It’s Valentine’s Day this week and in my kitchen I’m making these four-ingredient, (happen-to-be-vegan) Valentine’s Day cookies. These are a breeze to whip up and are beautifully soft and delicious, almost disproportionately so when you consider how simple the ingredients are. Plus they’re good for the planet.
The love of place is as real, as strong, and as important as any love. I felt it on the wild remote coast of Tasmania. I’ve felt it over and over on visits to Yorkshire – my ancestral home and the place I spent my formative years. I’ve felt in the south of France – the north of France – the middle of France. The sunshine coast of Australia. Salt Spring Island off the coast of Vancouver. I’ve felt it in the rugged, wilderness of Northern Canada. In Killarney Provincial Park as I watched a blue moon rise over the lakes and listened to the loons call to each other. I’ve felt it the Rocky Mountains, in Mexico. And absolutely in Newfoundland. Definitely there. That was love at first sight.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the beauty of imperfection. I’ve written about this before – specifically about the Japanese practice of wabi-sabi – that is, of finding and embracing beauty in flaws and imperfection. And then recently, a friend told me that Mennonite women deliberately stitch errors into their quilting because they say, only God is perfect.
That perfection is neither possible nor even desirable, is such a beautiful and consoling concept. It’s worth repeating and embracing. Continue reading “Thai green curry”
The other evening when I was out with my dog just after sunset, in that time after dusk but before the full, velveteen darkness of night has descended – I watched a field of fireflies lighting up like fairy lights twinkling across the land. Continue reading “rhubarb sorbet”
This rhubarb jam is beautiful in its simplicity. All you will need here is an equal quantity of fruit and sugar and a bit of fresh lemon juice. You can vary the quantity according to the amount of rhubarb you have. I had about 750 grams of washed, trimmed rhubarb – hence my version below. It will take you half an hour all up from start to finish. The jam is divine. It’s old fashioned, tart, and perfect with scones.
Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam
- 750 grams of chopped, trimmed rhubarb
- 250 grams of washed, chopped ripe strawberries (adds colour and flavour to the jam)
- 1 kg of sugar (I think I actually used a little less than 1 kg – probably about 900 grams but if you are going to store your jam – you do need to use enough sugar to set the jam properly and thus prevent it from going bad – the standard ratio is equal quantities of fruit and sugar)
- juice of one fresh lemon
Begin by washing and sterilizing jam jars. I set these in the oven for about 10 minutes at 250 deg. F. In the meantime, bring the fruit and lemon juice to the boil in a large, heavy stainless saucepan. Cook over medium heat (hot enough to maintain a low boil) for about 10 minutes stirring frequently. Add the sugar and bring the jam back to the boil over med-high heat – taking care not to burn the jam, stirring constantly once the sugar is added. It will take about another ten minutes of cooking (20-25 minutes in total) for the jam to thicken and reach the jelly stage. For instructions on this check here.
Once the jam is sufficiently thickened, remove from the heat, stir for one minute, pour into sterilized jars, and seal immediately.
According to Forbes magazine, most of us are spending more than one-quarter of our working week just answering or dealing with email. And that’s just email. Then there are the text messages, the telephone calls, and the time spent on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and LinkedIn…
Here, in the North American east, it’s been a brutal couple of months. Extreme cold, snowfall after snowfall, and high winds. We are heading into the tenth week of continuous winter. Most of us are getting a little fed up. Prickly, even. A bit like Schopenhauer’s porcupines. Continue reading “Schopenhauer’s porcupines and a root vegetable mash”
Even though I’m skeptical, I begin each day by reading my horoscope. I’m partial to… Continue reading “a little Carl Jung and a cranberry, apple, and almond tart”
Once again, I’m so far behind in holiday preparations that I’ve practically given up before I’ve even managed to get started. There’s no tree in my new house, no decorations up, no baking done, very few gifts organized, and only one card mailed (to my cousin in England). Despite the fact that I’m a Christmas minimalist – I need some serious help.