Friday, October 29, 2010

Food: Revisited

October has brought us some reassurances, one of these is my renewed interest in the kitchen.  The first trimester and moving was tough and I avoided cooking and baking for the most part.  We still miraculously ate three meals and day and snacks but I was not fully present in my kitchen tasks to say the least.  This week has been a bit hit and miss as well.  Like despite getting groceries on Saturday I felt like there was no food on Monday....time to pay a bit more attention while shopping I think.  It seems my mind likes to wander around aimlessly these days.   But in whether in or out of the fog I've put together some interesting meals and snacks and my fridge-top freezer is getting a bit cramped but I plan to get as much food in there as I can before this babe joins us.  Here is what we've got so far:

-My mom made two lovely turkey pies from our leftover thanksgiving turkey carcass.  All I'll have to do is cook some veggies and make some biscuits and dinner will be served.

-Last week I took advantage of the lower price of organic cranberries and made these muffins.  I substituted butter for the oil and for the second batch added chocolate chips which cut the tartness of the cranberries.  Really yummy.

-I managed to freeze two small bags of corn niblets.  They won't last long around here but at least we have a little bit of late summer to enjoy as the colder months approach.

-This week we enjoyed this chicken recipe from Fields and Fire.  I loved the taste of the chicken drippings on the veggies.  I have not mastered our oven yet though so the timing was a bit off.  I'll get it eventually.

-For a friend's visit on Wednesday I made some simple tea biscuits and we spread raspberry jam on them.  It was simple and yummy.

-Another occupant of our freezer is half of our flour order from Urban Grains.  This was my first CSA experience and I'm excited to try out the rye flour for some bread. 

-And for the Samhain ritual and Spiral dance I attended last Sunday I made some molasses cookies which are an old family recipe.   It seemed fitting to use an old recipe when eating after celebrating and grieving the dead.

I'll share our Halloween and Samhain activities with you later on this weekend.  Have a lovely time with your tricks and treats everyone.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Saturday morning

Last Saturday morning I did the unthinkable.  I didn't go to the Farmer's Market, I didn't clean, watch T.V or take a bath.  My friends I did something just for me.  Amidst the chaos of my office/sewing room I cleaned off just enough space to sew.  While Dave and Kyan were at singing class I started sewing together Ky's quilt.  It was glorious.  It was brief, but it was a start.  I have decided to devote that special time each week to sewing exclusively.  No matter how many dishes are on the counter, no matter if there is work or if I'm tired or if it's sunny outside, I'll be sewing.
This week has had it's challenges but overall it's been great.  I've gotten lots done and had fun as well.  I attribute that to having time to be creative and in that creation marvel at something coming together.  Yes, it may be slow but oh, it's worth it.  Saturday morning....I can't wait.

the insanity that was this room before I started

What I accomplished

Only 10 more rows to piece

Monday, October 18, 2010

Book of the Month: October

 During this time of year I like to stay present with the call of the seasons. Life and death show themselves and whether in whispers or shouts talks to most of us somehow. With that in mind I chose The Celtic Book of Living and Dying: The Illustrated Guide to Celtic Wisdom by Juliette Wood to share this month.  This book is full of lovely illustrations and overviews of Celtic culture.  I often look through it for inspiration since Celtic art is so rich in detail and meaning.  Wood explores the key themes of Celtic belief ranging from courage, fertility, and prophecy to destiny and the afterlife.  She explains the fascination Celts had with the endless knot and its way to express infinity in a tangible pattern.  There is a section on talismans and of course one about the wisdom of the seasons.

I look to books like this to help me gain perspective on my path in a time when many of us search for our place in a fast paced world.  It makes me feel connected to something deeper and older than most of the customs I encounter day-to-day in North America.   

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010: Water

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Where would we be without water?  In short we wouldn't exist.  Water is a fundamental part of our lives and western society squanders it.  I try to reduce our family's water consumption.  I think of how wasteful it is to let the water run to get it to a desired temperature, I use day old water from our reusable water bottles to water plants, I turn the water off when brushing teeth or washing hands.  I wash as much of our laundry in cold water as I can, I let the yellow mellow in the toilet.  These are small steps, things that seem like a drop in the bucket (if you'll pardon the pun.) 
I want to do more and be as careful as possible with water consumption.  I believe that water should not be owned, but should be free to all.  Clean and safe water is a human right at its most basic.  So please think about your relationship with water today.  I ask this not to make you feel guilt or hopelessness but to encourage dialogue and contemplation.  What can you do right now to respect the fundamental sacredness of water?

You can head on over to the Blog Action Day website to read all the other wonderful posts written today by thousands of bloggers.

I leave you today with a song that I wrote many years ago which shares my feelings about the element of water.


Cradled by the rocking to and fro
rest on top of the water
her cup will overflow
taste salt on our skin and the willow sways
by the water

Dive deep, dive deep,
feel the well heave
we head westward wading through
rivers of reeds

Autumn leaves, autumn leaves
washed from the streets
cleansing rain solemnly beats

Emotions release untangle these weeds
laugh, play and swim
splash in the moonlight
the tide's coming in

Dive deep, dive deep,
feel the well heave
we head westward wading through
rivers of reeds

Fertile fields growing our life force
nourishment heals
and comes from the water

Womb of humanity
coral and pearl, 
glistening jewels of the water

Dive deep, dive deep,
feel the well heave
we head westward wading through
rivers of reeds

Dive deep, dive deep,
feel the well heave
we head westward wading through
rivers of reeds

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still so much to learn

We had a wonderful time with my parents in town.  We visited some sights and ate lots of good food with friends and family.  Kyan got lots of grandparent attention, Dave had a week off work, and I felt pampered.  There is something very comforting for me about having my parents close.  It is the security they instilled in me as a child that never goes away despite many years passing.  I continue to learn from them too.  Observation wise that is.  Luckily my parents are not overbearing, they offer advice only when asked to.  But what I learned by watching them this trip is something that I think I can really apply to my life: don't put off things that you can do right now.  My house lacks a pile up of recycling or dirty dishes (dishes due in part to us finally getting our dishwasher) but also because my parents would do the dinner pots and such right after.  Obviously 8 hands are faster than 2 so their help combined with Dave being home kept the house in much better order than I've managed for many months.  But I was struck by how much my procrastination adds to my work load.  While I think I'm resting and I'll have more time later I'm actually creating more work for myself later.
It is also much easier to fathom doing things promptly now that I'm well into the second trimester of pregnancy.  My moody blues are almost gone and energy is in higher supply.  But I want to apply this lesson to all parts of my life and see what it reaps.  I have a feeling that I'll really benefit from it in the long run, as will the whole family.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

For the Senses: Autumn/Halloween 2010

Usually I stick to the changing seasons as my inspiration for this jaunt around the web of goodies.  But I thought since Halloween/Samhain is really just around the corner I'd mix in a bit of the spooky for this installment.


The Art of Nicomi Nix Turner.  I love that she works in grey scale and that her images are inspired by alchemy, botany and pagan cultures.


Pumpkin anything makes me happy this time of year.  Like this or this or this!


A Cautionary Song by the Decemberists, can be found on this album Castaways & Cutouts.
This song is fun and spooky and perfectly suited to this time of year.


This scarf.  Nothing makes me feel like it's fall more than scarves.  I love the colours of this one.


baking bread, hearth fires, crisp mornings.....