Winter Forest

There are three main ways I like to enjoy the winter forest. There is no bad weather, just bad clothes. Traditional saying The first is taking a walk or run. If I run, I use winter gear including trail shoes that are just shy of being cleats; which is still no particular insurance against ice. If I walk, I may take the dog with me, and I put her jacket on her as well as protective gel on her paws before we go out. The second way is taking photos. My favorite thing is hoar frost which does not happen … Continue reading Winter Forest

Holiday Hot Cocoa

First the quick way, then the “real” way. Basic but nice: Hot chocolate mix and hot water Tea spoon of decaf instant coffee Cream or half n half or almond milk to bring it down to drinking temperature 2 drops peppermint extract OR two shakes ground nutmeg Stir gently and thoroughly Whipped cream topping and sprinkles Fancy way: 2 spoons baking cocoa with just enough boiling water to dissolve it Confectioners sugar to taste, gently stirred in 2-3 spoons brewed decaf coffee Cool milk or cream added to desired drinking temp (Optional: Stir in using a milk frother for more … Continue reading Holiday Hot Cocoa

Celebrate Harvest Season

Celebrate the Summer Harvest Once again, it is my favorite time of the year! Time to celebrate harvest season. The leaves change color and fall, and it is time to put the garden to sleep for the long winter. But first, we take some delicious veggies to the kitchen. Reflecting on the summer garden, I realized that we have actually made a lot of progress in a relatively short time. Celebrate Progress in the Garden First there was a late frost, and then significant competition for our produce from the deer, squirrels, and birds. Now that the harvest is wrapping … Continue reading Celebrate Harvest Season

One Minute Latte

This is the easiest way to make a one minute latte in the comfort of your own home. Under the assumption that you do not already have a full coffee shop set up in your kitchen. Yes, I did a stint as a barista at two different establishments back in the day. Save glass jars with lids. I like Mason jars. I have a good supply of them and the deer decimated our tomato crop so I am not expecting to do a whole lot of canning any time soon. Microwave milk. This is very important: WITHOUT THE LID. Do … Continue reading One Minute Latte

Tiny Beginning Summer Harvest

The very first harvest at the beginning of summer is here! A few pods of red beans. I am going to cook these up, but hopefully will dry and save some as well. Update: Saved about half of a mason jar from last year and they work just fine in early 2021. I made sure they were completely dry before storing them. One use of a pantry stock of dried beans is to plant them. If intended for sprouts, the pantry version should actually be used. Seeds from a seed packet are often treated to prevent spoilage and enhance germination. … Continue reading Tiny Beginning Summer Harvest

Ripening Blackberries

I am eagerly awaiting fresh ripe blackberries from the first plant from three years ago. Last year, there were a couple of handfuls of berries and they were delicious. This year, we will add bird netting and see if we can keep more of the blackberries for ourselves. Berry-producing shrubs amaze me because in the proper environment, they get bigger and better every year with minimal input. It’s a good thing, too. Birds and squirrels enjoy them almost as much as humans. Hopefully with enough berries there will be a chance to make crumble and compote and syrup. Fingers crossed. … Continue reading Ripening Blackberries

Haircuts at Home

A step towards minimalism, inspired by necessity and the pandemic… Haircuts. My husband has been cutting his own hair for years. We already had clippers. I bought a new pair of hair cutting scissors. I wanted a new, sharp pair. My hair is quite long. I had not had a haircut in at least 6 months. In that time, I had started to trim the ends myself. Then my bangs. But overall, I was feeling more and more shaggy. My hair tangled easily and the ends were pretty damaged. I watched YouTube videos and started gathering my courage. Finally, I … Continue reading Haircuts at Home