"Wabibitos live modestly, satisfied with things as they are. They own only what’s necessary for its utility or beauty (ideally, both). They revere humans over machines, surrounding themselves with things that resonate with the spirit of their makers. Wabi-sabi is imperfect: a beloved chipped vase or a scarred wooden table."
Here are some examples of wabi-sabi from our home:
One of today's projects was organizing the upright freezer in the basement, taking inventory of it along with my preserves pantry and creating my annual spreadsheet so we can see and check off to know what we have. To make the freezer a bit more manageable, I purchased some baskets and such after reading an awesome article in Better Homes and Gardens last year about this daunting task. I feel as though it was a success. Time will tell.
Curry Pear and Broccoli Slaw
Adapted from a recipe in the Outpost Exchange magazine, November 2009. Don't discard your broccoli stems, most of them--but an inch or so of woodiness at the bottom--are edible.
3 large carrots, trimmed and shredded
2 large broccoli stalks, trimmed and shredded
2 firm but ripe pears, trimmed and sliced thinly (about 1/4")
1/4 c. dried cranberries
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
2 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. curry powder
2 t. honey
1 t. salt
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. roasted peanuts
pepper to taste
Place pears, carrots, broccoli, and cranberries in a large bowl and sprinkle with parsley. In a blender, combine vinegar, curry powder, honey, salt and pepper. While blending, add the olive oil. Pour curry dressing over veggies, add peanuts, and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.
I also made some homemade catsup. I missed the boat on making it from fresh tomatoes, but used the amazing slow-roasted tomato paste from Ruegsegger Farms. The recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious, which adheres to my recent efforts to sneak more veggies into Vera's diet. Store-bought ketchup often contains a lot more than you might bargain for in the way of sugar and additives. I'd always wanted to make my own.
Makes 1 c.
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 c. carrot or squash puree
1/4 c. water
2 T. apple-cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. salt
1 t. ground allspice
1/4 t. chili powder, or to taste
Stir all ingredients together in a big saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced by about half, 10 to 15 min. Let cool before serving or refrigerating. Freezing also works well.
You may have heard me mention my urban homesteading journal. One of the first entries in that book of ideas was a brainstorm of foods and ingredients that we use a lot that are not local, including oils, coffee, some fruits, etc. On that list was peanut butter. I had noted that I would try to "use less" as a solution, but last week I had a though about making a local substitute. I thought, if roasted sesame seeds can be ground up to make tahini, why can't roasted pumpkin (or squash) seeds be ground up to make pumpkinseed butter? I did a web search and found that a lot of people had tried this. My first attempt was very coarse, but I believe I can tweak it to make a reasonable substitute. Imagine growing your own "peanut butter" substitute!
Pumpkin/Squash Seed Butter
Makes about 2 c.
2 c. roasted pumpkin/squash seeds
3 T. vegetable oil (you could even take this opportunity to use flaxseed oil!)
Salt to taste
Put the seeds in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the oil gradually and process until smooth. Add salt and pulse to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Store in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy on crackers, vegetables, or fruit. Try baking with it.
And I just realized I gained and hour last night--wasn't on a schedule today to notice...maybe I will finally sit down.