly, neither mountainroseherbs.com  nor naturesgift.com, my two go-to places for such things, seem to carry it or have anything to say about it.  Other sites suggest that it is good as an antiparisitic or antifungal, for treating wounds, eczema, dandruff, and so forth.  Some sites say it has a shelf life of six months to a year; others say three to six years.  Several suggest refrigerating it after it's opened.

In cooking, or rather non-cooking, it's widely suggested as an oil for salad dressings or to toss pasta in and other such uses, since it sometimes gets bitter upon cooking and loses its delicate flavor.  It's high in omega-3's and antioxidants.

And interestingly enough, according to Wikipedia, painters in the Renaissance used it as a paint thinner and brush cleaner due to it's non-yellow tint.

Who knew?
ETA--okay, it was expensive, but that dinner was worth every penny.  Delicious.  In addition to the fish, I'd bought some boneless chicken breasts (fresh, organic, free range, which I don't do often) and we marinaded them in lemon juice, oregano, olive oile, and garlic and grilled them so the kids would have something they like and we'd have sandwich/chicken fajita/who knows makings for the next couple of days and can freeze anything we don't eat by Tuesday...Oh My God, the difference in flavor between your basic grocery store chicken and this organic free range stuff was unbelievable. Unbelievable. Wow.


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