Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Request

These beautiful people are my friends family Phillip and Ariel.  
Ariel is 26 weeks pregnant with a baby boy.
Two days ago, this little boy decided that he'd like to attempt to meet his mother and father 14 weeks early.
They are waiting patiently in the hospital for something to happen, counting the moments that he stays inside, hoping that it will be weeks instead of days.  Ariel will be on bedrest for the remainder of her pregnancy, however long that may be.  They're scared.  I'm scared.  I'm writing to ask you to give your thoughts to them as you read this post.  If you're the kind of person who prays, I respectfully request your prayers for this child to stay put and for his parents to continue to carry themselves with such grace in hardship.  
Ariel and Phillip need to know that they are not alone and that we are thinking of them, which is why I'm writing this post.  
They are readers of this blog, so if you'd like to leave a comment here, they will absolutely see it.  
Thank you for your time and your thoughts. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Culinary Walk, Spiralized Vegetables, and SLT

I've been in sort of a funk lately. I don't mean that I've been feeling bad, but that I've not been able to get anything done. It's nor for lack of interest, or things to do.  Does that ever happen to you?  I have a long list of exciting and fun things that I need and want to do, but I'm just sort of stagnating.  
I feel it ending now, thankfully, but it's sort of unsettling how it comes into my life and descends like a fog of unproductivity.  I'm trying to just recognize the phase and accept it, rather than punishing myself and feeling bad. I realize that we all ebb and flow. 
Two things have brought me out of it: getting ready for Ellie's first birthday and a return to Simple Lives Thursday.
I've been crafting up a storm to celebrate the first anniversary of Eleanor's birth. I've been cooking and sewing, planning and plotting.  Last night at the sewing machine, I made a deliberate effort to work in silence.  I usually play a podcast or music when I sew or cook, but I wanted to feel my brain and body be fully involved in what I was doing. I tried to experience every part of it, feeling the fabric in my hands, listening to the machine work, watching the movement of the thread.  I got lost in the work.  It was exactly what I needed. I'd been planning the project for weeks and the tension of possibly not getting it done in time kept rising and rising and was finally released. I can't wait to share all the little things we'll be doing to celebrate. I hope you like them.
I'm also taking today to return to the blog hop that has taught me so much since we first started, Simple Lives Thursday.  I have learned so much, been so inspired by the contributions to this hop and have very much missed being a host.  It's back and I can't wait to continue learning more each week.  It's giving me a reason to post every Thursday, even if it's just a few photos or words.  I look forward to checking in more often.
Last week we went on the annual Culinary Walk hosted by Field to Family.  Things are very different this year than they were last year, the year before, and the year before that.  Last year I had a baby in my belly and Red Avocado still existed.  This year, we brought Ellie along to experience the walk with us.  Most importantly, this year, I'm actually a member of the board of Field to Family.  I was asked to join a few months ago and have been working with the organization in a variety of ways, including writing posts for our new blog.  It's been an incredible learning opportunity for me and I feel lucky to be a part of the board.  
Taking the baby to the walk made it even more fun than years past, though it resulted in much fewer (poorer) photographs.  It was another gorgeous day in downtown Iowa City.
I carried her in the ring sling (it's a linen maya wrap, and the ring has slid down here a bit. It should be higher up by my shoulder.) which kept her at eye level so I could show her everything. This is my favorite part about the ring sling.
See? Terrible photos.  That sweet thing is made with ground cherries, so we all loved it.  (My recipe for ground cherry jam.)
We got to share some bubbly water, which Ellie loves.  It was very warm so we needed the refreshment to wash down all the rich food.
Atlas had more elk meat and corn ice cream, along with a nice pour of the super-fresh Octoberfest from Millstream.  We bought a six pack on the way home because it was so good.
 Devotay's plate had lots of fresh foods, but my favorite was the bacon wrapped dates. I'm simple like that.
 Really tasty roasted veggies from the Cow. 
We had a ton of fun and I don't feel at all bad about not having a super-detailed post like the last few years.  I think I'll remember this one more fondly than any other. 
Back in my kitchen, we've been trying to deal with all the summer vegetables that are in such abundance at the moment, not the least of which is squash.  I saw Angela's post about using a peeler to 'spiralize' vegetables and had to give it a try.  The result was a tasty, fresh replacement for pasta that's healthier and cheaper.  It doesn't have the chew of pasta, but was perfectly appropriate in a simple tomato sauce. 
I made a sauce based on a few slices of local bacon, tomatoes and chard from our CSA share, and half an avocado for creamyness.  Then I stirred in the squash at the last minute just to get it warm.

I topped it with some creamy fresh cheese.
Demolished it. So good and fast.
Like I mentioned, this little one is just about to be a year old. I still hardly believe she exists sometimes, yet I can't really remember my life before I became her mother.

Finally (FINALLY!) it's Simple Lives Thursday! So excited to be hosting and linking up again.  Submit your post, won't you?

Featured Posts from Last Week's Submissions

SLT Featured Post Badge 
 We really enjoy reading your posts each week! Featured post bloggers, please grab the badge above and display it on your site! Link it to one of the host blogs' posts for the specific week that you were featured. Here are our picks from last week's submissions. Thanks to all who participated -- it is always hard to choose!


1. Mediterranean Partida Style Olives by Creating Nirvana. "I have never cured olives before much less seen an uncured olive, so this was a real treat." 
2. How We Afford to Mini-Farm on One Income by The Prairie Homestead. " do not have to move to the country or shell out big bucks in order to 'homestead'. 

3. My All-Natural, Homemade Beauty Regimen by My Merry Messy Life. "I just love having all-natural homemade beauty products because they are much less expensive than store-bought items with the same ingredients, much healthier and I don't have to worry about chemicals or how it was made."

Monday, September 3, 2012


Some good friends visited from far away (and shared some healthy skepticism about the mirror book)
I processed more tomatoes than I care to count.

For our 5th anniversary, I bought my husband a pen and pencil set made of local wood, and these wood spreaders for the kitchen.  I love them.  This is the first year I've kept with the yearly anniversary theme and will keep it up when I can.
We've picked lots of ground cherries from the backyard.  The baby starts panting as soon as she sees the yellow husk.

 I tasted one of these. Beautiful, but bland.
 I continue to be compulsive about making a big breakfast on the weekend. Eric's eggs make it all the better.
 I've been cooking other people's recipes. This honey mustard salmon recipe came from Martha Stewart Everyday Food but it was just ok.
 I also used their recipe for a basil lime sauce to serve over store-bought ravioli.
 It was so fresh tasting.
 With raw tomatoes from our Hue Hill CSA.
 Easy and fast.

 Everybody liked it.
I made this fragrant bouquet from backyard flowers. It only lasted for a couple days, but the color and smell of fresh flowers always perks up my mood.

 We had my parents over for dinner and made BLTs with herilooms from market.
We spread a little avocado aioli on the sandwiches, and by the end of dinner, everyone was licking the bowl.  Vegenaise is the secret!
 A sweet friend dropped of a bunch of apples from her tree, so this tool has gotten a lot of use.  (Ellie finds it fascinating.) I'll tell you about what I've done with the apples soon.
And I made a farm visit that I can't wait to tell you more about.  I wrote about Salt Fork Farms for the Field to Family blog, which you can read here.  I plan to do a much more extensive and personal post here soon, but here's just a taste.

Hope you're enjoying the last moments of the long weekend.
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