Monday, June 23, 2014

a peck of pickled peppers

Summer is in full swing.  The days are full of various ramblings outside.  The to-do list is ever-lengthening, just as the days are (or have been up until Saturday). Growing season wise, this summer has been kind of ideal--lots of of sunshine with a few good rainy days here and there.  The gardens are loving it. So are the weeds.
We have been harvesting our first few eats from the gardens.  Fresh greens mostly.  The kids are fondest of the butter lettuce so far, but we will have many more good things soon.
I picked my first round of peppers from in the sun room.  I can't believe how crazy the pepper plants are going in there.  These sweet and slightly spicy ones looked like they wanted to become pickled peppers.  So they are in the process of lacto-fermenting on the kitchen counter.  If they turn out any good I will report back with a recipe.
Another funny, and random note from the garden--I do believe the children have been doing a little guerrilla planting in my raised beds.  I found many a good-looking poppy seedling amongst the cabbages this week.  They have all been re-homed to more suitable locations.  Gardens, like children, are so full of delightful surprises.  You just never know what you are going to get!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

sunshine tea

We have an overabundance of fresh eggs right now.  That is kind of the nature of chicken keeping I'm learning.  All winter long--no eggs, no eggs...then spring and summer hit and it's OMG EGGS!  I've been trying to come up with ways to use eggs other than the old stand-byes and I came across this old-school recipe that with some minor tweaks has become one of the kids' favorites over the last few weeks.  This is a really great way to get some healthy calories into little ones who aren't big into breakfast.  It is also an awesome before-bed snack. You don't need fresh eggs to make this--of course, they will taste the best, but the hot water does technically "cook" the eggs in this drink if you are worried about food-borne pathogens.

Sunshine Tea
serves 3

Boil 2 cups of water
 In a blender combine:
2 eggs
1 heaping teaspoon butter
1 heaping teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon of honey (or to taste)
pinch of tumeric
dash of nutmeg
shake of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

While the blender is running
slowly (carefully!) pour the boiling water into the egg mixture 
increase speed of blender and mix until frothy 
pour into cups

* This recipe is generally fine for those who are lactose-sensitive as butter doesn't contain the milk protein that many people are unable to digest.  That said, if you don't do butter you can substitute a different healthy fat or oil in the recipe, you could also just add a bit more coconut oil.

* for a more hot-chocolate like drink try adding a heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

father's day

There are many reasons to love this guy.  He mans the BBQ in a princess tiara with no shame, he tells the very BEST bedtime stories, and gives the highest pushes on the swing.  He is the keeper of the keys to all the 'chines (Eli's word for machines), he keeps the fire going, the dishes washed, and the freezer full.  He works hard everyday, and then comes home and puts in a second shift.  I can't imagine a more wonderful human to raise children with, and I know the kids couldn't ask for a better dad.  We are thankful for him every day, but on this day especially we like to say it again.  
Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Good things...

 We caught a fairly large & spiky looking caterpillar in the greenhouse this morning.  Sadie made it this comfortable home in a jar.  Eli offered it some of his meat to eat--so I guess that is our new family pet.  Name still unspecified.

Bugs and worms are a subject of much fascination amongst these two.  Eli has been smacking mosquitoes and squishing flies in the windowsills.  He is getting pretty ninja about it, so I was only partly surprised when he brought me a bee pinched between two fingers last week and said proudly, "skeevo!" (mosquito). Yikes! Poor bee.  We are working on insect identification.  So much to learn!
 Some days I just can't even believe how fast these children are growing.  They are different sometimes even one day to the next.
Eli has started using the potty and is talking up a storm. He wants to be doing everything that Sadie does these days.  He is beginning to get into imaginative play which is so cool to see.  He is also a major fan of his DaDa right now. Despite his natural bent towards all things rough and rowdy, he is a perfect snuggler. Seriously, I couldn't have asked for a more cuddly child.

 It seems like Sadie has grown by about 4 inches this year.  She has so much more hand-eye coordination and independence than last summer.  Yesterday we had to go to the dentist to get a shard of something sharp (flaked coconut maybe?) dislodged from her gums and she didn't even shed a tear.  She is all about princesses, fairies and fancies, but she is strong and brave too.  She seems to be gifted with a keen understanding of the natural world, and she is a whiz at plant identification.

Hello Good Life, it's DaDa here.  Mum left her blog post up partially unfinished so I thought I would take an early Father's Day license and say how much I appreciate the wonderful, intelligent, insightful, compassionate, patient, gifted and altogether beautiful woman of this house that we all love to call Mom.  Thanks to YOU, Tara, for helping me be a good DaDa, and growing this fantastically crazy and delightful bunch of grommets we call our family.  That's all, DaDa out.  Back to your irregularly scheduled Good Life...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

a bouquet for Sadie

All last winter Sadie handed me bouquets of dried flowers from roadsides and ditches.  On our walks through our woods and nature trails she collected brittle yarrow and grass tufts by the fistfull. When the first blush of spring kissed our landscape she lined the windowsills with mason jars of dandelions and cranes bill, wild roses and dogwood. What an extravagance, now that summer is here, to be able to go out with clippers and fill a large vase with cut flowers from the garden.  It seems like maybe only yesterday or ages ago that I was little girl like Sadie, filling up any spare glassware in my mama's kitchen with whatever loveliness the season had to offer. It is a joy to hold a gathering of stems and blossoms for a moment, then tuck them into a vase to see them fall this way and that with an unstudied elegance.  They may only last a day or two (or sometimes just an hour or two) but I hope with all my mother's heart  & my cupboard of canning jars that Sadie never outgrows the joy of gathering flowers for the kitchen table.

Monday, June 2, 2014

50 shades of green













and finally....
um, the kind you build from lumber scraps
 so your kids can get up to the sink to wash all the garden dirt off their hands.

Okay, so that's only 13, but you get the point.
Wheee! SUMMER!