Monthly Archives: August 2016

expressions

 

Elizabeth's tarts

Elizabeth’s tarts

I am spending time in my kitchen today, it’s all there for me, my baking table, my desk with my laptop and steps away in the next room, my studio. I am in a whirlwind today because I am baking cookies for the store, making art for a small commission and, now, writing. I am happy, creativity does that you know. Just wanted to make note of that, just wanted to take my personal effects and put it out there so that perhaps, you, too, find a way to let some of your innate creativity explode within a place of realism. Whether it is a cake, a DIY project or just painting your front door navy blue, I hope you find “it”…today. And if you do, you will be happy.

 
an October kitchen

an October kitchen

In case you need a little push towards creativity, other than this “shove”, I found a blog that I enjoy. It is by Ann Drake. These particular words of hers drew me in… “This house is many things. Most importantly it’s a safe place for my family. At the end of the day this is where we return. It’s where my heart is. It’s home.” http://www.onsuttonplace.com/

A simple post about home and its importance…All of this made me think about words creating thoughts and then, hopefully, action. I thought of my somewhat neglected blog, this one, Sketches of My Day, and I remembered why I started it, it was a friend, a place to sit with coffee and tell what I was thinking, a place of words, words that expressed, words that I could read and reread and try to sort through my day. That’s all it is, my day, my thoughts, my tiny space to jot down what I do so that sometimes, when I need to hear myself, to reassure myself, I can go there. Anyway, if by some chance, I connect with someone, someone who chooses to read these simple words and sometimes tangled thoughts, then that is wonderful and I would feel some purpose has been served other than my own.

I realize how powerful our words are but how useless they are as only thoughts.

b u

p s

 

 

 

 

 

my pantry

 okra 2

This little entry is about my “pantry”…my ongoing project to have something to eat from my yard each month of the year…it is a delightful challenge and I urge you to try. Because this is the Deep South, it may be possible, barring floods and hurricanes, to find something to eat in our yards every month of the calendar year. I am only a self-taught home gardener so anything I write cannot be backed up by academia…it’s just my simple experiences. These are the things I grow or can grow and the month(s) of harvest – some years I am a slacker, but even as a slacker, I usually find something out there.

Let’s begin in Spring…

March… Dew Berries are just beginning and there are a few root veggies still in the soon to be tilled garden…like carrots and turnips.

April… blackberries, blueberries (the very few the birds don’t get first – not very successful here) and the beginning of the strawberries I planted in October

May… plums, more strawberries and maybe a few blackberries

June…all of the summer vegetables begin – tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, green beans…everything except eggplant and okra – at least for me – some serious farmers have these two crops also, but I am not a serious farmer. If I planted potatoes in February, I am digging them up in June before the bugs feast on them.

July…figs and more vegetables from the garden – not much, however, the bugs have moved in by now and the summer rainfall has left the weeding situation about hopeless, at least for me. It’s all about the figs right now, fig preserves on the stove, fig cake in the oven and just fresh off of the tree early in the morning.

August…Pears. I have so many varieties, Kieffer, Bartlett, Ayers, Orient….I lost my old Bartlett last winter and the other varieties are too young to produce so I only picked Kieffer this August…my favorite. Started cutting okra in the beginning of August and I am still harvesting at the end of August…and eggplant until the frost.

September…Persimmons and a few more pears and perhaps the beginning of pecans – if the squirrels don’t eat them all.

October….Pecans and Satsumas around Halloween

November… The beginning of citrus harvest – if there was not a hurricane! Continued pecans and fall garden is filled with broccoli, cabbage, squash, turnips and carrots, hoping to get cabbage and cauliflower and broccoli for Thanksgiving.

December…Nature is giving you the gift of vitamin C to stave off colds and flu…the orange trees are loaded…Louisiana Sweets, Grapefruits, Blood Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Navels, Kumquats…Santa used to put this in my mom’s Christmas stocking during the Depression…

January… Lemons and limes and more oranges and Grapefruit still hanging on, no colds and cruciferous veggies from the fall garden

February…still harvesting Kumquats, Grapefruits and greens from the vegetable garden and digging up renegade turnips and carrots

The End

As I said, this is my little piece of the planet and a very rough outline of what I have. It is not meant to be a guide but more of an inspiration to perhaps grow some of your own food.

IDSC_0643 also have bees and chickens, so I get honey in late summer…and eggs throughout the year but mostly in spring and summer when the days are longer…chicks3

 

 

 

 

 

The picture I posted at the top is my little harvest today, not very much but it is all natural and good for me.

b u

p s

these days

okraThe Sun is out today drying up the rains, at least in some areas.  I trimmed my okra stalks, discarded the hard pods and keep the tender ones to smother with chicken and serve over rice this winter. It felt  like the Ethiopian sun out there, their place of origin. Somehow, however,when I just went with it, the sun, the heat, the sweat dripping on my forehead it all felt surprisingly wonderful… one with Nature, this force that has controlled South Louisiana for a bit over a week now.

The seemingly one last thing on earth we cannot regulate is the force of Nature. We can learn to coexist with it, sorta, but we do not have possession of the rule book, it dictates all, no matter how smart we are or how prepared we try to be, it has the final word. I love and hate that.

I love the power of our planet and the natural world and all of its mystery and wonder but, at times like this, we feel its wrath and we are, in many ways, helpless. These times, times when we are battling a common force, do unite us and for a while, we notice that we are all one and recognize, once again, that we all need one another…the power of Nature.

b u

p s