For ten years now, I have spent my days with little folks, talking about life, the world, what things do and how they work. Together, we have the pleasure of indulging our mutual sense of wonder. I have come to understand that children have an innate love of nature and if that love is nurtured, it will naturally bloom into a love of self and love for others. I watch it happen time and time again, year after year, cycle after cycle. It never ceases to amaze me. So, how can we as parents, teachers and role models, tap into this sense of wonder and instill healthy habits within our children? They are, after all, our hope for the future…are they not? It is a mighty responsibility, an overwhelming task, so my advice is to simply start small. Invite them. Excite them. Delight them in the process. And those healthy habits will naturally become part of who they are.
Well Summer has definitely made her way around and seems to be settled in for the season. With temperatures above a hundred we are beginning to wilt around here. Welcome July. There are many things I love about my summer season, but the heat is not one of them. I don’t know about you, but when the mercury rises, my appetite drops. I don’t desire much but sweet summer fruits, simple salads, smoothies and such. So, here are a few suggestions for healthy and refreshing ways to keep your cool in the midst of this summer heat.
It is that time of year again. Temperatures have reached the triple digits, desert adventures have gone into hibernation mode, the cooler runs non-stop as weekdays take on that lethargic summer pace. But when the weekend comes, we head for the hills seeking the shade of those swaying pines, the cool relief of glacial waters and that rejuvenating alpine air. And so it begins. Our mountain season and backcountry camping.
Something I secretly love about my weekly organic produce box is the little challenge put before me every time I bring it home and open the paper wrapping to reveal the mystery contents for the week. Being locally grown, organic, seasonal produce, it is not always a surprise to find certain things at certain times. One would expect to find apples in autumn, squash in winter, strawberries in spring and green beans in summer. But what I love is the combination of ingredients presented each week and the adventure in figuring out some deliciously different way of using them.
It is that time of year again. Spring is in the air. The light has shifted with the clock and that little leap forward brings the morning sun through the kitchen window at just the right time. That beam of spring sunshine resting on a bowl of nature’s most beautiful bounty, highlighting those vibrant colors just as you saunter, sleepy-eyed, into the kitchen on a lazy weekend morning…I am suddenly struck with a realization. A deja-vu sort of moment. I have been here before, no? I recall the first time I was so smitten with this spring sensation that I felt compelled to express my silly delight in all things green and bright. That was the day I started my blog, nearly one year ago.
I almost hate to admit it, but when it comes to food, I am one of those gals who believes that presentation is everything. I believe whole-heartedly in the importance of eating nutrient-dense, unprocessed, whole foods, as close to nature as you can possibly get. I believe that simple is best. But there is something about the presentation that can make or break a meal for me. I need it to be lovely. I really do. You know that picture perfect picnic kind of set-up? It almost doesn’t matter what the meal is, if it’s beautiful to look at I want to eat it. Superficial, I know, but there is just something about beautiful food.
From month to month, year to year, we follow the cycle of seasons. Food, clothing, activities and daily life all seem to have their transitional points along this seasonal cycle. Winter celebrations, spring break, summer vacation, fall fashion. Ski sweaters and root veggies, short sleeves and daffodils, hiking boots and stone fruits, backpacks and apples. We all have our favorite points along this cycle, we all look forward to our own favorite season. But flu season? No one looks forward to flu season.
I haven’t written about food in a while. And I can’t say it’s because I haven’t been spending time in the kitchen. A large portion of my everyday is devoted to preparing produce, cooking up recipes, washing dishes, washing dishes, washing dishes. That hasn’t changed. I grocery shop on a daily basis and our produce box is still providing us with weekly organic delights. But still, things have been feeling a little uninspired in that favorite nook of mine lately. New recipes are at a standstill. Homemade energy bars and hummus have been replaced with the packaged variety. Meals are cooked and consumed without even a thought to pause and pose them for photos. My heart just hasn’t been in it lately, I don’t know why. Yesterday morning I happened to emerge from my cave of an office just in time to catch that one, elusive stream of morning sunlight as it made it’s brief daily pass by the kitchen window. And I suddenly realized that my recent lack of inspiration and creativity in the kitchen is simply a matter of light. It is the light that brings color to my foodie realm.
I love this time of year. Whether it’s spent watching snow fall with my kinfolk, or roaming through sagebrush with my hubby and hounds, Christmas is always a special time for me. It doesn’t seem to matter where I am or who I’m with, as long as I can give a gift, I am happy as can be.
There is something about a cold, stormy day that stirs up a craving for gingerbread. Talk about seasonal flavors…warm gingery spices with that deep flavor of dark molasses…nothing says winter like gingerbread. With a storm brewin’ outdoors this weekend, I decided to hunker down in the comfy confines of my kitchen and bake up some of those gingerbread flavors.