Google+ What I Made Today: October 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Simples and Up for "Lost" Time

This past weekend we moved the henhouse and run to its winter location, on the south side of our little hut in the main vegetable garden. Well, The Boy did most of the moving, but I did help! So now The Ladies are positioned for the coming of winter.

I invested creative time in my studio to get moving on some new mini journals. And some larger ones. And some canvas preparation for some intuitive paint play, too. Not to mention planning and plotting for 2014 workshops in creative expression and holistic herbal wellness.

And today, with the help of a lovely apprentice, thirty-three bottles of simples were prepared for the mini apothecary that will soon be making manifest in my studio at Whiting Mills.

That's what I made today … and then some.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chicken Stock for the Winter Pantry

For many, putting food by is a hobby, a task in which homemade preserves are made for transient enjoyment and gift giving, which, by the way, is wonderful. For me, though, it is vital, for it is one way in which I contribute to the household (and to Gaia) and, in essence, how I make (at least one aspect of) my living. For me it is consciously holistic choice, one that has the potential for ripples. Ripples through me, my tribe, my community, my world, and mama Gaia. Oh, I could on and on on this topic … even pull out the soap box. But I still have tomatoes to sort, beans and peppers to harvest and decisions to on how to preserve this latest batch of bounty.

But today, I strained that chicken stock, skimmed the fat (which will make some mighty nice matzo balls to go with some nice penicillin soup) and got ten quarts canned and ready for the winter pantry.

That's what I made today.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Canned Chicken, Frozen Chicken, a Pot of Chicken Stock

Yesterday afternoon I picked up my 20 chickens from Percy Thomson Meadows Farm in Bethlehem, Connecticut. Since then my world has been all things chicken. I have packages of thighs, legs, wings, livers, gizzards in the freezer … plus various scraps and whole heads for the dog, and all other scraps for the crows … and a few whole chickens too … about three gallons of stock on the stovetop … and these jars of canned chicken breast. Tomorrow I'll be canning the stock.

But now. Now I'm snaggin' an ale and going out on the deck to enjoy the waning day. And pick some beans if I can muster the ambition.

That's what I made.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fire Cider

Among other things I made a gallon batch of Fire Cider. The Boy had dug up quite a bit of our horseradish yesterday afternoon so today I set myself to peeling and cutting. I prepped several heads of garlic, a large ginger root and chopped them all in the food processor. It all went into a gallon jar along with hot pepper flakes, a handful of fresh jalapenos, astragalus root slices, ground turmeric and then covered with apple cider vinegar.

There's no measuring for me, but I tend to be generous and I did have a lot of horseradish. It already smells and tastes divine, but it will sit for six to eight weeks before I strain and bottle it for winter use.

I love this stuff. It's so good and good for you. I perceive it primarily as food and use it almost daily in salads, on veggies, in cooking, as a marinade, for deglazing, and in whatever way I'm inspired in the moment. I sometimes fill a small cordial glass to sip, or a shot glass to slam back, especially when I feel a first tickle of some pathogen trying to make a home in body.

So, yeah, that's what I made today.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Remarkable Medicine

My spouse was on vacation this past week, so I took some "time off" as well, so to speak. I was able to get out to New York state and finalize the move and storage of Little Rita's belongings, so now they are close by for me to sort and tend to with ease and at my convenience. The rest of the week has been filled with preserving garden harvests. I've dried egyptian onion tops, tomatillos, tomatoes, leeks and beans. My dehydrator is still working as I type.

I've started a number of ferments and have more than what's pictured here. I've got fermented red tomato juice, spicy green tomato juice, peppers, beans, beets all doing their thing, and others already put away in cool storage, and others already delved into! I love fermented foods.

I've harvested most of the winter squash and still have tomatoes, peppers, beans, basils and other "tenders" to get to before any frosts show up. The late crops are producing nicely and we'll have harvests of beets, turnips, rutabaga, peas, broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, brussel sprouts, egyptian onions and assorted lettuce greens for some time.

Tending to the garden this autumn has been remarkable Medicine for me, for it is the first autumn in I-don't-know-how-long that I've been able to really focus on it.

This past week has been peppered with beginning the set-up of a wellness studio outside of my home, something that has been brewing in the depths of my cauldron for years … something that is now bubbling up and boiling over into a lovely manifestation. More remarkable Medicine.

As for today, I made another green tomato cake early this morning to bring along on a visit to a dear, dear friend, where three of us shared coffee, tea, cake, friendship and mutual support. That, too, is remarkable Medicine.

So that's what I've been making … this week … and today.