I know I have mentioned it on Instagram before but I don't think I've spoken of it here..? I hold a monthly ritual these days, where I step back and unplug around the time of each full moon. Over this past weekend not only did I unplug, but we three went the extra mile and entered into domestic lock-down mode where no one came in and no one went out! It was lovely and just what was needed after last week's global events. Despite all the confusion and uncertainty that has been swirling around since the U.S. election, there is one thing that remains clear; no one can ever take away our Love and Connection. Be it with our children and families, our friends, our relationship with Mother Nature, or our community. The value and importance of love and connection holds fast and, I believe, is what gets each and every one of us through the days when everything else seems shaky.
It's no surprise that creativity- in all it's many forms- is woven thickly into each of my days. Creating is how I regain and maintain my centre. It is my fuel and helps to shift my focus away from external (or global) chaos. It's a guiding light leading me back home to my nest and even though I have at times pondered over whether I should hone my skills into one specific craft, it's times like these that remind me of why I like to explore. Depending on where I'm at or the influences that have led me there, I will sometimes create through sewing or knitting, sometimes it might be another textile art or a home DIY, and then sometimes it is gardening or cooking. This past weekend it was all about the later and of course, there's always a bunch of photos taken along the way ;)
So a couple of weeks ago there was a garden update where I spoke of a potential mid-November garlic harvest. Well here we are and yep, I probably could get out there and pull up those bulbs. They would be fine, except out of the blue (and for the first time in my garlic growing experience) I noticed a lovely long tendril growing out of almost every plant. I feel like those scapes appeared overnight but in truth I think I have been too busy and distracted to see past the leaves and actually notice that they were there. In my defense they are a bit camouflaged but while searching for a scape pesto recipe* I learned that the appearance of said scapes indicates the bulbs are about two weeks away from being ready. I guess that means I'm about two weeks away from pulling those babies up. In the mean time, with walnuts and Parmesan on hand, I snipped the scapes and blended them into a pesto. Now the plants can spend these coming days putting all their energy back into the bulbs so that they are as best as can be for harvest time.
Next on my list was to get making with that sourdough culture and the kombucha scoby I brought home from the Makers Table. I started the first ferment for the kombucha about a week ago so the weekend was a perfect time to bottle that batch with their flavours. Once capped I returned them to the cellar for their second ferment and away I went with another fresh batch of tea. This first lot of bottles I've flavoured with strawberry and ginger, and I'll let you know what it's like in a few days after I transfer them from their shelf in the cellar to a shelf in the fridge. Cross your fingers for me!
Now will you allow me a moment to gloat... just for a second? Because I thought I might have killed that thriving (sourdough) mother culture I came home with the other weekend. You see, the busy days took over and I kind of forgot what I was suppose to do with it, so for a little too long it sat on my kitchen bench before I shoved it into the fridge. On Saturday I pulled it out and tried to revive it with a fresh feed (flour and filtered water) before leaving it to sit and then mixing it into a dough later that night. Then Sunday I got baking and would you have a look at it!?!!! I am feeling so darn excited (and maybe a little bit chuffed with myself!). It worked and it is delicious!!! I fed the remaining starter and am keeping it in the cellar (hopefully a safe enough distance from the kombucha since I've been warned that scoby is a bully and will take over any other fermenting process, eeep!). I'll go again with another loaf this coming weekend and if it turns out half as good as this first one then I think it could well be the start of a wonderful love affair!!!
And just because no weekend full of making, baking and creating is complete without a batch of cookies, I have to include a shot of this lot. They are sultana and dark chocolate chip using rye flour and dark muscovado sugar. I use a basic biscuit base recipe and change it up with add-ins each time I make them. The base recipe is the Milkwood Farm House Cookie and although I have usually used the raw (unrefined) sugar they call for in the recipe, this time around I only had dark muscovado so I went with it and I think I'll repeat that variation again because the extra molasses caramelises and makes for a super delicious, crunchy but chewy cookie.
So in between games of Battleship, chapters of Harry Potter book 3 (that's our current family novel), and the washing and vacuuming, there was a fair bit of time in the kitchen and all of it felt just right. Now the Moon has reached her peak and here down in S.A. we had a clear night so She was as Super as they said she'd be. A fresh new week has begun and although there is still so much unrest in the world, I feel lucky and grateful that I can still focus on what is most important to me.
Over the next couple of weeks I've got a deadline to get cracking on so I might fall quiet here but I'll be back to share soon.
Have a great week friends! xo
* Ps/ I nearly forgot... the scape pesto recipe I used is from here ;)