and we will try again.
I often forget about polenta, but really enjoy it. We've been eating gluten-free for one of our tribe lately. I'm still working on compiling a repertoire of gluten-free recipes that are meat-free, zero-waste (as possible) + tasty...so this departure from rice was quite welcome. :)
1 cup cornmeal
2 Tbsp. butter (we compost the wrappers)
4 cups water
1 Tbsp. salt
grated cheese (ours was pepper jack)
beans (made from bulk + frozen)
For polenta: Bring water + salt to boil, slowly pour cornmeal in while whisking, reduce heat to simmer, add butter, stir periodically for about 25 minutes (while preparing toppings), remove from heat + stir in cheese.
For this meal we used the toppings listed above, but use what is available, in season, + sounds good. This time I sliced some tomatoes + peppers from our garden and sautéed them in a little olive oil over medium heat. Top the polenta + enjoy.
I finally cut into this vegetable dyed, Indian block print fabric that I've been saving for just the right project since February. I always have a project in mind when I buy fabric, but often my inspiration wanes between the time the online order is placed + the package arrives. I try to counter this by waiting to buy until I am sure...but...for some reason I often change my mind.
This fabric is my favorite piece I've found in quite some time, so that just seemed to make the stakes higher. I'm glad that I waited for the connection with saroulles. Folkwear makes a beautiful pattern for them. I like wearing these with tank tops now + imagine them being just as great with sweatshirts later. These pants are super comfy, with an interesting shape. I'm thinking a pair in a sort of sueded rayon challis is next (if I can find the right fabric). (I think I found it!)
Fabric :: Indian block print from etsy
Pattern :: Folkwear 119 (slightly cropped)
worn with :: organic cotton, fair-trade muscle tank from Synergy Clothing (my yoga top)
P.S. Sorry for my posting foibles in this space lately. I feel like my slip has been showing. I'll polish up that last mistakenly posted one + repost it when I take some pictures to go with it. :)
My favorite kind of peppers to grow are Carmen peppers. They grow well in our climate and they are sweet + tasty. I was unable to get the seedlings from our usual source this year, so I decided to try these spicy peppers along with some more bell shaped sweet peppers. Both plants have done very well + produced a lot of peppers.
We love spicy food, so I was very excited when the first spicy pepper was ready to pick. What I was not anticipating was the painful burns I got on both hands from cutting them. Wow! They kept me awake at night. So, I've been a little afraid of these things ever since. :)
They have been pouring in from the garden, + I've been avoiding them (other than adding portions to the pickle jars). I thought I'd try drying them and then crushing them into pepper flakes for use throughout the year. The peppers are strung onto some buttonhole thread + will probably take 3-4 weeks to dry. Once they are dry, they will be crushed, kept in a jar for up to a year, + used to season lots of meals.
My favorite + most used spice in the kitchen has to be pepper flakes. I am fortunate enough to be able to buy them quite inexpensively in bulk. Even so, I think it will be rewarding to use our own homegrown pepper flakes...+ I'm guessing they will be a bit more spicy too.
If anyone is looking for a simple food to grow...even on a balcony, or back porch in a pot...I'd recommend trying peppers. A seedling can be found at a nursery or farmer's market in the spring + transplanted into a pot. They don't grow too big (as opposed to a cucumber or tomato plant), resist pests, and like water, sunshine, + heat. :)
It's that time of year again! Last week concluded New York's fashion week. A handful of other cities have gone before + some are still to come. Color combinations, pattern mixing, silhouettes, original use of basic pieces, proportions, general creativity, and an offhanded injection of fun...these are a few of the things that I admire in these amazing photos. I'm inspired to try new things with the items already in my closet...to thrift with new eyes...+ to imagine creative makes. I don't know which part of fashion weeks around the world is more inspiring...the shows themselves or the street style. I do love the anything goes nature of street style these days. There is no dictated style...no hemline of the year...no rules about wearing white...no strange looks regarding sock + sandals. And as always, the best accessories are a smile + a friend. :)
Amazing photos via links.
I love that all the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies can be found in bulk! I use a classic recipe (halved), but opt for fair-trade chocolate chips. Child labor + slavery are common in the chocolate industry, so this is an arena where consumers can make a real difference. Fair-trade chocolate does cost more, so we choose to make it an occasional treat. Seems appropriate...rather than sacrifice. :)
Felt + indigo = inspiration for reviving thrifted or worn pieces of clothing.
The power of empathy. Library hold promptly placed.
"Listening, and then taking what is heard/learned and using that to teach other white people, is the best thing white allies can do to help."
In case it was missed earlier in the week, listen. So important.
A few ways to let it go.
Now that's a uniform.
The minimal color palette in this small home achieves that cozy feeling simply.
Have a lovely, relaxing weekend, friend! :)
Be present. Make love. Make tea. Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation. Buy a plant, water it. Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed. Have a smart mouth and quick wit. Run. Make art. Create. Swim in the ocean. Swim in the rain. Take chances. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Learn. Know your worth. Love fiercely. Forgive quickly. Let go of what doesn’t make you happy. Grow.
- Paulo Coelho
In addition to enjoying fresh, organic flavors straight from our backyard, I've learned a few things about growing + trusting + letting go in the garden this summer. We've experienced repeated bouts of torrential rain interspersed with hot dry days. A few storms downed trees and the tomatoes. Floods evacuated neighborhoods more than once in the span of a few weeks. Warm days in March contrasted with a cooler than normal August.
It took time + twine to rebalance the tomatoes. I hoped that their roots remained intact + that they would survive. And then it happened again. I don't think that tomatoes like extreme amounts of rain on repeat. Our harvest is usually at its peak in August + September, but this year it has almost quit.
Radishes + strawberries did well early in the season. The snap peas that usually produce enough to preserve for months to come didn't do so well. I'm not sure exactly why.
Our potato plants looked different this year, so I just decided to hold my hopes for them lightly. I decided to be happy, if we had potatoes...and to be ok, if we didn't. Our harvest may be double what we planted, and for that I am grateful. It takes a lot of work to plant + dig potatoes however, so I'm not sure it was totally worth it. I'm just letting it be.
But the cucumbers...at first they trickled in. And then...they started coming in by the armload...every day! I think it's safe to say that cucumbers don't mind lots of rain.
Climate change is on full display in the garden. I'm mindful of the privilege of being able to observe its effects first hand. My humble gratitude goes out to the farmers whose knowledge + toil goes into growing the bulk of our food. They are my heroes. Sun + rain are necessary ingredients for growth, and their amounts matter. Yes, weather patterns ebb + flow...but the shifts are becoming ever more drastic. Whether or not we grow our own food, our food grows. Climate affects each and every one of us.
In our house, there is a place for my crafty stuff (a portion of a closet downstairs)...a place for my clothing (in the closet I share with Mr. Tribe)...and a place for Jo + Julia's clothes (in their respective closets). Clutter is not always visible stuff that needs to be cleared away to make room for a more tidy space (but sometimes it is). :)
Clutter becomes clutter (even in organized spaces) (which ours is not always), when it is no longer serving a purpose. Clothing that we no longer choose to wear is clutter. Craft supplies that are not going to become finished projects in my home are clutter. Kitchen items that I no longer use are clutter.
About two or three times per year, I go through closets and cabinets. I check in with our stuff to see if it is still serving a purpose. Stacks of things usually form. Letting go is as easy as bagging it all up and dropping it at a charity shop...or as difficult as organizing a yard sale. The goal is simply to connect our outgoing stuff with new owners who will use it. I know that if my stuff goes directly into the thrift arena, it may not sell and may eventually clog the economy of another country...or simply end up in the landfill.
Obviously, my primary goal needs to be prevention. Unnecessary purchases are ill advised. Even with great vigilance, however, stuff does come and go. Clothes are outgrown by growing children. Well-intentioned purchases are sometimes unsuitable. Things outlive their usefulness in one place.
Here's what I did this time to connect my outgoing stuff with new owners:
-Tried to sell a few things on Ebay (brand name items), Etsy (vintage items + craft supplies), + Craigslist (bulky pieces). I set a time limit + if things don't sell in a couple of weeks, I donate them. I need to keep this stuff moving.
-Finished a few unearthed sewing projects. A pillow cover for Jo, a yoga bag for Julia, some pillow cases + a jumpsuit for me.
-Craft supplies that don't sell will be donated to a craft supply resale shop. Some were donated (mailed) to The Social Justice Sewing Academy.
-Made some useable bags out of scrap fabric instead of dumping it. Donated them. Added the tiny scraps to my rag bag of spent fabric (spent cleaning rags, threadbare sheets, holey intimates) + brought that bag to Goodwill to be donated for rags, insulation, etc.
-Tried to sell a few of last year's homeschool textbooks + other books on Amazon (checking to see if they are worth more than about $7) or Ebay. If they didn't sell in a few weeks, tried selling them to Half Price Books (best when you have a bag full) or donated them to the library book sale.
-Cleaned kitchen cupboards + made plans to use up lingering ingredients in the next week. I try to do this monthly.
If we had a lot of games, puzzles, or unused coloring books + supplies, I'd look for some to donate to Houston Emergency or equivalent Florida organization. Take a look at their list for other inspiration. This could be great motivation for children to look through their things while thinking of children who lost all of their books + toys due to flooding.
I recently read Carmella's twist on William Morris. William Morris said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or beautiful." Carmella adds, "Is it useful or beautiful for our lives right now?"
I don't need to hang on to that which could be useful or beautiful to someone else right now.
Maybe the greatest accomplishment pictured here is what this is not. This is not the new jeans that Everlane released that I was tempted by...but know I will not choose to wear daily. This is not that Ilana Kohn denim jumpsuit that I found on sale...but after catching a glimpse of the insides of...realized is simply a sewn garment...not the holy grail of the jumpsuit of happiness. (Yes, writing this makes me feel like a hypnotized sheep.)
This is a jumpsuit that I have imagined sewing for years...and have finally managed to bring into the realm of good. Last autumn, I attempted it. Last winter, I tried to fix that attempt. In the spring, I bought a tank top pattern to combine with the bottom of the jumpsuit pattern...made a muslin of the top + decided that it didn't suit me. All summer, I couldn't bring myself to try again.
And then there was yesterday, the motivation came to me...I seized it...made a muslin...considered...adjusted...hoped...cut...and sewed...and sewed. I think I have finally made something that pretty much meets my expectations. It feels good. :)
Fabric :: denim tencel from Blackbird Fabrics
Pattern :: a combination (Butterick 6312 + Bantam tank) + tweaks
Fueled by :: Scene on Radio podcast series, Seeing White (so, so good + a must listen)
P.S. Yes, I was sitting on the couch next to a straw hat. This was right after Julia indulged me in a lengthy (at least 4 min.) photo shoot in which I struggled to not come across as a Telly Tubby + nearly decided that this whole jumpsuit thing is not for me. Oh well. A little more over there. :)
daring to choose fair one choice at a time