Google+ What I Made Today: April 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Green Goodness

Today I started a batch of comfrey leaf infused vinegar, another mineral-rich food staple. I also started a batch of vanilla extract. I prepped enough organic vanilla beans for 24 ounces, only to discover that I only had 16 ounces of brandy. I did the best I could with what I had while I had it, and will get more brandy during tomorrow's errands so I can top it off.
I harvested a nice big batch of nettle leaves today. Beautiful Urtica dioica. I leveraged the medicinal verve of this plant while harvesting by rubbing some sting into my left hand where stiffness and discomfort started to settle in during the winter. I did this to my right ankle last summer with sweet results and plan to do it again this year. I'll hit my hand again too. Anyway ...

I harvested a bunch of wild ramps and a couple green onions from the garden. Back in the kitchen, I brought some water to the boil, added a bit of sea salt, and added the nettle and chopped ramps and onions and let it simmer until all was sweet and tender. Spring tonic soup, full with flavor and dense with nutrition graced the dinner table. I had mine with miso, The Boy had his plain.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Few Spring Harvests

During a brief dry spell today I scurried outdoors to harvest a short quart of dandelion blooms to start an infused vinegar of dandelion flowers. In these modern times we live in we have a tendency to not think of preserving foods so early in the growing season (if at all). But I do. I took my jar outdoors with me and simply harvested the blossoms to fill it. I returned to my little kitchen to fill the jar with apple cider vinegar and cap it with a plastic list. In only a few short hours the color is already vibrant and I delight in knowing that this little jar will be one of many to bless me with sunshine and nutrition throughout the seasons ahead - especially winter, for it will return. I'll let this sit and macerate for several weeks before straining it and decanting it into a bottle to label, put on a high shelf, and use in salads and cooking in the months to come.
I made a salad with the bits of romaine left from the grocery and added chopped ramps (wild leeks), violet flowers, a bit of chopped pickled peppers from last season and a touch of olive oil and splash one of my infused vinegars. It was a super yummy feast for the belly and the eyes.

I love spring. Don't you?


Monday, April 19, 2010


Bless me readers for I have slacked. It's been a week since my last blog entry. But hey! I've been distracted by shiny objects of the productive variety.

With only a week or two 'til the last frost I've been focused on the garden, though you might not know it to look at it. But I've been planting more seeds indoors and out as I look forward to a very, very busy May. Early harvests have commenced too. The Boy got me nine beautiful bales of hay. I use it for springtime mulch (leaves in autumn). I was on the phone with my mom when he arrived home with them. I got excited and shared the news with my mom, who responded with something like, "Some men bring their wives flowers. Yours brings you hay." And I was amused.

With the recent rains subsiding I can get back outdoors and continue the tidying, separating, transplanting, mulching and the like. Spring, like autumn, is a very demanding season for us gardeners.
I also finished several new necklace pendants from last year's clay pressings, all of which are not pictured here. Some are promised, some already sold, and the rest I need to get listed in my ArtFire studio. I'm ordering more clay this week so I can start some new pressings to see me through the coming year.

Yesterday I was consumed with my new MacBook Pro ... migrating information from the old MacBook and taking the opportunity to organize a la fresh slate. I also cleaned-up and organized a big chunk of the old laptop so it would be clean and tidy for The Boy. Now he can work on recording his music without negotiating with me for the laptop. Dig it.

Oh, there's more ... but I don't want to bore you. Besides, I have things to do. Peace.

Monday, April 12, 2010

An Eyebrightening Mess

Or: When Good Jars Go Bad.

I was making The Boy some eyebright infusion (tea, if you prefer) and as the canning jar filled to the top with boiling water ::POP!:: herb and water all of the counter, walls, floor ... and in the drawers and cupboards too. What a mess. The upside is that my little kitchen got a good cleaning, drawers and cupboards included.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Meaningful Breath

When I returned home on Tuesday evening I was greeted by the first blooms of my little acre, lovely little Pulmonaria, commonly called lungwort 'round these parts. The plant whispered to me, "Breathe easy." I took a deep breath and released it before commencing my questioning, as I often do, seeking clarity for the often-cryptic green messages that I receive from my botanical allies. I can breathe easy now? No. I'll be able breathe easy soon? No. What then? And my little rooted friends smiled as plants do and simply repeated the whisper.

This week has been peppered with the kinds of activities that tend to skirt me. Countless little frustrations that included dealing with an aspect of my mom's so-called "health care" insurance. Physical pain that comes with a well-twisted knee. Sadness born with news of the sudden death of one of The Boy's cousins. I'm still not Home. Not fully, and I'm certain this is a factor in the vulnerability that I'm experiencing. Even so, I feel this week has offered me reminder-after-reminder to offer meaningful care wherever it is needed, to count my blessings, each and every one, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, and to ... breathe easy.

And so I am. Peace.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I'm Home. Home in my little hut, on my little acre, on my little hill. And even though I have an impressive ToDo list today, it feels Good - knowing that all I Do will be in peaceful quiet. The peaceful quiet of Home.

Ashe. Ashe.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Timely Preparations

Today I made my final preparations for upcoming travel, including making my mom an easter basket and wrapping a couple gifts for her too. Not to mention an inventory of the freezer and organizing the ready-to-thaw-n-heat-n-eat meals for cooler-packing in the morning. I also made a batch of whole wheat rolls and a loaf of cinnamon bread to bring her.

I made time to be still, to take in the warmth of the April sunshine, to sit with the sounds of Nature, distant traffic, neighbors ... as I centered and grounded myself in a place of peace that will sustain me in the days ahead.

I made time to share a cup of early morning coffee with a friend who's only daughter left for the west coast today. And as we sipped, a call came in from Chicago with a little travel update.

I made time for my seedlings with hushed conversation, reiki, and I transplanted some wee peppers too. This is the hardest part about going away right now ... leaving these babies in the care of The Boy and the dog.
I know they'll be OK. Yet I will miss their quiet and calm ... their tranquil way of knowing what to do and what to be in any moment without any prompting or prodding, plans or lists, or any regard for that thing we've dubbed "time."