For those of you who are new here, I linked a zillion of my older posts below. Most are recipes or tutorials, so click through and bookmark or pin them for later if you are interested!
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We spent most of yesterday bouncing between the sunny backyard, the garden, and the kitchen. I was determined to be at ease and to have fun – alone or with my kids – throughout the day. A lovely contrast to the dark day before. So that meant that I was mostly in the kitchen.
The day started with Sage setting to work on homemade butter. When the butter was done I made ricotta from the cultured buttermilk. (Much to Lupine's delight. This is her favorite cheese ever. She's joyfully eating a bowl of it even as I type this morning.)
The night before I had taken a bit of mama time while Pete put the kids to bed. To clear my head and pull myself together. I went foraging and rhubarb picking out in the country. I came home with plenty of rhubarb, loads of nettles, and a couple of hand-fulls of watercress. I do so love it here. That I can set off grouchy at 7 PM, fill a cooler with free food, and then sit and meditate creek-side to the sound of coyotes in the hills as the sun (and my angst) slips away. So much gratitude.
The foraging led to nettle drying, watercress pondering (I'm thinking dahl with watercress and spinach for lunch today), and the first canning of the season. Lupine and I made ginger-rhubarb syrup (for fizzy drinks in the summer). The solids we strained out of the syrup were sweetened a bit and canned up for rhubarb sauce.
There was something transformational about pulling out jars and lids and my canning pot and beginning once more to put food by. It was only eight half-pints all together, but it was satisfying just the same. The pantry has been steadily emptying all through the winter, and now it is time to begin to fill it again. I can't wait to see what new recipes find their way into our rhythm this season. (Feel free to link your favorites in the comments!)
Truly, lifting out those jars was the highlight of my day.
After canning we decided to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Well, sort of. The meatballs were made of beef from a friend's farm, the red sauce was from another friend's pantry (we did a pantry trade this winter after I ran out of tomatoes. We swapped canned tomatoes, sauces, salsa, and a chicken for pickled beets, jam, some frozen elderberries, cumin bean pickles, and more. How awesome was that?), and the "noodles" were just zucchini, transformed with this snazzy cutter.
Dinner was early because of a 5 PM appointment, so when we came home just before bedtime we had a snack and then cranked homemade rhubarb ice cream for "dinner". The kids were over the moon that they got to have ice cream for dinner (that 3:45 meal felt like lunch to them) and everyone worked hard to turn our fresh raw cream and rhubarb into a sweet and dreamy treat. (The only modification I made to the recipe in the link is that we reduced the honey by 1/3 and added some stevia. While I prefer the taste of the straight honey, my kids and their teeth are better served by less sweets.)
Today we'll spend with some unschooling friends doing chemistry experiments, scavenger hunts, and costume play (if history is any indicator of how today will go). And we're all looking forward to it. We'll also be making cheese today. More cottage and perhaps mozzarella. My fridge is bursting with milk!
Oh, yes. Messy kitchen season is back.
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In reflection to yesterday's post, thank you. I love you. For real. In so many ways I write here for you, but in truth I guess I write here for me too. Maybe mostly for me. And revealing that shadow side and being met with love and acceptance was freeing. Thanks for sharing your own shadows in the comments. Big hugs to you all. What an amazing community.