Monday, April 25, 2011

One more cup of coffee

I have finished reading the coffee books I checked out
of the library. I am inspired!

I have been listening to coffee music.
When our local chocolatier came out with a coffee I was thrilled.
There is much to know about coffee
and why to buy Fair Trade
and organic.
I have made plans to tour our local roasterie.
I think it will very informative.

It would be great fun to go to a cupping.

At my house coffee is "no waste".
We use the grinds in our compost and

I use a permanent filter.

My husband made a squirrel guard for one of the
 bird feeding stations from an old coffee can.

Even the foil lined coffee bags are re-useable.
I use them instead of zip lock plastic bags
for when we take sandwiches on picnics.

I dilute left over coffee and give my house plants a drink.
At my house coffee is full use.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I do love a great cup of coffee.

Every morning I sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee
 and my journals. I look out the window and watch the seasons change. When the bleeding hearts are in bloom it is time to make iced coffees.
I add a little co-conut milk to my morning coffee.
A cinnamon stick makes a nice stir stick.
I am reading about coffee from the bloom to the cup.
I am learning about coffee.
It all begins with the beans. The coffee tree species that is considered to have the finest beans is Geisha when it is grown at an high-altitude.

I have yet to locate these beans but I have made a commitment to buying Artisan coffee. I have made a commitment to buying organic coffee.
I am learning about the taste of place. Coffee, like wine,
has the taste of place.

I put a pound of ground coffee into the Toddy Coffee maker last night and let it steep in the refrigerator over night. This morning I
drained the concentrate and made my first iced coffee of the season.
The recipe I use has changed over the years.

Today I used 2 cups co-conut milk, four tablespoons co-conut crystals, one cup coffee concentrate and one teaspoon vanilla.
This is my base. It is very strong and tasty.

 The coffee grinds went out to the pear tree.

I am adding mint to my cold coffee and co-co for a mint chocolate dessert drink.
I think I will make some mint syrup and use fresh mint for garnish.

I shall be making all sorts of coffee creations.

I just read about how important the roast is.

I am learning.

I am looking for the single estate, individual coffee species,
light roasted coffee bean. Maybe I could buy the beans green
 and learn to do my own roasting.
Having a cup of coffee with a friend is a joy and a treat.
We are to have rain and a cool down.
There is a local roasterie not too far from my house. I wonder if they have tours?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Herbs and sprouts

I cut a few sprigs of fresh mint for our iced tea.
Tender spring leaves are delicious to munch on while I deadhead daffodils. I must dry more this year for next winter. I ran out last year. Mint tea is one of my favorite winter drinks.

The sugar snap peas have sprouted.
Tender pea pods with fresh mint are amazing together.

The salad bowls have sprouted.
I have swiss chard planted in the center with red oak leaf lettuce
around the edges of the bowls. They will be my center pieces for my Easter table.
I took all of the over wintered rosemary plants out to the deck.
Soon I will plant them into the herb garden.

The bronze fennel has sprouted. It is a gorgeous plant where ever it grows. This year I will try to keep it cut back. Not only do the Black Swallowtails use it for a host plant but I love the smell and enjoy having a few leaves on my desk. I seldom dig the bulbs. Maybe this year I will have enough fennel for the Swallowtails and my stir fry.

The lemon balm my friend gave me last October has returned.
I have it growing in one of the front flower beds. A very pretty plant and one I will harvest often to keep it under control.
So refreshing in iced tea and in salad.

The French Lilacs are just opening.
During Lilac time I enjoy a fresh spray on the kitchen table.
The scent goes perfectly with my Spring suppers.

I am making up my meal plan for the next two weeks.

I like the way this cookbook is laid out.
I am entertaining my husband 
and myself this month.

I am gathering ideas for refreshing drinks,


and salads.

I am gather recipes for fresh garden vegetables.

We watched "Julie & Julia" over the weekend.
Wonderful movie.
Now I want to write a cookbook; a vegetarian, glutton free, fresh from the Spring garden, with lots of herbs and sprouts.
I want to write a cook book that shows how fun a kitchen garden can be.

Monday, April 4, 2011


We are cooking French lentils today in the slow cooker.
We discovered them at the market last week.

I am enjoying getting to know the French through
their food culture.
 It is the perfect way to get to know a culture.
 Understanding food traditions, both the everyday foods and the special occasion foods brings a connection for me to their table.

I made up another bottle of Rosemary
infused olive oil.
It is a staple in my kitchen.

Yesterday the temperature soared to 91 degrees
breaking the record for high temperature
on April 3rd.

I made a pitcher of lemonade
and a pitcher of iced tea.
I mixed them 50-50 and made Arnold Palmers.

A delicious dessert drink is
lemon sherbet with lemonade poured over.
It is my lemon float.

I added maraschino cherry juice and a cherry
for a Sunset Spectacular beverage.

The warm windy afternoon
was perfect to dry my lemon peels.
I use them in my lemon-ginger
This is my favorite salt.
Soft and amazing! The way it is harvested is also amazing.

I savor each bite of  food from my kitchen.
I savor each aspect of our meals from meal planning and marketing
to storage and preparing. I am looking forward to our meals from the gardens. I savor the planning and planting and tending.
I savor the harvesting.

I love the flavor of Tupelo Honey.
It is perfect on oatmeal.
It is my honey for April.
I love fresh pears, sliced for snacking.
They seem so French.

Last night thunderstorms came through and then the wind shifted
from the southwest to the northwest. Around 11pm I stood on my front porch and felt the wind. The rains had moved on. The wind was cool and refreshing.

I was greeted this morning to a cool 41 degree temperature.  I stepped out on the front porch again and was kissed by a Fresh Breeze from the north.  The Beaufort Wind strength scale states a 19-24 mph wind is a fresh breeze, a number 5 on the scale. I gathered my terry robe closer to me and closed my eyes. I could hear the wind playing his song on the wind harp. I could smell Spring.  I fell in love with the wind.

Once I was back inside I decided to start a wind journal. I decided to gather wind lore. I decided every day I can savor the wind.