The 2013 Garden

This year has been an off-year for us.  The garden is overflowing, but not necessarily with the plants I sowed into the ground.  It really bothered me at first; it felt like a major fail.  Money wasted.  Food wasted.  Effort wasted.  Hope…squandered.  And yet, there is still something wonderful about that mass of green.

To read more of our 2013 garden adventure, visit my guest post, “The Unexpected Garden” at Dinker and Giggles today.Lettuce seeding(Heirloom lettuce going to seed for a “second run”.)

 

Lunch Love

Being gluten-free can sometimes make  lunch a bore – craving a mean sandwich on sourdough or a handful of salty pretzels is normal.  Good gluten-free bread exists and so do as-close-as-you’re-going-to-get pretzels.  But, let’s face it, not only are those items expensive to buy commercially, but they really aren’t the best choices you can make either.

With the arrival of spring, the quotient of salad to meal ratio has gone up dramatically.  Our greens aren’t even local yet but the palate is ready(but in one more week our CSA box will be coming!); it is the mental state you reach in warm weather and plants blossoming all around.  You don’t need a hardy meal to keep you going in the cold of New York any longer!

IMG_1985

I am feeling passionate about my basic lunch today and felt compelled to share.  Organic baby spring mix lettuces (Wegmans makes this so easy out of season), fresh strawberries (in three weeks they will come from Kirby’s and next year they will come from our garden), fresh blueberries, cranberry and cinnamon crusted goat-cheese (so grateful Aldi’s carries this product regularly), sesame seeds to add that salty crunch, topped off with Finger Lakes Butternut Squash Seed Oil.

My only locally sourced ingredient (today) was the oil.  Let’s talk about that scrumptious oil.  Oh my. Yum.  The butternut squash is grown by a multi-generational family farm less than three miles from our house.  The family is forward thinking and enterprising; recognizing the waste that was generated when they sold ready-to-cook packages of squash to Wegmans, they figured out a way to use what was being discarded — the seeds.  Not only does the resulting oil have desirable nutritional qualities, it has a distinct but not powerful nutty flavor that is delicious.  I chose this oil out of their line because it has a high smoke point, but truth be told, I love it drizzled on air-popped popcorn and salad as much as I enjoyed braising kale and onions in it.

I cannot afford to develop a habit here; this oil is pricey at $10-$12 per 6.3 ounces.  But for a special treat, it will find a place in my pantry as often as I can justify it!  You can purchase it in stores from Maine to Washington or order online.  Set aside $1 per grocery budget and then try some, support a family farm and enjoy an amazing product!

No, I am not affiliated with the family or farm in any way.  But, I may just offer some farm labor hours in exchange for a case of oil!

Lastly, you may have noticed the most consistent part of our blog is our inconsistency in writing.  If you enjoy reading us here, I recommend you subscribe so when a new post comes out you will be notified by email.  Thanks for visiting!

 

Escape

We all have days where we wish we had an escape route, a back door exit, a way to tune our world and responsibilities out for a bit.  That is one of the major reasons social media and Pinterest get so much action; we can zone out of reality, read up on the lives of those we may or may not actually be friends with, and just maybe someone else is having a crazier day than you.  Perhaps not the healthiest way to grab a moment’s respite, but increasingly the most available.

Since my rabbits haven’t figured out how to navigate the computer’s keyboard or the world wide web, they rely on a more traditional escape.  A real Plan B.  Instincts at work.  Mathea and Mairi call it digging to China.

IMG_8067

Burrowing breaks up their day, fulfills an ancestral calling, and provides exercise.  It is a grand change from their palace of a hutch.  The girls literally body plow the dirt away from their den.  It is fascinating and funny to watch.  One of these days I’ll have the camera in hand during, not after, as they spread themselves and the dirt along.  I promise to share when I do.

IMG_8069

The rabbits are simple, yet industrious.

IMG_7995

Their life is mundane, yet joyful.

IMG_7895

They are prey, yet they have curiosity and courage.

Those characteristics are what I admire most about bunnies, why merely observing them brings me pleasure.  I find, when I wish I could tunnel out for a spell, visiting these gals is a fine escape.

As you pause in your day, perhaps surfing online for a moment of respite yourself, I hope these pictures provide a moment of distracted amusement –  surely white wool (that could be a sweater) stained brown from body plowing the earth, is worth a grin.

IMG_8072