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Quote of the Day: Robyn Griggs Lawrence

December 9th, 2012

Preparing food is an ideal way to hone your creative flair and bring sense of beauty into your home. You have to do it every day, anyway – and if you stop to recognize the simple majesty of the objects you bring home in grocery bags, making dinner will be a lot more fun.

Next time you unload the groceries, particularly the produce, do so mindfully. Notice the fine white hairs protecting the carrot’s flesh, the squeaky wax binding the cheese wedge, the chunky shapes or fine straight bands of different pastas. How can you make the most of crisp spring greens, plump August tomatoes, golden fall pumpkins? You can toss them, mash them, and spice them up for consumption, of course, and you can also use them to add seasonal grace to the dining room table.

Robyn Griggs Lawrence (The Wabi-Sabi House: The Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty)

There’s nothing I love more than heading to the farmers market each week to see what each vendor will have. Fresh sheep’s milk yogurt, honey, cheese, carrots, kale, cabbage, apples and a few other goodies made it into my bags on Friday. To me, it’s all about relishing the fact that time moves forward, seasons change, the sun rises and sets, and food changes as this happens.

Meals shouldn’t be just about eating, they should be about appreciating the distinct flavors of the seasons. The more food I grow in my garden and the more wild foods I learn to gather, the more I appreciate each thing at the height of it’s flavor. The longer I eat seasonally the less I want to eat things that aren’t fresh and at the peak of ripeness. Asparagus picked a few minutes before eating is so much better than some I’ve pulled from the freezer in late November. Not only is the flavor not as good, but it seems wrong to eat it when the skies are gray and the earth is settling in for it’s long winter’s nap. This time of year apples fit the bill better than asparagus.

This doesn’t mean we have to learn to cook new things each season, often we can learn to make one dish and adapt it for different flavors. Crepes are one of those versatile dishes that everyone should learn to make. They’re quick and easy to make and you can stuff them with anything sweet or savory. In June you’ll find them on our plate stuffed with strawberries, in late winter, with kale, eggs, bacon and cheese. You can even use different types of grains to make them even more flavorful!

Yesterday morning we enjoyed homemade crepes of freshly ground wheat flour, eggs from our chickens, milk from a local farm and local butter. Instead of adding water to the recipe I used apple cider since it was in season and my crepes were going to be stuffed with cooked apples. For the filling, I combined apples, more cider, butter, molasses, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Each crepe was smeared with some sheep’s milk yogurt then stuffed with the apple filling, and chopped crispy walnuts. A little drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of cinnamon topped it off perfectly. The perfect brunch on a saturday in December!

What would you choose as your favorite crepe filling combo?

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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.