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Seaweed Snacks

August 30th, 2014

I must admit, I love anything that tastes like the sea and seaweed no exception.  If there is a seaweed salad on the menu, I will always order it.  Lucky for me, here in Maine we have a few small companies that specialize in sustainably harvested, local seaweed. I put pieces of some varieties in my tea and soups, other varieties I use as a flavor enhancer, kind of like salt.
toasted nori
One of my favorites is nori, which I simply toast lightly in a cast iron skillet and eat like chips. It has a salty, mineral taste with a hint of the ocean as well. It’s FANTASTIC, pretty much one of my favorite snacks.

What’s your favorite healthy snack?

Friday Favorite: Eyelet Fabric

August 29th, 2014

Eyelet fabric has been one of my favorite things ever since I was a little girl. I don’t know what it is about it, perhaps the texture, perhaps the intricacy, maybe it’s the subtleness of the pattern. Whatever it is, I find myself gravitating towards eyelet whenever I see it on a piece of clothing. Five or six years ago I purchased this fantastic eyelet skirt. It has a few different eyelet patterns, from the simple to the intricate.
eyelet skirt 1
The skirt is white, which is rather unfortunate, but thanks to oxygen bleach it’s as white now as it was the first day I purchased it. This skirt is perfect in summer, it’s light, it’s cool, I can dress it up, I can dress it down. I find myself wearing it with tank tops and flip flops all summer long. I wish I had purchased this skirt in the other colors that it was available in, black and brown.  But alas, I only have the white.  That’s OK I suppose, it’s more special since I only have one.
eyelet skirt 2
Unfortunately eyelet clothing is difficult to find, which makes it all the more special. Perhaps someday I’ll find a beautiful mix of eyelets and make myself another skirt just like this. It wouldn’t be difficult, I have the sewing skills to do it, I just need to find the fabric.

What’s your favorite type of fabric?

Planting Winter Herbs

August 28th, 2014

I love fresh Italian parsley and like to have it around all year if possible.  That means I grow it in the garden throughout the spring/summer/fall and in containers in the house during the winter.  Parsley seeds are notorious for taking a LONG time to germinate and get going.  After a few years of starting seed in October and have them reach maturity too many months later, I decided to start them in late summer.
winter herbs
A few days ago I started a container of Italian parsley and one of seasoning celery. In a month I’ll start a few containers of cilantro, which is another herb I like to have fresh all year long if possible. I have found that all these herbs do well in containers in a sunny windowsill. I can certainly save a lot of money growing a few containers of herbs in the winter, fresh organic herbs can cost $3-$4 a bunch. These augment my other potted perennial herbs that live outside in the summer and inside during the winter. I have a few different varieties of thyme and a bay laurel tree as well. Hopefully these containers will be lush enough to harvest when the snow starts to fly outside.

Do you grow any potted herbs indoors during the off season?

You Say Potato

August 27th, 2014

I’ve been slowly harvesting my potatoes.  This year I didn’t plant as many as I did last year, only enough for us to eat throughout the winter.  There are a few varieties, most are ready to be dug.  The ‘Purple Majesty’ and ‘Mountain Rose’ are all out of the ground, both produced quite prolifically this year.  I’m very pleased with the results.
potato harvest 1
The ‘Purple Viking’ never cease to impress me with their yield. The photo below is the yield from one single seed potato – one. This variety is well known for being highly productive, in fact, it’s so productive that you have to space them close at planting time or you will end up with giant potatoes the size of footballs. I’m not kidding either, every now and then one gets planted farther away from the rest, or the ones on the ends of the rows are gigantic.
potato harvest 2
If I could only grow one variety of potato it would be ‘Purple Viking’. It’s a great potato for steaming, boiling, baking or mashing, and it fries up like a dream with a crispy exterior and a soft middle. It will store long into the spring without losing crispness. Overall it’s a winner if you only have a small space for growing spuds.

What’s your favorite way to eat potatoes?

Skunked

August 26th, 2014

Last Friday I went out to feed the pigs and noticed a skunky smell, which isn’t unusual. We have lots of birds and the skunks like to come around looking for the guinea eggs. Tara has scared a skunk away twice in the past month and the skunk smell sticks around for a few days then fades. I petted Tara as I walked by and didn’t think anything of it, until I came back inside…then I realized I was still smelling skunk, because I smelled like skunk. It was then I knew that Tara had been sprayed – UGH.
skunked
I still haven’t had the time or energy to give her a bath, hopefully that will happen today. My go-to recipe is: peroxide, baking soda and dish soap all mixed up and worked into the coat. Let it sit 10-15 minutes, then rinse and repeat if necessary. Luckily, it doesn’t seem that Tara was hit too much, she doesn’t smell nearly as bad as Lucy did when she got sprayed. I feel bad for her though, no one wants to go near her and pet her with her new perfume. I can’t blame her, she was protecting a guinea nest that is behind where she sleeps.  She’s already scared the skunk away twice this month, I guess the third time is a charm.

Do you have a great skunk smell remover recipe?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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