Monday, March 27, 2017

March Photo A Day 27 - Eat

Today's March Photo A Day prompt is "Eat" so I thought I would show you what I've been eating lately. The Cashew Smoothie Bowl above was yesterday's "Second Breakfast" (yes, I am secretly a Hobbit.)  

In the summer, we eat almost exclusively "farm fare" fresh from the garden.  We go out and harvest, come in and preserve, and eat whatever is at hand.  We eat a lot of salads in the early summer, and a lot of tomatoes in the late summer, and a lot of squash from harvest in autumn until they run out or go bad in the root cellar.

At this time of year, there are still a few good spaghetti squash in the root cellar, and still some canned goods on the shelves in the canning room.  We even have a small "salad patch" growing in a tray under full-spectrum lights.  However, I get a little tired of the storage foods about now. The truth is that the first breath of spring air elicits in me a craving for food pulled straight from the garden.

I clipped fresh thyme today, as I have several times this winter, and I see that chives and sorrel will be available in small quantities soon.  In the meantime, I have been trying to add something new and fresh to my cooking repertoire to hold me over until the early harvests from this year's garden.

A few weeks ago, I had a "smoothie bowl" (a thick smoothie that you eat with a spoon, rather than drink) at a restaurant, and I have been wanting to recreate that at home.  I was home alone all day Sunday, so it was a perfect day to experiment and not worry about forcing anyone else to eat the results of my innovations.  I shouldn't have worried, because my Cashew Smoothie Bowl was delicious! 

The "Un-recipe" follows (because I am a "little bit of this, little bit of that, type of cook!)

Cashew Smoothie Bowl

Soak in water overnight
  •  1 1/2 cups of raw cashews


Blend (in food processor or high power blender)
  • Cashews
  • 1/4 cup fresh water
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Pure Almond or Vanilla Extract (1/8 tsp or to taste)
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 2 bananas

Top with fun extras.  I used (from left to right in photo)
  • Roasted lightly salted sunflower seeds
  • Blueberries
  • Black Chia Seeds
  • Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Eat with a spoon!

Today's Second Breakfast was a variation on a theme. My Avocado & Greens Smoothie Bowl was topped with unsweetened coconut, strawberries, mandarin orange wedges, and walnuts.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Stroll - Three Days of Rain (Photo A Day 26 - Team)

There is a break in the rain.  
Quick!  Pull on your boots, and come with me,
with my one dog sled team, out beyond the still half-frozen swamp
deep into the quiet wood.

We will step over the lingering snow,

while far over head the crows wheel and circle,
keeping guard.

Past the little rivulets and streams that run only in the spring,

to the secret heart of the woods,
where even in the bleak days of early spring,
we can find some green.

We will walk a lazy circuit through these soggy acres,
down to the edge of swamp,
where the frogs are still sleeping with their toes buried in mud.

What do you think?  
Should we take off our boots and dip our toes in the icy water?

As we head back home,
we will look up into the mist and gloom 
of this rainy gray afternoon,
and we  will see that the robins have returned.

(Use your imagination!  But, there really are several robins in the tree in this grainy gray photo!)

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you good company.

March Photo A Day 25 - Flat

Nature teaches more than she preaches. 
There are no sermons in stones. 
It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral. 

~ John Burroughs

Today's Photo a Day prompt was "Flat."  This, for me, was the most difficult prompt thus far.  First of all, it was difficult to think of something flat, that would be fun to photograph.  Now, when I was a girl, I had wildflowers pressed between the yellow pages of a very fat phone book.  These days, though, I leave the flowers growing in the field and take photos of them.  The region around me is not flat, but consists of gentle rolling hills.  Neither is the lake flat today, when the wind is cold and choppy. Instead, the lake is filled with churning blue waves, with white flags upon their crests.

Just the other day, when we walked the icy shoreline, I found a few small stones, one of which is very flat. So here is my subject, I thought.  However, I then encountered the other difficulty with this prompt. My inexpensive phone was not adequate for taking these photos, without the ability to focus carefully or to select a macro setting.

These are called Petoskey stones, and unless they are wet, they appear nearly monochromatic gray. They may be polished, but not tossed around in a rock tumbler, for they will disintegrate. I once believed that they were unique to our region, for they are named after a nearby town, as well as after a historic Ottawa chief who once lived in this region.  Alas, Wikipedia tells me that they are also found elsewhere in the United States, as well as in Canada, England, Germany and even somewhere in Asia.

Are you a rock hound?  I try to keep my sampling to a minimum on my nature walks, but sometimes a little talisman is hard to resist.  When I have admired them long enough, perhaps I will scatter some of them along the shoreline again for someone else to discover.  What rocks are unique or interesting in your area?  We have several others that I am learning to recognize.  I love to walk the beach in a light rain on a warm summer afternoon, because the colors and patterns of the rocks glisten brilliantly.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy in your surroundings.

More about the photo a day challenge here.  Tomorrow's prompt is Team.
Quote from

Sunday Stroll Invitation

We are on the third day of all-day rain and drizzle. If I walk at all, it will be a soggy plod through deep puddles! I hope your weather is more inviting than mine!

The weather has also put a damper on my rural satellite internet, so yesterday's Photo A Day post is in limbo on my desktop computer and I am writing on my phone with it's tiny screen and limited data allowance!

However, if you stroll today, please leave me a note so I can come by for a visit as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I am cleaning house and watching through the windows for a break in the clouds.

Click here to join Steve out on the cold Prairie for an early Springtime Stroll.

Friday, March 24, 2017

March Photo A Day 24 - I feel...

cozy. It has been an all day rain. Indoors, a low fire is glowing. I have a warm mug of tea at hand. It's not even 7pm, and I am already relaxed and comfy in my flannel pajamas. I am about to delve into Braiding Sweetgrass, a book I've been meaning to read for quite some time.

On the other hand, Micah, as you can see, prefers to sit out in the rain. He chose to sit on the upper deck, rather than under a roof, so he can survey the rain-washed garden. Someone has to keep an eye on things you know!

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you all the comforts of home.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March Photo A Day 23 - Tired

Are you tired of seeing photos of my ice and snow?
I am, but here are some (phone) photos of it anyway, 
since today's prompt is "Tired!"
  We braved the icy shoreline
 and made our way 
to a hidden stretch of shale beach.

Walking away from the cold wind on the beach, 
and hking up through the quiet woodland, 
to the lane on the ridge
we found little treasures;
last autumn's pine cones,
and last summer's bird nests.

As we walked, 
we planned a picnic for warmer days,
on the shale bluffs,
overlooking Lake Michigan,
under the tall towers of Black Spruce.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you serenity.

More about the Photo A Day Challenge here.  Tomorrow's prompt is "I feel..."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March Photo A Day 22 - Work

For today's prompt, I am going to link to an old favorite post of mine.  Yesterday's photo was taken by one of my daughters, so perhaps that is not strictly in keeping with the intent of the challenge.  The post I am linking to today contains only my own photography, from a garden I worked in once upon a time.

If I tell you that this past weekend, my farmer and I took our granddaughter (along with her parents) to see the new live action movie of Beauty and the Beast, you may understand why I was drawn to this old post.  The little narrative that goes along with it tells you who was working in that old butterfly garden along with me.  I hope you will link over to read a very short story, entitled While the Wild Wind Blows.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy in your work.