Monday, June 10, 2013
I've been distracted lately. Distracted and un-centered. Distracted, un-centered and unsettled. You see, my elderly mom fell and broke a hip at the end of April, had surgery and is now in rehab some 300+ miles from my home. She'll be discharged soon. The next phase of the journey involves moving her from New York state to assisted living here in Connecticut. I've been traveling between here-n-there and will be doing so again before the pieces fall into place. I have travel, care-giving, sorting and packing to manage this coming week.
I returned home from my most recent travels late Thursday. Friday kicked off with research, calls, follow-ups, bills (hers and mine) but then quickly dissolved into a need to rest. So I did. Friday is a blur, but I know I made calls and managed to get more plants into the earth.
Sunday, however, coalesced into a day that I needed. A day that I deserved. I managed to get some early morning planting done in the garden. I made a batch of black currant preserves and a batch of black currant-citrus peel-n-rosehips preserves (which is rockin' my world). I got down to The Artists at Whiting Mills for their Open Studio. I processed a batch of kombucha. I made time to catch up in my art journal. I sat with Nature and gazed into everythingness. I did more evening planting and even got half of the tomato stakes in. It was a productive day. An enjoyable day.
Today feels totally different.
There are things I want to do, and things I need to do, and yet I feel my will wavering today. I'd prefer to crawl under a rock. Know what I mean?
All the same, I've stacked the papers that need follow-through in a neat and organized pile to work through. I've started page-prep in my heART journal for the days ahead. I've sipped coffee. And still, my motivation wavers.
So … sharing is an activity that motivates me, inspires me, so I share with you my recipe (such as it is) for the currant preserves I made yesterday.
Black Currant Preserves
12 cups black currants (mine were frozen from last year's harvest)
9 cups cane sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Optional (I added these to half my batch)
generous handful of dried rosehips
modest handful of dried orange rind
small handful of dried lemon rind
Combine ingredients (organic, please) in a heavy bottom pot, bring to a boil, stirring all the while. Lower heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, to desired thickness (I kept mine quite soft, good to use on toast or mix easily in yogurt). Sterilize your jars, pack them, and process them in a hot water bath for a time suited to your jar sizes.
Thank you for allowing me to share. It is Good Medicine that you offer. Go now, take your Medicine, and share something. Ashe.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Today I inventoried and cleaned my pantry and was pleased with all the food, still on hand, that I've put away over the past year or two. I reorganized and consolidated the shelves to make ready for the 2013 preserves and to support using what's oldest first. I also organized my empty canning jars by size, mouth-size, bail or screw lid.
So I made ready for the first of this season's preserves and placed the loving jars of rhubarb preserves, grape jelly and cranberry jelly that I made yesterday on their place in the pantry cabinet. All are delicious, by the way.
I modified last year's recipe for the rhubarb preserves by doubling the amount of rosehips and orange peel, and I'm very happy with the outcome. Here's what I did:
Rhubarb Preserves - 7 pints
16 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 cup dried rose hips
1/2 cup dried orange peel
4 cups cane sugar
Combine in a pot, cover and let sit for 8-12 hours. Bring to boil. Simmer until soft. Pack into half-pint/pint jars. Seal. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Let cool. Check the seal. And enjoy!
Posted by Rosemari Roast at 5/29/2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Well, it's rhubarb season here on my little acre, so today I started a batch of tried-n-true rhubarb preserves (which my neighbor has dubbed "rhubalade"). It will sit overnight to be processed tomorrow. It already smells good. And tastes good. More on that tomorrow.
I'm always seeking new things to do with rhubarb, since I have so much of it, and today I discovered a recipe for picked rhubarb on spoon fork bacon. So I took that recipe and adapted it to try out a small batch. I'll taste a jar in a couple-few weeks to see how I like it and if it is worthy of keeping with-r-without further adaptations. Here's my adapted recipe:
10 cups rhubarb, cut into 1” pieces
1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/3 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 teaspoon cumin, ground
4 teaspoon chili flakes
1 star anise - to each jar
5 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup kosher salt
2/3cup granulated cane sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
2/3cup granulated cane sugar
Sterilize 7 pint jars and lids.
Clean and cut rhubarb, set aside.
Measure vinegar and water into a pot.
Measure mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes and add to the vinegar/water pot. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then simmer until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved.
Spoon the rhubarb into your sterilized jars, fill with the hot liquid and spices, add one star anise to each pint. Remove air bubbles and cap. Process in a hot water bath for about 20 minutes.
Yeah. That's what I made today.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Today I attended a gathering with some of the most amazing women I know. It's a business meeting, but one that holds the utilitarian and mysterious together in such a holistically natural way. I've never experienced this before. I almost skipped the meeting, but was so glad that I dragged myself to it, for the expressions shared there nourished and motivated me in ways that were much needed.
Not that I knew it at the time.
Much like the wild strawberry blossom that is what it is in the moment, without thought of the berry it will become.
I am glad and grateful for the buds and blossoms in my world. I am glad and grateful for the fruits that make manifest. I am glad and grateful for these relationships that I have in my life.
Posted by Rosemari Roast at 5/17/2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Today I made art in my art journal and splashed a little paint on canvas. I carved out a block of time to take photographs, edit them and prepare them for phase II of action. I made a nutritional herbal blend for myself so that I may reach for on jar off the herb shelf instead of three. I made plans.
And now I'm making an announcement and offering an invitation to my regional friends to join me on an eight-week journey of soul, heart and art!
Next tuesday I'll be facilitating the first session of the holistic and artful journey into the question, "Who Am I?" So if you ever find yourself asking that question you might want to join us at The Phoenix Rising Center in Thomaston, CT for this introspective, expressive and creative workshop.
As we explore the query, "Who Am I?" we'll be expressing our discoveries through the magic of mixed media art. This is a workshop that is perfect for those with art experience as well as for those who have never created with paint, pens, collage and the like. Each week you'll go home with an artful expression of your Self … and you'll likely be inspired to create on your own between classes!
So if you're in the region I hope you'll join us. The eight-week workshop is only $140 and you have so much to gain by taking it ~ mixed media skills, enhanced self-awareness and appreciation, and anything in between.
Contact Doreen at The Phoenix Rising Center to learn more and to register at 860.294.1156 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Today was moving day. The snow is finally gone from our little acre, so today we moved the chickens from their winter garden spot to their summer space in the lower part of our back yard. The Boy was quite proud of his DYI wheels. Just sayin'. He did most of the heavy hauling and I documented the event, as you can see. But hey, I did some lifting, pushing and lugging too, but mostly coop traffic control.
The ladies were curious (as they tend to be) about the changes and the homemade wheels.
Once one side of the pen was removed and the ladies wandered off, the ark started its journey south. Literally.
We live on a south-facing slope, and their summer location is peppered with above-ground maple roots, so positioning the ark so it was level and the door would properly open was important. Don't want undue stress on those hinges, ya know.
So, no … the door won't fall and lay nicely.
Gotta move it touch this way.
And a touch that way.
A little forward.
And that should do it.
Does the door open nicely?
Next up is the fencing around the main vegetable garden so I can start planting seed and putting in some seedlings … without the ladies helping themselves to the delicious, young greens and scattering the seed wherever they're inspired to scratch.
So, yeah … moving day. That's what I (we) made today. Peace.
Posted by Rosemari Roast at 4/10/2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I can hardly believe that in less than a week I'll be sharing my passion for play and uninhibited artful creation at The Phoenix Rising Center in Thomaston, CT.
You see, I'll be facilitating an 8-week workshop centered around the pure play of creating beautiful, rich, multi-layered mixed-media art … art that can be used for foundation backgrounds for further artful expressions, and we'll touch on some of those options, too. I'm really looking forward to this, because anyone can create these luscious, textured pieces, regardless of experience. And what I mean by that is even if you've never played with paint, collage or the like … or haven't since you were a child, you can let go and let your playful Muse out to manifest some beauty that you create with your hot little hands! And heart.
So if you're in the area, consider joining us. It's going to be great fun! All you need to do is contact Doreen at The Phoenix Rising Center (call to reserve your space.
I hope you will.
I'd love to make some artful play with you!
Posted by Rosemari Roast at 4/03/2013