Black Cherry Clafoutis: A Native Florida Custard Cake

I am always unprepared for the intensity of this season, ruled by the sun and violent storms. The heat feels suffocating and damp, and when the wind blows, it is a hot wind. Every day the shining white clouds build up into flickering, violet storms piled high in the hazy sky, and where they break…

June Yarn Along

I haven’t worked on any knitting since the tragic Honeybee Sweater for Rose (I figured it out at last, and she loves it…she had better!). After all that, I needed a break, but I’m so happy to be knitting again.  This knitting is not for myself.  If you can picture it, still at the unformed stage that…

Life in the Garden

This time of the year my hands are always stained with blood… green blood.  In the winter the killing frost is my enemy. Now it’s the bugs, thousands of them.  Hungry, uninvited guests, they riddle the cucumbers and innocent squash full of holes. The army worms are the worst. Like an army they descend, eating…

Garden Magic

We had the most wonderful surprise out of the garden yesterday. I’ve had many things this week that kept me away from the weeding and planting that really must be done soon… There are sad marigold starts, leggy sunflowers, and slow-to-start peppers left to be put somewhere. And the constant rain that has been drizzling…

Early Summer Garden Pizza

Someone brought a fellow gardener, introduced to us as a Master Gardener, out to see our garden, thinking that since we both are absorbed in the cultivation of earth we should get along great. Unfortunately he sneered at my companion-planted garden rows and the huge number of tomato plants I’m growing – one row to…

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…