Today I hosted a small gathering at my home, sort of an afternoon tea for women in the Red Temple group of Pagan women. I had set a batch of herbal sun tea out on the picnic table this morning to steep (Indian Spice flavor). I washed and hung out two loads of laundry, and BlackLion and I tidied up the house. I put a batch of strawberry-orange muffins in the oven just before the meeting, and set out plates and cups. Along with the muffins, I served homemade strawberry jam that a friend had given me, Cabot butter, and some homemade salsa with white corn chips. There was also local honey for the iced tea. One of my friends brought along some banana-walnut muffins she'd made.
During the meeting, as I went to the stove to check on the black beans I was boiling up for dinner, another friend asked about how I managed to cook beans from scratch without them ending up mushy. I told her about my methods for cooking beans, and then I had a little mini-realization - I should blog about my experiences as a homemaker and how I do things.
I haven't wanted to put myself in a category, such as locavore or vegan, because I really don't fit fully into any particular box. We are vegetarians, and we do eat dairy and (local) eggs, but we also eat a lot of vegan foods. We like to buy local veggies, but we don't focus solely on that. We enjoy organic food when it's possible, but sometimes it's too expensive for us. See what I mean? Purists from any of those categories would look askance at me.
But I suspect there are more families like mine, and some who would want to get tips and hints on how to do what we're doing. Our intentions are to eat healthy foods, make a lot of things from scratch, choose local and organic foods when we can, be kind to the environment, and keep to our budget. The things that, to me, are just part of our lives now, such as cooking with all kinds of dried legumes, making up our own recipes, and making more things on our own (like salad dressing, bread, and mustard), might be a new interest or goal for someone else. I guess I shouldn't assume that just because I'm not doing everything from scratch (yet?) that I don't have valuable information and wisdom to share. I don't have to be "finished" a process to share about how it's going. A revelation! Heh heh.
So, along the lines of one of the blogs I like to read, A Handmade Life, here are some photos of this weekend's projects.
BlackLion made these sesame bulkie rolls for Friday night's dinner, which was homemade falafel patties, kale salad, and oven fries.
These are the strawberry-orange muffins, adapted from my Mom's orange muffin recipe.
Indian Spice herbal sun tea. Some of us had it plain over ice, while others added honey. Mmmm!
Our family's semi-famous homemade salsa, a regular dish for us. This batch was made by Quester and I, with some help from the hungry and impatient kids.
Two loads of laundry today, plus the swim towels from the jaunt to the lake that BlackLion and the kids took during my afternoon gathering.
And just for fun, some roses from Quester's flower garden. These are "my" mini yellow roses - the original bush was a gift from my Mom. Quester has nurtured them along, though.
And finally, a red rose that Quester rescued from a friend's rose garden. It was small, but is doing well here.
Please comment with your feedback! Let me know if you'd like to hear more about this aspect of my family's life.
P.S. I forgot to mention (or photograph) the Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream that I made (my own recipe). My friend said it tasted like Cherry Garcia, and BlackLion said it's the best he's ever had (and that's his favorite flavor). Wow!