Google+ What I Made Today: August 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Care and Cans

Today I made Caring Time for mySelf. I started the morning with a little catch-up art journaling in my Book of Days. I sipped Irish Breakfast tea and enjoyed some protein before heading out to Rooted in Wellness for a very therapeutic massage. While I was out-n-about I went on the hunt for a new, locally-owned art supply store only to discover that it's not yet opened. But I enjoyed a nice little-city walk-about in the bargain. I even fit in a nap when I got home.

Once revived I began transferring yesterday's canned goods off the dining table and down to the cellar pantry. I love that this batch combines fruit from my own gardens and from Dineberg's Farm. We have 40 quarts of tomato puree put up so far. My tomatoes are still lush and producing, so getting to my 52-quart minimum goal is in sight. I'll likely put up some whole and chopped tomatoes too.

The pickled three bean salad also found its way to the pantry shelves. I found a recipe online that I tried last week. It was a small batch, so I modified the recipe for size and shifted and added some ingredients. I'm pleased with how it turned out. Here's how I made it:

Pickled Three Bean Salad

5 cups green beans, cut to 1"-1.5", blanched 2 minutes
5 cups kidney beans, cooked and rinsed (I soak mine to ferment 2-3 days before cooking)
3 cups garbonzo beans, cooked and rinsed (also fermented)
2 cups pepper, chopped
1.5 cups onion, sliced
1.5 cups celery, chopped

3.75 cups water
2 cups apple cider vinegar
.75 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed for me)
2.5 cups cane sugar

2.5 tablespoons mustard seed (I used black mustard)
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (I'm pretty sure I tossed in an extra teaspoon, one seemed lame)

.75 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or sea)

I like this 2-day process because I can get it all prepared one day and can it the next.

Day one
Combine the water, vinegar, lemon juice and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the mustard, celery and hot pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the salt and oil. Add the beans, onion, celery and pepper. Let cool and keep in cold storage overnight.

Day two
Heat the mixture to the boil. Fill sterilized jars, leaving .5" headspace. Cap and process in a boiling water bath for:
15 minutes for pints
25 minutes for quarts

Makes 11 pints

So now, I'm off to the garden to harvest some collards to dry, or maybe kale. Not to mention more tomatoes. And zucchini. And beans. And … well, you get the idea. And later, I'll art a bit more in my BOD and possibly offer my left shoulder some loving ice as I relax into the evening.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Join me for "heART journaling" at The Phoenix Rising Center


Today I make an announcement, one I'm quite excited about. This has been quite a while in the manifesting, so to speak, mostly because mamamuse has been challenging me every step of the way. But now, the door, long unlocked, has opened.

Beginning two weeks from today, on September 10, I will be offering an art journaling workshop called "heART Journaling" at The Phoenix Rising Center in Thomaston, Connecticut. ::squeel!:: This is an 8-week journey of holistic inquiry, self expression and … manifestation, explored through the simple practice of daily art journaling. You can get more details at the Center's site or on our Facebook Event Page.

I've been consciously journaling on a regular basis since 1994, mostly words, but even in my early days drawings and doodles would find their way into my recorded expressions. I can't remember when it was, but it wasn't too long ago, maybe 3 years, that I began keeping art journals. What they were then and what they are now are … quite different … and yet, not. I've always drawn and kept sketchbooks, but the experience of art journaling as an intentional practice has awakened sleeping parts of me, and has guided me to altogether "new" territory … and my heart is glad for that. Thus the name, "heART journaling."

As a being who responds to visuals, keeping such a record of questions, observations, witnessings, experiences, etc., has made the process of review so simple that I am able to more easily see the patterns in my life, my dreams, my desires … my path, and I find myself living with greater awareness, gratitude and grace … and making conscious choices that nurture the best parts of me and my world. 

heART journaling is Good Medicine.

This may sound a little crazy to you, yet I can say that, in my experience, a little crazy rOcKs!

So if you're in the Thomaston area, I hope you'll consider joining us, beginning September 10, at The Phoenix Rising Center for this heARTful workshop. I have a sense it will be an intriguing journey for all! So check out the links and, of course, if you have any questions, feel free to post them here. 


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Puree, Kabees and Journals

This past week I've been mostly busy with garden harvests. I canned more tomato puree and will have more to do, since the plants are still producing nicely and loaded with fruit. This morning I went to the Watertown Farmers' Market in search for cucumbers. Alas, I found none suitable for half sours. My plants really struggled this year and didn't produce much. Such is life. Nonetheless, I came home with some lovely little zephyr squash and gorgeous beets.

When I got home I harvested some turnip and commenced making kabees, a new favored way to preserve and enjoy turnips. I made a two quart batch sans beets a couple weeks ago and have already polished off a half a quart. I know they'll continue to get even better with time, but to me, they were delicious in just one day! They're beautiful with the beets, though, don't you think?

I've also started listing some of the new mini journals I've been working on. You can find them at my ArtFire and my Zibbet shops. There's more of them to come too - keep an eye out!

So, yeah … that's what I've been up to lately. You?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good Eats

Today, with the help of a good friend and accomplice, I got a gallon of eggplant pickles prepared for preservation and a four quarts of yellow squash fermenting.

The eggplant is so simple and should be ready to start eating in the next couple/few weeks. We just cut the eggplant in 1/4-inch slices, put a few sprigs of fresh spearmint in the bottom of the jar and began layering a couple of inches eggplant with some garlic and rough-chopped jalapeno peppers and a tablespoon of sea salt. There was no measuring, really, except for the salt. We layered until the jar was filled, topped it with three more sprigs of mint, filled the jar with living apple cider vinegar, used a small jar to push the vegetables below the liquid and capped it. It's already smelling amazing.

I've never tried this method before, but when I saw this video I knew I had to try it. There's no heat processing, and the eggplant should remain safe and good for … years, it seems. I'll see. Though I have a feeling they won't last that long - meaning they'll be eaten! I'll keep you posted.

Then, along with a garden frittata for supper, I roasted these baby eggplants that I got from Dineberg's Farm. I minced some (well, a lot) of garlic, salted it and blended in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a splash of one of my herbal-infused vinegars, some freshly crushed dried oregano, celery seed, cayenne powder and let that sit while I prepared the eggplants. I gave each eggplant two slits from stem to blossom end, creating four sections still attached to the stem, and stuffed-n-drizzled the garlic mixture into the center of the four quarters. They were arranged in a dutch oven, covered and placed on my grill, set to a moderate heat (about 350F) for 10 minutes. Then I turned them, replaced the lid, and let them roast another 5 minutes or so.

These were so freakin' good. The Boy ate a few and … I ate the rest. Yep. All of them. They were that good.

Yep. That's what I made today. Good eats.