“Savage Beauty” once again

fire

Oh my! I’ve been out straight this week, with work, and life, and all the madness we march to on this crazy planet. But as I sit relaxing for a moment in front of a welcome fire, I realize, suddenly, it’s Thursday and time to post a blog; so, I scroll back through the years to discover an oldie but hopefully goody for you all tonight. Originally titled, “Savage Beauty” and posted in March of 2012, you will find a winning recipe of Irish Soda bread to bake for your St. Patrick’s celebration next week. Enjoy my lovelies. I promise to have some ‘new words’ next time!

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getting dirty

Watching this brew boil can’t you just smell the richness? Dark and earthy tones filling our kitchen using only the most conservative amount of ground beans. But wait, I can hear you say, Nine Cent Girl doesn’t drink coffee. To which I would reply, oh yes, on occasion I have. Most memorably, in Paris at Les Deux Magots and in London’s Cubana. Both times I could not resist. Both times were divine. But on average, I stick to black tea, and when I can, a cup of homemade chai. That is until, quite by accident, I stumbled onto a chai made dirty with, yes, you guessed it, a shot of espresso. An accident made into practice now. So, when we have absolutely nothing planned for a lazy Sunday beyond making our brunch last until tea time, we get dirty in the afternoon.

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The Perfect Tonic

For over a decade I have heeded the advice of Dr. Pratima Raichur, an Ayurvedic healer. Her council has become invaluable to me, in terms 1stof physical and mental health, and I am not alone in reaping these benefits. “Pratima has provided the gift of healing to thousands of men, women and children for over 40 years” (Pratima). Seasonal and simple eating, while paying close attention to one’s nature, are at the heart of her wisdom. “Recognizing that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation, and structure. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature. If Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate” (Ayurveda). As happens when life’s stresses knock us about, our delicate balance can be thrown off, but thankfully there are natural remedies to once again restore your order and health.

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The Joy of Cooking… Cookies!

One week from tonight our house, and possibly yours, will be filled with loved family and friends. Best prep? Start baking! As true as these recipes were 4 years ago, they will prove equal to this year’s holiday crew. Make them with love and you will all be very merry indeed! With love, from my kitchen to yours, happy eating! xxoo

Nine Cent Girl

The Joy of Cooking is the hands-down best all-time cookbook to look through for all your traditional Holiday cookie recipes. Since it’s general publication in the 1930’s serious chefs, along side of everyday housewives, have all relied on its advice. Since the first edition, there have been several incarnations of this cookbook, but the following quoted advice and cookie recipes come from the 1975 publication.

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Stuff an Acorn Squash

Despite the #SeptemberSummer we are experiencing these days even in far Northern Vermont, our farm stands and Farmers’ Markets are exploding with winter squash and root vegetables. Time to think about oven cooking, right? Well, that’s what we thought too. Here’s a fast, vegetarian, (and easy to convert to vegan), gluten free, and low calorie meal you can whip up during cocktail hour, and eat before 7:00! Ready to stuff an acorn squash? Well, here we go…picisto-20131003180413-668808 Continue reading

ordinary is extraordinary

Fresh eyes are what we all need from time to time, and this week, hosting my dear teacher-friend from Geneva (while her 19 students are all being hosted by my student’s families), we FullSizeRender-1discovered much anew in our daily routine, stuff we don’t even give a second thought to, as, well, something now worth renewed admiration. Take rural mailboxes for example. The string of boxes mounted on a long board about a 1/4 mile down my road represents just how far the mail carrier will come to deliver. This simple fact elicited quite a discussion, even an excursion for photos, and a flurry of excitement afterwards: yes, adventure in the ordinary. Same with the covered bridges that span many of our small waterways here in Vermont. I stop the car and we step out to hear the rush of a high spring river, a chorus of curious crows, and the banter of sweet chickadees, all while investigating the ordinary bridge that we often cross without a thought. But oh my, what a beauty!

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Spring Dressing

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Looking for a quick and tasty dressing for your spring salad? The following recipe is guaranteed to satisfy anyone wanting to top those delicate greens showing up in our grocery stores. Right now I can’t get enough of parsley, sunflower and pea shoots, young spinach and early strawberries on my plate. Along with this fabulous dressing, composed of honey, lemon and flax seed oil, you will have created something sensational!

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