Thursday, August 29, 2013

peach picking gone sour

 the last two times i went peach picking was on a whim. hey it's nice out, let's go pick peaches. this time i felt like i had to go, and that i had a deadline because of the food swap this weekend. 
i woke up bright and early, and on my way noticed that it started to drizzle. great. 
i knew to wear pants and sneakers, but i didn't. so my feet and legs got all wet and itchy.
as for the peaches, let's just say it was slim pickins.

since i was rushing (and not because i have the worst sense of direction), i got lost. there and back. ugh! is there no end to corn fields out here? (children of the corn, anyone?)
normally it's a really nice ride with farmer's stands and markets. i would have enjoyed it more on a sunny day, going to pick peaches just to pick peaches.
 and that is why i don't like deadlines. they suck the fun right out of life. how could anything with the word dead in it be pleasant anyway?

my consolation prize was a nice big bushel of peaches. it's a good thing i'm tall and have unusually long arms, because most of the good ones were at the top. now we wait for these babies to ripen...
as for the food swap, i since realized that with shore traffic this labor day weekend, there's no way i'll make it there in a reasonable time. so all that rushing for nothing! ha! on the bright side, i got a lot of peaches to play around with...=)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


been pottering around the house and garden, enjoying the last bits of summer. brought some of the beauty indoors - cosmos in an old thrifted bottle turned vase.

reorganized the bathroom cabinet and considered doing laundry. read. went food shopping. planning to go peach picking and to can some jam for the next food swap

hope you're enjoying your day!

Monday, August 26, 2013

staycation day one

so the wind took me east on saturday to a sleepover with my niece alaina. we giggled at my new goat brothers, ralphie and randy, prepared feasts for cody, lucas and suzy (it was raggedy andy lucas' birthday), and played in the pool, even though it was a cool 77 degrees (brr! said aunt kelli, who only went in and dunked her head because sweet little alaina asked so nicely). fun times!=)

recent reads

i've read some great books lately and wanted to share the titles with you. i'm not much of a book critic, so i've provided links for more detailed reviews.

the emily series by lucy maude montgomery. if only there were more than three books in this series! they were just as sweet as the anne books, and emily is every bit as lovable. spoiler alert : the love saga gave me gray hairs, but all is well in the end.=)

giants in the earth : the trials and tribulations of norwegian pioneers settling the west. it took a few tries to get into this story, but once i was in, i was hooked. it has become one of my favorites.

dance while you can : shirley maclaine reflects on life and relationships from a spiritual standpoint. she sure is a fascinating woman. shirley still acts, and she maintains a website with the vision of "people from around the world gathering to explore their inner self, getting in touch with their Higher Self, and understanding their connection to the Divine." wow, ouiser. who knew?! (and who knew ouiser was spelled like that? not me!=)

the red tent : totally changed my perspective on childbirth and aunt flo. coudn't put this one down.

along the shore : short but sweet tales of love and life by the sea on prince edward island. chose this book especially for summer, and it's what i'm currently reading.

what about you? read any of these? got any recommendations?

Friday, August 23, 2013

things that make me smile

big blooming trees and bright blue skies.
miss "if i fits, i sits" in the plumeria pot, again.
kiddie yoga - can't get over the cuteness!
organic yellow watermelon from the csa.

and staycations! mine starts now and i look forward to doing a whole lot of nothing. ha, not really, but i do plan to just go where the wind takes me,
and if that place is on my butt with a good book, then so be it.=)

have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 16, 2013

around the garden

the weather has been absolutely gorgeous, and if it weren't for those darned mosquitoes, i would spend all day in the garden. not sure if albert (that's what the kids named the spider) is helping with the issue, but i have seen him wrapping up other creatures.

there's the amaranth i planted in the butterfly garden. the plants stand proudly over six feet tall. amaranth grains are similar to quinoa and millet, so i hope to be able to harvest them when the time comes. i asked john, "is this picture too grainy?" (a little farm/photo humor.=)

we've also got autumn beauty sunflowers around the garden. those and the amaranth keep reminding me to enjoy summer while it lasts, as fall is surely fast approaching. 

there's miss kati, running over for some garden rubbins. she likes us to rub her back while she nuzzles the grass. one of the cutest things i've ever seen.=) everyday we find her sleeping in the butterfly garden and lounging on the bench. she's loving this weather, too!

enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

healthy snickers and summer harvest tacos

last weekend i tried to make chocolate cream caramel bars from this rawsome vegan life. since i didn't have or feel like making cashew butter, i used chunky peanut butter instead. i'm not sure why the chocolate layer didn't get thick and creamy, but the result tasted just like a snickers bar. all who had a sample loved them, so i will definitely make them again.
last night's dinner was a team effort of slicing and dicing. john and i used golden summer squash, corn, sweet bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and romaine lettuce from the csa along with an avocado, black beans and spiced walnut meat to make a flavorful vegetable taco. even kati found them to be enticing.=)

to warm the vegetables but keep them raw, i just tossed them in lemon juice, olive oil, agave and spices, then stuck them in the dehydrator on 115 degrees for about an hour.

it seems everyone around me is getting creative in the kitchen. my brother has been cooking, and he and his friend exchange pictures of their meals. i told him to start a blog! my mom just made eggplant parmesan for the first time and can't wait to make it again. i could talk food all day. it inspires me to hear what others are making. what have you been whipping up in your kitchen?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

community garden snapshots

there are a group of people who have made the community garden nothing short of amazing. of all the places i've lived, gloucester city is the last i'd think to have such a beautiful space, totally run by its members. just goes to show what a group of dedicated people with a common vision can do.

john and i haven't been as present as in other years, but we are still growing good stuff over there. tomatoes, basil, borage, corn, kale, collards, tomatillo and brussels sprouts. we don't always get to our harvests in time, so there are some really well-fed squirrels scurrying around gloucester.=)

Monday, August 12, 2013

what's in my yarn bag?

some craft bloggers do posts that feature the contents of their yarn bags. here's what's in mine. one day john and i couldn't find kati anywhere. this isn't an unusual occurrence - i like to joke that she travels to other dimensions because hours later, she'll appear out of nowhere.

this time she was in that cozy spot under a desk, watching as we walked back and forth calling for her, probably thinking, 'i'm right here, sillies!' life is always an adventure with a cat in the house!=)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

taste the rainbow

red peppers, orange tomatoes, green leeks, yellow's a very colorful time of year as far as harvests go. with the blueberries sold on the side from little buck's farm, every color of the rainbow could be found at the csa last monday. there were even purple peppers and pink plus yellow watermelon. can't wait to see what's there for the picking tomorrow!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

raw pizza three ways

if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you're probably aware of my love for raw pizza. if you're not familiar with raw pizza, let me break it down for you (with links for more information.)

the crust is a mix of zucchini (or any summer squash), sprouted buckwheat groats and flax seed.

the cheese is a delicious blend of soaked cashews, lemon juice and nutritional yeast.

the toppings for raw pizza are endless. this time we went with walnut sausage and basil, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, and rainbow chard with raw tomato sauce, lightly heated in the dehydrator.

why raw? raw or living food is food not heated above 115 degrees, to preserve the live enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that can otherwise be destroyed or altered when heated. raw food is more nutritionally dense and is generally easier to digest, giving our systems a huge break. although i don't eat an all raw diet, i make it a point to eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as i can. it seems the more raw food in my diet, the more energy i have and the better i feel overall. 

as i heard someone say just yesterday, your body is the place you live, take care of it!

(in order to make raw pizza, a dehydrator is needed. i recommend an excalibur 5 or 9-tray system. if you search around you may be able to find a good deal. it will probably run you around $150-200. for us it was a great investment. we make kale chips, cheez-its, fruit roll-ups, eggplant bacon, crepes, crackers, raw lasagna, nori snacks, granola, green powder, buckwheat crunchies...all kinds of things! ours is running right now, making "sun-dried" tomatoes with the surplus of romas.)

enjoy your weekend! i plan to be back soon with a community garden update.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

along came a spider

apparently this beast is called a black and yellow garden spider. wikipedia says it's harmless, but i'm not taking any chances. it can stay because it eats mosquitoes, but if that thing moves, this house is on lockdown. (where the heck did it come from? we're in the city for crying out loud!)

today i saw a really sweet bird pecking on a sunflower that i think may have been a goldfinch. we've had swarms of bees and black and yellow butterflies. maybe the sunflowers are attracting these colorful creatures...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

blt with eggplant bacon

many times i hold back on posting recipes because of the poor photos. but i'm not here to win a photo contest - i'm here to show you how to make a delicious vegan blt!

did you know plant products contain little to no cholesterol? some say cholesterol is the animal's revenge. i don't know about that, but i do know that even when i was an avid meat eater, i couldn't stand to cook greasy bacon. turkey bacon was ok, but some brands i've tried were inedible.

enter eggplant bacon. after making it over a dozen times, i have finally found a recipe i love. (you can click here to see more of my posts with eggplant bacon.) the key to good eggplant bacon is slicing the eggplant thin and allowing enough time for marination. mine marinated over two days in the fridge and produced the best batch of crunchy bacon yet.

eggplant bacon marinade

3 T nama shoyu or soy sauce
2 T maple syrup
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (depending upon how much heat you like)

mix all ingredients. slice eggplant into thin circles (a mandolin slicer is ideal). for best results, allow eggplant to marinate at least six hours*. dehydrate on teflex sheets at 115 degrees until crispy on top, then flip onto mesh screens and dehydrate until dry.

alternatively, eggplant bacon can be baked in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

*at first i accidentally typed six years. in other words, the longer the better if you ask me!=)

to assemble the blt, layer bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado (makes a nice substitute for mayo). we like to use ezekiel sprouted grain bread but have also used wraps and homemade raw breads. (matthew kenney's cumin flatbread and lisa's raw on $10 a day onion bread are my favorites.)

eggplant boasts a host of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. the beautiful purple fruit (yes, it's a fruit!) contains potent antioxidants that protect cells from damage, particularly brain cells. studies have shown that eggplant can reduce cholesterol in the arteries, effectively increasing blood flow. when switching from pork bacon to eggplant, we're not only preventing the cholesterol from entering our system, but also helping to remove it. win-win!

it's eggplant season in our neck of the woods. our eggplant isn't growing well, but fortunately the csa has plenty. i'm still waiting for red bell peppers to make roasted eggplant and red pepper dip. eggplant caponato is another delicious way to eat eggplant, especially this raw version.

how do you like to prepare eggplant? could always use a new recipe to try!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

july was delicious

fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, blooming flowers, good books, cute cats in the garden, blueberries and tomatoes out the wazoo, what more could i want?=)

the butterfly garden has been putting on quite a show. there's a mix of sunflowers, amaranth, zinnia, cosmos that haven't bloomed, calendula, and a few perennials.

my apologies for being away so long! how has your summer been?

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