...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Have a Happy New Year!

Frozen lake of yesteryear
We've not quite made it through the holidays, but the seed catalogs are already pouring into my mailbox.  I can't believe it's time to start garden planning again.  Our season was so long this year that I feel like I haven't had an appropriate break yet.  But I truly am excited to begin thinking about my plot for 2011.  I may save the catalogs for a cold, dark day in January or February when the beautiful colors and varieties of the vegetables pictured will brighten my day.

Winter fun in the snow
Last night we returned from visiting my family in east-central Illinois.  The highlight of the trip was sledding.  We crossed the icy lake where we once skated and played hockey, traversed the field where I used to walk home from school, and finally reached a nice broken-in sledding hill at my old grade school.  Everyone took a turn, even my parents.  In fact, my mom and I doubled up on the inner tube and were, as the song goes, "laughing all the way" until we skidded into the brush at the edge of the woods.  With my brother in his too-tight snow pants, me sans proper footwear sporting my mom's leather fashion boots, and Vera running around like little brother Randy from A Christmas Story in her snow suit, it couldn't have been more fun.  My mom, being the former teacher, also had a craft ready for the kids.  We made bird feeders using plastic canvas, peanut butter, and a couple different types of birdseed.  Of course, Vera's didn't look like the picture and her 6-year-old cousin was the first to point that out, but she had a blast sprinkling seeds and licking pb and bird food from the spreader.
Bird Feeder Crafts

For the Birds

We have one more party to go as we plan to entertain a few close friends and six children tomorrow night for New Year's Eve.  It's the fifth event/meal we've hosted since Thanksgiving, but it's been a pleasure.  And we're looking forward to a lively evening of eating and game playing with a chorus of children laughing and running around in the background.  Amazing how our New Year's Eves have changed in the last decade.  Today I was thinking back to the NYE house parties on the east side during college breaks, progressing in later years to condo parties and bar hopping...one year I was almost convinced to take the Polar Plunge the next morning.  And now here we are about to quietly celebrate another year with children and a few friends all around.  Honestly, I wouldn't have it an other way.

Leaving you with a favorite recipe that I've been making all season.  Raw truffles--they satisfy my sweet tooth without all the forbidden ingredients.

Makes about a dozen truffles

Adapted from my Holistic Moms Network annual cookbook.  You can take liberties with different nuts and even substitute peanut butter for the honey.

1/2 c. mixed nuts (almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, walnuts, etc...or a mixture of these)
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. cacao nibs
1/2 c. raisins
2 T. cocoa
1/4 t. cinnamon
Pinch salt
4 T. honey

Chop nuts in the food processor.  Add cacao nibs and process until crumb-like.  Add raisins.  Mix cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and honey in a small bowl.  Add to dry mixture in food processor then scoop and roll into small balls.  Store in fridge--they last weeks and make a handy protein snack for children of all ages.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I miss sledding. Looks fun. Have a great New Year.