Saturday, May 30, 2009

Today's Farmer's Market Purchases

Peaches $9
Blackberries $7
Sourdough Bread $3
Lettuce $4 ($2 per head)
Corn (6 ears) $1.50
Pole Beans (1 pound) $1.50
TOTAL: $26

I absolutely love going to the farmer's market. It is a recent addition to our town, this being only the second year it has been regularly held. And it is wonderful. It brings me immense amounts of happiness to spend Saturday morning with my family at the Farmer's Market. Being out in the sunshine, handing my money to the people that grew the food I am purchasing, discussing different recipes is pure heaven. The kids ran around, petting dogs, blackberry juice dripping down their chins, sometimes with their own purchases in their hands. This morning, we ran into 7-8 families that we knew. The kids played around our feet while the adults discussed when certain crops will be in season and how much we paid for the sweet corn. It was pure local happiness.
After we left the farmer's market, we had breakfast at the donut shop just down from our house. The owner lives in our neighborhood and my husband sells him the ingredients that he uses in his restaurant. As we ate, we chatted with the older lady at the table next to us. She also lives in our neighborhood and walks her dog by our house every day. She has had many conversations with my children as they play in the yard. As we finished up our breakfast, a family walked in who's daughter is getting married next Saturday. I am directing the wedding. We discussed a few wedding details before we left.
I love living a community oriented life. It really enriches our day to day interactions and gives value to the quotidian.

For more (lots, lots more!) on the importance and impact of eating locally, I suggest reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

EXERCISES IN AWARENESS, #3 (today's lunch)

Record everything you eat in a day. Also, the time you ate it, what was going on around you, your emotional state, etc. How did the foods you ate affect your well being that day?

**I thought this would be a good exercise for me to do today, after a week of mindless eating at the beach. I notice that just the act of practicing awareness helps me make better food choices. I don't want to write down that I had a moment of weakness and ate half a bag of marshmellows, so therefore, I am less likely to eat them!**


10:15 AM: Very hungry. Kids have already been fed, so I am cooking just for myself. I am intentional about focusing just on the food I am eating, resisting the urge to turn on my cell phone or computer, or open a book, or make a to-do list. Instead, I sit at the table and force myself to eat slowly and really enjoy it. It feels a little weird but is relaxing.

-2 eggs, scrambled (eggs from my mom's chickens, seasoned with some of my new sea salt and pepper).
-1 piece of Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted cinnamon raisin bread, toasted with butter and local honey
-Large glass of ice water (3rd for the morning).

1:45 PM: Slightly hungry. Feeling a little frazzled, and am glad it is Bauer's nap time. Used the computer while I ate.
-A personal pizza of sorts. An Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain tortilla, topped with tomato sauce, fresh spinach, onion, and a little feta cheese. Heated through. Yummy.
-Large glass of ice water (5th of the day).

6:45 PM: Gnawing-off-my-arm -hungry. While fixing dinner for the family, I wolf down...
-Matt's Japanese left-overs from the night before (rice, zucchini, onions, chicken).
-Handful of yellow raisins
-Large glass of ice water (glass 8 or 9 for the day). Eating all this quickly leaves me with awful heartburn.

8:15 PM: Greatly anticipating my dessert for the evening. Enjoyed with much gusto and lip-smacking.
-Small cup of Strawberry Lemon Love Coconut Bliss ice-cream.

9:30 PM: Settled in with a book (rereading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver) and wanted something sweet.
-1 cup of frozen grapes. Yummy. Perfect ending to the day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

HARVESTING SEA SALTI was turned on to the idea of harvesting sea salt from the wonderful River Cottage Family Cookbook, which I first read about here.
This last week afforded the perfect opportunity, as we vacationed with our family at Fripp Island, off the coast of South Carolina.
The process was as simple as lugging a stock pot full of sea water back home and straining it (we used a kitchen towel and coffee filter in lieu of cheesecloth), then boiling it down for several hours. It reminded me of making butter. For the longest time, nothing seems to happen and you think it isn't going to work, and then, within just a moment or two, bam!, you have butter (or in this case, sea salt). It happens very quickly. It just looks like a pot of water for several hours until all but about an inch of water has boiled away. That is when you start to notice salt crystals forming on the surface of the water. One stock pot afforded about 7 heaping tablespoons of salt.
The men/critics of our group refused to touch our "toxic waste sea salt" but after copious amounts of googling, it seems that my sea salt is just as safe to eat as any I could buy. Even Fleur de Sel is harvested by a sea town, as is most salt, apparently.
I think harvesting sea salt will become one of my annual beach traditions.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Record all the sounds you hear in the course of one hour.

~12:44-1:44 PM, Monday afternoon~
Hum of the fridge
Cartoon on TV
College neighbor next door, starting his massive truck
Squeal of the postman's delivery truck tires
Children's voices
Toy dragging across the floor
Cellphone ringing
Fan whirring
Child screaming
AC blowing
Blind being pulled down
Sound machine
Side of crib being pulled up
Velcro fastening
Trash can, rolling over gravel
Nerd candies, pouring from box
Paper flipping
Wicker creaking
Car doors slamming
Car accelerating
Raindrops falling on leaves, through trees
Pantry door opening, closing
Mailbox, opening, closing
Crunching of ice
Drawers opening and closing
Clothespins snapping
Clothes coming off the line, being shaken, folded
Knocking on front door
Men's voices (Air conditioner repairmen, yay!)
Dishwasher running

I was surprised at how many different sounds I heard, during a relatively quiet time (children's naps). I was also surprised at how little I usually notice...these sounds comprise the background noise of my day. It wasn't until I tried to be aware of the sounds around me that I even noticed them at all.

*Creative Commons image from striatic on

Friday, May 01, 2009

EXERCISES IN AWARENESSIn an on-going attempt to be aware, thankful, intentional, creative, simple, grateful, and live a slow, meaningful life...I thought I would do a series of Exercises in Awareness...little things that either stimulate my creativity, encourage simple interactions with my children, force me to slow down, to notice new details, etc. I may do one a day, or sometimes only one a week. I am not going to put strict parameters on it and make it complicated. I have a List of 100 ideas that I found online (I will put up the link later) that I am going to pull from to get me started.


List your 10 most important things (not including animals or people).
1. My house.

2. Living an unhurried, simple, content life.

3. Nature.

4. Books.

5. Ergo.

6. Macbook.

7. Church.

8. Bubble baths in the claw foot tub.

9. Good food/cooking.

10. Date night.

What are your 10?