Cooking up at least a vort lobe

It will not be news to you if I say that I’ve been an unmotivated blogger, despite my oft-professed disdain for blogging about not blogging. But lots of blog-worthy things have occurred, so here’s a pre-Thanksgiving buffet of food and water excitement.

First, in the news, we have the NY Times holding forth, quite rightly, on combined stormwater and sanitary sewer systems that can’t handle heavy rainfall. My problem is the sentence in this graf (can I use that word, even though I never went to J-school? How about “lede?”)

When a sewage system overflows or a treatment plant dumps untreated waste, it is often breaking the law. Today, sewage systems are the nation’s most frequent violators of the Clean Water Act. More than a third of all sewer systems — including those in San Diego, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Philadelphia, San Jose and San Francisco — have violated environmental laws since 2006, according to a Times analysis of E.P.A. data.

that seems to imply that San José’s own WPCP is routinely dumping raw sewage into people’s houses and escaping punishment. The Times has put together a very elegant interface to the EPA data, and the data on the WPCP’s violation is here. I can’t actually get anything out of that detailed page.

The point of the article is certainly much more important than carping about whether San José’s plant should be lumped in with antiquated combined systems, but I feel the need to defend our unloved, but necessary piece of infrastructure.

The next water-related news that caught my eye was an article from Water Online (via Aquafornia) about the Water Replenishment District down in LA, and its plans to use recycled water to hold back seawater intrusion. One of the important responsibilities of the SCVWD is maintaining the groundwater that supplies half of our local water. We don’t have to worry too much about seawater intrusion, but I think that recycled water is the future of groundwater replenishment here in California.

And in other news, I attended a focus group session and then a community meeting about the San Pedro Square Urban Public Market project (that will probably end up with a snappier name.) I haven’t run into anyone who’s not excited at the prospect of this market, but, being San José, there is a very strong current of “Please promise it won’t suck,” to everyone’s comments. I’m hoping that it will also be a force for good in local and sustainable food. I’ll certainly be posting a lot more about it as I learn more.

If the water articles haven’t spoiled your appetite, I can tell you about how I’ve been cooking all day. I’m hosting Thanksgiving here tomorrow, today I prepared

  • roasted carrots
  • brussels sprouts salad
  • cornbread dressing
  • cranberry orange relish
  • sweet potato rolls
  • white bean dip
  • onion confit
  • marinated peppers and eggplant

I wanted to get as much knife work out of the way before my dad starts making gin fizzes.

And finally, since Stan thinks I don’t have enough photos of myself in this blog, here’s one he took of me picking persimmons from a shed roof.

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!