Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spring Quiche

 Since our farmshare has started up there has been a ritual on Mondays - use up all of last weeks veggies 'cause we're getting more! Many types of veggies come several weeks in a row during their season, so we need to make sure they are getting eating while still fresh.

Right now it's green onions and garlic scapes, fresh herbs and spinach. So I sauteed up the leftovers...

 Then I made a simple pie crust. Flour and butter and a little cold milk. The beets in the background? The chef needs to eat something while working yaknow!

The butter and flour are both Colorado products as well, so this entire meal will be a locavore delight.

 I recently got some lovely little tart pans with the removable bottoms. I cut circles of dough and lined them, I wanted a good thick crust so the quiche will stay together easily.

And any extra dough can be stuffed with your extra filling to make a little pie snack.
 I stuffed them heartily with the mixture of veggies and whipped up some eggs with a little milk. Filled it in with egg, and sprinkled grated Parmesan on top.

 If you want a decedent dish them sprinkle a generous helping of cheese on the bottom first, then put cheese on top. This helps keep the crust flaky, but I never have troubles with soggy quiches.

 Baked to golden perfection! The eggs puff up and capture all the veggies, the cheese crisps on top. The little spinach pie was my tester... om nom nom.

Are you enjoying seasonal goodies? This week we start getting fruit from the Western Slope of Colorado, a perfect dessert!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summertime Crafts

 I just completed a new set of alter clothes for my Grove, these ones are for summer! The springtime ones had flowers on them in bright colors, for these however I chose shades of green and tall stately trees.
 Ok, maybe not stately, they're a little psychedelic actually. The Water alter cloth is a nice teal with rain cloud and evergreen trees.

The Fire cloth is a bright chartreuse with some very Suessical trees under a blazing sun. It was surprisingly fun to sew these funky little trees!
 I also did some yard work today, with an ulterior motive naturally. The Ash in my yard sprouts dozens of suckers each spring, and it was time to clear them away! So I got out the clippers and went to work.

But you don't think I sent them straight to the compost did ya?
 I lay out all the supple branches, and picked out my favorite for a little decorative project. Add one roll of twine and some time on the front porch, force it around into a loop, and twist it tight!

Most Norse legends tell us that the World Tree Ygdrassil that holds up the realms and supports the sky is an Ash. So Ash is thought to have magical and healing properties!

Who says wreaths are just for Yule? I have a cheery solstice wreath for my door! What have you all been making?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Merry Solstice!

 Today those of us on the north side of the planet celebrate the longest day of the year and look forwards to the slow waning of the sun's light. This is a time of fruition and fertility (in ideas as well as fields and beds.) and a time to work on projects. I'm celebrating by burning pretty things...
   "What! Burning what kinds of.... oh no." That's right, after finishing my Wheel of the Year embroidery I started on a smaller wheel, this four seasons tree of life was made entirely to be offered up as sacrifice. "Sacrifice" doesn't just mean killing the fatted cow, it means "to make sacred" so anything that is offered before a deity is a sacrifice. In the traditions of northern Europe a sacrifice would be ritually destroyed to ensure it could not be used by anyone and was truly a gift. Clay and metal items were dropped in lakes, wood offerings were burnt.
   "But you're not going to destroy all that hard work..." Yes. Yes I am. It's a piece of art for the Gods of old, and it was made with this purpose in mind. I admit, I'm giving it to someone else for the actual destruction, it would be a wee hard to do myself.
And I don't have time to dwell on last years piece, the wheel spins along. I picked up some lovely maroon linen and a variety of colors for this year's project. I've chosen flowers to represent each of the eight high days and the seasonal changes. Tomorrow I start embroidering Lavender for the midsummer. Here's to another year! I hope everyone has a blessed solstice!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ren Fest Season

Now that I have just about as much cosplay clothing as I can use, I've started attiring my boyfriend. Best way to get him into a dress... I mean *cough* a ROBE...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First CSA Share of the Season!

Yesterday we received our first box of fresh local veggies from Grant Family Farms. You can feel the freshness of the veggies, the crisp yummyness! Besides the veggies we got fresh eggs and a bag of Beans from last falls crop. I'm looking forward to a summer of fresh salads and sauteed vegetables. Worth every penny!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Finds - Horned Gods

So we have come again to the time of year when we honor our male sires - Father's Day. Now I could make a post full of ties and funny shirts, but I decided to honor a cosmic father.

The Horned god is often portrayed as a counter-part to the Goddess, a wild and masculine energy.  I myself enjoy the image of Cerunnos, God of the wilds, a fearsome and mighty force. Print by EmilyBalivet of the virile young God enjoying the "fruits" of the forest and bringing growth and fertility to the wild world.

Perhaps for your next forest jaunt you wish the channel the spirit of Cerunnos? Pair this gorgeous and elaborate mask with a long robe, or maybe wearing nothing at all... Mask by BronzeSmith just perfect for rituals and Renaissance Fests.

Raise a toast to your father, a wild father, or a universal father with this fine stag glass from DancersGrove. I've yet to meet a father (cosmic of otherwise) who doesn't appreciate a fine drink from time to time, so don't skimp this Father's Day with either!

If you are into divination you surely have a number of rune sets, but how about channeling the Wild Hunt? If you can get to Europe and hunt your own red deer for the antlers - great! If not TheGreenWolf has some ready for you, just waiting for the alphabet of your choice. And a custom bag for them too, how cool is that? Way better gift than a tie.

The theme of a wild Horned God is seen in many cultures and times, many an ancient people drew and sculpted a woodland God with horns. They feared and respected the open untamed woods, and the powers that grew there. Hand painted plaque from TeresaCarey with Pan in his woodland surroundings.

I hope you all enjoy a fine Father's day, perhaps even visiting a wild forest to enjoy the space of Cerunnos the Horned God.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scones and Tea

 Recently I noticed a strange phenomenon in my fridge. You see, I get a weekly milk delivery, which includes orange juice and butter as well. Now one can only butter so much bread in a week, this order is for baking. In the colder months I regularly make batches of rolled cookies and pies, but that's too much time in the kitchen hovering over a hot oven. So my fridge had built up a pile of one pound boxes of butter - an embarrassment of riches.

So I pulled out an old recipe from my days working at a bakery - scones. The joy of it, is you make a dry part, ass some assorted liquids, and then add all the nommy little morsels you can stand. I use a food processor to cut the cold butter into flour sugar and leavening.You don't want to puree the mess, just get it chopped up into crumbly bits.

I added homemade yogurt (That's what I do if people forget to drink the milk, there are two lactose free folks in the house so I take most of that burden.) and an egg. Then I chopped up fresh cherries. Did I mention that the cherry tree is ripe? I guess this whole project is just baking with perishables... I added cherries and hopped almonds. It's good to have everything cold so that the butter stays stiff in the batter.

Then I formed it into a disc. It should be stiff enough to not slump out when shaping, but not stiff like a cookie dough. I actually baked a test to make sure it was just right, my last batch was too wet and I ended up with cookies instead... I've always cut scones into wedges, tradition perhaps? But it's important for even baking that they are not too much thicker than they are wide.

After a short while in a medium oven the scones are golden brown and ready for dunking in tea. It's been hot enough for iced tea here, but it's still good with scones. Maybe scones and ice cream?

I also like to make savory scones with veggies and cheese, perhaps when our Farm Share starts to arrive next week and we are inundated with fresh vegetables... What's you favorite warm-weather baking project?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Medieval Garden Blog

I don't often plug other pages, but I have been entranced by this blog for days now! The blog is run by the Cloisters Museum which is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Museum has thousands of pieces of Medieval art, and a garden to match. I stumbled upon it while looking up a plant in a Dungeons and Dragons Manual - Colewort. Turns out its an old name for types of wild cabbage or kale.

This blog fits together art, lore, biology and gardening. It's replete with primary sources from the era and links to everywhere! Check it out, it's my favorite new horticulture pastime.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wheel of The Year

I started this project less than a year ago, and followed thru all the seasons, summer, fall, winter and spring. It is finally completed, with spreading trees and bright red letters for the high days.


So then we are faced with the task of hanging this piece. I was hoping to place it directly on a piece of wood, but I couldn't find solid woods in a close enough size, only plywood. So I bought some square dowels and started cutting!
I used my "high-tech" staple gun to make a row of connectors at each joint. It was a little wiggly but sturdy enough for stretching fabric. The fabric actually stabilized it quite a bit.

I washed the cloth gently, and hung it to dry. Then I ironed it to as flat as a piece of lumpy embroidery can be. I taped everything in place at first to center it.

Now the great challenge, which side goes up? Also, how do I get those last few pencil marks off the linen ground? It was a very fulfilling project, and really did help me to be more in touch with the changing seasons. I'm already plotting a new project, to be started this midsummer. I'm thinking about doing herbs that are sacred to each high day, giving me a chance to learn more herbcraft too! This may become a yearly ritual for me, who knows how long it will last...