My Sister’s Recipe

It was a day for sisterly cooking.

First of all I prepared a quick and easy recipe my litlsis sent me.  Oddly enough, I cooked it while also scrambling eggs for breakfast so it would be waiting for us when we returned from a TaeKwonDo tournament.  The house filled with the smell of oregano and onion as we packed up our sparring equipment, packed some snacks of almonds and cashews and rehearsed our forms one last time.  The lentils and rice were slowly and surely soaking up all that wonderful smell and taste within a bath of chicken stock.while we kicked, punched and yelled, “Yes Sir!”

For lunch we slipped out of the hot and loud tournament facility to a lovely little cafe nearby which served all organic, local and field raised meat, veggie and grain dishes.  The owner of the cafe was being helped today by her sister and her sister’s children.  Despite child labor laws ; ) our order was taken by a very cheerful and handsome 10 year old boy who was very eager to help his aunt.  He carefully wrote down our order… no abbreviations allowed… and then ran into the kitchen to help prepare the meal.  His mother and his aunt were clearly aligned not only genetically but idealogically as well.  What fun to watch another loving family in action.  I expressed my appreciation to the owner for offering healthy alternatives in a retail sea of grease and sugar.  And I express my appreciation to my own sister as well as she fights the good fight for healthy food for her children and for her community.

Oh, and the lentil and rice casserole is delicious.  A little cheese on top.  Savory, filling, satisfying, and my grown up and getting to be grown up boys loved it as well!

Garden Gear Up

I can’t BELIEVE I am doing this again.  After last year’s near zero production desert stink bug fiasco, I SWORE up and down that I would not plant food again this year.  Something about a warm winter makes it hard to stick to it.  I SWORE I wouldn’t buy any new seeds, only use old seeds….  yeah.  I SWORE I wouldn’t buy any new equipment or planting medium because I would be making all of it myself…  Again, so much for that.  The irony is that so far… and I am taking a HUGE risk by admitting this, so far my seedlings look better than they have ever before.  Last year’s experiments with temperature control and lighting have made a huge difference.  And some quick reading on the internets has convinced me that I have probably been screwing up my vegetables in years past with too much compost and too little other soil… So I suppose what’s happened is that I’m convinced that this time it’s going to be different.  I kind of want to throw up even hearing myself say that; it sounds too much like a toxic relationship.  But, given how I feel about most of what I find at the store, and the fact that I really would rather eat organic if I can, and that the kids asked when we were going to plant the garden…  What do you do with that?  So here I am, with compost and soil in the car and seedlings galore on my improvised light stand, watching my planting calendar (which I got from these amazing ladies). The next few days will be the big push – getting seeds in the ground and getting that ground ready and balanced and healthy. I’m excited… and trying to maintain minimal expectations. Photos of seed starting setup, seedlings, and veggie patch to come!