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

 

Chunky Chicken and mushroom soup

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup…

chicken soupWe are working, I hope, through the last of the days on end rain storms where even the worms drown in unforgiving driveway puddles…

IMG_7389 and unplanned driveway streams…

IMG_7390Goats are hanging near the doorway..

IMG_7398As well as the dynamic duo…

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We tried basic ditching to get a little immediate relief. They have a little bridge to cross.

IMG_7396So for days like this, chicken soup is still in order. But I wanted a soup with big chunky vegetables, mushrooms and meat. I started by cooking the chicken whole (and frozen) on a low simmer for about an hour. Next I pulled out the crock pot. I pulled the cooked chicken and strain the bits. Once cooled, I  pulled the meat off and put it in the fridge till day 2. Here comes the crock pot.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.comBones go in along with a couple carrots, celery tops, onion (or scallions if like me that’s all you have in the fridge), @ 4 bay leaves,  a wedge of lemon, peppercorns, and a couple cloves of garlic. Potato bits and mushroom stems are also a nice addition. I use all the liquid from cooking chicken and top off to about 10-12 cups liquid. It will sit on low for about 24 hours and fill your house with a savory, homey scent. It’s gold baby.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-2No dicing or cubing here. I want to know if it is a slice of carrot or piece of celery in my mouth. 1 large onion, 4-5 carrots, 4 stalks of celery.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-3Same goes for the mushrooms- 6-8 larger brown caps (small portobellos) and 8-10 larger shiitakes. Don’t forget how much they shrink.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-5And if you want to give your soup a little more flavor, I strongly encourage sautéing your veggies in olive oil first and seasoning them on their own.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-6And then add the liquid gold to the big pot of veggies and lift up the “suc”- the yummy brown bits on the bottom  (that you hopefully didn’t burn black:) with a spatula or spoon.

I have to admit after nibbling on the chicken for a day, I bought another split breast that I gently simmered in the 24 hour stock for only 30 minutes. So I essentially had 3 big breasts… keep it down folks.

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-7About 4 cups largely shredded chicken in the end- mostly white meat. And of course these pieces still fit in your mouth. I don’t want to have to cut my soup into smaller pieces for god’s sake. Not that big!… Throw the meat in the pot.

And lastly, I added about ½ cup chopped parsley and seasoned the soup with salt, pepper and lemon. I wanted a simple, clean flavor and skipped any other herbs (rosemary, marjoram and thyme would be on another batch)

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-4

We are all ready for a break of sunshine.

IMG_7392And dry soils…

IMG_7393But until then how about another bowl of chunky chicken and mushroom soup!

RECAP: Portions – About 8-10. One dinner and lunch for 2. Then dinner for 4 at the neighbors…. and still a little left for the freezer.

  • Simmer one  3-4# chicken (skin on for me) in water till cooked- about 1 hour. Fill water to about ½  up way around chicken.
  • Pull chicken and let cool. Strain liquid and place in crockpot. Add enough water to make approx 10-12 cups liquid.
  • Remove meat from the bones and place all bones in the crockpot.  Put meat in the fridge till day 2.
  • Add to crockpot- 2 medium carrots, 2 celery middle stalks w/ leaves, ½ onion, peppercorns (8-12 if you must count), 4 bay leaves (less if you want-  won’t make or break your stock), couple cloves of garlic. Anything else you feel moved to add to create flavor- mushroom and potato bits, parsley stems.
  • Cook on low for up to 24 hours for a dark, rich, healthy chicken stock. Pull a little cup out and add a pinch of salt to just enjoy on its own. Strain liquid. (Cook up another breast for more meat if you ate a bunch waiting for your stock! and for a heartier soup)
  • Cut up 3-4 carrots, 4 stalks of celery, 1 onion
  • Slice 6-8 large cap mushrooms, 8-10 large shiitake mushrooms
  • Sauté veggies in your big soup pot with a little olive oil and season to taste. Add 24 hour stock. 
  • Take your chicken meat and pull apart/shred into larger but mouth fitting pieces. Add to soup pot.
  • Chop ½ cup parsley and add to soup pot.
  • Season to taste with salt, white pepper and lemon 

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup@ wendyellenthomas.com-8Cheers,

WT

 

 

Cuban Ceviche

You know the feeling when you haven’t talked to an old friend or relative for ages? Maybe even one you are pretty close to and that you really like and care about? And you keep waiting for that perfect afternoon when you are carefree and ready to cozy up in your favorite chair or kick back on the couch and just dive into a conversation for hours with your 100% undivided attention? But then days go by and months and you have fleeting glimpses of perfect moments that slip through your fingers.  And you’re like hell- just pick up the damn phone and call- RIGHT NOW.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

And really whether it’s been months or over a year- you can just start right where you left off with this person- some smiles, some laughs, maybe a little sorrow- but you are just fully present. Can you see my point here?  I don’t have to spell it out in anymore detail right? I’m picking up the damn phone and don’t have anything glorious to share here or really even the time to share it if it were. But we just got back from Florida and we had some killer ceviche in Miami and I was like BAM- get some pics of this stuff and let people know you haven’t let go of this blog thing!

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

The last 8 months were very full and this sharing space made itself comfortable on a back burner with no flame- We had a wonderful year at the store and at the end of it I decided to take another break from retail. I’m on about a 3-4 year cycle. I’m rolling one thing out as I simultaneously roll something in. My latest venture is Real Estate. It’s a far cry from creative but I like people, I like property and I like selling. And a slow 2015 Winter gave me ample time to study and get my license. And being on this island for over 20 years doesn’t hurt in that job.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

And then there’s those silly goats. They are keeping us plenty busy- especially since we never found new homes for our 2 kids, Jane and Rocky. We are still open to seeing them relocate but only for pets and milk- not the freezer thank you very much. ALTHOUGH having said that- we have our 3 does knocked up and I’m already mentally preparing myself for the fact these offspring may not reside here long term. We just don’t have the capacity. Ok- I may keep our Lagerian kids from Dinah- but they (LaMancha/Nigerian cross) will be small and hardly count.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

We also built a studio for O man (my husband for those of you who forgot because it’s been EIGHT MONTHS of not hearing a peep from me). And did I mention the real estate thing- last year I was basically working 2 jobs and it was tricky. Then there’s the garden and yada yada yada… I still cook practically everyday from scratch. That’s just a given.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

We spent only a week off the farm. And we got that time because we were so fortunate to have folks move into our cabin who love to farm sit. A little shout out to Coffelt Farm because that’s where one of them works:) We visited family near Vero Beach and we hiked down to Miami for just one night to visit our dear friends Teri and Jochen who moved there from Hamburg. One laughter filled, food filled evening spent with them on Ocean Drive at Lario’s on the Beach followed by chatting as we walked the boardwalk and ended with a stroll down Lincoln Road Mall. Loveliness.

Here’s a shot of the fresh snapper we had that night.Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com-5-2

Avocado salad

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And the ceviche and plantain chips that have been making me want to eat ceviche non-stop!

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Ceviche and steak might be the two things I’d eat all day everyday. A Cuban ceviche is often shrimp or scallops but it got a northwest spin because I have a fair amount of halibut in the freezer. Of course I’d recommend fresh but we do what we have to. I also saw a little note here….. that Cuban ceviche will have a dash of allspice. I didn’t see much other differentiation (except um for fish they tend to use scallops and shrimp). Sometimes a little tomato. But they are God awful right now in the Pacific Northwest so I skipped that. This link gave a little breakdown of ceviches and allspice seemed to be the little somethin’ somethin’ here. I pulverized whole allspice berries due to lack of ground allspice- but the whole berries actually proved more aromatic. So maybe this post should just say Ceviche with nutmeg…

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

What I am missing from my very large repertoire of  dish/glass ware and general accessories is martini glasses- which is a lovely way to feature ceviche. Now of course I might have to pick up a few just for my raw fish cravings. And my mom likes a very dirty martini- so there you have it. I should get some martini glasses.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

~”Cuban” ceviche recipe~  now anybody who is actually from Cuba who might want to set me straight – I’m all ears!

  • 1# fish – I’m fairly flexible here. Halibut, ling cod, snapper of course,scallops, parboiled shrimp. But I like it to be a white fish
  • 1 sweet red pepper – or go for rainbow with yellow and orange if  available- I like that too
  • ½ bunch of cilantro- approx. ½-¾ cup
  • ½ cup red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper (seeds removed)
  • 1 cup citrus juice- 3 limes, 1-2 lemons, 1 orange
  • zest from 1 organic lime
  • ½ tsp salt
  • good pinch of ground nutmeg (then taste it and see if you want more!)
  • garnish with green onion

When eating it for a light meal I didn’t mind serving it up on shredded romaine tossed with olive oil and lemon. You’ll find a little jalapeño,red pepper, red onion, lime, lemon and orange. And a little side of mango and avocado.

I even tried frying up some plantains. They weren’t deep fried so not as crispy as what we ate in Florida but yummy none the less.

So having prepped you in the first paragraph you’ll see this post come to an end- it’s not going to be a novel and I’d like to think you’ll hear from me again sooner than later.

Cheers,

WT

Grilled veggies, millet, greens, cocoa chili dressing

Grilled red peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and pork shoulder chops on a bed of greens and millet is topped with a dressing concocted of olive oil, grilled red pepper, cocoa powder,worcester sauce, honey and a dash of lemon. You can add as much heat as desired. This recipe is based on the one I found in the June issue of Yoga Journal (a favorite of mine) and I think it’s a great one for this holiday weekend.

summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-6I think it would be just as lovely as it was written in Yoga Journal with grilled corn, black beans and a mesclun mix. But I opted for pork (just bought a LOT of local pork) and our garden greens which at the moment are tender young kale and spinach. I made the millet the night before and warmed it up with some broth- a little water and salt would do just fine.

summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-3These shoulder chops are big and meaty so I only grilled two and cut them in strips to cut down on the meat portion (sorry Ollie). I used this very flavorful Mesquite smoked salt, from Saltworks in Seattle, that I love and yes do sell at Chez Chloe. It’s not online at my store yet so call if you want some and I’ll hook you up!

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I drizzled a little olive oil onto the chops and sprinkled with the El Dorado, the mesquite smoked salt, on both sides. I grilled the chops at about 400° on our gas grill. The veggies were tossed as well with a little olive oil and Saltworks fine Himalayan pink salt.
summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing I work hard at temp control and ideally go for marks without scorching. Who doesn’t right?summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-2The dressing (check out link to Yoga Journal) is a blend of a little water,  ½ cup of skinned, just roasted red pepper, honey, worcester sauce, unsweetened cocoa powder, mild pepper and cayenne if desired… I used ½ dried chili pepper from last year’s garden. What I felt the dressing needed was a little pick me up. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightened it up with a dash of salt. My dried pepper was also one spicy little bitch. Enough that when I took the top off it in the afternoon and proceeded to touch my lips, they burned for a good while. It took me about a half hour to put two and two together. Like the after burn of stinging nettles.
summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-6
I piled on the greens and dressed them with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon. Topped it with seasoned millet, added the veggies and pork, topped with the chili dressing and garnished with a little cilantro that happened to be in the fridge. Avocado would be a nice addition as well.
So while I do think it is a wee bit early in this neck of the woods here in Western WA to be pulling summer vegetables from your own garden, they are pretty readily available and I think it would be a great dish for this holiday weekend. Hence, my haste in actually writing two posts in one week:)
 Have a lovely long weekend and be sure to share time and good food with great friends!

Shakshuka- baked eggs, tomato and goodness

This dish has been floating in my thoughts since Feb 2014 when Chloe and I visited Irving Street Kitchen in Portland and I ate their, quote “Moroccan Slow Poached Eggs and Grilled Garlic Rubbed Toast”.It was spicy, simple yet had depth and very good.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-8

The house smoked Tasso side of bacon also rang my bell. I basically searched online tomatoes and baked eggs and Shakshuka popped up. But really it’s not a name that’s going to stick in my overcrowded mind. I also reached for the wonderful Jerusalem Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. They have a fantastic website as well.

I drew, as always, from a combination of recipes- Jerusalem, David Liebowitz’s Shakshuka and a simple version in the NYTimes.

Here’s my version – Print Recipe {shakshuka recipe}

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-10

I liked using a couple whole spices along with the powdered- here were the fun ones. Note how similar the seeds are with the caraway being just a tad darker than the cumin.

Shakshuka spices @wendyellenthomas.com-12

You could substitute ground spice for either of these but using the seeds gave me a chance to use this- after a good dusting off.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-2

My version used 2 red peppers, 1 green pepper, 1 onion and 3 cloves of garlic sauteed in about 3T olive oil (see blurry photo) then I added spices and cooked another few minutes to release their fragrances. Then where I strayed from the majority is I added 3 cans of diced tomatoes vs 2. I personally wanted it a little juicier and to be totally honest that stemmed from overdoing the cayenne.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com

Fast forward: added spices, 3 cans of tomatoes, cider vinegar and honey… then you can add about 4oz of feta here before topping with eggs OR throw it on after the eggs.

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I’ve been making a cheese with no name- I call it a farmstead cheese and I can grate it. It’s very feta like in taste. 100% raw Jersey cow milk with a mesophilic culture (but we’ll save that for another time)

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-4This was a delicious brunch and with virtually making it the night before it was a cinch to pull together. I added sides of Hempler’s applewood smoked bacon and breakfast potatoes. And crusty sourdough of course.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-5My eggs cooked about 90 seconds longer than needed here I think. But I made another round the following day as well adding raw chopped spinach to the bowl and topping with the tomato and eggs

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-7And I watched these eggs like a hawk… and didn’t have any sides to distract me! Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-9I was very pleased with this dish and it will stay in the forefront for summer when peppers aren’t so expensive! You can tell me I should have posted in summer but well I couldn’t wait any longer.

And don’t forget your crunchy bread. Here’s my rustic sourdough.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-11

And some life photos…Here’s a killer rainbow that graced us last week

rainbow @wendyellenthomas.com rainbow 2

Happy New Year

Finally. Your new year probably started a couple weeks ago. But our first week felt like a hiatus between the lines of time. Now we are looking ahead at travel plans to NYC for the Gift fair. Excited to get back on track with yoga and exercise… you know that momentum of righteous resolution. After days of barely having any appetite my buds re-calibrated post holiday to not needing so much sweet and I already dropped my holiday mid waist luggage.

We nursed a gnarly flu with the following arsenal… This is how we do it.

herb pharm herb blend Herb pharm echinacea goldenseal blend. I’ll take this 2-3x dayIsland Thyme respitory balmLocal Island Thymes‘ respiratory balm. Made by friends of mineflu remedies Digital thermometer- I’m obsessed with taking my temp. And a myriad of items for symptoms.Hoffman honey Loads of this honey in fresh ginger and lemon tea. Strong and spicy and soothing.Emergen-C Sucking the Emergen-C’s down every few hours. I’m not too concerned with the extra marketing of ‘joint health’ but we like the citrus flavor:)Manuka honey The honey loquat syrup is great for chest and coughs. The Manuka honey from New Zealand, supposedly high in healthy anti-bacterial microbes.fresh lemon and gingerThe fresh ginger I peel and slice thin and boil/simmer in water. I’ll add juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon and a couple tablespoons of raw honey. I drink it hot. I love that stuff.

quick chicken soupWhen I’m really down and out I eat homemade applesauce. My first meal this week was some chicken stock from the freezer thawed with the addition of a little chicken breast, carrots, shitake mushrooms, carrots and spinach. Maybe a little left over rice in there too.

Then I moved onto a healing beef bone broth with spinach, mushrooms, kimchi and a poached egg and avocado. This was a lovely meal I won’t wait till I’m sick to make again. I made the bone broth overnight in the crockpot with short ribs and soup bones and the general aromatics- onion, carrot, celery, parsley, bulb of garlic, peppercorns. I’ll cook it 12 hours overnight and strain. I then just shred a little of the short rib meat to add in to the broth. Healing and tasty.

Hope your 2015 is off to a good start!

bone broth, kimchi, poached eggLast but not least one little farm shot. Not our farm but some baby calf buddies nearby. They are still skiddish but so sweet!

baby calf buddies

cider press 2014 & cider glazed pork roast

That time of the year again…

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

Another lovely fall apple pressing, year 2014! Ollie, excited about his first pressing EVER was raring to go. That’s my guy.

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

He made about 50 trips back and forth with the barrels of peelings to the pile we set up for the deer (photo from last year). What a champ.cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

And my beautiful mermaid also got down to business.

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.comWe started picking apples a few days beforehand- We have highly sophisticated techniques.

cider pressing 2014

I get better each year with set up-

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

cider pressing 2014-8

Here’s the lot we did- with still loads more on the trees.

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

Can’t say these guys were much help with picking…

cider pressing 2014-3

Especially when knocking over the wheelbarrow and forcing me to fight for each apple. They like to just take a nibble off each and move on.

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

And so we begin…

cider pressing 2014-11

The beautiful day prompted shorts and t-shirts- our group got bigger…

cider pressing 2014-13Our youngest helper- ho hum.

cider pressing 2014-10I love it when our neighbors pull up totally ready to rock it-

cider pressing 2014 @ wendyellenthomas.comno messin’ around with these guys!

cider pressing 2014-19Our neighbors -who happen to be two adorable brothers. Thanks guys!

cider pressing 2014-17cider pressing 2014-16We all worked hard

cider pressing 2014-20

and pressed about 70 gallons 🙂 I promise I did more than take photos!

cider pressing 2014-15If I were a bee this is how I’d want to go-

cider pressing 2014-18In the evening, we celebrated the bounty drinking cider and using it for the pork roast. I started by reducing fresh cider.

cider glazed pork_-3The roast was searedcider glazed pork_Covered in remaining garden veggies and apples that had been seared in the same pan following the pork loin. I drizzed the glaze over it and sprinkled with fresh minced rosemarycider glazed pork_-4Cooked at 400 for only about 30 minutes till the internal temp reached 140°- we like it pink. Tack on sides of spaghetti squash and kale…cider glazed pork_-5Et bon voila… harvest dinner. yum.

cider glazed pork_-6PS- Take your juices from the pork roast and whisk into the reduced cider. Add a 1/2-1tsp to your liking of dijon mustard. This just takes it to the next level.

Cheers and happy fall!

Grain free “Greens” pie and transitions

Quotations hug the word greens- just so you know it is not a green pie with an accidental s. It’s a nut crust stuffed with beet greens, green curly kale, lacinato kale, red russian kale, a fair amount of garlic, a little egg and a sprinkle of peppery goat cheese. Yes we do have a lot of kale in the garden.

greens pie @wendyellenthomas.com 2014-6

A recent three day mini yoga workshop left me high on breath and thoughts. Trying to be present while practicing produces quite a large container full of ideas to be processed either drifting off to sleep at night or on an early waking morning with time to contemplate.Which means don’t reach for your phone. Let the mind percolate.

Taught by Christine at our local studio, Orcas Mandala, we had a two hour session each morning for three days. A morning of breaking down sun salutations and solar poses, followed by a morning of moon salutation and lunar poses, ending on the third day with yin and restorative poses (almost equal in yumminess to a morning of scones and tea in bed -really-). The point of it all, was understanding the little transitions say, within the sun salutation. And the transition say, of summer to fall. How to find balance between poses and to find balance on these windy days that pull the leaves right off their limbs. It’s a time of being a little unsettled and redirecting routines. Even this post is a little scattered – but I’m going to be ok with that:)

The farm reveals blocks of time that pass. With the garden, I think in terms of cycles. Here we were in May…

early spring garden-13

The new kids in the pasture…

early spring garden-2

And now inching towards late Sept we are days short of pulling up the jungle of summer veggies and covering beds.

Sept garden-3 Sept garden-5

This is a very busy time with harvest, processing and putting things to rest for some down time (like the holidays- HA). But at least the garden gets a rest. And it’s the back to school routine. I myself have to work on staying grounded. Weekend days my kitchen looks like this.

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And this is not very grounding.

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I’m canning, drying, making kraut and kombucha; juicing, smoothies, coffee or tea for the morning- a dish to take to the neighbor’s potluck, and what shall I do with the beets? More pickled? Do I have enough spices? Should I try to harvest the cherry tomatoes this afternoon? The partying fruit flies in the pear basket shout priority. How about let’s tack on making 100 mini cookies for a friend (smiles) on and on…

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I must pat myself on the back for what I accomplish in the day vs what remains on the list. Last night after canning and drying pears and making this greens pie for the neighbor’s potluck and feeling a bit overwhelmed by the mess, I had to march myself upstairs and lie on the mat. A little back and forth over the foam roller, up and down my spine,  a couple of stretches and a few deep breaths. My mind settled in a matter of ten minutes. Remember, this advice comes from someone (me) who is no yogi guru but will attest to the benefits of my rekindled relationship with yoga. Go get em grasshopper. And then back down to the kitchen, minus the tension, to clean up before dinner. On to the pie…

This nut crust consisted of 2 cups of ground nut meal- which came from making almond milk. I finally tired of tossing organic nut meal to the chickens. The last few batches I dried in the dehydrator at about 125° for a couple hours, then whizzed it in the vitamix. And no, that pear has nothing to do with the pie.

greens pie @wendyellenthomas.com 2014-5

So 2 cups almond meal, 1/2 cup of fresh ground walnuts, 1/3 cup coconut oil, a pinch of salt, 1 egg and about 1/4 cup of water. I mixed it by hand and pressed it into the pie dish. And don’t go expecting some light, flaky quiche crust because you will be sorely disappointed. This is a healthy, nutty and for sure tasty bottom to your greens.

greens pie @wendyellenthomas.com 2014

The wads of greens came from the garden. Beet greens and chopped stems, 3 varieties of kale, 4 cloves of garlic, an overgrown green onion and a little salt. I’d call it a very big bowl full. These guys really cook down. I tossed in 4 eggs to help bind it a little. And I topped the pie with a little fresh goat cheese.

There’s no proper recipe here- that would probably delay this post another couple weeks. It’s here to perk your interest and give you something to work from.

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Here’s to feet on the ground and peaceful moments in the mind as the wind blows.

Happy Fall.

And now for your four legged smile moment. Otis taking on cardboard…

Otis takes on cardboard-3Otis takes on cardboard-2Otis takes on cardboardOtis takes on cardboard-4Otis takes on cardboard-5

And I can’t resist adding this on- the goats new play thing. Building them solid blocks this fall is also on the list instead of makeshift furniture with no purpose.

Sept garden Sept garden-2

Officially the end.

savory galette: ham, chèvre, leeks

Savory Galette-wendyellenthomas.com-17We rang in a quiet but lovely New Year’s Eve this year here on Orcas Island. A little food and drink at our local favorite wine and tapas bar, The Barnacle, in Eastsound and then a drive past a couple options of music and dance. Pausing near the front entrance, with the music escaping and small groups of people laughing, milling in, out and about, filled our social card for the night. A movie and a split of champagne would fulfill our needs.

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