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Quote of the Day: Winter

January 15th, 2018

I have a mediation book I try to read every morning, this past weekend had a fantastic entry:

“See the pine trees and learn their lesson,” a friend once said. “Pine trees are nature’s reminder that growth continues even in winter.”

Winter is an important season in our lives. It is more than a time of coldness and snow. It’s a time of going within. A time to rest from the work that’s been done, a time to prepare for the lessons ahead. Long for the sun on your shoulders, but let the frost and cold come. The ground has been left fallow in preparation for nourishing the seeds of new life.

Honor winter’s lessons. Despite this time of lifelessness and inactivity, this is still a season of growth. Trust what’s being worked out in your soul. The snow will melt. The sun will shine again. The time will come to remove your heavy garb and return to the activity of life.

Cherish the winter. Cherish its quietness, the time of going within to rest and heal. Cherish this time of preparation that must come before new life. Cherish the hope that lies beneath the snow.

Melodie Beattie in Journey to the Heart

Quote of the Day: Joe Hutto

November 22nd, 2017

“The vitality and aggressive nature of these young wild turkeys constantly impresses me. They are exuberant and energetic but never belie an underlying seriousness about their lives. I see in them an awareness and a presence that remind me of how relatively dull my own senses are. They never fail to warn me of the slightest element of interest in our environments: a squirrel or bird in a nearby tree, a snake passing quietly nearby, or a hawk soaring at an altitude that is almost invisible to me.”

Joe Hutto Illumination in the Flatwoods

A friend loaned me this book last week and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. I particularly appreciate it because I’ve raised turkeys from poults and I’ve watched mama turkeys raise clutches of young in the yard.



Turkeys are special birds, especially ones you raise yourself. Our original mama turkey is one of the best birds we have, she’s very vocal and chats with us regularly. She also loved to get petted and will follow me around purring away when I’m in the turkey yard. They’re also remarkable guardians for chickens and other birds. The turkeys alert the other birds to predators, especially hawks. They seem to spot things much quicker than chickens and ducks do.

If you enjoy nature, birds, and botany, check this book out (Littles for scale). If you have a nature lover in your family this would be a great Christmas gift.

What great books are you reading this week? 

Quote of the Day: Robert Farrar Capon

October 29th, 2017

“The world does not need another cookbook, but it needs all the lovers–amateurs–it can get. It is a gorgeous old place, full of clownish graces and beautiful drolleries, and it has enough textures, tastes, and smells to keep us intrigued for more time than we have. Unfortunately, however, our response to its loveliness is not always delight: It is, far more often than it should be, boredom. And that is not only odd, it is tragic; for boredom is not neutral–it is the fertilizing principle for unloveliness.”

Robert Farrar Capon in The Supper of the Lamb





I’m very happy that winter is approaching. While I still enjoy cooking in the summer, my schedule makes it difficult to really immerse myself in cooking big meals, in trying new recipes, baking bread, etc. Summer is about quick cooking vegetables from the garden, winter is about spending hours in the kitchen, braised meats, long simmered soups…

Do you consider yourself an amateur cook? Do you enjoy the process of cooking?

Quote of the Day: Tamar Adler

October 15th, 2017

“I like asparagus charred on the grill until it is beginning to pucker; cooking greens are wonderful when allowed to get crisp and burned in places. The same is true of roasted fish and toast, both of which I find more delicious with bits of crips blackening on their edges.”

Tamar Adler in ‘An Everlasting Meal’


I always say that Mr Chiots likes his toast raw and he says I like mine burnt. In reality, I like mine with a bit of char, he likes is barely toasted. It’s personal preference of course, but I like a lot of toothsomeness to my toast and a bit of bitterness from some charred edges. He likes his barely past fresh bread. Naturally, I chuckled when I read this line the other night.

How do you like your toast?

Quote of the Day: Tamar Adler

October 1st, 2017

“Then there is the breed of vegetable that strides at its own pace, regardless of yours. It has a brief season and is probably laborious, needing to be shelled or shucked or peeled, then leaving you a tiny pile of its edible self.

But it is invariably this vegetable that tastes so resonantly of its moment in the year that the surrounding months echo with it. There are festivals organized around this sort: in Spain there’s one for the sweet, leggy onion called calcots. Everyone runs out and picks them, builds big fires, roasts bushels and bushels, makes romesco sauce, gets drunk, eating as many as they can. In Italy, if a vegetable’s festival is not on the calendar, it’s tacitly observed: there will be picnics when the first wild asparagus arrive. This sort of vegetable is impractical if you’re trying to look ahead, but is very good at making you stop and look around.”

Tamar Adler in An Everlasting Meal




As the hot weather gardening season winds down, I’m thinking about what lies ahead as far as vegetables and fruit. The pumpkins lie heavy in the garden still, they will produce a lot of delicious winter meals. The butternut squash are aplenty, two vines produced enough for an army thanks to the chicken manure mulch. The fall lettuces are coming in, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts are all flavors of this cooler season. Eating seasonally allows us to enjoy each thing at the height of its season and celebrate what it brings to the table, both flavorwise and healthwise.

What vegetables and fruit are you looking forward to next season?

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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