Orchard Profiles

Waste-me-not: Nasturtium Capers

I've never been particularly frugal.  I learned to cook not to economize but because I love the excitement of choosing ingredients, and the satisfaction that comes from a perfect marrying of them together.  I've trained myself to be good with money more because of circumstance than desire (an accidental Wall Street career and a husband who is determined to live abundantly despite a dribbling faucet).  Frugal I am not.  I can hear my mother laughing already.  Countless times I scampered away from some wasteful mess I had made of something, or a request for new Keds, her rising voice imploring "money doesn't grow on trees, Audra!" trailing behind me.  But I fiercely wanted to believe that it did.

It could have been otherwise: Smoky Cauliflower Frittata

I'm in the middle of a spinning vortex of business planning (I'm legal!), fruit sourcing, fall and winter garden sowing, preserving summer's excess, and trying to enjoy the bountiful fruits of our labor with garden curated meals as often as possible.  As much as I'm stressed, it feels really good not to have a case of the Monday's come Sunday night.  Instead, I'm excited for the week ahead and what I will learn, cook, harvest, and sow.  And in times of heaviness, of which we've had plenty this year, I appreciate the lightness --the laughter, the humor, gaggling chickens, and the "I still can't believe we live on an island and raise ducks" and "Am I really starting a jam business?!" Exciting, yes, but do I often throw myself into tizzy of radical doubt still?  Absolutely.

Grace and a strawberry: Strawberry White Balsamic Vinegar

On June 12th I happily and nervously sent off my Food Processor's License in the mail to the regulators in Olympia. As I penned my signature onto the most important form, I paused at the date - already inscribed "May 10th".  May 10th was before I knew I was pregnant for the third time - and before I miscarried for the third time.  May 10th-- long enough since the last pregnancy that I was starting to feel like myself again.  I remember what that felt like so clearly.  I was finally moving forward --with or without a baby.  It's been a little over a month, such a short period of time, and so much has happened.  I've digressed in some ways and grown in others.  I desperately want to feel like myself again.  Forcing progress, like submitting my license application, helps, but it's not completely genuine.  Despite being a month later than I intended, it feels rushed.  But sometimes you have to put the head down, and run-- run fast.  Other times, putting your head between your knees is the more appropriate response.

Unexpected harvests: Grilled Asparagus with Sage Butter

In one year of my life I have felt the nervous rustle of joy that comes from seeing two little pink lines on an over the counter plastic stick, three times.  And three times I have felt the uncontrollable urge to free-fall that comes from losing them.  I've had three miscarriages over the course of one small year.  I've been hesitant to write about this - in fact, after my second miscarriage in December, I felt completely blocked, unable to find the words to express how I was feeling, and consequently unable to write about anything.  What I needed most desperately, was to just 'get on with it'.

A thousand shades of green

I have so much I need to say to you (new blog ! new business! new chicks! new ducklings!) - but for now, I give you pictures.  The sun is shining, the hummingbirds are humming to the wisteria, & the green in my garden comes in a thousand shades.  I'm pretty darn happy. Like the new blog ?  It's a work in progress- suggestions welcome!

Trick or Treat ?

When I was shopping for pantyhose at Fogel two years ago I wasn't considering how well they'd support a sugar pumpkin. I was worried about shoving my own pie thighs into them and looking fashionable, or at the very least, thinner, tanner, or something.  I'm sitting here now, on an island off the Pacific northwest, admiring how well they have accommodated the girth of the sugar pumpkins I trellised in an old wine barrel months ago.  Sabina, my ever supportive dog, looks on with two balls shoved into her mouth, unaware of the significance of this moment.  I have to pause: my pumpkins are wearing pantyhose, and I am not.