Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hot links!

No, not sausages and hot dogs. Links to great things I've come across in the webdom that I think you might like too.

Here's a great piece about the science of soil and how its make-up makes us happy. But haven't all gardeners kinda known this? Well now science is catching up with us.

More for the gardener....check out this great made-from-recycled window frames coldframe. What a great piece to grow early edibles for the garden, no?

Oh Portlandia, Portlandia. Such a funny show that's hitting some funny bones a bit too hard in this town. I think it's hilarious, and true. Here's a great interview about Portland's food culture with Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein. You should read it.

I recently did an interview with Marilyn over at La Salonniere—Interviews for the Creatively Curious. This was the first time I'd been interviewed holistically, including my professional life, my domestic arts life, blogging life, and she even included Wink. It was fun to answer her great questions. You can check out my interview here but make sure to check out the other great people she's interviewed. I'm humbled to be among such great folks.

Allison has such a lovely blog, and her recent post about Portland's faux spring and the game we play with it every year soooo resonates with me. And I swoon over her photography. You will too.

How much do I love this? Proud Multnomah County Library card holders taken at my favorite, local neighborhood branch. I love my library, and obviously, so do they. What great photos!
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What a gardener sees

You may see a commercial with a lovely flower at the center of its theme.

What does a gardener see?
The most nightmarish, invasive weed ever.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is a many splendored thing

love is a rose is love is a rose
When the power of love overcomes the love of power,
the world will know peace.
—Jimi Hendrix

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Are you eying all of the citrus in the stores? Yes? You should make kumquat marmalade.

Alternate title: This year I'm only canning the best of the best of the best.

If you've been eyeballing the lovely lemons, oranges, grapefruit and kumquats, and are itching for a kitchen project, may I recommend some kumquat marmalade?

processed jars of kumquat marmalade

I made this a few years back and I've been pondering making a new batch this year. (Except I'm still working through a freezer full of strawberry jam: yikes!)

This is a great recipe to work on your knife skills–thinly slicing those kumquats–and it's a nicely flexible jam that can be used not only on toast, but with good cheese and crackers for party hors de oeuvres, in a summertime BBQ marinade for chicken or pork (think sticky and gooey, combined with soy sauce and some fresh grated ginger) and it's great in baked desserts like these apricot bars. Only instead of apricot bars you're crafting kumquat bars. With blueberries on top. Dee-lish.

As you can tell, I like my preserves to be able to play double duty and have plenty of uses. There's only so much toast with jam one needs, and from now on, the food I'm preserving has got to work in multiple ways. Isn't that a great challenge? Oh it's on.

In 2011? This year's food preserving is about multi-use, flavor packed, low sugar foods. And if I didn't have a freezer full of god damn strawberry freezer jam, I'd make the kumquat marmalade. So you should make it. Go on. It's delicious. (Also, note to AdRi: start eating your strawberry freezer jam!)
finished product: strawberry freezer jam

Monday, February 07, 2011

It's a 6-letter-word

It feels like you-know-what
I've been noticing it. A few things here and there.

Three days ago on a walk my eye spied yellow crocus in bloom. But today I really felt it. It was beyond the daffodils 4 inches out of the ground or the hyacinths beginning to poke up beyond the soil's edge. Last night's rain had rinsed everything clean again, but as I surveyed the landscape from my back patio (also known as waiting for the dog to do her business) it was perfectly clear to me. The air didn't have the bone chilling steeliness, and the raindrops hanging on the leaves were illuminated by sunshine that had a different tone to it. I am so aware of light, and the different angles of the sun and how it changes the color of light, shadow and tone. It really does feel like spring, now, in my most dreaded of months, February.

It's been a bit quiet here at Lelo in Nopo, but then, it's a quiet time of year for me. I haven't told you yet of my word of the year, but it is in full on manifestation mode. I've had some epiphanies going on in my life, and I'm preparing to emerge on the other side. Much like Spring is beginning to show itself in bits and pieces, here and there, I'll return to the busy crafting of my life, of gardening, cooking, preserving and homemaking....the things I blog about here. But in my quest to be constantly learning and growing, I'm excited about changes going on, and how these things will be changing along with me. I've been weighing pros and cons, sizing up the balance of life, and coming to terms with doing what I love and loving what I do. With that said, my podcast is on hiatus for now. But stay tuned for new news, big thinking, and focusing on the simplicity and loveliness of life....