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mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.

Monday, April 18, 2011

a constant stream of good things coming out of Portland....

the town is rockin' out in portland. all the time. this is some of the latest goodness to be coming from there. please read this, and pass it on. before it's too late.....

eat your violets

spring is finally here. i have been walking the fields and wooded areas on the farm waiting for the first offerings to make their presence known. fiddlehead ferns should be up shortly here, and this will be my first year to try to preserve them....i am going to try pickling them. i'll let you know how it comes out.

i have been inspired by some of my favorite blogs this winter. i'll be watching for thistle for a new experience.....Feral Kevin says the stems are similar to cucumber when raw; like green beans or asparagus cooked:

Rebecca Lerner talks about violets in her blog this morning, "First Ways" :

i follow Rebecca's blog via email, and on Facebook. in a sleepless moment last night, i read her latest entry on my cell phone, and thought of violet jelly.

Violet syrup:

fill a qt. canning jar with the blossoms, packing tightly for richer syrup. pour boiling water over them, just covering blossoms. cap tightly, and let sit 24 hours. strain.

to each cup of liquid, add juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 cups of sugar. bring to boil, pour into pint jars and seal.

**use as a gentle laxative and cough suppressant

Violetade: add 3 tbsp. of syrup to cold water.

sprinkle on anything from pancakes to fresh snow. (fresh snow becoming somewhat of an oxymoron, sadly enough)

this definitely needs re-doing without sugar. suggestions welcome!

Violet jelly:

follow procedure for syrup. to each cup of liquid, add the juice of one lemon and 1 pkg. of Surejell. bring to boil, add 4 cups of sugar. hard boil for 1 minute, and pour into jelly jars.

yikes, the sugar! i haven't made this stuff in awhile, looks like some experimenting is needed.

Violets are rich in vitamins C and A. 1/2 cup of greens supplies as much vitamin C as 4 oranges, and more than RDA of vitamin C.

i do not know where this info comes from, and cannot vouch for it's accuracy.  i've been making this off and on for a couple decades, and can vouch for the beautiful color in the jelly jars, and the delicate flavor.

Monday, April 11, 2011

the orchard / 10,000 ways

upon request, this is a reprint from a post i wrote at Vandwellers to a newcomer, trying to find his way.....

Hey, R, welcome to the tribe! I am very impressed that you already have a
plan and a goal and the ability to save to meet that goal. Good for you! You are a good example to many of us here.

I say go for it. Listen to your heart. Keep your mind open to ALL the
possibilities out there. Cause as you are reading here, they are unlimited.

Life is like an orchard full of every kind of tree in existence. Some of the
fruit on those trees is sweet and nourishing. Some will give you the sh!ts like
you wouldn't believe, even though some folks can eat 'em all day long and
exclaim "these are the best fruits in the world!"

10,000 fruits! (10,000 ways to live) what do you eat?

I can't tell ya that. I can tell you DON'T CUT DOWN ANY OF THE TREES! Let them grow, whether they look appetizing or not. Someday you may find that you just love that fruit. And it'll be right there for the picking.

The good thing about this group is the wide range of experiences we can share
and draw upon. The bad thing about this group is we sometimes are so caught up in what works for us that we forget that there is no one right way to live our lives. Then we kinda get stuck on the details and try to figure out who's right. It's usually the ones not talking :-)

I graduated from nursing school when I was 30. Gave me some of the best
experiences of my life. I never heard the end of "you'd a been a great doctor".
Did I wrongly cap out at a nursing salary? Don't know, don't care. I made a
difference in the world. And I did it when I was ready to do it.

Prune and water the whole orchard, richard. And don't be afraid to try the


P.S. And if a fruit does give you the sh!ts, don't do like I often did, and eat
it anyway (waaa, but I LIKE that fruit!).....move on to a different fruit!