It’s no wonder fall is the time of year so many memories are created. Both fall and the earliest weeks of winter offer reserved dates for honoring community, that crucial element of human well-being that is so easily forgotten without the anchors of holidays, celebrations, ritual and ceremony committing us back to one another.
This year my cucumber plants are thriving. We often eat them quickly with lunch or dinner, but every now and then we get more than we can keep up with.
Incidentally, we also all really love pickles at my house! My great grandmother always canned the most delicious homemade dill pickles, and my husband’s grandmother often made refrigerator pickles (which are pickles made without the lengthy fermentation process). Many refrigerator pickle recipes online have a ton of sugar (2 cups or more per jar), which I don’t especially enjoy as a primarily dill pickle fan, and also use white vinegar for processing, while I prefer the taste and health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
This week I made my first attempt at following Rosemary Gladstar’s guidelines for creating her “Perfect Cream” recipe.
I am thrilled with the way it turned out. This somehow rich yet light moisturizer is positively decadent.
I am so grateful to Rosemary Gladstar for so freely sharing her knowledge and light with the world! I agree with Gladstar, that traditions involving food, remedies, and plants should be re-connected on a personal basis with every human household, so that we can sense, taste, smell and feel the quality and nourishment nature provides when we mingle with her respectfully. And alternatively, so that we may recognize both overt and subtle clues indicating compromised quality or assault to nature, and ultimately our own health, which helps us know when to take restorative action.
One of my favorite restaurants on the planet is Casa de Luz in Austin, Texas. It is so delicious, and I can feel the cells of my body grow more resilient with every bite of their macrobiotic, plant-based, gluten free menu. Often I think, “I would be so healthy if I ate this way every day,” but then forget to actually try until the next time I eat there. However…
I’ve been curious to see if I can make my own shampoo and conditioner for a while. I finally tried two – and each only took 2 minutes to make! One was a hit at our house and the other was a miss. Let me know if you try either!
We co-habitate with a wonderful hearty loquat tree that lives at the edge of our 1/2 acre lot along one of our neighborhood’s busiest streets. About three years ago I began harvesting the fruit annually for a simple loquat preserves recipe I like to make with my kids. Jump to the bottom if you want to get right to it!
There is something that is delightfully enticing about finding food in your own yard – especially food that is offered by nature without any effort or coercion – and turning it into a routine to look forward to seasonally. My now 7 year old daughter is always my buddy when it comes time to harvest loquat, and we all get excited when we see the tree limbs start to become weighed down with fruit in April.
Here is a simple DIY Plantain salve to add to your first aid kit for Burns, Bites, Stings & Eczema. This plant is so abundant you likely have some growing in your own yard!
Today I’m sharing a quick and easy 5 minute DIY body wash recipe. This recipe is a simple way to reduce our plastic footprint and chemical consumption.
So why make stuff that is often easier and cheaper to buy? I like to do homestead projects because, for me, making stuff is just plain fun – at times it’s even meditative. But equally as important to me is the fact that there are often far fewer chemicals, waste and plastics involved with things that are homemade. I also tend to appreciate the things I take time to bring to life by hand more than anything I quickly purchase on impulse.
Humans are wired to create.
I find it interesting that when I take time to “make”, I am always more deeply satisfied at the end of the day. Additionally I love the bonus of community-building that can occur when I share or trade the things I make with others.
Try making something this week, however simple, and see if it doesn’t enrich your life too!
This DIY peppermint lip balm recipe took me from start to finish about 10 minutes. It feels great and is about as clean as it comes, with only two ingredients plus optional peppermint essential oil.
When you have an abundance of kale or other greens to consume, here’s an easy, make-ahead ice cube tray recipe to help you add a serving of greens to your smoothies.
Ever wonder what do to with all those radishes growing in your garden? Here’s an easy, delicious, and beautiful salad recipe!
If you have an abundance of cilantro and parsley in your garden, check out my easy, make-ahead, Cilantro Parsley Pesto recipe. Both of these herbs have an impressive array of health benefits. Also, ever wonder why some people love cilantro and others hate it?
If you’re like me, you probably prefer soap and water for hand-washing, but every now and then need a hand sanitizer instead. I try to avoid using alcohol-based products because they dry my skin so much and often have ingredients with concerning health effects like triclosan, Benzalkonium Chloride and phthalates. This recipe literally took me less than 10 minutes to make. It has a pleasant cinnamon and citrus scent and nice moisturizing effects.
When I slow down enough to notice details and deliberately move through the moments of my day, there are so many opportunities to be amazed and feel gratitude.
I don’t always remember to pause and notice, but when I do, my day is better without fail: I am more grounded in my values, more conscious of the actions I choose to take, and more resilient for any obstacles I face.
This weekend, I challenge us both to take five minutes to intentionally pause for the seemingly small stuff.
When was the last time you made something for fun? Not because you had to, not because you needed to make money, not because your kid needed help with a school project, but a time when you sat down, gathered a few materials, and decided to scratch the itch of an idea?
Today’s little ritual is quite possibly my favorite of them all. I rely on it often to help me return to baseline in times of stress, anxiety or frenzy, and to promote gratitude in times of ease.
This practice invites you to find ten minutes of space in your day to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. On purpose. And to go outside while you do it. If being outdoors is not possible, then at a minimum sit by a window.
Is there anything better than sitting around a fire on a dark, crisp winter night? Whether alone or in community, something about a campfire is universally familiar, comforting, and grounding.
Do you have a bird feeder in your yard? Or a place for birds to get water? If not, I humbly suggest you consider getting or making one this winter. Create a sanctuary for winter birds to come and fill their tummies, and claim it as a visual reminder to clear space in your mind, and free yourself from a few moments of worry and/or thought-clutter.
In a recent post I discussed how and why making a tiny wormery with your kids could maybe save the world. To build on that thread, today I want to talk about making a larger scale worm bin to compost your family’s kitchen scraps.
Much like the character of Cook in The Tale of Desperaux, I believe compassion and soup are the answers to most of life’s questions.