Wednesday, July 9, 2014


It's pickle season!

Tomatoes, Peppers and Cucumbers! My husband challenged me to a pickle off so I made a batch last night.

It's the easiest recipe and they are quick fridge pickles, BONUS. No toiling over the stove on these hot summer nights. Eat them within a week or so, unless you do a traditional water bath and then they'll last on the shelf without refrigeration for up to a year. Directions are below:

  • 1 pound cucumbers
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 2 Tbs. black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. salt
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup water


  1. Collect 1 pound of cucumbers from the garden or get them at the farmer's market. We grew "Mercury Persian," in our garden this year. They're small (between 6" and 8" long), seedless, completely burp-less and very tender, with a thin, mild skin. But you could do equally well with any Persian or Persian Hybrid which are similar to the English variety of cukes, such as "Sweeter Yet."
  2. Wash a large mouth pickling jar and lid/band with warm soapy water.
  3. Let the jar air dry.
  4. While the jar is drying, cut the cucumbers and the garlic cloves into quartered pieces.
  5. Place half the peppercorns, garlic cloves and dill in the bottom of the jar.
  6. Add half of the cucumber slices.
  7. Add the rest of the peppercorns, garlic cloves and dill.
  8. In a separate jar with a lid, mix the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Shake jar until salt and sugar are dissolved.
  9. Pour pickling solution over the cucumbers.
  10. Place lid on the pickle jar and refrigerate overnight.
  11. Enjoy!
Friday, May 9, 2014

Chia Pets

I love Chia Seeds. They are something I learned to incorporate regularly into my diet from Tara. You know Tara; I have blogged her bathroom re-model and her little North West Cottage and a host of other cool things that her spirit has touched. The next post I will do with her will be about home economics. Keep your eyes peeled if your interested in saving money and diminishing your carbon footprint - she is a maven!

In any case, when I went for a visit to Portland last month, she made smoothies every morning with Chia Seeds. I have had many a Kombucha with Chia, my friend Kendra said once that it's great before a workout - she was right. But I had never actually considered Chia as a nutritional supplement until Tara and I discussed it. Chia seeds mixed with a drink will help you sail through cravings with hardly a notice. Here is a recipe: 1 Tbs. Chia Seeds, 2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Liter water mixed with lemon juice to your taste and stevia for sweetness: and I promise - YOU WILL NOT BE HUNGRY!

Chia seeds also grow into cute tiny sprouts that the whole family loves including the cat! I discussed the possibility of growing Chia Seeds (as in Chia Pet) with Tara. During my last day in Portland, my sweet friend took me to an antique shop. She spied a tiny ceramic duck and showed it to me, exclaiming that all I'd need is a cheap sponge inside the duck and a daily watering.

Here are the results:
The materials: Cheap sponges (you'll discard after each sowing),  cute planter, and chia seeds (Costco $13.99).

Cut the sponge so that it will fit inside the planter.

Insert the sponge so it creates a little planting mound.

Mix 1 teaspoon chia seeds with 1 tbs water.

Here is a better angle so you can see consistency.

Day 2

Day 3

Day 5

Day 7

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Poppy Pods

At the bottom of Poppies and Paperbacks, there is sometimes an advertisement to buy poppy pods. In my naive curiosity, I researched why anyone would want to buy a poppy pod. They're pretty when in a vase and fresh next to blooming Icelandics...but besides prettiness, why all the fuss?

I found all kinds of things. Professed cures for cancer, bed time tea, DIY projects and crafting uses and then I came upon this...

"I woke up avalanched under a junkyard of pain, my body a trap of torn nerves and trashed organs. An oily rash of sweat had soaked through my pillow and into the mattress. I was coughing, confused and crazy with anger. A throbbing, deep-pink chemical sunburn covered my face; my bowels were spitting hot mercury. I slid out of bed and dropped to the floor, the weight of a snarling mountain gorilla bearing down on me. I saw myself in the mirror as I fell. I looked puffy."

I suggest reading the entire article because, mostly, it's written so well. But also because it's a very unusual story. Just click on any word in the above excerpt.

Source for this and the following...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Springtime Treat

I recommend reading this! Very educational and just in case you think I'm a nut for eating a weed...
I mean, I do not advocate going out and traipsing through the forest and arbitrarily eating the flora without knowledge of what you may be ingesting - but right now, it's Wood Sorrel time. It's a sweet little weed that has purple, white or in my case bright yellow flowers. They are also sometimes called wandering buttercup. Their scientific name is Oxalis. And they have a sweet sour taste. When used in moderation they are a welcome little enhancement to cuisine. Aphids love them. Because aphids love them and they are a weed that's impossible to get rid of, they are not ideal for the garden. I don't really mind them though. It's sticky weed that is the bain of my garden's livelihood. Traips all you want for the buttercup - it's yummy!

I'm going to use the stem and flowers in a spring salad today. Weird. I know. But being the daughter of a hedge witch, I just have a draw to the romance of mother nature - so here it is.

Wash 3 stems of the Wood Sorrel. Cut 4 big Nasturtium leaves and if you have let your garden go through the winter then perhaps you have wee peppers like I have...

Cut the stems of the flowers like you would chives, chiffonade (cut 'em skinny as if you were cutting basil) the nasturtium leaves (they're a treat as they are very peppery), set the flowers aside. Cut up the wee peppers being cautious to discard the seeds.

Wash a handful of greens. I like to use a wild baby lettuce mix - mine are not garden fresh :( - and place in a bowl with the other ingredients.

Top with a simple citrus vinaigrette. 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs lemon juice. Salt ( I like to use Jane's Krazy Mixed Up) and pepper (Trader Joe's has concocted a clever little Flower Pepper - {read more here}) to taste and a dash of sugar to balance to sour. Add some home made croutons for an extra oomph or some pumpkin seeds.

There it is. Enjoy!

More salad pictures....