Earlier generations were much more in tune with the Earth's natural seasons and cycles. What they ate was determined by what could be grown locally and what could be grown, stored and preserved thru the cold winter months. In today's world, we've gotten used to having any kind of food we want, whenever we want it. Not the best way to eat, as we depend to much on processed foods when we eat that way.
The wide array of fruits and vegetables are nature's most precious gift to us. By eating what's in season, you will not only support the Earth's healthy ecosystem, but also in turn support a healthy you!
These are the fruits and vegetables you'll find in season for the month of August.
(n = newly in season; p = peak of season; w = winding down)
Vegetables: Avocado, Hass Basil beans, green p beans, fresh shelling such as cranberry, n black eyed pea corn p cucumber p garlic p eggplant okra p onion p pepper, bell squash, summer p tomatillo p tomato
Fruits: apple, Gravenstein n blackberries w raspberries p blueberries w figs p grapes, Red Flame p limes w melons p nectarines w orange, Valencia p peaches p pears, Asian n pears, Bartlett p plums p
Oh the smell of homemade kettle corn! If the sweet aroma doesn't captivate you, the taste always will. For me it brings up memories of the county fair and crisp fall days. Kettle corn is the perfect sweet and salty treat, but you'll pay dearly for it if you buy it at the fair, carnival or street festival. Fortunately, you don't have to! Here's how to make kettle corn at home for a fraction of the cost and capture the attention of everyone in your home. Tomorrow I will be making this with my daughter and granddaughter and I wanted to repost the recipe for those who love this treat as we do.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup popcorn kernels 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup vegetable oil Salt to taste
Preparation: 1. Heat vegetable oil in a large kettle over medium heat. 2. Then, toss in three kernels, and place the lid on the kettle. 3. Wait for the kernels to pop. 4. Once popped, quickly stir in the sugar, and add the remaining kernels. 5. Replace the lid, and listen for the kernels to start popping. 6. Then, remove the kettle from the stove, and shake to keep the kernels from burning. 7. Return the kettle to the stove for a few seconds; then, lift and shake again. 8. Repeat until all kernels have popped. 9. Then, salt to taste, and enjoy!
Ideally it is best to consume the kettle corn as soon as possible, however, if put in sealed ziploc bags it can be enjoyed by your children in their school lunches or for an after school treat.
If you love molasses cookies you will love these, as treacle is just another word for molasses. I like the Lyle's brand treacle, but if you can't find it you can substitute dark molasses. Spicy and sweet, these are a perfect way to scent the cottage on a cloudy day like today.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1 large egg 1/4 cup dark treacle (or molasses) 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 2 tsps allspice 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Beat the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and treacle. Mix well.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices and add to shortening mixture. Mix well. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Shape dough into balls (Approx 1-2 inch diameter) and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes or just until turning brown. Cool. Tops will crack as cookies cool.
Enjoy!! This is a perfect cookie with milk or a cup of tea. They also freeze well and I have been known to put vanilla ice cream between 2 of them and make ice cream sandwiches! Wrap individually with waxed paper and store in freezer bag. WONDERFUL!!
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in New England during the maple tapping (sugaring) season. The aroma of the sweet steam seeping out of the roof vents just invites you to step inside. I have always been a scone lover, and maple is not only one of my favorite scents, but also my favorite flavor. Although sugaring season is in March, you can fill your scented cottage with the wonderful smell of maple any time by baking these delicate scones. They freeze well also, so you can always keep them on hand for tea time.
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup butter 1 cup finely chopped walnuts 1 cup milk 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 cup powdered confectioners sugar 2 teaspoons half-and-half or cream or milk (you may need a drop more) 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk, syrup, and maple flavoring.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until you've formed a dry soft dough.
Flour your work surface generously and scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl to the floured surface and knead one or two times.
Divide the dough in half.
Gently pat each half of dough into a 7 inch circle about 7/8 inch thick.
Transfer dough (it will be soft) onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
With a knife cut each dough circle into eight wedges.
Gently separate the wedges so that they're almost touching in the center, but are spaced about an inch apart at the edges.
Bake the scones for 12-15 minutes at 425, or until they're golden brown. Ovens vary so watch this closely the first time you bake them. My oven takes 10 minutes as I like them light brown so they stay moist.
Combine all frosting ingredients until creamy. When scones are cooled, drizzle frosting over the tops of them.
Guest Blogger! My husband loves honey butter and I thought it would be great to post his recipe for all to see. If you love honey give it a try!
Here is his "guest" post: I first tasted honey butter about 40 years ago in Upstate New York and it was so good. It's so simple to make and can be either plain or with cinnamon. Both are excellent, but my favorite is the cinnamon flavor honey butter.
1.Start with two 4 oz. sticks of butter, salted or unsalted as you choose. 2.Place in a mixing bowl, suitable for an electric mixer for an easier and more thorough mix. 3.Allow butter to soften to a workable stage.
4.Pour 1 cup of honey in the mixing bowl with the butter.
5.Add 1/2 tablespoon of Cinnamon if you wish to have Cinnamon Honey Butter. (Omit if you want plain honey butter.)
6.Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Add additional cinnamon to taste. (I use at least a whole tablespoon as I like cinnamon!)
Spoon out into a container and refrigerate for use. Use like butter on English muffins, biscuits, toast, bagels, waffles, cinnamon bread, French toast, pastries, scones, etc. Just wait until you see it melt into those nooks and crannies, and it tastes so good!
For larger or smaller batches, use 1/2 cup of honey per stick of butter For example, for three sticks of butter, use 1 1/2 cups of honey, for a full pound of butter, use two cups of honey. Feel free to experiment with more or less honey to taste; this is the combination I like best, you may like a little more or less sweet.
You can use "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" in lieu of regular butter. Not quite the same taste but it is good nonetheless. I've made it both ways. One way to cut the fat is to use half butter and half "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" or use "Light Butter."
Bon Appetite and enjoy!
Keep the honey butter refrigerated. It will keep well, but I bet it won't last long.
Never microwave honey. It turns granular and gritty and your honey butter will too.
A tall glass of iced tea is a summer time classic. You are sure to love this refreshing recipe if you love tea, cinnamon and apple. Take some on your next outing, everyone will love it!
1 1/2 Cups boiling water 3 Tbsp sugar 6 Cinnamon Apple Tea Bags 1 1/2 Cups cold water 1 Cup grape juice 2 tsp lemon juice Club soda, chilled
In teapot, pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and steep 5 minutes. Remove bags, stir in sugar and cool.In a pitcher combine tea, water and juices. Serve in ice filled glasses with a splash of club soda. Garnish with lemon if desired.
I enjoy making many of the items we consume instead of purchasing ready made at the market. I feel when you have somewhat of an idea of the ingredients (there's no way for me to know for sure about the milk/cream etc. but I do buy organic)you have a better chance at eating healthy. It might sound a little crazy since you can find yogurt, butter, buttermilk and Mascarpone cheese in almost any market, but the quality and flavor of these items when home made cannot be compared, and the simplicity of it would shock you. If you use Mascarpone give this recipe a try. All you really need are cream and tartaric acid or lemon juice! It makes approximately 250 g (one tub) of Mascarpone cheese.
Ingredients 300ml (1 1/4 cups) cream (thickened/whipping cream or heavy cream) 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (or 1/8 teaspoon tartaric acid)
Preparation Heat cream in saucepan until small bubbles form at edge (not boiling), add lemon juice/tartaric acid and maintain heat for 2 minutes. Allow to cool in pan to room temperature. The mix should be thick, if not - reheat and add a bit more lemon/tartaric acid.
Place a sieve/strainer over a bowl, line the sieve with cheesecloth (I use coffee filters - unused of course!). Pour the mix into the sieve. Place in fridge and allow to drain overnight.
The cheese can then be used as normal in recipes such as tiramisu, cheesecakes or eaten with fresh fruit.
Whip up a batch of rich, chocolate cupcakes and try this mascarpone cheese frosting!
If you love wearing poppy jasper, you might be interested to know the folklore and legends of this beautiful stone. I love the magic and mystery of stones. I believe in the powers of them and the energy they give off.
Poppy Jasper stimulates physical energy. Like its red color, it promotes the fire energy in the body and enhances vitality. It is a stone of movement. Poppy Jasper acts somewhat like adrenaline, waking up and energizing areas of the body that appear to be sleeping. It is believed to encourage a deep connection with the life of the Earth. It inspires a positive, joyful attitude and gives the motivation and energy to take creative action. In ancient times, Jasper was thought to drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites.
Poppy jasper is believed by some to both protect from nightmares and aid in the recollection of dreams. Some believe that as with all forms of jasper, poppy jasper has the power to end a drought, whether it is a mental drought like writer's block or a fear of failure that holds you back from taking creative chances. Some spiritualists also believe that poppy jasper can strengthen the mind against depression and negative thoughts while inspiring a positive attitude and increasing self confidence.
Poppy jasper encourages a deep connection with the earth as well as a sense of where you belong within your community. Some also think that poppy jasper has the qualities of enhancing relaxation, organizational abilities, and a sense of completeness.
Whether you're interested in laundering your clothing the old fashioned way, or are just interested in reading how our ancestors did their laundry, here are some instructions for whites, cottons and linens.
Soaking...this is important for whites. It is advisable to soak them for a few hours(some prefer overnight), for soaking loosens the dirt, makes less rubbing necessary, and therefore saves both time and wear. A very simple way to soak white clothes is to cover them with warm water early in the morning. When you are ready to go on with the washing, more hot water may be added to that already used for soaking and the clothes may be washed easily.
If clothes are to be soaked overnight, use cold water rather than warm, because warm water expands the fibers of the fabric, brings the dirt to the surface, and then, during the night, cools and closes the fibers so that by morning the dirt is held very tightly in the fabric and is difficult to loosen again.
When clothes are soaked overnight, soap the very soiled parts as they are put into the tub. Some people roll the soaped articles, this works well although it takes more time.
Washing...After soaking the clothes, put them into a tub half full of hot, soapy water and rub them on a washboard, or, if you have a washing machine, put them in that. In either case, when the soap has been "killed" by a quantity of clothes passing through the suds and the water is cold, change to warm, fresh suds. No suds and cold water make lifeless, heavy laundry; therefore, rejuvenate by new, hot suds. The results repay many times for the effort.
If a washboard is used, do not rub too vigorously, as this may injure the fabric. The idea is to force the suds through the clothes and thus carry the dirt away. Consequently, the portions being rubbed should be dipped almost constantly in the suds, so that there will be no rubbing of the material after the water has been squeezed out. For very coarse goods, a hand brush will prove helpful. Another point to remember is that the soiled parts of the clothes should be rubbed on one side and then turned and rubbed on the other side. Rubbing with the palm of the hand will save the skin on the knuckles.
If a washing machine is used never fill it too full. Not only because the mechanism will be injured, but also because the free movement of the clothes will be hindered.
Boiling...If white cotton or linen clothes are very soiled, or if it seems desirable to sterilize them, they may be boiled. After first washing in hot water, wring the clothes, rub the soiled spots carefully with white soap, and place in a boiler containing cold water. Put a few soap chips or a little soap jelly into each boiler full of clothes and heat the water gradually. Use a clothes stick to keep the clothes stirred and pressed down. After the water has begun to boil, allow the clothes to remain in it about five minutes. Boiling for a longer time tends to turn fabrics yellow.
Another helpful fact to know is that the carefully strained juice of one or two lemons added to a boiler of clothes will help to whiten them.
Rinsing...After taking clothes from soapy water, very careful rinsing is essential. It is advisable to rinse in clear hot water, but this is not always practical, as usually lukewarm water is more easily provided. In either case, shake out each piece carefully to remove all soap. Repeat the rinsing process at least twice, and preferably three times, because the removal of the soapy water has much to do with the efficiency of cleansing and the freshness of the clothes when dry. An ideal way is to have the first rinse water hot and the successive rinse waters gradually grow colder so as to prepare the clothes for the bluing. All soap must be removed by these rinsings; otherwise the clothes will be spotted when the bluing comes in contact with the alkali of the soap.
Do not use washing soda to soften the rinse water, as it is too strong to be left in the fabric. A little borax may be used in the first and second rinse waters; but, after the soap has been removed, there is no need for a water softener, for it is only in the presence of soap that a scum is formed.
Do you know which Archangel was assigned to you on the day you were born? Mine is Raphael and below is the information on him. If you want to find out who yours is you can find the information here.
I was born on a: Wednesday Presiding Archangel: Raphael Assignation: Healing My Daily Affirmation: "I will work with the angels to overcome sickness and disease and be filled with peace."
Celestial Title: Angel of Science and Knowledge
Archangel Raphael is credited with healing the earth and its inhabitants. He is very diligent about seeing that healing centers and hospitals have all that they need in order to perform God’s work. Those that place an emphasis on beauty, health and fitness are directly influenced by this angel. Their passion becomes their mission and others benefit greatly from their seemingly innate pursuit.
Raphael reminds us that our bodies are just vehicles for our spirit and that we must learn to care for it with great attention. The body has an intelligence and can comprehend healing thoughts. Close your eyes when ill or fatigued and ask Raphael to send God’s healing energy through your body. Stay in prayer until the discomfort lifts and repeat the process if it should reoccur.
Raphael has many answers for you but your responsibility to yourself and your body is yours. He can assist you in changing your lifestyle, your eating habits and the way you choose to spend negative energy. He can help you stay fit for the mission.
Associations & Assignments
Like any entity charged with duties and responsibilities, Archangels have certain associations of creation that are engraved in the very fibers of their etheric being. They are handed specifics to govern. It's these assignments that bring them into this dimension where they can participate with us.
Celestial Order: Seraphim Day: Watches over those born on Wednesday Chakra: Heart (4th) Color: Sage Green & Soft Pink Planetary assignment: Governs Mercury Main Issue: Love & Relationships Sense: Touch Fragrances/Incense/Oils: Rose, Bergamot, Melissa Crystals: Watermelon tourmaline, Rose quartz, Emerald Life Lesson: Forgiveness & Compassion Altar suggestions: Lots of small frames with pictures of loved ones, a peacock plume, a green ornament/glass slipper/bowl and; pink beads; green pen; Rose quartz in the shape of a heart, symbol of love and healing; prayer card, a loveletter (even if it’s to yourself)and of course....a Prayer Chest.
And the living is easy! Bubbles from this homemade solution always seem bigger and brighter than the ones purchased today from the markets. Here is an old fashioned recipe that will keep your children busy blowing bubbles all summer long. You can purchase the glycerin almost anywhere, but if for some reason you have difficulty locating soap flakes, you can order them here. There are multiple ways to use soap flakes, as you'll find on the site.
Will it be a warm day? Will it rain? Inhale and smell the air. You can sometimes tell what your day will hold just by a few of these indicators.
Plants release their waste in a low pressure atmosphere, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain. Swamps will release gasses just before a storm because of the lower pressure, which leads to unpleasant smells, so if you detect unpleasant odors, change is in the air. A proverb says "Flowers smell best just before a rain." Scents are stronger in the moist air that is associated with rainy weather and some flowers fold up their petals to protect their pollen from the rain.
Dew is an indication of fine weather and so is fog. Neither of these two formations occur under an overcast sky, or when there is much wind. One sees fog occasionally rolled away by wind, but seldom or never formed while it is blowing.
Clouds going in different directions means bad weather is coming, probably hail and cumulonimbus clouds early in the day and developing throughout the day mean greater chances of severe weather.
A very old wives tale says if birds feed in a storm it will rain for a long time, if they don't it will clear soon.
These melt in your mouth cookies have the distinctive flavor of orange mint. They're wonderful for a summer time tea or picnic. Yield: about 4 dozen cookies
INGREDIENTS 12 tablespoons softened unsalted butter 2/3 cup sugar 1 large egg, beaten lightly 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, if desired 2 cups unbleached flour, sifted 2 tablespoons minced fresh orange mint leaves or peppermint leaves Pinch of salt
PREPARATION 1). In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the egg, a little at a time, then add the extracts. 2). Add the flour, a little at a time, then the orange mint leaves and the salt. Beat the mixture until combined.
3). Divide the dough into three parts. Form each part into a log about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Wrap each dough log in plastic then chill for 1 hour or place in freezer until firm, about 15-20 minutes.
4). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough into rounds about 1/4 inch thick and arrange them on baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until pale golden. Remove to racks to cool.
The above quote couldn't express better how I am feeling now that the hot weather has set in. Although I look forward to summer, it's not the season for this fair skinned Celtic gal. I'm more of a cool weather lover with Fall being the season I look forward to most. The trick to surviving the heat for me is drinking alot of fluids and I love gingerale, especially in the summer. What could be better than making it for yourself and being sure the ingredients are fresh?
Ingredients To make Ginger Water: 1 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger 2 cups water
To make Simple Syrup: 1 cup sugar 1 cup water
You will also need: Club soda Lime juice Lime wedges
1) Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium low and let ginger sit in the simmering water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces.
2)In a separate saucepan, make the Simple Syrup by dissolving 1 cup granulated sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside.
3) Make individual (tall) glasses of ginger ale by mixing 1/2 cup of ginger water with 1/3 cup of Simple Syrup and 1/2 cup of club soda. Add a few drops of fresh lime juice and a lime wedge to each glass.
Have a piece of chocolate! Not too much, but just a bit of it gives you an endorphin buzz from the slight amount of caffeine the chocolate contains. Dark chocolate has more caffeine than milk chocolate and also contains antioxidants.
Did you realize chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables? These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants, and as such, protect the body from the aging caused by free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries! Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body. They have also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
What's not to love about having a bit of this sweet to perk you up today?
Try to avoid coffee and caffeinated sodas. They can boost your alertness, but be careful about letting it become a habit. The temptation to drink more caffeine to get even more energy will be strong, and eventually you’ll be downing 5 double shot espressos a day just to function, I know first hand because I've done it. It's a hard habit to kick.
'Then rose the seed of Chaos and of Night To blot out order and extinguish light. Of dull and venal a new world to mould, And bring Saturnian days of lead and gold.'
Saturday is considered The Day of Reckoning and The Day of Saturn. Traditionally seen as the seventh day of the week, the Latin name for this day was "Dies Saturni" meaning the "Day of Saturn," which was later developed by the Anglo-Saxons to Soeterdoeg. Saturn was associated with the ancient Greek "Kronos" or "Time" and some refer to this deity as Father Time. Kronos was said to have attempted to devour each one of his children but was unsuccessful with Neptune (or Water), Jupiter (or Air) and Pluto or (The Grave), as it was believed that not even Time can harm these. Jupiter eventually banished Saturn from his thrown.
Saturday is ruled by Saturn and energies include: Protection, Removing Obstacles, Addressing issues or problems, and “magical cleaning.”
And time to celebrate my favorite berry! I consume so many blueberries every month that I often wonder why they haven't tinted my skintone. ;)
Did you know that much of the power of the blueberry lies in it's color and they have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit? The deep blue color is a by product of flavonoids, a natural compound that protects the brain's memory cells (neurons) from the damaging effects of oxidation and inflammation. This magical berry also neutralizes free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body, aids in reducing belly fat, helps promote urinary tract health, has been proven to preserve vision, is good for brain health, heart disease, constipation and digestion, and cancer. Blueberries, like other berries, also have a high water content, which makes them hydrating for your skin and other cells of the body.
Native Americans used blueberries for medicinal purposes and they may have influenced European thinking about the bilberry, which has been used as a food plant since the sixteenth century. The Ojibwa tribe dried flowers of the low bush blueberry over hot coals and inhaled the fumes to treat "madness." They also took the leaf decoction to "purify the blood," possibly a way to lower blood sugar. The Algonquians used a blueberry leaf tea for colic, labor in childbirth, and following miscarriages. Various Native American tribes often added blueberry leaves to their smoking mixes.
Did you realize that early American colonists made grey paint by boiling blueberries in milk? The blue paint used to paint the woodwork in Shaker houses was made from sage blossoms, indigo and blueberry skins, mixed in milk.
The first colonists added blueberries to traditional English fruit and dough puddings and renamed them buckle, grunt and slump, and during the civil war of the 1860s, blueberries were collected, packaged and sent to Union troops for use as a food staple.
Fresh blueberries are available year round but are least expensive from May through September. Look for berries that are dark blue, with a frosty bloom. You can store fresh berries in your refrigerator for up to two weeks, just wash them before you use them; otherwise, they'll get mushy. I freeze some of mine right away and rinse them as I take them out to use. They stay perfect this way and do not freeze together in one large lump.
You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. ~Casare Pavese
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Welcome! Please pour yourself a cup of tea and settle in and relax with me awhile. As you'll notice, I am captivated by ancient times, a soul misplaced in this modern day. I have a love for my ancestry and I believe people who grow up without a sense of how yesterday has affected today, are unlikely to have a strong sense of how today affects tomorrow.