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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Fisk!

Nam nam fisk!

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(Dulce, with some apologies to John Rutter)

There has been cleaning and packing and painting
Dust and fur tumbleweeds vacuumed away
Momma has wrestled a piece of the forest
Into the parlor and now decorates.

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Gloria! Gloria!
Who is this person?
Gloria! Gloria!
What’s with this tree?
Gloria! Gloria!
This is quite confusing
There’s all this fuss, but it’s not about me.xmastree2016-decorated

I like the smell of this piece of the forest
I like the taste of the fruitcake and cheese
I like the people who offer to scritch me
They all seem tame and seem eager to please.ember-expects-xmasdinner2016

Gloria! Gloria!
Why inflate this mattress?
Gloria! Gloria!
It’s in my way!
Gloria! Gloria!
Out of Momma’s office!
Go sing more songs about babies in hay.

After the fussing, the feasting, and singing
After the guests have fin’lly gone away
Momma and Other Mom sit sipping eggnog
Smiling at sparklies and watching me play.

ember-upsidedown-redcouch

Gloria! Gloria!
Eggnog and day old!
Maybe that isn’t quite
What all they say?
Gloria! Gloria!
Someone was born!
Gloria! Gloria!
I can sleep near Momma
The house is quiet
And Momma is warm.

ember-arm-zzz

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In light of the fact that we can typically get raspberries from our yard in December, I’m thinking more and more about an edible hedgerow.  Raspberries, beautyberries [native], maybe more quince…

If I do, chances are, I’ll order from Nourse Farms…. Unless you have some suggestions for me…?

Heck, maybe a rose known for its hips rather than its blossoms might be fun, too.

UPDATE: A helpful friend sent this image of “a rose with hips”:

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That friend, of course, did not have to live through wearing the massively-flowered dresses of the late 80s/early 90s.  Mine were at least knee-length though….

Here’s hoping the rest of the winter is temperate enough that the figs don’t get frozen to their roots again.  I miss having handfuls of figs to eat in late summer.

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Seriously.  People grumble about weather in the 40s and this is happening down the block:

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I should be grateful at least evening looks about right:

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There were bees out today.  I’m happy for them being able to get a last snack or two, but really.  BEES?

Fine.  Click through to some hysterical Torch Songs in which the word ‘Me’ has been replaced by “Bees”.

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Some kids just like sticks.  Sticks to carry around, sticks to walk with, imaginary javelins, machetes, any number of THINGS that a child might need to be able to wield…

Sticks-CloseupMy walk to school was along paved streets and through reasonably-well-manicured patches of gardens, but still, I could find a stick when I wanted one to carry as I walked to school.  Sometimes I’d store favorite walking sticks in the scraggly boxwood shrub just at the edge of the local dentist’s office property. That as as close as you could get to school property; the bush grew right against the concrete berm which held the posts of the school’s chain-link fence.

At home, sticks were even more functional — my father used his real machete to trim branches from trees down into stakes for tomato plants, zucchini, eggplants, loofa squash [that never set fruit, but it was fun to keep trying]…. sugar snap peas, morning glories…. These sticks were much taller, and had sharpened points to enable them to be set deeply enough to hold the vines and trellises.  Local spiders were fond of these structures as well, and the neighbors knew that flashlights shining in our yard on a summer’s evening meant not that there were burglars, but that we were out watching webs being built and moths being caught.

Now the tables turn a bit — I have crabapple, oak, chokecherry, river birch, and maple trees that need pruning, and my parents didn’t take the stakes with them when they moved — so what you see above is a sampling of the stakes I brought them.  Granted, I may also need to bring them some decent dirt, too, but the gardening continues…

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It is sour cherry season. When I can find them, I bring them home, and Word makes wonderful pies.

Wonderful, but brief…

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ChickenVeggiesRoastedQuinceI’d found the last batch of roasted quince to be a bit on the dry side, and was wondering what could be done to use it in a safer way [for me and my tempermental esophagus].  Using it as a bed for roasting chicken seemed a good idea.  We had some new purple sweet potatoes to try, and so after tossing the diced veggies and quince in a little flavored olive oil, I came up with a mix of spices I thought would harmonize nicely:  paprika, lavender, thyme, fennel seed…some garlic-scape salt….

The oven had been preheated to 375, the chicken was defrosted in the microwave, all the ingredients layered in a square Pyrex baking pan…splashed with some ice wine/brandy mix, and popped in the oven for an hour.

Word declared it FOOD, and insisted I write up the ‘recipe’.  So.  There.  It’s bedtime now.

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RedQuinceBlossomsI was just down in the kitchen, cleaning up the ceramic baking pan in which Word was roasting quince tonight.  I’ll let her give whatever recipe there was — I think it was just “Buy big yellow quince at the store.  Wash and chop into small cubes, removing the center core and seeds. Put in baking pan with a little water.  Bake.” — but ask her to be sure.

The blossoms that led to those big yellow quince probably are not as brilliantly colored as these, although we have gotten the occassional quince from the shrubs bred up for ornamental purposes.  You need to add a lot of sugar to those before you get a taste other than tannin in your mouth, although they smell heavenly…..

Anyway, we’d had nibbles of the roasted quince, and I offered to put the remainder away for tomorrow, but wanted to use a different container, so I wouldn’t have to wait until the ceramic cooled off enough to put safely into the fridge [It’s the glass shelves I worry about, not the ceramic!]… As I lifted the parchment lining out, I found a shallow pool of caramelized quince syrup, which I quickly mopped up with a few quince slices and devoured. Om nom nom nom….

“Well,” said Word, “To the cleanup person go the spoils…”

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It’s been a while since anything labled a “Television Event” actually struck me as something I needed or wanted to pay attention to.  I know that these are occassions during which something or other will be ratcheted up, and generally I don’t care for ratcheting.

Besides, I have saffron rolls that Word made for me!  Little Lucia-day saffron rolls with bits of dried cherry in them.  Little bits of midsomer sun for midwinter munching…

And outside, there are still plenty of aster seeds and other goodies for the hop-pop birdies:

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