Abode {W}

Monday, May 28, 2012

a rambling update of sorts

I have realized lately that I am the type of blogger who writes lengthy, frequent blog posts in her head, but rarely gets around to actually blogging. On the other hand, the last few weeks have been full. Birthdays, parties, preparing for the farm season to begin, finishing up the home school year, and trying to keep food coming from my stoveless kitchen have taken a great deal of my time. I have also had some days of intense sorrow, and being weighed down by a profound sense of loss. My mother is slipping still further in to the abyss of Alzhiemers. Looking through pictures for my son's graduation slide show reminded me of all the loved ones we have lost who will not be celebrating this milestone with us. Friends who used to be a large part of our lives, who show up regularly in these photos of my children's childhood, and are now living elsewhere and not in touch with us. I have come to realize that this feeling may be with me for a while, as we have had a lot of loss  the last few years. However, I also recognize that, hand in hand with the sorrow, is also great joy. Children who I genuinely enjoy. Family that all gets along and is close. My husband who routinely makes me laugh so hard I almost hyperventilate.Loving what we do for a living. A little boy who talks in delightful toddler gibberish that only I can understand. Good coffee, roses in the garden, and new friends who have become just as dear as the old. My son winning the outstanding student award at his school. The sad days make these joys doubly precious.

Strawberry season will begin in just twelve days or so, and once it does, I will be getting a new stove. I have a list of new recipes I want to try when I do have a stove, with buttermilk berry cake being on the top of the list. In the meantime, I am kind of enjoying (my excitement is waning......) seeing how creative I can be. I was able to make kale chips in my roaster oven last weekend. They were absolutely delicious, and even my little girls loved them. I could only fit a small batch in to the oven, but they were gobbled up quickly and everyone clamored for more. I used Tuscan kale, which seemed to be a little bit more tender and less strongly flavored that the traditional kale. The boys bought it at the farmer's market, so it was very fresh. I drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled it with freshly ground pepper, and then added a liberal amount of fumee de sel. This is a fancy salt I bought this winter, which I have come to really like. It has large grains, so it holds up to roasting well, and it also has a slight smoky flavor to it. I know that any old salt would have worked just fine, and that there is no need to use fancy salt to make food taste good, but with my limited cooking options, playing with new ingredients has become my creative outlet in the kitchen right now!

I have some posts on child rearing and home schooling kicking around in my mind, and once graduation and the subsequent party are over, I will try to make cohesive thoughts on those subjects! On the other hand, by then I may have a stove, and all my posts will be pictures of my new toy!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The whirlwind week

 The last week has been a flurry of (really, really fun) activity. My eldest turned eighteen, and about fifty people showed up for his party.
 These two children of mine have always been the best of friends!
 Road Rally contestants, moments before we started. The rally was a blast, and the Farmer and I won! We met at one place, and then were told our first destination. When we got there, we took a picture, texted it to the organizers, the were given our next clue.
 This was our final destination, a little restaurant in Amity, Oregon. I took no pictures (other than with my phone as we shot past our stops along the way) because we were in too much of a hurry tying to win the race.
 Inside the restaurant, waiting for the last contestants before ordering our meal. Turns out the last , contestants were in a ditch after hitting gravel and spinning out of control. They were fine, and so was the car. This place had great ambiance, and was very hospitable to our large noisy crowd.
 My delicious meal- ravioli made with local raised game birds, duck confit, nettles, and homemade cheese, topped with foraged nettle pesto and fiddleheads. Yum. Double yum! I also had a glass of Hefeweisen, which was the perfect accompaniment.
 Dear friends! Their daughter helped my children organize the route and send texts during the race.
 The restaurant had this wood fired oven and I was so tempted to order a pizza made therein. My niece ordered one, and it looked so good!

 The next big event was this weekends ladies tea held at my older children's school. I was in charge of the whole thing, and it was, in spite of being very stressful, really fun. We had an international theme, and each table was set to reflect a different country. Lots of really beautiful tables- these ladies know how to decorate!
 When I came in Sunday morning, this was on one of the tables. I knew this particular hostess was doing Scotland, but couldn't imagine what this would turn in to!That is real grass, by the way!
The round of sod was transformed into a picnic in the Scottish Highlands! This was such a fun and creative table, and won the award for favorite table! Below is one final picture, showing the school gym turned into a tea hall!Now that the rush of tea planning is over, I can focus all my attention on the upcoming strawberry season!