Monday, October 20, 2008
Once again, our winter seeds are a little late getting in the ground, but our sprouts poked their heads out of the soil over a month earlier than last year. Last year it was Thanksgiving morning that we made our way through the cold out to the hoophouse only to lift up the remay and discover our seedlings, something to be truely grateful for. Later that season, March, I believe, we harvested our first spring crop. Hopefully we'll be munching on our greens and those covetted hakurei turnips earlier this year. The remay has been on our seedlings for about a week now, but this weekend the plastic cover was pulled tight securing warmth for our babies.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
It's full swing autumn, here in New England. Possibly my favorite time, the crisp air, the changing leaves, preparing for hibernation, and autumn olives.
If you've never tasted the tart-sweetness of an autumn olive, it is time you did. Autumn olives, also known as autumn berries, are extremely abundant this time of the year. Not only delicious, these berries are purveyors of vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids, essential fatty acids and are loaded with lycopene. They are a truely local superfood. And my husband views it as such, squirreling it away for us (but making sure to leave enough for the birds and some for the plant). My husband and I have grand plans on preserving the harvest: freezing, concentrating, drying, blending, tincturing. What a wonderful medicine to aid us on our winter adventures.
The shrub is easy to identify. My daughter points out the silvery shimmer of their under-leaf as we make our way through town. "Mom, autumn olives!" She'll yell as we are driving down the road, taking note as to where we'll be able to harvest this year's goodies. My four year old picks the gold-speckeled, red berry out of a line up including autumun olive, poke berry and the deadly night shade berry, positive that he has picked the only edible fruit of the three. My children can identify a growing number of edible and medicinal plants at this point, but by far their favorite is their precious (and, unfortunately for the environmentalist in me, wildly invasive) autumn olive. Lucky for us we have more than we can handle, only a few steps away, giving us and our bird friends a convenient way to dine together for a few cherished weeks of the year.
For more information on the autumn olive, check out this link:
Lying in bed thursday morning my mind wandered to the upcoming birthday party that we were cohosting with friends. My oldest daughter's sixth birthday is coming up next week and my friend's son was turning five that very day. We decided it would be fun to work together on a party.
Dessert is a big occassion in our family. We are pretty much what you might consider foodies, food snobs, or just plain food obsessed. Whatever you call us, we love our food, especially raw food, but most importantly raw desserts. A party is our excuse to pull out all the stops. We love raw cookbooks, we have loads of them and literally sit around as a family studying recipes. We like to get ideas from them, but we LOVE to create our own. And so do the kids. I cuddled up with my daughter and together we began mentally creating her birthday cake.
mini cupcake holders filled with a raw, chocolate, coconut cookie, all pushed together and frosted with a vanilla, coconut, cashew cream and covered a with pink chocolate flower and a chocolate birthday inscription, all raw, mostly organic.
The tastiest part of the whole experience was the fact that the cake was the brainchild of my daughter and I, created by the two of us along with my son and savored by the family right down to the very last lick off of our cupcake wrappers.
People have been asking me a lot how I get my kids to eat raw food. We make it exciting, we put our passion into it, and we make it a family event.
Oh, but the coolest part of the day? I went outside to check on the kids later that afternoon, Emelia says "Look ma!" and procedes to effortlessly ride her two wheeled bike, all on her own. Neither my husband nor I had any idea. Kids are amazing!