Homemade Cold Brew

Cold brew, folks! You CAN make your own for about the same amount of time it takes to brew you regular warm cuppa. I make it for myself all summer long. And it is so good that I’ve been over-caffeinating myself as of late. Let me share with you how to enhance your life with this quick and easy method + some pointers.

Simple Pleasures

But that confidence - that confidence that made me certain of my courage, that made me feel weightless and boundless and free - that confidence feels muted in comparison to how it once was. And I miss it.

Maybe that’s because that is how it is supposed to be. Maybe that is youth. Maybe that is mostly just dangerous and improbable. So it dulls with time to protect us and ours. Maybe this confidence I feel now - a greater confidence in who I AM, my worth, what I have to offer and contribute - is a trade off for that wildness that once was. I guess we shall see. But I’ve been thinking about it.

Garden Salsa

It is that time - fresh salsa time! We are being *happily* buried in tomatoes over here, and what better a way to enjoy them in some homemade salsa that you can heap on any and everything.

Here is a super simple, quick recipe. And it freezes great. Just thaw it out and you have a year round fresh snack.

Simple Pleasures

For me, weather feels like a time travel. A particular quality of air, a certain smell of plant on a breeze, the temperature that either makes my skin bead with sweat or prickle with goosebumps - my mind flashes with recollections, my heart pangs tenderly with nostalgia. It is said that smells do this to us, ignite our senses to trigger memory - but, I think the weather rivals the olfactory. 

Today, My Baby is Four

My baby - she barely fits in my lap anymore. At night, when she is buzzing from the day and needs for me to hold her, to ground her so that she may ease into rest. Her long limbs spill over mine. I cradle her in my arms still. Determined not to tremble with fatigue under her reliance on me. Gravity, nature, pulls her precious weight away from me with greater force each day more that she has to grow on this planet.

My girl. Four years young today. A glorious day, and my heart aches the bittersweet ache of a great love, a love still somehow growing as even more of her emerges.

July Homestead Update!

Hi from my summer hiatus!

It has been a busy month since I have last posted anew, and I’m eager to be back and share what we have been up to. Life has been full of travel, connecting with loved ones, tackling projects, expanding our orchard, and managing the summer bounty that is abloom.

Here is a little (mostly photo) update of what life has been looking like

Simple Pleasures

I’m in full on Pride mode this week! I’ve been doubling down on my queer culture reading, documentary watching, music listening, art seeking, researching, and idolizing my LGBTQ elders, movers, shakers, and community members.

This part of me, this community, makes my life rich, dynamic, and special. I’m grateful for it everyday, and wouldn’t give it up for the world. 

I hope you all have community you feel your belonging to deep in your bones.

Simple Pleasures

Another fresh morning… If ever I am wondering “what to do? what to do?” This nugget of wisdom never fails to give me guidance. 

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

A Simple, Effective way to Protect your Garden

Grow tunnels, aka Hoop Houses or Row Covers, are brilliant! 

Why? Grow Tunnels are a cheap and easy way to protect your garden investment and bring it to the next level. You can extend your growing season in either direction by a month or more. It provides shade from the boiling sun. Acts as a wind break in a storm. And they protect your garden from all sorts of pests - deer, birds, flea beetles, slugs..

Simple Pleasures

I came across this concept a month or two ago - overwhelm is a form of self-importance. Now, I don’t think that is universally true. There is genuine anxiety and panic, and there are moments, particularly as a mother to a small child, when demands that stretch you painfully thin are necessity. However, reflecting on this idea when I am in the throws of overwhelm, I have found truth in this idea. I have found that quite a bit of it is my own aggrandizing. Life will not come to a halt should I delay doing some task on a long list. The world will not stop turning if I say “enough” and call it quits on working for the day, or cancel a plan.

Homemade Falafel

This is my third garbanzo bean based recipe that I have posted, because anything chickpea is DELICIOUS, in my humble opinion. We eat them like grapes in this house. They pack 15 grams of plant protein and 14 grams of dietary fiber per cup of cooked beans. Traditional Falafel is a vegan Arab food. This recipe is a variation pretty near to traditional preparation.

Simple Pleasures

“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly, it is your masterpiece after all.”

Anytime I am in doubt about the choices that I am making, it reminds me that for as long as my heart is beating, and my mind is moving, that I have a choice and a chance to make another change. It keeps me remembering that I shouldn’t be fearful to continue trying new things, following new paths, uncovering new truths. This life is the real deal. This is not a trial run. This is the masterpiece.

What is the Point?

It is about so much more than food - it is about nourishing the earth, our connections, our intellect, our creativity, our resilience - it is about feeding your soul.

That’s the way I see it. This is what it’s all about. These are the bits of life that I carry dearest in my heart. The values I find most important to nurture to pass on to my daughter. 

Thank you for being here with your big, beautiful minds. Thank you for pulling up a chair for this subversive gathering of sorts.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

My wife wanted bleu cheese dressing this week, so I found an incredible chunk of bleu cheese and made a pint. It literally takes five minutes of preparation and five minutes of cleanup. And assuming you have the basics like sour cream, milk, vinegar - that you can dip into a bit - then the cost really only runs you the price of 3 oz. cheese. 

Simple Pleasures

This thing I thought ridiculous before, so quickly proved to not be cheesy in the least, but to be a catalyst to a mindset shift. It started out as sitting down at the end of a day to reflect on what bits I was grateful for. And now I realize, I no longer have to reflect so pointedly, because this has become the lens with which I now view. I feel the appreciation and reverence for these bits wash through me in real time. As they’re happening I am able to see them for the wonders that they are.

How much Money you save Growing a Garden (it's A LOT)

We are able to feed our family a delicious, organic, GMO-free, plant based, locally produced diet for less than $200/month. How do we do this? Over a six mo. growing season in 750 sq. ft. of earth we are growing almost $4,000 worth of organic produce, accounting for about 75% of our food.

Do you have a piece of earth that is about 25’x30’? If so, you could do something similar!

Do you only have space to build a single 30 square foot bed? You can grow more than $400 worth of fresh herbs and greens. Or $500 worth of strawberries!

Tarragon Chickpea Salad

This is such a wonderful spring salad! It takes only ten minutes of preparation until it is ready for you to eat. And it has minimal cleanup. Eat on a salad of greens or as a sandwich with sprouts. We like to pair it with fruit - pears, strawberries, oranges - it all goes wonderfully.

Motherhood, a Love Letter

I remind myself often that the great work of motherhood is to show up and love my child the way that she needs to be loved. There is no single way to mother best, but there is one way to mother your unique child best. And I hope against all hope that when my girl one day loses her way and drifts from me, that I can meet her where she is to offer her guidance and help her back. And if I can not, I hope that I have tethered her so that she may find her own way back. Back to herself. Back to her mother's love.