Bread, From Seed

“Our bread doesn’t shine like that,” said Cordelia. “That is the pity of it,” said the peasant woman.  “What makes yours shine?” asked Cordelia. “The sun in the wheat,” said the peasant woman.  -The Shining Loaf by Isabel Wyatt In January this year I planted four kinds of hulless barley, the kind that is easiest…

Spiderwort Soda, A Magical Elixer

I have always been enchanted with the herb Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohioensis I think is the Latin).  The thin, succulent leaves,  like grass leaves,  poke out at a pixie-like angle,  and the luminous blue three-petaled flowers, each petal delicate like a fairy’s wing, whose color delights the eye and changes even as you stare, shifting between blue…

Pink Sauerkraut

The winter garden is fading fast.  The onions,  once growing in neat rows, must be hunted for among the ragweed and evening primrose.  The lettuce has become tall spires of bright yellow flowers,  and the Brussels sprouts have been harvested all the way up the stalks. The cabbages this year have begun to split open…

Peaceful Mornings

Being in the countryside, with a lot of empty land around us,  you would think that there would be a lot of peace and quiet all the time,  especially in the very early mornings as the sun is just rising.  But you can’t imagine the awful barnyard noises I was ignoring while taking these pictures!…

 Coconut Chicken Curry

It’s been a very cool,  wet spring but now the days are longer and hot, and at noon the sun feels too bright and strong.  I’ve been waking early again,  going out in the cool,  misty mornings,  enjoying the gentle and almost alpine air to work in,  and spending the bright,  hot part of the…

Chicken, Chickpea, and Spinach Stew

The past two days have brought us grey skies and pouring,  drizzling,  sprinkling,  thundering rain.  Rain making a puddle out of the patio,  pooling in old buckets, pattering and rattling on the roofs, and pinging like chimes on the pile of junk under the eves of the barn.  Last night between rains the sky flashed…

 A Dance of Flowers

The flowers we started from seeds last fall have slowly,  slowly begun to bloom.  Clothilde helped me, with that rambunctious activity that the age of five years old inspires,  sow the seeds on the raised beds prepared with compost and soil. In the end I had no idea what got planted where,  and by now…

Deviled Easter Eggs 2 Different Ways

Everything gets so very eggy post Easter.  As Rosie remarked,  “It’s so much funner to dye the eggs than eat them! ” After long months in the darkness of winter with no fresh eggs,  the first precious,  warm,  new-laid eggs are beautiful protein-rich gifts of spring,  the bright yolks golden as the orb of the…

Fruit,  Nut, and Chocolate Easter Nibbles

I didn’t mean to skip this past week’s blog post,  but the weather has been so wonderful,  and we have been so busy in the kitchen,  in the garden,  wandering the beautiful pastures,  and celebrating spring that the days slipped by, days full of fun, sun,  work, and beauty. The natural dyes turned out very…

A Sacred Thing

We just finished our main season for harvesting animals, and someone asked me recently if it makes me sad to kill them.  Most people, even meat eaters, can hardly imagine killing an animal themselves. After many years of growing both the meat and the vegetable part of our food, I have come to realize that…

2017-2018 Lettuce Trials

You will have to bear with me for this post,  if you aren’t also a gardening nerd,  but i am so excited to write up the results of the lettuce trials from the fall/  winter season! I grew 15 kinds of open-pollinated lettuce, some were varieties I know I like and always grow,  but most…

Recovering

Last week was rough.  On top of all the new babies, Ethan was out of town for work,  and we all had a really nasty illness,  possibly the dreaded flu that’s been killing everyone. I have no idea really,  since I only go to the doctor if I’m actually dying,  and obviously i made it…