Saturday, November 24, 2007

still digesting

We had a lovely Thanksgiving, hopefully everyone else did too. Six adults, three college kids, three teenagers, one toddler, two dogs and an enormous amount of food. I read somewhere that the average American eats 5,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day! Wow! While I don't think we ate that much we certainly had an abundance.

I think one of the reasons this holiday resonates so much for me is because it is getting together with loved ones, eating a wonderful, seasonal meal, and relaxing, playing games, reading books, talking, all great down time activities.

While the day after is a personal horror (I confess to having shopped a couple of times on Black Friday but truly don't like it and avoided it like the plague this year and hope to continue to do so from now on) the overall holiday has not been over commercialized. There's only so much one can do with food after all.

We did receive a Happy Thanksgiving card which shocked Steve and he asked, in a horrified tone, "We're not sending THOSE are we?" To which I replied no.

I'm sorry to say that I'm seeing signs of Christmas already though. After Halloween the decorations went up, the music and lights have started and I dread the countdown to overconsumptive excess. But I'm not going to think about that right now, I'm going to bask in the warm glow of a fun family Thanksgiving just a little while longer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

the first

snowfall of the year. More of a sleet fall really but it's white and it's sticking so it counts. Definitely late for a first dusting. The funny thing is that the maples are still in full flame colored leaf and the calary pears are still firmly green leaved. Wonder what will happen.

Looks like I brought the rosemary in just in time. Most of the garden is done for the year, just a little more trimming to do, hopefully after Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

popping in

I haven't posted in a very long time. Life has been full and busy and good. Lots of wonderful things going on. As I get ready for Thanksgiving I find myself thoughtful and meditative about all that I/we have been blessed with.

I confess that I miss blogging, I miss some of the "routine" things like Grateful Grains and Tackle-It-Tuesday (boy could I really use one of those right about now!). But I know that with the ebb and flow of my life I will at some point get back to it.

On the sad news front I have to report that my farm share is over for the year. We're very sad about it. Last Friday was the last pickup. It was a good one though, the haul included a large bag of spinach, celeriac, beets, potatoes, red cabbage, red onions, garlic, hot peppers, parsnips and lacinato kale. Mmmmmmmmmm. I have a freezer full of goodies from this year's share plus a bunch of jars of canned goodness. I'll miss seeing the farm folks every week and miss the peaceful serenity of picking in the fields but I know it will come again next year.

Goods new abounds however:

S & V are coming home from college this week! I am so excited to see them. It's hard to believe the last time I laid eyes on them was in August! Of course it's also hard to believe that they are both in college. I'm not sure how that happened, they were little not so very long ago. V is bringing a guest; the Japanese exchange student from her college is coming with her. It should be wonderful and we are looking forward to meeting her.

D won an essay writing contest for the Veteran's Day assembly here in town. The Veterans Association is giving her a $50 savings bond and two people called to ask for a copy of the speech. I'm trying to get her to let me post it here. Only two essays were chosen, it's really an amazing achievement.

My knee is almost completely healed. I can't sit on my knees the way I used to but with stretching and yoga I am slowly gaining back some of the flexibility I had and believe it will all come back.

We ( Steve) finished ripping out 1/3 of the garden in the back. It's cleared and grassed over and looks much better. Steve also managed to get one of the two terraces in the middle section done. The other will be done next spring. Then to clear the final third and rebuild the walls around the two sections we are keeping. We (and this really does mean we) also managed to rearrange the "vegetable" garden (don't know why we still call it that since it no longer has vegetables) and it looks much better. It should also be easier to maintain now that everything is more clearly grouped. Unfortunately I forgot to plant my elephant garlic this year so we won't have any next year; we will have garlic from the farm so it's not a total loss.

We got to see my brother and his family last week. It was great to spend time with them. My brother was so helpful and converted some old family VHS stuff to DVD. Much better. Tobi had a great time playing with his cousin dog, the neighbor dog, and the dog down the street. He was sad for two days after we got home! While visiting them my sister-in-law very kindly took me over to the farm to visit my niece's 4-H cows. They are both Jersey's; Pumba is the sweetest, jumpiest, silliest little thing. I got great enjoyment out of watching my niece trying to walk Pumba with Pumba jumping in the air, legs splayed at different angles, and then charging in the opposite direction pulling my niece after her. Bittersweet, her other cow, is going to be bred as soon as she is in heat. Truthfully she is so small I was surprised to discover that she was old enough to breed. This pretty lady is t-i-n-y. I bet she'll make a cute calf though.

We're heading off to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. Should be a lot of fun. My brother-in-law and his family with be there. So we are going to be 13 people, one a just-walking toddler, two dogs, and an upstairs under construction. Should be fun.

I hope all of you have a wonderful, happy, safe, blessed holiday and that you are with those you love.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


In a vain attempt to conquer my sugar addiction I have once again banned all cakes, cookies and candy from the house. Unfortunately this means that my family suffers along with me. After lunch today Steve wistfully looked around for a cookie so I made a batch. This recipe is based on those found in Small Batch Baking but they have been modified to fit our whole grain baking lifestyle.

Chocolate ChocoNut Cookies makes 10-12 cookies

Preheat oven to 375F

mix together:
6 T. fresh ground flour (I used hard red and spelt)
2 T. sucanat
2 T. cane juice crystals
1 heaping T. Ghiradelli Sweet Ground Chocolate
1 t. ground flax seed
1/4 t. baking soda
pinch salt

add in:
2 T. + 2 t. melted butter
2 T. egg
dribble of vanilla
mix well

add in:
2 T. coarsly chopped dark chocolate (I used 80% dark)
2 T. coarsly chopped walnuts

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet
bake 8-11 minutes
let cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet
transfer to wire rack to cool completely