Thursday, February 11, 2016

I Am Become Spring

Last year's poinsettia is blooming now.
I like to say that there is magic in a seed. Plant it, and it will yield any combination of flowers, fruit, root, leaf, and seed that we can enjoy and consume, and it will nourish us. But also, we can save just one seed from that magical plant, and grow another. One plant can make hundreds, or even thousands of itself.

And this is why I grow: it's an act of faith. One gift I've received from growing is a real appreciation for the bleakness of winter. Under cold and snow and mud and stark winter skies, seeds and plants take nourishment from the earth. Dormant is still active; it's just a different pace, a different exchange of energy and nutrients.

Today, it is spring.
Winter is all about growth. 
Having finally connected with this truth, I find myself growing now all year long. Outside, winter vegetables grow (albeit slowly) in their low tunnels. Little carrots, radishes, and beets are all nestling under earth and straw, and the cold does not scare them. Inside, I watch hundreds of tiny seedlings start their journey. They will become nourish us, literally becoming part of me, part of my children, part of my friends. Talk about a Holy Communion.

I am a priestess of husbandry. I hold a seed from last summer's tomato in my hand, and I conjure July.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

That ain't jaundice: Turmeric Facial Mask

The skin on our faces is exposed to more of the harsh winter weather than everything that gets covered with mittens and scarves, so I decided to give mine a little extra nourishment this January.

Your skin is your largest organ, so know what you put on it....just like what you eat becomes part of you (literally), what you put on your skin is absorbed by your body. My mask is actually edible, so you could actually have a healthy snack if you make enough (I did not actually try this yet).

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Yogurt provides zinc, B vitamins, lactic acid, and calcium. Honey is full of antioxidants, and is natural moisturizer for skin. I added a little oil because my skin tends to be dry. If you don't have yogurt, whole milk is a good substitute.

Mix 1 tsp ground turmeric with +1 tsp plain yogurt + 1 tsp raw honey + 1 tsp nourishing oil. I used avocado oil, but coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and olive oil are all good options. Apply to face and let dry (about 15-20 minutes). Rinse well with warm water and a *washcloth.

*Remember that, while turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, it is sometimes used as a natural food-coloring agent (I sometimes add it to mac&cheese, for example, just for color). I recommend a dark or orange washcloth.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Let the glazing commence!

Glazed Carrots

Peel carrots and slice about 1/4-inch thick. Place in large, shallow skillet with enough to water just to cover. Add a generous pinch of salt and a good amount of butter. Bring to a simmer, and cook until carrots are easily pierced with a sharp knife. 

Remove carrots from pan with a slotted spoon, and continue to cook until liquid is reduced to a glaze. 

Remove from heat, return carrots to pan, mix to coat, and check seasoning. Serve immediately, or at room temperature (and this batch of leftovers was delicious in some shrimp/sausage fried wontons).