Tuesday, July 26, 2011

visit to summit

A couple of weekends ago, we went out to Summit, where my in-laws live.  As it happens, its probably the last time we'll make it out before we buy the house and immerse ourselves in new beginnings.

The lake.

Photos of the tundra.  Lovely on their own, and potential inspiration for textile design.  Look at them colors!

The glacier.

Summit. oh but I do love thee.



Rainbow ridge. 
Definately shawl inspiration... look at the color gradations!

Driving home.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Life with huskies

harvesting the bounty

Wildcrafted yarrow
my own calendula
csa chives

Organic plums... ok, so these are from Fred Myer's... but they'll sure taste good this winter!

rhubarb jam

wild roses: I have about a quart of the dried petals for teas and baths this winter...

Ode to the Tanana

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Flowers and firelight


I am a weaver.  I dream about weaving, I impose on my family my need for space for a large loom, and boxes, upon bags, upon baskets, upon heaps, upon trunks of various yarns and fibers.  I made us move into a more spacious rental rather than staying in the cabin we own, just so I could have a room dedicated to my craft.

We were living for two years in said cabin - a 14'x22' (interior dimensions) little box, with two humans, a husky, 2 cats, and a woodstove.  The bed was a small loft area, and Darlin' Man's bike hung from the ceiling.  It housed the complete OED; a veritable library of fantasy, classics, and medieval literature; a canning and herb drying operation; a very large closet of clothes; and more ... and yet, fully a quarter of the floorspace was inhabited by loom and fiber and spinning wheel.  So, you might think that my favorite place in the house is my studio.  It would be a reasonable assumption to make.

And it would be wrong.  I realized this the other day.  I was cooking dinner and talking with a friend who mentioned how I'm always in the kitchen when she comes over and she's used to talking with me while I cook.  I laughed and began to say how the kitchen was my fav - then I paused, as I realized that it was true.  In my heart, the kitchen outranks the studio. 

I feed people from the kitchen.  I put up food for the winter.  I laugh.  I cry - over onions and over life.  I am there everyday.  I grew up in my mother's kitchen, and I dearly long for the day when 3 generations of the women in my family will co-exist in my kitchen, dancing the chaotic dance of making a meal.  I am surrounded in my life by people who appreciate good food.  Watching others relish a meal I cooked them brings me such joy. 

I anticipate a life lived in both rooms, but in my house, the kitchen will always the heart - the hearth of the home.

And as we move in next month, you'll notice that the studio is more than twice the size of the kitchen, but the kitchen will get painted and arranged and settled into much sooner.

Not yet

This little girl was on craigslit a day or two ago, and is now gone.  Its ok, because I don't have a barn to put her in.  She's a 3/4 dexter, 1/4 jersey 2 month old heifer calf.  In other words, she's ideal.  Dexter is the breed I've been thinking about, as they are a small dual purpose breed that thrives on small acreage forage and do well in harsh weather.  Jerseys are the color you see in this lovely little girl above, and have really rich cream that's good for making cheese. 

I never really thought I would want a cow.  But now, I feel that when I have a heifer or a milch cow in my barn, I"ll know I've arrived.

I want a cow for the milk.  I want the milk for the cheese and the yogurt and the whey and the butter, and the enzymes.  I want to lacto-ferment our food, and drink raw milk and make all our own dairy products.  Needless to say, I'm not there.  Not by a long shot.  Not yet.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

When basil is only minutes old..,

My basil this year is actually growing, if not thriving as it might were it in a green house or a hoop house...  I harvested my first handful of lush fragrant leaves today, and bought heirloom tomatoes at Farmer's Market specially for this meal. 
My tomatoes are still small and green, but there are those up here who heat green houses with woodstoves, stoking the fire every few hours, in order to grow early tomatoes and cukes and summer squash.  We have the light to grow abundantly long before we have the temperature of air or soil.

I chopped the tomatoes and my basil, toasted pine nuts, added fresh ground pepper and salt, drizzled olive oil, tossed it together with al dente pasta, and grated imported italian Parmasean (you know, the kind that comes from Parma).  Enjoyed with a glass of red wine after a stressful encounter; perfect.