Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Things sprouting in my tea garden . . .

My tea garden, which I have told you all about before, is growing (excuse the untended pun) slowly and quickly all at the same time. Sprouts are those little, unfathomable, perfect creations that baffle my mind every single time a new one emerges. Like babies being born, sprouting seeds carry that cross over between before and after that even grown, exceptionally intellectual, intelligent people have not yet found the exact key to.
Bold is the only way to describe something so determined to push through and face the unknown . . .
First sight of the sun, and direct contact with water must help to confirm the decision is a safe one.
I am thrilled by the finally found chairs for my tea spot . . . 
And I am so excited to keep watching as my time and work changes from my handiwork to the spell cast by Earth itself and each plant participating. 
                                     ~Marica

Monday, June 27, 2011

Simple Cheesy Wontons

My sister in law is from Japan, and her cooking is something we all talk about, and reference, and think about, and look forward to. She has a touch, which she disregards and shrugs off as nothing, that is like glitter in water. She turns "lunch" into a magnificent, million course, expedition from noodle soup to chopped salads that I am afraid I cannot give justice to in words. One thing she has made on occasion, and although I have no idea if this is how she does it, I replicate at indulgent moments when cheesy and oily and salty are nothing I feel like scoffing at. (Not to say her food is even remotely cheesy, oily and salty, only this snack holds these qualities . . . ) Anyway, late the other evening, the indulgence was simmering, and I could feel cheesy wontons rearing their heads. I highly recommend not eating too many too late in the evening, or you might wake the next morning, frowning at your stomach and shaking your head at your own lack of will power. 
Cheesy Wontons:
Buy pre-made wonton wraps,
cut triangles of strong cheese
heat a cast iron pan and oil lightly
brown on both side at let cheese melt entirely . . .
EAT!!!
 I assume these would be good dipped in mustard although I keep forgetting to try it.
                                                                                     Best ~ Marica

Friday, June 24, 2011

Old to New . . .

I think this is the running theme for me as of late. Old house becoming a new home,
 old furniture transforming into fresh living . . . .
All with a bit of work but well worth it in the end . . .
My favorite is when I get help . . .  
And on occasion they truly want to, and it makes a difference . . . 
It was a simple process, but my arms got tired near the end . . . 
 But wow, wow, I love the way they came out . . .
 All finished . . . 
There was even a left over bit of fabric to cover an old chair I'd been lugging around figuring someday I would renewed it . . . 

                           ~Marica

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Summer in the Kitchen . . .

This Afternoon's Sweet . . . 
I didn't measure, but the contents included:
Dates
Almond Flour
Coconut Flour
Coconut Oil
Agave
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut Flakes
 Cocoa Nibs
Sesame Seeds
Cinnamon
Cardamon
and Vanilla
 Summer Special Evening Mango Tequila Sunset. . . 
Simply in a glass:
Ice 
Several fresh mango slices
1 shot decent tequila
2 heaping teaspoons frozen orange pineapple juice concentrate
1/2 fresh squeezed la la la lime
Sparkling agua 
 and a slice of lime . . . 
Slid around the edge to pizzaz the effect . . . 
                                                              To fabulous things ~ Marica

P.S. A sharp knife makes all the difference . . . 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer and the color of food . . . and a recipe . . .

Often the most eye catching arrangement of food is when nothing is done, but each item merely 
holds its own on a plate amongst other dazzling companions. Colors of food can almost outdo flowers. I've noticed that sometimes the simplest compilation of food looks as if its sole purpose 
is to be starred at . . . Summer foods especially shine bright in this department, but lets not forget the eternally beautiful squashes and pumpkins that adorn our tables and pathways come fall. Fruit exuberates its likeness to be combined and enjoyed and the color combinations are hard to conflict. 
Dinners have a different meaning in summer . . . light is okay and cold and fresh is fabulous . . .
Vegetarian Patties:

Combine in a bowl:
1 cup mushrooms, chopped (I used portabella)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup almond meal 
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped 
1 lime squeezed
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 egg

 Heat a pan (preferably cast iron) and poured a thin layer of sesame seeds on the bottom instead of oil. Form patties and cook for several minutes on each side. I did also tested it with oil and it works great, in some ways more typical in its finish, but the sesame seeds won out for me in overall yumminess.

Fruit Salad Trick:
If I haven't already stated this trick it needs to be said, or if I have I apologize, but feel it is worth repeating. Fresh squeezed lime juice is like an exponential gift to the perfect fruit salad. 




                     To summer eating ~ Marica


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tea Garden . . .

Our new property is just under half an acre. Half an acre is, put simply, enough room to breath, and of course grow a few things. To me, yard is of utmost importance. I grew up in the mountains on acreage that ran into the national forest and ended at heaven. Creeks and forest fires were like bread and wine, and somehow, I will never be able to live with too tiny of a box around me. 
This new patch of earth that we hold legal title to is barren enough to still let our imaginations feel giddy. As a child, I always wanted a garden, a flower garden growing with the vitality of Alice in Wonderland and the sacred old-newness that the shoots from The Secret Garden just emerging 
bring . . . tingling shivers . . . the kind of excitement that fingers can't rightly touch upon
 but our whole beings grasp with such earnestness. 
In one section of the yard, the boys and I found the scavenger's treasure needed to create 
such a space. . . These simple cement squares offered a beginning to my Tea Garden. 
Tea Garden as in tea roses, as in climbing flowers, as in secret garden. 
I plan to create a perfect spot, but perfect takes time . . . 
 As the flowers are planted and the foliage fills in, the garden will become somewhere that, if written of in a storybook, a child would dream of, and plan to have one of their own someday. . .
                                                                                ~ Marica

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Settling . . .

Bits of ordinary are so exciting when they are firsts or beginnings . . .First full dinner . . . 
 First coffee . . . 
First hot breakfast . . . 
 Settling takes time . . .
 I am so impatient and yet, once I have waited, the experience is so much more appreciated.

                                                                                                                   ~ Marica

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Pocket . . .

Is there a world that we can't see? 
A place hidden and unknown? 
. . . Fairyland or elven territory?
 In the deep and overgrown . . . 
Whether you are skeptical or not, there is most certainly a pocket we rarely tread upon or 
witness . . . Today as the sun show bright for the first time in many days, my camera caught life 
between the leaves of colorful blooming peddles . . .










                            ~ Marica

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Home . . .

For me, a first cup of tea from my own tea pot, on my own stove, marks an un-reversible concrete step of moving into this new house. It changes house to home and that is the ending goal. 
There is so much still to do, but as my sink can now be filled with dishes I feel this sense of belonging here that was not before alive. 
 Breakfast at the awkward double teared coffee table is a sign of still arranging and plans to come. 
Happy Sunday to Everyone ~ Marica