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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Midweek magazines: Food and home notes

Hello everybody.

Well, I must say: I think that these past few days of sunny days are the last ones for the season. I do not think this late October days are going the be bathed in sunshine any more, our little town is walking into the times of foggy mornings and muddy boots.
This is the last call to roll up our sleeves and finish up the work. Yards need to be flat so that the shovel can glide over it as you're managing the snow. The ground needs to be tilled (or at least weed-free), all the tree branches turned into fire-kindle. As for the time ahead of us, one should better pick up some hobby, or get a nice pile of books (or, if TV is you preferred company, I'm sure there's a lot of content there, but I am not the one to write about it, since our TV and your TV are surely completely different in programs available)

To keep this interesting,
hare are some snippets from a booklet I've found on the web:

The thing with macaroni is something I learned as a kid. Grandma was always saying: "Not the whole lot! Put them slowly, and don't you rush, you'll make them all stick to each-other. good food takes time". :)
Have a good mid-week everybody!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Strange lady walking around carrying a basket and picking up wild-fruits - the lost art of foraging

Hello everybody

Last night I have posted images on my Instagram account, from the latest trip into the wild. I went foraging, yes. When I came home I knew I would like to share the experience with the rest of you, but started wondering about what the world might imagine.
When you think of foraging, do you think of a slightly weird, survivalist-type person picking wild mushrooms, making nettles & dandelion stew and eating roadkill?!

There is no road kill here.
Actually, there is no road here. :)

For a someone as childish and picky-fingers like me, this is the best time of year. Step out of my front door, as I live in the country, and I'm never far from something edible. Walking near my home in my small town, I pass some apples, figs, berries, as well as ripening chestnuts and grapes. And, no one planted any of them. They have grown there, from seeds that fell, got their fair share of water, sunshine and peace. The shrubs, grasses and trees just stand there for anyone to harvest, in public streets, parks and scrub-land, and if you don’t help yourself, most will simply feed the pigeons or rot on the ground - completing the cycle of life in silence.

A shrub like this, perfect in every season:
it has hundreds of five-petal blooms in the spring,
the red buds full of goodness in late autumn
and on a sunny October day, like yesterday.. they are ripe & ready. 

Just like farms, nature puts out its biggest bounty in autumn. Foraging is an art, firstly of preservation the nature's resources. The tender ecosystems that we send ourselves into when foraging must be the fist thing on our minds.  destroy the environment by traipsing around on sensitive habitat, and decimate plant populations by greedily over-harvesting. If you’re going to forage, be ethical about it.

Rosa Canina in late autumn:
this is what the Spring flower grows into when left alone
the hips are picked (mind the thorns!), halved and dried
we make tea by boiling the dried hips in mid Winter 
and remind ourselves of the sense of Spring

I am like the vast majority of foragers, and I claim we do do nothing wrong: taking only as much as we can eat and the tree, bush or forest floor can spare. This is how we're showing respect and honoring the world around us. This is what caring is all about.

Please, remember these 3 small rules of foraging:

1. Honor the Law
Most places require permission from the landowner, even from public lands. Failure to get this permission can lead to fines and even jail time. These laws are in place to prevent over-harvesting and disrespectful damage to the land. To protect public land such as parks, roads, and sidewalks, most local governments consider taking plant material a form of vandalism or theft and treat it accordingly.

2. Honor the Land
When you're done foraging, the land you were on should look the same as (or better than) when you arrived. There should be no trace that you were there (but feel free to remove someone else's garbage on the spot) Fill and cover any holes you dig. Don't harvest along trails, go off away from where others walk.

3.Honor the Plant
Never harvest in ways that prevent regrowth/return of the plant. Never tear off leaves or bark; use a sharp knife because clean, smooth cuts heal quickly. Taking a few leaves and fruits from many plants is preferable to all the leaves from one plant.


So, this was a bit different, right?
I hope you don't mind it - and I hope you'll join in on this vintage lifestyle of ours.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Love Story: My broken engagement

Hello everybody

When most people think of coming of the winter, I imagine some of the first things to come to mind are rosy cheeks, self-burning fire, hot beverage and making a snow-man. For me, it much more about a desperate search for water-tight boots, that can handle deep snow, brown puddles and muddy hours while I'm doing much needed outdoor chores (but that’s just life when you live in a climate with heavy-duty winters).
This day, as it is hugged by the curtain of fog has reminded me of that.

To move away from winter-thoughts
I have for you.. the story. :)

I say: I liked the way this went own.
OK, on to my least favorite part of this weather: knowing how long it takes me to get dressed before going outside, with all the layers keeping my body safe and warm.. and knowing that from now on, I'll need to add even more, and more layers. Like an onion, yes. :)
Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Waking up to a rainy day.

Hello everybody.

When it’s raining, do you ever feel like it’s never going to stop?
Studies have shown that people who live in warm, sunny climates are no happier that those in chilly, wet climes. Isolation and inactivity, moping around, listening to sad songs, staying in your pajamas until noon, skipping showers, or watching TV all day, are recipes for more depression and more distress. 

However, rain is a part of Nature's process of growth.  Just like nature needs the rain to grow, we all might need a little rain to relax, slow down and re-charge. I think we need our rainy days to grow, to flourish and to thrive too!
Personally, I like to get up and move.
Just because it's raining, it does not mean there's nothing to do here. It's not a pouring day, so a lot can be achieved, and there is a sense of peace in seeing how the rain darkens garden soil and changes up garden plants.

For those of you who get a bit more romantic and poetic on a rainy day
I have a poem:

I’m quite sure that there is no better feeling in the world than the way you will feel after spending the whole day outside in the rain, followed by a hot bath and then a nice hot cup of cocoa. 
Well, there's something to work hard for.
Have a nice Saturday.