A morning bath

It was a long week. Yesterday I was on the couch for two hours dozing on and off with my husband and plain spacing out. I had to tear myself off the couch to go to a lovely, monthly workshop where I cut images from magazines and paste them to a card. I also get to spend time with good people there. Yet it felt overwhelming. I walked away from that not sure it was the place for me to be yesterday afternoon except that I read the magazines as much as I cut and pasted. And I may take a break on Oprah and subscribe to Vanity Fair.  I took away Bianca Jagger’s morning ritual of a hot bath and warm lemon water and threw in a dry body brush. It’s not going to happen everyday. But it hit me that taking that time to care for myself, when I feel most overwhelmed and unable to accomplish all that needs to be done may be the highest priority to be effective. Taking a brush to my skin and moving it in long sweeping strokes from the extremities towards the heart while drawing a bath, boiling water and squeezing lemon into it and then just sitting there in hot water, just sitting there and taking a few breaths and feeling grateful, that was important.

Joy, appreciation and abundance. That’s what I’m thinking about today. I’m at least trying to roll that in with picking up the produce, prepping at the restaurant, shopping for dad, picking out a wet christmas tree, decorating enough to remind us it’s the holidays, working on the logo and business plan, re-evaluating our health insurance, making time for friends and so on, etc etc. Far more tasks than time available so I pull out the time sensitive priorities and do the best I can. Don’t get me wrong – many of these things I love doing – they just require time.  I’m also simultaneously working on delegating, giving myself a pat on the back for what does get done and realizing/ recognizing this day will have a beginning, middle and end, no matter what I do or don’t do.

That’s all for today! No pictures even… imagine that.

wendy

ps… changed my mind. This is the card I made at Soul Collage yesterday afternoon.

Wild Island Wild Life

It’s been a year of food no doubt. Recipes and menus galore. Cooking everyday for home and business. The year began with Star Route Kitchen and is ending with Wild Island Restaurant. Photos were taken on a regular basis and posted on FB, Instagram and sometimes tweeted but sitting down to write a blog post obviously didn’t happen. I came to peace with it. For the most part. Though I missed/miss the writing time, it never made the cut.  This led me to reflect on the presence of my blog and others. How the platform has shifted. How we have even less time to read  posts or less attention span. Am I speaking only for myself? There is just so much information available to us 24/7. Wonderful and exhausting at the same time.

I’ve made promises to myself to write regularly and they stuck about as long as a New Year’s diet. I also turned 50 this year which I have a couple draft posts about. I even thought about “catching up” and filling in this last 8 month gap. Why? Because I think in five years “people” would be reading the history wondering well what did she do from March-Dec 2018? Yeah- I let that one go.

So that brings me to now. What do I want to write? What do I have time to write? What’s relevant to a reader here and/or what moves me to write despite who reads it. Does it keep a personal edge, does it stay strictly business, do I shut it down, do I change the name… etc.  As of  this date, I’ve cycled through a few life chapters since starting this blog in the fall of 2011 in Hamburg, Germany. And it’s all here to peruse. How bizarre is that?

Have I already lost everyone but my family? There’s no enticing pictures yet:)

I’m going to stop here. I might write again soon and start the Wild Island story. I’d tell you about it being my favorite restaurant since it opened in January 2017.  And how several years prior I started plans for an organic juice bar. I’d tell you that on August 8th 2018, it was on the front porch you see here that we were presented with the possibility of buying the business.

cheers, wendy

 

The Broad Museum LA

Exploring under the sun and feeling its warmth was, I must say, overdue. The first day however, was pouring, which in Los Angelos led to bus accidents and road closures. We had the good fortune of holding reservations for the Jasper Johns exhibit at The Broad.

The paintings below struck me enough to take photos. Can one honestly articulate why in an abstract? I might say the vibrancy of the colors drew me in. The first photo here was the last that I sat with. Really sat with and looked at while waiting for Ollie and Chloe. It was a good reminder as to how many details can be seen when one sits, gets still and, observes.

And my favorite- the hanging NO

One large, simple NO.

LA to be continued… x wendy

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Super buckwheat brownies

This brownie recipe grew from one I read at Cutterlight.com. These two write and cook from Alaska- beautiful images, stories and recipes.

New year mode for me does mean less sugar , wheat, dairy  blah blah blah. So everyone that eats my food also gets less sugar, wheat and dairy. At least till I want to start eating them again. No problem cutting out processed foods- we literally don’t eat them… except mayonnaise and maybe store bought condiments like kimchi I want to test out.  I don’t see wheat and sugar as villains per se- I just see them piling up calories.  Eat them in moderation- what a great idea. But generally I don’t. Dairy will be back in full force in a couple months when our four does kid and we have goat milk and cheese coming out our ears. Our cow, Else is ready to be bred. I’d so like to have fresh cow milk and mostly butter. I am trying to make a clear decision about time, energy and focus. I can’t decide if it’s something on my bucket list that should be tried for a year or if that’s not where I want my time and energy to go. She will likely produce 2-3 gallons/day (and that’s once a day milking)! Honestly, I want cream and butter- cow milk makes me a little congested. I must be nuts.

Back to the brownies.

I LOVE HOW PRETTY THIS IS BUT THE BITS ON TOP MIGHT BURN!

If you cook them at a lower temp- 325° with no convection fan they might hold out. These photos were taken before they went in the oven.

I manipulated Cutterlight’s brownie recipe to be GF with buckwheat flour and coconut sugar. Yes- it is still sugar and sweet and maybe a notch less on the glycemic index. Works for me.

I used Valrhona cocoa powder and their 70% Andoa Noire feves and Guittard’s organic 74% wafers. Both lightly chopped. I buy my chocolate by the kilo from Chocosphere. The base is buckwheat flour, almond flour and butter, eggs and oil (I did coconut, avocado and sunflower). You’ll likely want to fold in the nibs and goji berries so they don’t burn. You can mix everything but nuts, chocolate and berries, up together in one bowl, then fold those in.

Spoon into your cast iron or baking dish and bake. COOL THEM before cutting and eating. Brownies are easy but can trick you into thinking they are over or undercooked. They sort themselves out if you let them cool down. DO NOT judge until they are room temp. In this sense they are not a quick go to in my book. Stick with cookies if you need to bake and EAT immediately.

Our hens are laying again. HOORAY! I really miss having a steady supply of eggs. We have 28 hens of varying ages and 1 rooster trying to keep them all safe and in order. I actually tagged them last fall- we’ll cull the older hens for stew meat (we’ll probably let them go till around 4 yrs old or so). We bought 12 chicks Labor Day weekend 2017 from the farmstore- no shipping costs! They started laying little eggs this week as well- did you know they start smaller? It should be a good year for eggs. And goat milk ice cream!

 

super buckwheat brownies

  • Servings: 10-12pc
  • Print

*Note: Add superfood & nuts as desired!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa power
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup- mild oils – I use sunflower, avocado an/or coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T brandy or bourbon (what you have on hand)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chopped but I like it chunky or chips
  • ½ cup pecans chopped
  • ¼ cup cocoa nibs
  • ¼  goji berries

Directions

  • Easy way- Mix all ingredients in one bowl – add chocolate chunks, nibs and goji berries
  • For double, triple or more batches- Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately- Then add chocolate chunks, cocoa nibs and goji berries.
  • -Spoon brownie mix into two greased 6” cast iron pans or one greased 9×9 square baker. You can also line baker with parchment paper and lightly grease.
  • Bake at 350° for 18-25min.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool! Brownies need time to settle and adjust to the atmosphere!! I find they often seem undercooked or overcooked and then hours later they self adjust.
  • Remove from baker once cooled.
  • We eat straight from the mini cast iron pans till gone (hopefully they last more than 24 hours)

Now go make some brownies. And if you are so inclined #starroutekitchen – let me know if you do any recipe tweaking and how they turn out.

x wendy

  • SUNRISE: 7:37 AM    SUNSET: 5:15 PM
  • Length of Visible Light: 10 h 44 m
  • Length of Day: 9 h 37 m
  • Tomorrow will be 3 minutes 5 seconds longer

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Finding beauty in January

It’s easy to feel a little low energy on these gray January days despite the increasing 1-2 minutes of light each day.  I needed to bring in a little positive vibe and motivation so I took my camera around the property on a little discovery tour. January can be beautiful too.

I started in the garden. Kale trees in the rear. Chard debating whether to start growing again. Red cabbage planted out in July,  I’m hoping it will overwinter and grow cabbages in spring.

I’m hoping the broccoli, also planted in July, will put off early spring shoots.

This little broccoli head stopped growing a couple months ago but is still strong and green. Any chance it would still form a head? (Not a rhetorical question!)

Overall view of muddy, wet garden just for winter reference.

Moving to the pasture…Irene is tired of the mud I’m sure.

Else loves pumpkins and doesn’t appear to even notice the mud.

Sometimes they share…sort of.

On to the barn…This barn we are loving was built by Drew Reed on Orcas. It’s high and dry. One day I’ll post the project in full. We started in a very wet March 2017 and finished Sept 17.. tbc

down below the barn the goats eating leftover veggie bits from Star Route Kitchen.

On up and around to the backside of the property to the pond.

The pond overflows this time of the year…

And creates these beautiful forces of water.

I met with friends this week and took away ideas, support, motivation and some good laughs. One thing in particular we talked about, around planning, was scheduling in time to just think and daydream- like Socrates and the Greek philosophers did. They weren’t just sitting around doing nothing. They were only creating the basics of our modern philosophy. I know I need this time as well and it’s hard to prioritize it because you aren’t “doing” –  you’re not even meditating. I think it’s something missing for many, as even the short free moments, in the elevator, filling up the gas tank, or waiting in lines, we are plugged in. I’m going to sit and stare out the window- at least a few times a week and channel some greek philosophers.

Any suggestions or thoughts on how you like to daydream? And keep it nice!

Want to hear a fantastic podcast?  Tom Hanks on Beautiful Writer’s Mind.

Winter! Do your work- for the money and the soul (maybe you’re fortunate enough that it’s the same thing), your tasks, your yoga, your meditation, your care giving, your workouts… and remember to make time to just daydream. You’ll like it:)

 

Lighter shades of gray for just a little longer  each day now.  Weather Underground

  • SUNRISE: 7:50 AM    SUNSET: 4:59 PM
  • Length of Visible Light: 10 h 17 m
  • Length of Day: 9 h 08 m
  • Tomorrow will be 2 minutes 42 seconds longer

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Shitake sesame kelp noodles

So what’s up with these kelp noodles.

I see references and recipes as far back as 2012 on Elana’s Pantry but they didn’t hit my radar till this past year and I still had only tried them a couple of times.  I put them on our Star Route Kitchen menu last week and to be honest, when I first pulled them, out I was a little nervous.

Continue reading

Welcome 2018

Happy New Year! 

Within the chaos of the world we are living, I am striving to move forward with love, compassion, high vibes and knowledge. I am striving as well, to stay informed, conscious and aware. On the east side of our wet, green, island, stands our slice of land where we can grow food, breath clean, fresh air, and drink safe water. I am grateful each day to be here with someone I love creating a space where people can come enjoy nourishment, nature and the love of animals.

This time of the year we are feeding the critters just after daybreak and just before dusk.  I’m noticing the light of  day is expanding now, no longer contracting. And I feel the same in myself. 2017 brought various joys & challenges and led us into 2018 with a lot of strength, relief, encouragement and determination. I’m setting big goals and this year and I’m working on breaking them down into bitesize tasks. I’m also scheduling in free days, social days and appointments when possible. And I’m working on my feelings along side those tasks and goals.  My truth, alignment, following my gut. Yes that. It works for me and it might for you. I feel fortunate and grateful to have the choices I do. I’ve always been a planner and a list maker but I’m taking it up a notch. At least that’s my New Year’s intention:) I’m on board with the idea of how do I want, or how do I expect, to feel when I have accomplished xxyy and zz. And to support these efforts,  I am using this Soul Planner.

I’m reading  from things like this-  NYTimes,  Gabby Bernstein, and Danielle Laporte. As well as Mind Body Green, Modern Farmer and Chalkboard Magazine. I love podcasts from Radio Cherry Bombe and Beautiful Writer’s  And another online publication I’m really inspired by is Fine Line Mag. In these and others I sift, collect and process. And last thing… I AM GOING TO BE 50 YEARS OLD IN APRIL. I’m going to not just embrace but celebrate!

JANUARY 14,2018

SUNRISE: 8:00 AM  SUNSET: 4:42 PM
Length of Day
8 h 42 m

Tomorrow will be 2 minutes 4 seconds longer

  • FORECAST High 52 °F Low 44 °F 
  • AVERAGE High  43 °F Low 36 °F 
  • Rain  0.00 in

 

roasted carrot ginger turmeric soup & dukah

I’ve got a new gig I’m loving. We are finishing up the second month of Star Route Kitchen food club. We’re preparing and delivering from scratch, whole food menus to a handful of Orcas Island residents. Check out my new Star Route Kitchen page where you can get some ideas of your own for plan ahead foods to have for the week.

We are currently in R&D mode these last few months of the year. I’m asking for feedback on recipes, logistics of packaging and delivering and getting my cooking chops back on track. Chloe and I are having a blast on Mondays cooking and on Tuesdays delivering. We may add next year, a second menu option such as anti-inflammatory or something in that direction. The goal, in season at least, is to use our garden goods and island farm produce and stay on the wonderful trend that has been happening… Keeping it local. And I clearly state that is not exclusive. I will buy from around the world but always organic when available. The food that leaves my kitchen is the quality of the food we eat at home and my standards are high.

Last week,  this  carrot, ginger, turmeric soup with a coconut milk and veggie stock base rocked. Not to toot my own horn… or Ollie’s (my  awesome, jazz trumpet playing husband for any new readers). It was warming and tasty especially with the Dukah we made to garnish it. And here I added a little goat yogurt.

Continue reading

New gardens

We’ve had a busy summer- what’s new? That’s a rhetorical question! Along with completing the new barn which I’ll detail in a future post, we did massive amounts of clearing including the east and south side of our house.

We’ve got a pretty sweet landscape set up in the front (north side) and a back patio on the east but there were areas that we just basically never got to in the last twenty years. It’s been really amazing getting so much light on the south side. duh. Having built our home twenty years ago, I think partly the trees have grown a lot and partly I didn’t know better when siting the house.

Here’s our back porch on the east side- above the stonewall is a cover crop of buckwheat.

Our plan is to do raised beds and bring the kitchen garden, well, closer to the kitchen! Like out the back door. I’d love to see this happen next year but it will depend on the soil condition. We may have to ‘grow” soil the first year.

Continue reading

Summer salads

It’s so summer. I could almost say the hottest, driest summer I can remember. It’s been roughly 6 weeks that have reminded me of  growing up in Florida where virtually everyday the sun rises and stays out shining hot. Except here it’s about 70 degrees instead of 90. I’ll take it.

We earned it here in the PNW. I didn’t get the garden in till the third week of May because it was so wet. The four leggers and 2 leggers were slopping around in mud pretty much till the end of May.

Our four goat mama’s  cranked out three sets of triplets and one set of twins. We had a full house with 11 kids and 4 moms. And so we are building a new BARN. Ollie is so supportive of this venture- it also gives his farming roots a chance to grow and thrive…  The boat and/or sports car has been bumped to the next decade:)

We (well they) will be moving in by September and we’ll be ready to bring on the winter.

wendyellenthomas.com

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: