Something to Crow About

August 27, 2015

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“He liked the hens.  He liked their bobbing, pecking scurry and the old lady sort of attitude they took about their roosts.  He liked eggs too . . .”
— Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk

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Kathryn, age 6, with home-raised eggs

Kathryn, age 6, with home-raised eggs

In k and colored pencil sketch of rooster

In k and colored pencil sketch of rooster

Watercolor sketch "Something to Crow About"

Watercolor sketch “Something to Crow About”

 

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Discovering Kale

December 29, 2013

Curly kale

Curly kale

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Kale for breakfast, sauteed with a little onion and mushrooms -- a nest for a fried egg.

Kale for breakfast, sautéed with a little onion and mushrooms — a nest for a fried egg

Until this winter, I’ve never cooked with kale.  So discovering how much I like it feels like a new adventure in eating.  I am in the honeymoon stage, singing its praises like a new convert.  Have you been saved?

It turns out that kale is one of those superfoods you should be incorporating into your diet for healthy living.  An article in the May 2013 issue of the AARP Magazine touts its benefits:  “Rich in vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting, kale also contains lutein, a nutrient that reduces the risk of cataracts and other eye disorders.  One serving of cooked kale has nearly triple the amount of lutein that a serving of raw spinach has.”

So good and good for you, too.

Watercolor sketch of kale leaf

Watercolor sketch of kale leaf

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts from Garden and Coop

September 6, 2012

Pastel-colored eggs from Anne’s “girls”

Gifts from the garden and chicken coop.  I’ve already shared recipes for blackberry jam and zucchini pancakes, and here are just a few more garden gifts I’m enjoying right now.  This is truly a season of abundance, and I appreciate those who have shared this bounty with me.

Eggs from Anne’s chickens — they’ve been gracing my breakfasts

Eggplants from Katie’s container garden

I used the eggplants in this recipe: Eggplants with Chickpeas in Peanut Masala

Row of windfall apples

Windfall apples from Colleen’s tree

Rustic apple pie from windfall apples

My favorite breakfast this week

The grocery stores have been getting wonderfully plump and flavorful Hass avocados this past week, and I’ve been indulging.  I think avocados are one of Nature’s perfect foods.  Since they are a bargain right now, I’ve been treating myself.  For breakfast, I make a plate of nachos topped with a fried egg and diced avocado and salsa.  Very hearty and delicious!

Preparations for breakfast

I added some leftover ham to my fried egg.

While the egg was frying, I put a plate of Tostitos Artisan Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Chips in the microwave just long enough to melt the cheese. Then I topped the chips with the avocado, salsa, and the fried egg.

Happy Easter

April 8, 2012

Easter scrabble

My sole Easter decoration this year -- a bowl of plastic eggs

Here’s a poem about resurrection, which I thought appropriate for Easter:

Still
by A. R. Ammons

I said I will find what is lowly

and put the roots of my identity

down there:

each day I’ll wake up

and find the lowly nearby,

a handy focus and reminder,

a ready measure of my significance,

the voice by which I would be heard,

the wills, the kinds of selfishness

I could

freely adopt as my own:

but though I have looked everywhere,

I can find nothing

to give myself to:

everything is

magnificent with existence, is in

surfeit of glory:

nothing is diminished,

nothing has been diminished for me:

I said what is more lowly than the grass:

ah, underneath,

a ground-crust of dry-burnt moss:

I looked at it closely

and said this can be my habitat: but

nestling in I

found

below the brown exterior

green mechanisms beyond the intellect

awaiting resurrection in rain: so I got up

and ran saying there is nothing lowly in the universe:

I found a beggar:

he had stumps for legs: nobody was paying

him any attention: everybody went on by:

I nestled in and found his life:

there, love shook his body like a devastation:

I said

though I have looked everywhere

I can find nothing lowly

in the universe:

I whirled though transfigurations up and down,

transfigurations of size and shape and place:

at one sudden point came still,

stood in wonder:

moss, beggar, weed, tick, pine, self, magnificent

with being!

Playing with New Toys

December 30, 2011

Waffles made with my new Chef's Choice waffle maker

I got a brand new waffle maker for Christmas!

I’ve always been more of a waffle person than a pancake person.  So when my trusty old waffle maker went on the blink after 30 years of use, I missed having waffles for breakfast.  I had a waffle maker on my Wish List for some time.  I was hoping to find a serviceable one at a garage sale last summer.  No luck.  So when my Dad sent us some money for Christmas, I used it to buy a new Chef’s Choice waffle maker.

I’ve already made waffles three times!  I don’t think you ever get too old to play with new “toys.”

Brown eggs

Old egg beater whips egg whites into a froth

Heart-shaped waffle iron

Waffle with bananas and my brother's homemade maple syrup

My theme for this holiday season is “Simplicity.”  As the following poet says, “This isn’t as easy as it seems.”  A challenge, then, for me in the weeks ahead!

Still life with boiled eggs and onions

Hard-boiled eggs with salt

 A Quiet Life
by Baron Wormser

What a person desires in life
is a properly boiled egg.
This isn’t as easy as it seems.
There must be gas and a stove,
the gas requires pipelines, mastodon drills,
banks that dispense the lozenge of capital.
There must be a pot, the product of mines
and furnaces and factories,
of dim early mornings and night-owl shifts,
of women in kerchiefs and men with
sweat-soaked hair.
Then water, the stuff of clouds and skies
and God knows what causes it to happen.
There seems always too much or too little
of it and more pipelines, meters, pumping
stations, towers, tanks.
And salt-a miracle of the first order,
the ace in any argument for God.
Only God could have imagined from
nothingness the pang of salt.
Political peace too. It should be quiet
when one eats an egg. No political hoodlums
knocking down doors, no lieutenants who are
ticked off at their scheming girlfriends and
take it out on you, no dictators
posing as tribunes.
It should be quiet, so quiet you can hear
the chicken, a creature usually mocked as a type
of fool, a cluck chained to the chore of her body.
Listen, she is there, pecking at a bit of grain
that came from nowhere.

White egg, white dish, white salt

Watercolor sketch of boiled eggs

“Our life is frittered away by detail. . . . Simplify, simplify.”
–Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Kathryn with eggs gathered from her family's chickens

I am still working on my vision of the simple life.  It’s definitely a work in process.  I know for sure that it does not include meeting my needs with my own hands by farming in the bucolic countryside.  I grew up on a farm, and I know that growing food and raising animals is hard work.  Even Thoreau did not “farm” at Walden’s Pond, though he did raise a crop of beans.  His experiment there was more in the nature of a retreat than a working farm.  I think he had the right idea!

Of all the definitions of the simple life I’ve come across, I like the one I read on Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog.  He says, “. . . there are really only two steps to simplifying: 1) Identify what’s most important to you.  2) Eliminate everything else.” (You can link to the complete post here:  http://zenhabits.net/simple-living-manifesto-72-ideas-to-simplify-your-life/)

I’m still a ways away from living a simple life.  But I hope to get there eventually.

Happy, Eggy Easter

April 24, 2011

Easter eggs on our lawn

Easter eggs on the lawn

We dyed a few Easter eggs this year.

My kitchen window at Easter time

Watercolor sketch of Easter eggs

Happy Easter 2011!