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Monday, October 14, 2019

Fresh Parsley Salt

The parsley grew with enthusiasm this year. And while I’m enjoying as much chimichurri with every meal as I possibly can, I’m seeking other ways to preserve the flavor and Medicine of the humble parsley, aside from dehydrating it, that is; I already have plenty of that.

So this morning while the pears were coming to a simmer, I made parsley salt. It’s in the dehydrator now, and I’m hoping the finished flavor and color thrills me as much as I think it will. ::fingers crossed::
And for those wondering, I chopped the fresh parsley fine until I had at least three gently packed cups, and to that I added a cup of kosher salt. In small batches, I ground it all to a mash in my suribachi (any mortar 'n' pestle will do), and then it's ready for the dehydrator.

You can do this with any fresh herb, or blend of herbs. ::nods:: 

Peace. πŸ•Š

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Autumn Fey

The sketch was made last week, and embellished with watercolor this morning.
My practice of heART journaling is always good Medicine.

Peace. πŸ•Š

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October Blessings.

Autumn is a busy season, until it isn't. So, too, with October. This first day of the month commences with a large pot of tomatoes, onion, garlic, vinegar, herbs-n-spices simmering into ketchup to can, and a three-bean salad also heading for the canner, both started on the last day of September. There are cranberry beans to harvest for drying, and still much growing and producing in the gardens ‘n’ wild spaces; botanicals for Food and Medicine to collect and tend.
For me, October is a month of frantic stillness. It is a ritual month for rooting, reflecting and projecting. Holistically. I make time 'n' space to dive deep into waxing shadows, the choices and challenges that impact my personal, interpersonal, social, global, and spiritual realms, all the while doing my best to stay rooted in The Moment. These considerations and meditations fit sweetly into the activities of the season, as they all mesh to nurture, sustain, and comfort me – and others – in the days of ahead.
May your thoughts and actions serve you – and our world – in ways that nurture, sustain, and comfort.

Peace. πŸ•Š

Friday, September 27, 2019

Holy Hot Pepper Sauce

Yesterday the big bowl came out to accommodate the big bag of hot peppers generously gifted by a family member. Organically grown, and so beautiful. I could feel the heat around my eyes just looking at them, and that intensified with washing... and I was actually sweating around my eyes when chopping them. It was a generous heap of hot peppers, and I'm grateful for them.
I made a quick hot sauce in the blender with horseradish-infused apple cider vinegar, salt and garlic. Half of that was sweetened with a touch of honey, the rest kept basic, with potential for additions after it melds and mellows. It's already tasty, and hot, but the flavor will improve after a week or so, when I'll be able to make more meaningful adjustments.

The rest was packed into a half-gallon jar layered with onion, garlic and kosher salt. I packed it down with my cedar "tool" throughout the day, until it produced its own liqueur to cover the peppers, which had shrunk by volume a third. And here it will continue to ferment on the kitchen counter (or thereabouts) until it reaches the flavor I'm after... or whenever I get around to using it. And I may add some other flavor-makers for the garden (the basils, shiso, chives...). When I'm ready to use it I puree it, bottle it, and label. Just like with botanical creations: Label. Label. Label. 

Last year I made an end-of-season ferment for sauce, with hot and sweet peppers, and just a bunch of whatever from the gardens. I forgot about until I noticed it in the spring. It was the best sauce ever. I'll be repeating the process again this year, for sure. I LoVe this kind of creative use-what-ya-got process, and fermenting is so accommodating to it, and I'm rarely - if ever - disappointed with the outcome. 

Peace. πŸ•Š

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

...What Awaits...

Autumn arrives and with it a bump-up in harvesting and preserving (as you may already know). There's still plenty in the gardens and wild places to keep me busy. And that sense of urgency intensifies with each day. And I collaborate with this verve, as I countdown to the coming frosts, the arboreal color show and falling leaves, the planting of garlic, the hay-bailing of crops to harvest in winter, and the eventual exhale that comes with the waxing silence of the evenings, the wintering sky, the first fire in the fireplace, and the hunkering down for the season. Familiar patterns, one and all.

This heART journal page is shared with my creative friends at Art Journal Journey, Mix it Monthly, and Moo Mania. Head over to see what other creative souls are making manifest!

Peace. πŸ•Š

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

This Year's Farmer's Wine

Yesterday I bottled two gallons of 2018/2019 farmer’s wine.
This sweet, organic, cane sugar wine was made with black currant, rhubarb, wild grape, rosehips, elderberry, bilberry, hibiscus, all coaxed to life with the first blooms of elder.
And there’s lots of love in there too.
I make this wine most every summer when the elders start to bloom. I pull all the suitable fruit from the prior year from the freezer, add it to the fermentation container with organic cane sugar, water, add an herb or two or three or more, and stir in the elderflowers to get the fermentation started. Once it gets going and the fruit is strained out, I continue to add sugar until the fermentation is done. No specific gravity readings, just keep adding sugar 'til the faeries are full. Then it rests and its carboy until autumn, when it gets bottled.
Being a wild fermentation, it’s a gamble, as you can never be certain as to how it will behave, and it’s typically sweeter than I prefer, but always spirited and so far has always been drinkable, and often quite delightful. Like this year. 
This batch is already drinkable, and quite nice for gentle, sweet sipping, and it makes an exceptional spritzer. ::nods::
SlΓ‘inte! πŸ•Š

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Another heART journal flip

Here's another heART journal, this one from 2013, a year of big Medicine for me. Peace. πŸ•Š rose

Monday, September 16, 2019

September Tomatoes

Judging by this year‘s tomato harvest so far, it’s kinda hard to believe that I planted fewer tomato plants this year. But I did.

I’ve already canned two batches of crushed tomatoes, salsa, and dried countless trays. And they're still producing.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. We won’t have these too much longer, and I’m gonna enjoy every fresh slice!


PS  I went out to harvest beans and discovered a few more tomatoes that I missed. And I really need to harvest the cherry tomatoes too!