Sunday, April 26, 2009

wheat, beets, and carrots

here's the picture of that salad. it's delicious warm, with salt & pepper and oil & vinegar.

the beets take over and make everything pink, even the carrots. but the beets have a nice mellow flavor.

be sure to soak the wheat overnight before cooking it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

april showers

walked home from tutoring in the light rain. lovely gray day today, following a beautiful sunny weekend.

i have a picture of the beet recipe below now, as we made it again today. i'll get it to the computer and onto this blog eventually. i don't like fussing with all that technology.

my garden has made some slow progress, although it seems my soil is pretty bad, and i have been terribly blocked as to how to address it. yesterday i finally bought a bag of soil marked organic, as most others seem to have built in fertilizers. i'm hoping to use it to get some more seedlings going a little more healthily.

i've had many ponderings of late. i could write about any one of them, but sometimes they seem more like lessons i need to learn and less essays to be written.

today i was thinking:

anything that makes it seem like life is easy is an illusion, because the truth is that life is complicated and messy and difficult, even if there are moments of stunning beauty almost every day.

i feel like lots of tv and advertising and fake stories show this fantasy that things should be neat and easy and clean and orderly and predictable. and we struggle because our experience just isn't so, no matter how hard we try.

i've also been struggling with my attitude towards daily tasks. cooking, washing dishes, sweeping up dust bunnies, tending to finances, chopping vegetables, making bread, laundry. some of these jobs i like, others i want to get out of my way as quickly as possible.

but the truth is that each of these tasks is part of the fabric of my life. and i have to re-think my approach that just wants them to be gone, forever, and out of my mind..

ever so slowly i'm learning to savor the moments of some little task that i used to rush through. maybe not savor, but be mindful in it. and know that these pieces ARE my life, not holding me back from my life.

the art of contentment, of a slow savoring of a life that is actually full of the richest blessings as well as daily challenges--this is what i must learn. even if my old self would like to focus on large, ambitious projects.

1. figuring out which state and which town and what land we might re-locate to
2. building our yurt
3. raising lots of vegetables and
4. learning how to can and preserve them

while i'm at it i'll make this list longer, because the truth is that all of these are good ambitions, and i do value them, and i know eventually we'll get to them.

5. communicating more effectively and kindly in conflict with my husband
6. learning to knit (and possibly spin yarn myself)
7. sew more clothes
8. make a hand-made quilt
9. weave a basket from found twigs
10. make writing a more regular part of my life, and perhaps writing a book someday
11. eventually return to teaching, once i have something more inspiring than algebra to share with students
12. return to woodworking and making bowls, once we are settled in a place and can make workshops
13. learn some german, since it is the language of at least one branch of my ancestry
14. (wow, i should have had this way up my list) find a way to keep our extended families central and close in our lives, even though they are distant geographically.
15. learn about edible wild foods
16. continue to read about natural medicine

so...each practice contentment and yet to make small steps towards some of these ambitions.

Friday, April 03, 2009


i have a huge jar of wheat berries (berries are just wheat grains). we sometimes sprout them and then eat them raw in salads. they are pretty sweet, so they benefit from a vinegary dressing to balance the flavor.

a couple of days ago i put about a cup of them in a bowl with some water and set them on top of the fridge.

today i checked on them and they smelled vaguely fermented (this is actually good). i rinsed them and put them in a pot with diced beets, green peppers, yellow peppers, and carrots. they boiled for a while.

i just learned this trick, where, to save energy, you can get a pot boiling and then cover it, turn it off, and cover it with a couple of dish towels so that it can continue to cook with its own heat.

however today i was hungry and wanted it to cook as quickly as possible so i bailed on that technique, and before it was totally done, i drizzled olive oil, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar over it.

chewy wheat berries, really a delicious warm salad is what i guess it was.

it's all gone now ;)