Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cherry Pie

Cherries are on sale at Fred Meyer's for $1.68 a pound.  I bought thirty dollar's worth.
Peaches and nectarines are also $1.68 a pound.  But I've promised myself to process all the cherries first.  This prospect is made a whole lot easier by the fact that I splurged on a pressure canner this morning.  It was relatively cheap, is something I've been wanting to buy for years now, and holds 7 quart jars.  Last night saw a huge mess as I tried (and succeeded) to hot water bath can quart jars in a pot that only allowed a bare 2 inches of room above the tops of the jars.  Keeping it boiling right at the tip top of the pot of water meant that the overspilling water put out the gas flame of the burner a few times. 

Last night I canned three quarts of cherries for pies this winter.  The evening before I stained my fingers crimson (maroon? claret?) pitting said cherries.  Tonight will see more of the same, but with a pressure canner!  Wheeee!  And then?  I'll probably buy more, and peaches.  And nectarines.  Nectarines make amazing pie.

Of that thirty dollars worth of cherries, I figure that I've eaten at least five dollars worth.  Between the 3 quarts, and two and a half quarts of cherry liquer (more on this later - I'm getting super into making fancy spirits!), I think I've used about half of what I bought.  Twenty five dollars divided by six quarts equals $4.16/quart.  And they taste better than anything I've ever found at the store

Through out the winter, I make pies regularly.  I haven't baked (bread or muffins or cookies or etc) regularly the last few years, but pies!  Pies are a constant in my winter kitchen.  There is little that is more lovely than taking a jar of home preserved pie filling off the shelf and pouring it into a rolled out crust.  Cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines.  This year I hope to add wild blueberries and raspberries to the list. 

I did some math in my head as I was walking out of the grocery store with thirty dollars' worth of cherries:
Piecrust is flour butter salt and water.  The organic Fairhaven mill flour I buy comes out to about a dollar for a pie crust, the Organic Valley butter I buy comes to about a dollar for a pie.  So, $2 plus a pinch of salt plus home preserved cherries at $4.16 plus maybe a splash of vanilla extract and some sugar equals $7 for a really really good pie.  Maybe not the cheapest thing in the world, but equal to the cost of one slice at Wolf Run or two slices at Hill Top, its a pretty good deal!  Besides which, winter apples sell for $2.49 a pound.  Which puts an apple pie at $8 dollars or more.

Oh, the math that goes through my head!

Home Again, Home Again.

I've landed back home in Fairbanks. Settling back into a life that is is more complex and interpersonal than just yoga and yoga and yoga from 6:30 in the morning until 9 at night. But it was an amazing month; I'm only just really realizing how deep and far the reverberations of it go in my soul.    I've come back more at home in myself, with a renewed connection to the divinity of the universe, and incidentally with a new career.  I'll begin teaching yoga at Heart Stream (a local studio) soon.  They are opening a second studio-space in a month or two, and I'm likely going to be teaching a couple classes a week once that happens.  I'm so excited!!  I have tons of other yoga and wellness and energy healing ideas and goals bouncing around in my head.  I'm sure you'll all see their development over the coming months and years.  This blog will stay primarily a place of art and living in place and homesteading, but as yoga continues to permeate ever more deeply into the way I think and the way I walk in this world, you can expect that it will leak into this space too. 

Last night I went to sleep to the sound of rain on a tin roof, to the smell of rain through an open window and I woke to the same.  We are moving into late summer, with foreshadowings of fall here in the Interior.  Its odd, coming home to late summer after leaving as summer was just beginning.  Its not like I didn't experience summer, the Berkshires saw 95 and 100 degree weather while I was there, but I didn't have the glorious almost manic growthful flourishing that is June in Fairbanks.  And now July is nearly more than halfway through and I feel like I'm getting my feet replanted on the ground.  Standing out on the upstairs porch, protected from the rain but in it, I looked out over the little plot of land that is carved out of the boreal forest, and I saw not only the future and potential productivity of its homesteading but also the sweet beauty of it just as it it, overgrown with fireweed.  And I fell in love with our land all over again.  This life on this land is a journey to be savored.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Diving Deep :yoga

I am a Kripalu Yoga Teacher!  200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified!  
One more week of yoga at Kripalu, and I'll be heading home and back to all of you dear readers.  
It has been an absolutely transformative month, on many levels; has changed and deepened my perspective in ways that I am sure I will only realize as time goes on.  Oh, and also opened up a new career...

*Mala on my right wrist designed, made, and blessed by another of my yoga teacher training friends, Krysten.  She does custom orders if anyone is interested I can put you in touch with her.*