Tag Archives: growing your own food

A new life for us.

Well, my small break from blogging ended up being a whole lot longer than I had expected.

Even though I had tons to write about, I honestly just didn’t feel like it.

I’m not sure why. I should be jubilant. We’re finally in our new home, and a whole world of possibilities awaits us, but I’m feeling… weird. :???:

Maybe it’s because we still have the old place to deal with, and we have to replace the entire septic system to the tune of about $10,000 before we can sell (which I have NO idea how to even start.)

Or, maybe it’s because we gave up TV, my internet service is spotty, and I’m really, really not used to having a long weekend away from work. Although I should relish the break, I’m feeling seriously disconnected. :(

It could be because we’ve discovered our new pink-rose encrusted bathroom is merely a facade, and it doesn’t work at all. Until we can renovate, I’m resigned to using the basement shower, which is nice – except for the creepy crawly centipedes down there. Yeah. Not cool…not one bit.

It doesn’t help, either, that we missed out on this year’s garden due to trouble with our settlement date, and now it’s nearly fall. All our really big plans for the new homestead won’t start taking shape until the spring…which seems lightyears away.

There are lots of reasons why the past week has left me feeling a little funky. I had no idea where to begin a blog post, because I couldn’t wrap my head around what exactly was bugging me.

But then yesterday, I think I figured it out.

We went back to the old place to tend to the lawn and pick up a load from the garage, and it hit me.

Like a ton of bricks, actually.

An overwhelming sadness for what I was losing. Who knew I’d care AT ALL about leaving that old, raggedy, broke down shack? I hated that place! Truly hated, at times. My husband and I fought over it. We never had people over, because there just wasn’t room. We had spiders galore, I didn’t trust the safety of the heat or electrical systems. The ceiling almost fell in on my head. The kitchen was awful. I could go on and on…

But, when faced with leaving, I remembered. I remembered the first time I went there with my husband-to-be after I hadn’t seen him for nearly 2 decades, and I remembered remembering the love I had for him as a silly teenager.

I remembered the summers we spent there, getting to know each other again, planting the garden and seeing the fruits of our labor, talking about how, someday, we hoped to raise our children to share that same love.

I looked out at the overgrown garden, teeming with weeds and who knows what else, and I remembered the day he proposed to me there, under the trellis filled with purple-flowered yard-long beans.

But most of all, I reminisced about the last time I had seen the little nursery quite that empty. It was when we were getting ready to welcome our son. I sat in there and rocked, dreaming about him, in the same chair I would sit and rock him in for endless hours over the next 2 years, nursing his little self all hours of the day and night.

The first two whole years of his life were spent there. I became a mother there. The most important, life-changing, self-affirming moments of my entire life happened there. My son’s first days, first steps, first words. And yes, my little boy’s love of being out in the garden, plucking the first pear tomatoes and eating berries by the fistful started there, too. He didn’t know it was a rickety old house that his mama was ashamed of. He just knew it was the place where kitties played, birdies sang, fish swam in rain barrels and good things to eat grew abundantly.

We moved further out into the country with very specific intentions, and we look forward to fulfilling our dreams here. But that doesn’t help so much this week, when the isolation is very new, my community seems so very far away, and my memories are locked up in an old, empty mobile home with only a few odds and ends hinting at the new lives that were started there.

As we got ready to leave, my son bolted up the hill toward the garden as he always has, looking for tomatoes to steal. I followed behind, stopping at the blueberry patch on the way. A sweet surprise – the last handful of the season’s berries – waiting for me. I choked back not just tears, but a full-blown sob as I picked them. My little man squealed with delight as he popped them all into his mouth, and I realized that while we planted many seeds at that old place, we get to take the most important ones with us.

Now, back to blogging. Onward and upward!

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Filed under Green Living, Home & Garden, The Everyday, Uncategorized

Everyday Eats

Squash blossoms, stuffed, and baked into the middle of a muffin?

Yup. I’m constantly impressed by the recipes I find while blogreading. There are so many talented, passionate and wildly creative people out there, and the inspiration is enough to make me feel like there aren’t enough days in a lifetime to sample all the wonderful creations that are currently on my to-make list.

I, on the other hand, am not so much of a recipe person. Yes, I spent years in the bakery business, and yes, I used lots of recipes. And occasionally, you’ll even find that I post recipes right here on my blog. After all, really good ones are fun to share. But, in the name of being fully honest and forthcoming with my readers, I rarely cook with a recipe. I’ve said it before, but I often find myself wondering if I should bother posting my simple fare. More often than not, I go to the grocery store with the best of intentions and visions of recipe greatness dancing in my head, only to have my efforts thwarted by such things as new writing projects, diaper laundry and a baby that’s been teething non-stop for almost 5 months. Many of the ingredients that were destined for greatness wind up in the compost bin, or we end up eating a random assembly of “whatever” to avoid such a wasteful situation.

Sometimes I feel like a foodie failure because my everyday meals are not so elaborate, and really don’t require that much skill to prepare. I mean, who would want to read a blog about my food, right? Other times, I feel like pretty much of a foodie rock star because my meals and snacks are fresh, whole, unprocessed and uncluttered, allowing the ingredients to shine without a lot of fuss. Which feeling is more accurate? I think I know the answer, but I’ll let you form your own opinion. ;)

So, I thought I’d share a few recent eats that seem to speak the most about where I am in my culinary life right now. I’m sure that someday, when babies are grown and my work schedule settles down, when my kitchen is more than a few square feet and I actually own a dishwasher, I’ll return to the world of ingredients lists and precise instructions, but for now, here’s me…on a plate:

My favorite breakfast? Oats. I soak them overnight in almond milk, then embellish in the morning with whatever is on hand and ripe. My favorite? Cherries, almonds and Artisana Cacao Bliss (which is aptly named, because it is pure heaven on Earth, and don’t let anybody tell you different.) Lately, I’ve also been a little obsessed with adding precooked brown rice and cardamom to my oats to make it taste like my favorite rice pudding.

A summer classic: the tomato sandwich. Even on the finest menus in the world, it’s hard to beat the taste of a fresh tomato from your backyard garden, 2 slices of grilled bread, a few basil leaves, sea salt and a smear of mayo.

Sometimes, lunch is just a hodge-podge of whatever happens to be really ripe and ready. It’s not the most cohesive thing, but every time I do this is one time I am not driving through ordering my lunch from someone wearing a visor.

See…there’s a shake of oregano on the tomatoes. That shows a little effort, right? :neutral: Oh, and that Greek Gods yogurt is vanilla, cinnamon and orange flavor…good for banana dippin’!

And sometimes, to avoid total meltdown, I do resort to prepackaged foods, but I fully hawk-eye the ingredients list first. This mandarin orange salmon passed the test…

Not perfect, but not a bad lunch for one that was prepared during my boy’s 30-minute nap, during which I also had to shower and clean my entire house! (Guess how much of that actually got accomplished?)

So, there’s a little snapshot of what’s on my plate on any given day. For now, the more elaborate recipes will have to wait until Sunday afternoon, or the occasional day where the planets align and I have time to lose myself in the kitchen. I have a feeling they’ll still be there, waiting patiently for me, when I return.

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What’s on your everyday plate?

If you have a blog, do you blog about everything, including your day-to-day meals, or do you highlight the best of the best?

Don’t forget, there are still a few days left to enter my CSN giveaway! I know there’s a new kitchen appliance or two you’ve been eyeing, so what are you waiting for? ;)

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday