Thursday, October 22, 2020

First frost and end of season canning

The first frost is upon us.  For some this means the end of gardening for the season, but it's all just a cycle.  The greenhouse has a few plants, and the front garden is waiting this frost so we can harvest some kale.  Kale  is always better after the first frost!

Our pepper season has concluded, and the results are that next year we will be growing more!   The no-depeno was amazing, and the sugar rush peach definitely packed a bit a heat.  
Final products:  Pepper jelly and feisty garden salsa!

The flecks are perfect, we can't wait to dig in!
When all you need are some simple ingredients, you can make wonderful foods.

Cheers to seed saving and next years crop!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

2020 Fall dish experiment, Chicken Marbella

Fall is in the air!  And with each change of season I try a few new dishes.  Tonight, Chicken Marbella.   

Thanks to inspiration online and some local italian plums, we are excited to see how this dish turns out.   

Be adventurous! ENJOY!

Recipe found online here at She wears many hats.   

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The harvest is upon us

The bounty of the season is upon us!  Cold mornings trigger plants to really produce, sugars run higher and we get to finally enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Today is butcher day.  I set the water to boil off,  as I sit and reflect on the day ahead.   I am thankful for the knowledge that they had a good life, were treated with kindness and their harvesting will be dealt with the same.  

Knowing where food comes from is more than just understanding, it's a deep respect we have for them too.   Be blessed today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Finding Hope in a rough year

How has 2020 been for you?   If you are still alive, have a roof over your head, food in your belly, and friends and family to call - then I'd say you're doing pretty good.  The rest is just window dressing.

2020 has been a difficult year for some.  I've not taken the time to make a bunch of posts on the blog this summer.  I have written a hundred different things in my head, even as drafts -  then deleted them.  Let me say it one time - I believe in equality for all, but don't believe all get it.  I believe in personal responsibility and honor to my surroundings (human, animal and otherwise).  I believe that we as a human race can do better for ourselves and our planet.  But I also believe in reasonable goals and acknowledge that it may take many lifetimes to continue towards a peaceful world.  Forward progress is still progress.  If you look back thru history, we've come a long way - but we still have more to do!

So how does that really affect Books N Brew?   I've stayed as a silent witness to many situations this year.  I usually will not speak up in a crowd as I don't like being bullied.  I don't like confrontation very much and would rather walk away then blow up and say some pretty vicious things which I may or may not truly mean.   This right here is my platform.  I don't accept ads for this site, I don't accept endorsements, so I answer only to me.  I choose this space to be free from bullshit or drama or hate.  This is just me, my food, my reading, my friends, my family, and my ideas that are put out to the blogosphere.  Maybe it will reach someone, maybe it won't.  This is a therapy to me to get my words out.    You can read them, you can scroll on by.  That is your choice in life.  

You may be wondering what's been holding me back.  Why haven't I written about this before now?  One word? Anger.   I was so angry at the mob mentality of people that I was seeing online, the social warriors who became bullies to others who didn't believe as they did.  I was angry at people I know pushing others, calling them names and bullying them for not acting out (sorry, bullies of all kinds are not tolerated here).   I was overcome with anxiety just reading news articles about our local and federal governments - not knowing if my job or my husbands job would be secure in the next few years.   I was dealing with swirling emotions as I was staying home, working from home, isolating from family and friends and seeing the "I don't Care" or "I" culture folks who only care about themselves, laugh about being quarantined with too much time on their hands.   I have been disgusted by folks who viciously attack those online when they ask basic questions.  I am tired of people not being courteous as well as I am tired of people not taking initiative and using the correct resources to research their questions.  My heart hurts when people choose to rant and rave about another person / business but make no efforts to talk to the person and or business and try to bring the issues to light.   It's too easy to become inflamed over perceived slights when it could very well be the other party has no clue why you are so upset. What boggles me the most is that our American society has become so self-centered that it's almost unfathomable for many to even think outside of their comfort zone.  

Remind yourself (yes I know it's hard) that others do not have the same experiences as you do.  Try to look at a situation from the other side's perspective.  It's okay to get a little angry at a situation, but don't let it fester.   It's okay to feel anxiety or depression, but if it is stopping or limiting your daily activities or you have a major attack - it's also completely normal to have a chat with your doctor about it.    These feelings and emotions don't make you "crazy", they make you human.  Acknowledging them is the first step, not ignoring them is the next.    We all need a time out sometime and fresh perspective from time to time.   Those are my thoughts, my rant and rave for the summer.    

As for the good parts - due to me working from home, the dog has had lots of attention (he's a bit co-dependent now), we got chickens  (post coming soon!), and even though we've had too much rain in the spring / early summer, the heat finally showed up!  Our tomatoes are now setting fruit, zucchini are pushing into giants, and the best of all, we figured out a way to turn our annual Gumbo house party into a Drive-Thru party!   

If you take away anything from this post - let it be some hope that others are out there feeling just the way you do.  Try to find one positive thing and hold onto it.  Then take that little bit of light, and let it shine for others to see. 


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Soup for spring

The last Tuesday of spring 2020. It has been very wet here in the pacific northwest.  So much that instead of grilling, I have craved soup!  So I indulged. 

Shrimp bisque is one recipe that I follow pretty close.   I have used a recipe I found d at a few times.  It is simply delish!

Wishing warm days, garden growth and more for this last week of spring.