Pace

Ruminating, meditating, thoughts while walking.

I set the water to boil and I walk out the house. I’ll be back in time.

Senses slowly integrate, pace adjustments to pavement.

Sweet plant matter smell,

The meeting of sand to wood to water (here in the form of winter road remnants/mulch/rain & dew) nostalgic, like the morning must of a beach or lake cabin.

Towering pines and other conifers I don’t yet know the names of. Their blue green needles spread in uniform waves,

I breathe in their gentle spice as I pass.

I stop for some wild lilies whose unopened flower buds I pick to eat. A line of 6 darling rolls in my palm. I’ll chop for my soup and salad later.

Either at day end or day break a deep mushroom musk invades the air..it feels like an ancient signal and I wonder for whom.

The moon is high and bright and so perfect and clean. Soft gray wounds fleck it’s surface. Grey and pink cloud surround, shift and cover her face.

I come up to a field, the vision feels watery and like I’ve sunk in-I’m surrounded by meadow and I’m drinking in the ethereal fluff of the flowering grasses. The horizon of now black, back lit trees cut through the sun ripening sky. Late sunlight like pollen coats the foliage. There is SO much.

World is cooling, bird sounds ping back and forth in the woods. I’m tempted to tap the body of a tree and feel its hollow sound reverberate through it’s roots. Why don’t I?

Turning back,

I wonder how long it takes to boil water. Hopefully at least a mile’s worth of walk, but I still pick up the pace.

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Herbal Vinegars

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Herbal vinegar concocting is an excellent way to participate in your landscape (as you’ll be identifying & collecting herbs and weeds) and they also are an accessible & affordable nutritive food source to add to your diet. I am learning more about nutritional herbology through my school, The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition. Through nutritive extraction of herbs we can access a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals in a way that’s much more sustainable and nourishing (body & spirit) than taking a pill supplement.

In this extraction, the menstruum is vinegar and you can experiment with a variety of them: red wine, champagne, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar.

Herbs that you can use include the wild nutritive herbs (cumphrey, oat straw, red clover, chickweed, dandelion, purslane, raspberry leaf, nettle, plantain) as well as culinary (rosemary, thyme, basil, tarragon, oregano). Play with combinations. You can also add toasted eggshells (heated at 200F to kill bacteria) as a calcium source.

Lightly pack your chopped & cleaned herbs into a quart jar, and cover with vinegar of choice. Let sit for about 6 weeks, then strain through a sieve or cheesecloth. Take the leftover plant matter and add to your compost or spread throughout your garden soil (as I did!)

You can take a shot of vinegar a day for a mineral boost and to alkalize your body. These vinegar extractions can be used for culinary purposes wherever you would normally use an acid-to flavor salad dressings, in marinades, or added to cooked greens.

Another beautiful thing about this process is that it is another means to extend the harvest. The first vinegar I made was made with a medicinal mindset, including red clover, red raspberry leaf, nettle, plantain, and dandelion. The second I was inspired by garlic scapes, using the woody flowering tops that you would otherwise not eat-I also added red clover, garlic mustard leaves, and nettle.

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Filed under Dips & Dressings, TIOSN

let body be 

  You do not have to be good. / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. / You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves. / Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. / Meanwhile the world goes on. / Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain / are moving across the landscapes, / over the prairies and the deep trees, / the mountains and the rivers. / Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, / are heading home again. / Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, / the world offers itself to your imagination, / calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting— / over and over announcing your place / in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver


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The Spectrum of Vegetable Preparation

Reading your ingredients. It sounds fruit loopy but it’s a real thing. What’s sitting on your counter or in your fridge has a destiny which you, as human, have the gift and capacity to facilitate into a tangible, edible reality.

All this takes to be able to do is a bit of practice, patience, and intuition. Such a fun opportunity.

Your variable ingredients (be it fruit, vegetable, spice, grain, or meat) each have a unique ability to transform. This is cooking, this is proper assembly and preparation. They each take to a lovely form with your applied creativity and technique. Kept raw, sliced, fried, roasted, spiced, elevated with acid/fat/salt/sweet…working with food is a dance and an art form. I’m feeling like a bit of romantic right now-I swoon for vegetables (coffee and chocolate too, but that’s conversation for another time).

One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is to combine them in dishes utilizing both raw and cooked states. This way of preparation makes the meal feel balanced and satisfying due to the varying textures and temperatures.

I was inspired to make this kohrabi/cabbage/chard mix after a trip to the farmer’s market and the farmer suggested I make a slaw from the kohlrabi I purchased from him. I had never had this vegetable before, so I figure what better way to learn about it than to experience it raw at the recommendation of the man who grew it:

kohlrabi salad

I sauteed the chard with onion in coconut oil until wilted and added the shredded red cabbage right at the end of the cooking so just the raw bite of the cabbage was taken away. I then tossed the cooked stuff with the matchstick chopped kohlrabi, and coated it all in small bit of maple syrup, fire cider (apple cider vinegar tonic of garlic/onion/rosemary/horseradish/lemon/orange/hot pepper/astragalus), olive oil, and sea salt.

Here’s some of my favorites ways to play with vegetables. General rule of thumb is apply heat if the vegetable is unpalatable in raw form. Also, some vegetables are more nutritious when cooked (vitamin a more available in carotene rich sweet potato and carrot and compounds in cruciferous vegetables like kale that can be thyroid hindering are reduced when cooked).

  • Root 

Raw
shredded carrot (in a pancake, over a salad, in a wrap), kohlrabi (thinly sliced mixed with greens), celeriac (grated or julienne, eaten fresh as is or in a salad)

Roasted
sweet potatoes (in chunks covered in coconut oil or butter-try cumin and cinnamon with salt, shred them for hashbrowns), yellow or red potatoes (sliced into rounds or sticks, turmeric, garlic, cayenne), parnsips & carrots (prepared like fries, olive oil and herbs), beets (sliced, layered and coated in olive oils and a splash of balsamic, salt). Turnips (cubed/roasted or smashed into a mash. SO GOOD). 

  • Cruciferous 

Raw
kale (rip it up, massage it with lemon, olive oil, salt, tahini), broccoli or cauliflower florets for dipping, cabbage (shredded up in salad, create cabbage cups to hold stir fry or ground beef/choice of protein), brussel sprouts (shredded for salad, perhaps apply a maple/mustard vinaigrette), cauliflower can be shredded by food processor into rice-like granules to serve as you would a grain, or steamed & blended to serve as a mash or combined with half potato to make a more realistic starch substitute. 

Roasted
keep it simple-brussels, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, all take to a simple coating in your choice of fat and salt 

  • Greens

Raw
 spinach (salads,  mild/tender enough for a smoothie) collards or rainbow chard (a full, fluffy leaf applied as a wrap-treat it like a burrito), romaine lettuce (shred to be a bed or chop for a salad, as a boat to salsa or protein), arugula/baby gem lettuces/spring mix….learn to make salad dressings at home and your salad game will change (try orange/olive oil/salt/maple, mustard/olive oil/spices, tahini/apple cider vinegar/honey/salt, maple syrup/balsamic/herb olive oil/salt, lemon/olive oil/salt, almond butter/apple cider vinegar/sea salt/honey) 

Cooked
greens that apply well to cooking are lower in water content (i.e. spinach, collards, chard, kale, etc all take to be a delicious bed for proteins or grains and are excellent with a bit of caramelized onion/garlic). Don’t forget that the tops to vegetables (radishes & beets for example) are not to be wasted and do well sauteed or stirred into soups or stews

 

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Filed under Advice, Raw, Salads, Veggies

Sundays are

Laying around in the lofts of end of week to-do lists

Relishing fork and knife to plate

four cups of coffee

Chocolate for lunch and stalling appetite until dinner.

Clean hair and everything is okay

A fresh sweater and last week’s jeans

Busy brain meets ready  hands, caffeine meets blood

Paint put down,

Oven on,

Books out,

Momentum made.

face

paint

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