Grain-free Pecan Chestnut Ginger Cookies

I started with roots this time in the garden.  Flowers,  herbs and roots.  It’s not like me at all.  I usually like to get a healthy selection of greens going, and drag my feet on the radishes, carrots, beets,  parsnips, and salsify.  They grow slowly and need extra soil amendments, and it usually feels daunting,…

A Halloween Story

Something really awful happened yesterday.  Our cats are great ratters, and one of them (I presume) had dragged a fairly large but scrawny rat out of the barn and left it on the patio.(Not the same rat in the picture). Because of the stored animal feed,  we have a constant supply of rats and squirrels…

Pumpkin Coconut Curry

It’s that time again…. The time of hauling 5-gallon buckets here or there, full of this or that, tucking in the tender starts,  securing seeds in the soil,  and wandering the edges of the garden gesturing and muttering to myself…  I’m not just communicating with the unseen, this is actually how I plan my garden….

Chocolate Covered Wensleydale Chevre Bonbons

For most of the summer, Stinky decided he was a cow. When i got home and tried to reunite him with the rest of the goats, he was skeptical, but agreeably walked in when i held the gate open. He spent a minute sniffing everyone’s tail, and then followed me out again to be with…

Roselle Honey BBQ Sauce

This is the season of dry, whirling wind, of butterflies and ragged grass, tall plumes of dog fennel, yellow flowers, and change. Lime rock dust hangs over the country roads like fog, and in the quiet nights the almost cool wind stirs the mixing bowl clouds around the hesitating moon. In the hot afternoons, the…

Welcome Home Soup

It was a difficult journey home,  and Florida greeted us with old friends – mosquitoes, fire ants,  a thunderstorm, and a hurricane.  We had had trouble with a misunderstanding at the airport.  I thought Ethan had checked the Teenager’s bag beforehand, and we didn’t have enough money to check it when we got there and…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 22: OLD FRIENDS

The last installment of this crazy adventure was spent in Crest, a tiny medieval town with a lot of bohemian inhabitants in the Drome, very close to the homestead we stayed at in Ardèche. There is nothing in particular about the town that I stopped in for, except that a very old and dear friend…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 20: REFUGIO ELISABETTA, WHERE CAMPING IS FORBIDDEN

My guide book, which at this point had become a joke, says that after “what will have been two fairly taxing days,” this part of the hike was supposed to be relaxing. When we first started the path looked very flat and straight, and a beautiful snowy peak was directly in front of us. We…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 19: THE WWI BUNKER

As soon as the tourist office was open the next day, I was in front of the desk asking about buses, anywhere, we didn’t really care as long as it was away from this place, which a quote from 1864 in my guide book called “a wretched little hamlet”. The only bus, which was really…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 18: THE HARD TWO DAYS

After we left Le Pontet, it was a long, long way all uphill. The Teenager was briefly impressed when we passed a big pile of stones to mark where someone had keeled over and died. It was grueling, and the path was packed. It seemed like everyone and their sporty girlfriend were hiking there that…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 17: LES CONTAMINES

I woke up at 5:50 and started quickly packing as per orders of the grouchy woman at the Refuge du Fioux. We were all exhausted, so I offered to trade packs with the Teenager, who being young and strong, plus spending the whole vacation complaining that he’s losing his chest and abs, was carrying the…

TRAVEL JOURNAL 16: THE START OF THE TOUR

So I MIGHT have been temporarily insane when I planned this part of the trip, and it had been causing me anxiety attacks the whole time when I woke up late at night. For this part we met my dad and Rose at a hostel in Chamonix to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc over…