#Womensmarch Orcas Island

I started to write a post on spaghetti squash, feta and sausage but had a hard time wrapping my head around food after such a monumental weekend. #womensmarch

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I haven’t done any blog reading the last three days and haven’t taken a pulse of blogs and politics. At least with the food and garden bloggers I follow. I’m sure there are countless political blog posts and I will be honest in saying I don’t follow many… ok – any. I read NYTimes online and I try to stay informed. And a visit to my Dad, who lives in a cabin on our property where MSNBC runs virtually 24/7, provides a strong dose of information.

With an activist for a mother, I sometimes never knew as a child which came first for her.  (mom on right)

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As an adult now, I can say,  it was being a mother… classic 70’s here.

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I felt guilty wanting her attention when I thought there were so many who needed it more. People with horrible housing conditions and little in the way of human rights or dignity.  I didn’t eat a grape till I was probably 18.

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I appreciate the passion, emotion and burning motivation that moved her to act, to speak out and to march.

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I am not an activist, yet I feel things deeply. I cried when Trump was elected and feel pain for the state of our country and the division that has become so apparent. And I have fought the gloom, doom and foreboding momentum since the first week of November. I have often wondered why that strong, activist spirit did not pass through to me in my DNA.

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I want to understand how we each choose to respond to this crisis and others- whether it’s to join a march in the capital, the nearest big city, or how we might find our place in a smaller circle of our smaller community or even in our own garden sending meditation and prayer out into the universe. How do each of us respond in our own way? Or not at all?

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I felt honored to  meet my community members at the park in town and we walked down our side walks sans police escorts or blockades. Some carried signs, many wore pink hats and accessories and I think we all carried the women (and men and sons) out in the world in our thoughts and in our hearts. And I do thank god hundreds of thousands of women, men, sons and daughters did show up all across the world.

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The news will be harder to read each day with the sense of life as we know it unraveling. I want to hold on to my smile, my optimism and stay informed at the same time. This will certainly be a challenge. And who out there coming across this little speck of a blog in a big universe sits on the other side of the fence?

Thank you Orcas Island for giving me a place to show up.

orcas-womens-march(photo by Jay)

Apple and Celeriac salad

This apple and celeriac salad brings a freshness and brightness to your meal while committing to the definition of “seasonal”.   And I say “seasonal” with the utmost respect. I’ve never been ready to give up bananas or avocados, chocolate, olives or other “staples”. Shit did I just do “quotes” again.  And I suppose those items fall under the definition of  “local”.  I can say I am not a proponent of berries, beans, tomatoes or summer squash in winter due to cost and moreover lack of taste. But on to “salad”!

apple and celeriac saladThis awkward root veggie, rather foreboding at face value, grows like a beet or kohlrabi.  With it’s thick roots and roughly a third of the ball in the ground and the rest nestled in the soil, it has a mild, almost sweet taste. See here.

I cut off the ends, then do my best to use a peeler for the exterior so as not to lose as much of the vegetable. You can slice off edges as well.

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This apple and celeriac salad will also give you the opportunity to dust off your mandolin…

apple and celeriac salad..and practice your knife skills.

apple and celeriac saladIt’s a nice addition to soups either pureed or cubed.  And is this french classic standard.

I carefully used a mandolin to slice and then went for matchsticks/strips/small pieces. I’m out of practice. The irregularity in cuts seen here would not have flown in cooking school. But I don’t think any family members or dinner guests will be pulling out a measuring tape… or will they. Be sure to toss in a little lemon juice to prevent browning.

apple and celeriac saladThe apples were halved, cored and also sliced on mandolin followed by cutting. The apple is a little easier to handle and I think my muscle memory was kicking in. Immediately after cutting toss with lemon juice as well.

I used 2 large apples and 2 bulbs of celeriac and tossed with  a vinaigrette consisting of:

  • 6oz container of yogurt
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1-2 T lemon juice
  • 2-3 T orange juice
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • a handful of chives
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • ENOUGH FOR 6 PEOPLE. OR DINNER ONE NIGHT AND ADD TO YOUR LUNCHES IN THE WEEK

I love Bellwether Farms sheep milk yogurt.

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I make up the dressing in a little mason jar and give it a good shake. Please adjust to your liking! apple and celeriac saladI have a patch of wild chives that don’t look like much but I appreciate the fact they seemed to have grown out of nowhere since about 5 years ago or maybe that’s just when I noticed them. Despite our freezing temps they found a patch of ground that gets warmed up quickly by the sun.

Add some chives and/or minced scallion to the salad.

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You can call it good at this point but if you want to go creamier…Add a nice BIG dollop of creme fraiche. Also Bellwether Farms.

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This apple and celeriac salad accompanied our Coffelt T-Bones last night. So Local! Try garnishing with pecans or walnuts. I tried a little celery in this batch.

tbone-and-apple-celeriacIt’s a nice first course that can be made a day ahead and holds for several days for lunches as aforementioned.

I’ve garnished here with a couple strips of green onion

apple and celeriac saladHere’s a little update of our four-leggers currently on the farmette. And yes, that’s a calf. Meet Else. I’ll have better pics soon.

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Have a lovely week xx

Wendy

Lemon tahini sauce

Are you thinking what? Lemon tahini sauce? Really?

Yes. really. It’s basic and it’s so good. And we all need a reminder sometimes of the basics. I went to look up the recipe online only to find my favorite Mollie Katzen recipe. I searched my shelves at home high and low for my Moosewood Cookbook and Enchanted Broccoli Forest. I’m so sad. I think in an extreme Kon Mari moment I gave them away. I haven’t completely accepted that possibility and am hoping I will stumble across  them.veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-7I do add roughly 2 TB olive oil.  And if you like cilantro, throw a little handful of that in as well.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-4And often I use a little more lemon juice and water because I don’t like it too thick. This is where you have to adjust to your own liking.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-3I prepped and lightly steamed broccoli, cauliflower. Then I sliced and sautéed button and shiitake mushrooms and added sticks of parsnip and carrot. THEN I toss in the lightly steamed cauliflower and broccoli. Please don’t try to cook these veggies altogether- no matter what sort of veggie stir fry you are creating.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-2I grated a little garlic and ginger, threw in a TB of sesame seeds and seasoned with rice vinegar and a little salt.

veg-and-lemon-tahini-sauce-6Steam up some brown rice in whichever method you prefer. For me it’s the rice cooker if I don’t have time to watch the pot or I’m away from home. Other times, I just cook it in a pot.

Put it together for one of your “meatless Mondays”. Is that still a thing? Rice on the bottom followed by sauce and veggies- garnished here with a few strands of raw purple cabbage for color and crunch. Or add another protein if you like.

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Again to find this basic but awesome recipe check out Mollie Katzen’s recipe page for lemon tahini sauce. And doctor it up with a little olive oil, cilantro and extra lemon.

We just returned from New Orleans and the annual JEN (Jazz Education Network) convention where musicians, players and teachers, of all ages come to play, learn and share jazz. We wanted to connect with people, listen to as much jazz as possible and start talking about the revised educational website we’ll be rolling out in the spring for Jazz Everyone– Authentic Guide to Bebop, that my dad started. New Orleans was a lot of fun too! The final concert, one of the highlights of the convention, was a quartet with Sean Jones on trumpet. They put on a great show AND he imparted some inspiring words. He simply talked about how in this time of division, no matter what personal beliefs held, we all came together under the umbrella of jazz music and the love of it. Granted, I imagine a vast majority of jazz lovers are democrats but music has the ability to cross all lines!

I say find more umbrellas. Food, gardening, volunteering…. What else? What places in our lives do we or can we unite, despite our differences, for the betterment of a collective purpose?

That’s a wrap,

xx wendy

 

The perfect blueberry smoothie

Oh, hello there. Welcome to Wendy’s Place and Happy New Year!

I’ve spent a busy year working, homesteading, cheesemaking, volunteering on another farm, doing lots of yoga, cooking, fermenting and not sharing one bit of it. Which I missed.

I think about how many voices are out there on the web and see it as a chorus in a way, collectively making music. When I sang in the chorus in Germany it brought me joy. It brought others joy. Most of the time my voice blended in with many and once in a while it stood out.  I enjoy the process of writing, cooking, sharing thoughts and photos. So here I am. I’m not here to teach you to cook but I do hope you might pick up a useful tip here and there, be inspired to cook and for sure be inspired to eat whole foods. I hope you might glean a new idea, relate to a musing or find something to chew on figuratively and literally.  And I hope you definitely feel a smile grow as you read.

My daughter, Chloe, turned 18 last July. I feel a need to give her her name back. Thus, I’m trying on Wendy’s Place. I’m entering the first year, after 28 years, of no children to feed, nag and hug goodbye every morning, prepare dinner for or kiss goodnight and all the fun that goes on in between. I haven’t know whether to laugh or cry, so generally it’s been both.  I am looking at life as an individual,  as a partner in a rockin’ marriage and of course, always as a parent… but we are officially empty nesters.

2017 is starting off with smoothies like this one here. Blueberry, cranberry, banana. Though we’ve been drinking these for years, I’ve never used cranberry till recently when Ollie thought we were out of blueberries and threw in some cranberries. (Correction- he thought they were blueberries!)

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I threw out a cautionary “dude they are so sour what are you doing?” and dug into the back freezer to retrieve the next 6 lb bag of blueberries (I carry a detailed map in my head of our refrigerator and freezers).  Some of the cranberries sunk down to the bottom and remained. I’ll be damned if it didn’t brighten up the whole thing. I thought “duh” – acid. Whenever a dish needs a little hit of something to round it out usually it’s a need for a little acid- a lemon, vinegar, citrus sort of thing.

We have survivor greens in the garden I’m foraging and always a steady supply of  pealed and frozen bananas. And always an extra sac of baby greens in the crisper.

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Fortunately, this isn’t a new year’s resolution- Going to drink more smoothies. It’s like saying we are going to have a sober January. You can’t really expect a pat on the back for something you already do. Right? We like beer and wine, and drink it, but if we didn’t have it for a month I might not notice. This is something I rarely admit to avoid being a social pariah.

This is our alternative milk of choice when we aren’t using our own goat’s milk. Not a paid endorsement. But I like this one and the plain almond- the no carrageenan is good. I couldn’t keep up with making homemade nut milk for daily smoothies.

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And I’m always trying new protein powders. Pea protein is big right now. I prefer the texture, or lack thereof in the whey powder but ultimately like to switch it up. Some of the plant protein blends are a little starchy. I switch between goat and cow whey.

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For 2 smoothies you’re looking at approx-

  • 2 cups milk (substitute a little yogurt if you like)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ c cranberries
  • 3 handfuls of greens – mix it up
  • protein powder of choice.
  • whatever other superfood you like to add- maca, lacuna powder… or just check out Nativa naturals in general- I like their products. Chocolate nibs and raw cocoa for instance.

Our blender of choice is a Vitamix. I researched till my eyes popped. In the end I like solid, old fashioned dials, knobs and switches. I think it’s the last blender we’ll ever own.

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With your greens and blue berries you still come up with a rather dull colored smoothie but it tastes great~

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That’s a wrap.

To love, health, and compassion in 2017…

wendy

ps- I’ve taped this old placemat to every bedroom wall I’ve known since I was 8 years old.

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