Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June in Ohio


Cooler evenings and the sound of a box fan in the window takes me back to childhood. Clearly I remember lying in bed as a child and watching the shadows dance across my bedroom wall as the train sped by interrupting the street lights glow momentarily between box cars. The sound is still comforting to me. In the stillness then, snuggling further under the blanket to ward off the chill of night air, then sneaking out of bed and whispering into the fan blades, only to hear my own voice become broken and scattered into the dark. How remarkable and precious to be carried away off into a time when I was me, a different me, like a black and white movie version of me.

During my childhood there were gardens, pigs, cows, coon hunting, chickens and clothes hanging on the line. The inner workings of a household which formed very much of the me I am today.
For so many years of my adult life I've identified myself as a mother of 4 children. Having had my first child at the young age of 20, I left behind childhood quickly. For the first time since becoming a mother, I'm learning to let go. Coming face to face with myself as I watch my aging mother struggle with dementia brings a greater sense of self, it's playing a role in my own understanding of what I need for me. Finding the black and white sometimes sepia version of me. Cutting the apron strings to my children to discover what's next.

My imaginary world as a child always had me being instructive. From cooking with the bubbles in the bathtub in my imaginary childhood cooking show or lining up blades of grass as if they were rows of corn in the vacant dirt between our two houses. I've always lived this life. Never really wanting more than to share with others about cooking, baking, and gardening. Not in a professional money earning capacity. Just a sharing of ideas and excitement for doing what I love.

This June evening in Ohio, it's cool. The central air is off and the box fan whirs away in the window. I sit back and look over the photographs I've snapped throughout this week. Of course, I come here to share them with you, the world, anyone who cares to know. My own children are grown and well on their way to grown. Their childhood imagination worlds are theirs for keeping. To this, I can only hope they find healthy creative outlets to share and grow from those ideals.

I'm happy to report in this modern day, real, non imagination life of mine, the quinoa has survived and appears to be thriving. Early in the growing process I struggled with thinning the plants. The seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company were exceptional and certainly every seed must have came up because I thinned them several times. Never knowing which plant to sacrifice. None of them seemed insignificant to me. I tried transplanting a few of the tender, thinned out plants with no success. Slow growers they were from beginning to now.






Ditto on my Lentils. I planted 15 seeds and have 13 plants. I think a Robin bird snacked on a few of the seeds the very same day as I planted them.



The chickpeas/garbanzo beans have reared their heads. Every single non-GMO seed is alive and doing fine. Small and fragile still.





No Cumin plants yet. At least I don't think so, I'm struggling with plant identification on the cumin seeds. This is a new crop for me. I planted the seeds in easily identifiable rows, but the weeds wanted a fair shot too. Rather than pull up the wrong thing. I've just let it go to see what happens. I planted more seeds today. In hopes of a better success.

Ditto on my Slo-Bolt Cilantro. Two plantings of the seeds. So far,only two little scraggly looking plants have emerged. Patience....I suppose.

And it wouldn't be real if I didn't remind you of the importance of taking breaks and living life. 
Slow down a minute.
 Have a Biscotti. 
In all of my childhood imaginations I never fathomed photographing food with my telephone. 
I mean, how could I have ever imagined such a thing, right?



Yes, we all know  I'm not talented at photographing food. It's my image though and I didn't stoop to horking some strangers photograph and claiming it as my own. Not perfect, just like me.

 Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti.
 To which all credit goes to my hero and youtube favorite Stephanie Jaworski of Joy of Baking.com

I've baked many of her recipes with never a disappointment. The Fruit and Nut bars are outrageous. I'm providing this link to her recipe for the Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti. 

I baked this biscotti for the entire recommended time allowed, they're dunkers for sure. Perfect for the cool morning air and my sneaking a cup of coffee. I've fallen off the wagon and had a cup or two lately. Shhh, let's not talk about that!

                                                        Our June in Ohio



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