Avian Flu outbreak forces slaughter of chickens and urkeys

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Striking close to home: Avian Flu Outbreak Forces Slaughter of 3.2 Million Chickens, Turkeys

We read last year about the destruction of 16,000 chickens in Connecticut for the same thing. The article stresses that “birds with the virus pose no health threat to humans, but it stunts the birds’ growth and limits their capacity to lay eggs, hurting market value.” To top it all off, one of the recent tornados in the area tore apart one of the turkey houses beyond any possibility of being salvaged.

Sicilian-Style Broccoli/Baked Couscous

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With some aging broccoli and cauliflower in the fridge, I was looking for some good recipes to make use of what was left. So, last night I tried two new recipes and both were quite good.

The first was a side dish, Sicilian-Style Broccoli, from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, a book I got earlier this week. It started by frying a little garlic and crushed red pepper in olive oil, then adding some vegetable broth (the asceptically packaged broth is great for this use), and cooking the broccoli in it with a little seasoning and some plumped currants (drop the currants in warm water for 10 minutes, and then drain) until the liquid had evaporated. Before serving, I topped it with some toasted pine nuts. It was a nice melding of flavors and textures, especially for a side dish, and was easy enough to warrant repeating. All in all, a great way to finish off the broccoli.

The main dish was from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, a book which I used last week for a simply awesome baked couscous recipe with spinach, tomatoes, (soy) cheese, and pine nuts. Last night’s dish was linguine with cauliflower and a great creamy tomato sauce with nutmeg (a nice little kick). The sauce called for low-fat milk, or combination of low-fat milk and cream. However, I veganized the dish simply by replacing the low-fat milk with low-fat soy milk (Super G brand, about 5% DV fat and 3% DV sat fat) and a dash of arrowroot (as a thickener). The sauce could have used just a tad more seasoning, but it still tasted great and made good lunch leftovers today.

Charges against sparrow-biting coach dropped

Remember this story about the high school gym coach that bit a live sparrow’s head off in front of his wrestling team and claimed it was “innocent fun” and that “If I can kill one sparrow, one time, and it have a positive impact on 15 kids, in my mind it’s worthwhile”? Well, the charges against him have been dropped. He could have faced a maximum $5,000 fine and a year in prison, but instead served only a two-week suspension without pay imposed and was suspended indefinitely from the Cloverdale Police Department, where he is a reserve officer. The charges were dropped in exchange for two whole days (yeah, that was enough) of community service.