I have done it a few times, googling how to replace an ingredient when I’m in the middle of cooking and noticed I don’t have everything I need. Searching: What can I use instead of buttermilk? Or what is a good substitute for dry rosemary? With new recipes, when I have to replace any ingredients I can’t tell the difference in its flavor or its presentation, but with an old recipe, I can certainly see the differences? Small changes in flavor, consistency, and most importantly how your stomach feels!
When I was little sitting at the breakfast table my grandmother will decide what to make for lunch and sometimes for dinner. She would name a few dishes and make a decision, pick up her shopping basket, and head to the maker. After a couple of hours which was normal since my grandma would stop and have conversations with friends and neighbors while shopping. Catching up on all the news from, who is getting married, taking a vacation, or having a baby. She will enter her kitchen in a hurry with a basket full of seasonal vegetables, herbs, and fruits ready to cook.
The sound of dicing chopping peeling will echo through the house and later the aroma of herbs and rice and vegetables will take us to the kitchen. If I was lucky she will let me help with making spinach or lamb patties. Lovingly graciously, she would wrap a kitchen towel around me and pull a chair next to hers. I start with my small hands shaping quarter-size patties, I would have my special corner in the pan next to her perfect oval-shaped ones. I was always asking questions “ what is the green vegetable? And what is the yellow bean”? My grandmother in detail will explain, “ the green herb is mint and the yellow bean is lentil”. Then she will explain in detail again how every ingredient helps in flavoring our food and satisfying our tastebuds. She would say “Mint helps to settle your stomach since you have lentils in your food.” Every meal served was made with seasonal ingredients and was perfect for the time. Every ingredient had more than one purpose, to add flavor, and beauty, and to keep the digestive system healthy.
Trying new recipes is exhilarating and I am always happy to know I have found a new dish that my family enjoys. To make every dish perfect and original I take the time to read the recipe and stop at the grocery store to pick up everything I am missing. To create the original flavor takes patience, but all I need to remember is that every old recipe has been refined for years by experts who made it lovingly for their family, just like my grandmother did.🥰
This morning I mentioned to my daughter that I have just uploaded a video on houseresortYouTube channel about : what to wear and be comfortable when you are gardening. When she casually looked at me and said “Mommy who’s going to watch that? nobody works in their garden anymore, you’re the only one who still does it ”!!! First I was surprised by her reaction, but then I realized she was saying something that I already knew. When I am out in the garden trying to make a video of something I am working on I have to stop to let the blowers and the lawnmowers calm down before I can continue with my videos. I rather have birds chirping in the background of my videos than a lawnmower. Sometimes I just sit next to my work waiting for few minutes for natural sounds to take over before I continue.
There are many hobbies that we pick up to enjoy our interests. Writing, reading, walking, fishing, and gardening, are some that my friends and family do to relax and keep the world around them in slow motion. Gardening is my favorite hobby, and photography is an important part of my everyday gardening. I start my season in early spring and I work at keeping my plants and flowers healthy until the first cold day, usually late fall. To be safe & comfortable is very important to me, and makes being outdoors a lot more enjoyable, and the long days less eventful.
Coming across snakes, angry birds, and bees is too common, and even though it does provide a great chance for an interesting nature video, it also keeps me on my toes 😳. Gardners like me depend on comfortable, protective clothes when we are out and about, and to have a hat, gloves, and a cell phone close by makes life less painful and gardening more enjoyable. If you would like to watch the video on what I recommend to wear working in the garden please go to the link below, and leave your comments, and suggestions. I will be happy to receive them. Maybe then I can tell my daughter I am not going extinct👩🏻🌾
I love the idea of a perennial that is also low maintenance. Two great facts about ice plants that make this ground cover one of my favorites. They have plump green leaves all year, that spread easily in a well-drain soil. Need sunlight to bloom, and the vibrant blooms rise during the day and close up slowly as the sun goes down.
When you invest in one ice plant, you can be sure you can propagate them easily through your entire garden. All you need is a clipping and a shallow hole in the soil in a sunny spot. (as far as I can tell, squirrels don’t find them tasty)👍
To change a room, I start with a flower arrangement. I enjoy fresh-cut flowers more than green plants since they can change by season and how I plan on making my room present itself. I know sometimes it can be an expensive task, but I have also picked up some very useful techniques to cut down my flower expenses. In spring I enjoy tulips, daffodils, and my favorite spring flower hyacinths. As days get warmer, mums, daisies, chamomile, peonies…
In Summer I love the pure white petals of gardenias and the compact arrangement I can create with these beautiful blooms. Roses, in cool colors of pink and white, sunflowers, and dahlias in vibrant colors. Summer is also the one season I have more blooms in my garden than any other season, which keeps my flower expenses to a minimum. But to have flowers all year round, and for special occasions, like birthdays, or when I am entertaining our families, I can pick up several bunches of flowers from trader Joe’s and put together several arrangements for every room of my house. It might sound like more work, but this way not only do I get the chance to be creative, but I am also picking up flowers that I enjoy having in my house. No pre-arranged bouquets!
Fresh beets take a long time to cook, but with a crockpot, there is no need to watch and wait. A vegetable so beautiful to slice, and delicious, in a sandwich or on top of any greens, is also loaded with vitamins. I have always used beets when preparing meals, and for the first time, I cooked fresh beets in a crockpot. It took almost 3 hours, to have delicious beets for my salad.
When I plan on making cheese or charcuterie platters, I add slices and whole beets to create a beautiful colorful platter. I look for any chance to add this beautiful vegetable to our meals for more goodness. Good for the digestive system, eating beets increases athletic performance, brain health, decreases inflammation, and detoxes the liver.
We have a very short Spring season and seem to have a never-ending summer. Our Spring is weeks of blooming trees and shrubs, displaying their beautiful blossoms, week after week. It is my best time in the entire year to take photos and videos. I walk through neighborhoods and find old and new dogwood trees and native azaleas with breathtaking colors.
Spring is also when I plan my garden, buy potting soil for flower pots, and arrange them in the shade or sun based on what I have growing in the pot. I can’t tell you how different this year has been for my planning process. Garden centers have the same flowers and plants but prices have increased drastically. A fact that we all face and didn’t expect it. Working on creating a flower or vegetable garden is time-consuming, physically demanding, and expensive, but I can’t even imagine not having a garden. Watering, pulling weeds, cutting flowers for the breakfast table, is what I look forward toall the way through the first freeze 👩🏻🌾