Saturday, August 28

Solar Cooking Question - Give Me the Children

Solar Cooking Question of the Week - Give Me the Children

This past week in my comments, I was asked a very good question by Maggie at Walk On The Happy Side.  She inspired me to start a new section for this blog -- answering questions from mainstream folks who are just discovering solar cooking and want more information.  Once a week, I will pick one or two of your questions and answer them to the best of my ability. (No, I'm not going to answer questions about the contents of my car trunk or where I get my drugs -- although, I must say the expression on the helpful policeman's face when I brought out the axe, the whip, and my seven-inch filleting knife, looking for the jack, was priceless!)  This week's question was also a challenge that you can read in its entirety in my previous post.  Here is the paraphrased question:
"Cause here's your challenge... While I love the idea of saving energy, the earth and living naturally all at once. How would you encourage me into the solar cooking world?"
Answer:   Well, Maggie, truth is, whenever you want to introduce a new way of thinking, you start with the children.  Their minds are little sponges, open to new ideas and eager to know everything about their world.

Wednesday, August 25

Today, I rest, because I have been asked to guest blog for Michelle over at All Home Cooking - All Year Long.  She does scratch-cooking, cake baking, menu planning, and is a food loving gal who loves a good challenge in the kitchen, experimenting with ingredients, twisting recipes, and feeding people!

It's always fun to meet new people and, in BlogLand, Michelle gives me hope for the art of cooking in the hearts of today's domestic engineers! Hope you'll visit her site and catch my post.  I'm going to have a nice glass of wine, prop my feet up, and plan my fall garden! (Right...back to work...)

Monday, August 23

Brandy, Bread, and Okra-Squash-Cheese Casserole

Plum Brandy Aging - Country Style
Life has been a little disjointed, lately, but I did manage to get a few things done. My neighbor was kind enough to share the bounty of her fruit trees and, although her lack of spraying did not produce picture-perfect plums, and we enjoyed some delicious desserts. Along with the hornets and bees (who ADORE fresh fruit), the wind had knocked down quite a bit of still very good fruit that would salvage into some great wine/brandy.  I went for the brandy.  After letting the plums do their thing in some sugar and a touch of yeast for ten weeks, I poured it all through an old T-shirt in a strainer and added the vodka for a gallon of some holiday brandy for pleasure and gift-giving.  The plums made a fantastic full-bodied wine that

Tuesday, August 17

A Different Kind of Container Garden

A Container Garden for Marriage
Another weekend of saying goodbye to a beloved sister-in-law.  We were once seven strong and are now down to two... And then, it was the annual weekend for the family reunion that has been taking place since 1926... the older generations go (I'm one of them, now) and the young begin to replace... it's the natural order of things but hard to bear the passing... Watching the intertwining of their lives, all I could think of was what I had written several years ago in response to a woman asking what container gardening could possibly have to do with love... I know it was the influence of watching these families living their lives in love that inspired my words...

Friday, August 13

A Month of SUNdays - Solar Cookbook Giveaway!

A Month of SUNdays - Solar Cookbook Giveaway Starts Today!

Congratulations to the winner, AliLilly!

TammyM over at the Not Just Paper and Glue - It's a Whole Lot More website is offering my cookbook as part of her Moving Party Giveaway. She recently switched her Blogger address and to keep her followers, she decided to throw the party with a month of weekly gift drawing! Sign up for my cookbook simply by following her on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Each different resource is a separate entry... so, while you're thinking about it, pop on over and enter the drawing... then, hurry back! A Month of SUNdays cookbook winner announced August 19, 2010 and, then, there's a Grand Prize winner drawn from all the entries and announced on September 3, 2010. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 11

Solar Country Style Ribs in Cranberry Wine Sauce

Solar Country Style Ribs in Cranberry Wine Sauce Over Fried Polenta
As someone who enjoys getting the most from her money, it's very hard for me to buy bone-in ribs when the country-style offers generous portions and little mess. [This is a tough time for me, right now. Another dear sister-in-law is failing and her life's journey is at an end. It's very hard to think of anything or anyone other than her, right now.  Please forgive me.]

If you've never had Polenta, it's delicious and well worth trying.  Lots of ways to serve, once it's made, and is probably more popular than pasta in Italy.  Directions: In a saucepan, bring at least double the water/liquid to 1 cup cornmeal (I use yellow) to a boil, add salt and pepper, and stir constantly until the Polenta is smooth to the taste, not grainy. If the mix gets too thick before reaching the smooth stage, add more liquid.  Polenta is very forgiving.  Cover the bottom of an 8"x8" pan with cling wrap and pour in the Polenta, cover with another layer of cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator for about six hours, or overnight, to firm up. Then, you can cut it into any shape and bake or fry it for a really great addition to any meal.

Saturday, August 7

Summer Figs Bring Jams, Leather, and Holiday Treats

ummer Figs Bring Jams, Leather, and Holiday Treats
There is nothing more delicious than a fresh fig, kissed by the sun. And, my neighbor has always been very generous with hers.
But, hers are on a young fig bush, producing more than enough for us to make some jam and enjoy fresh figs for a few weeks; but, there's not alot left after the first harvest for all the holiday goodies we like to make.

So, clever girl that I am, when I made my infamous Fig-Raspberry Jam last year, I shared a jar with my hairdresser who just happens to have a serious, major, fig TREE at her shop.  Wanting more jam, she

Wednesday, August 4

The Grow Your Own July Collection Has Some Great Recipes

July 2010 Grow Your Own #42 Collection Has Some Great Recipes
I know you love my solar recipes and I have more coming up, but food is love and so is sharing and I want you to check out these great entries in the Grow Your Own #42 July 2010 Collection.  Yes, I do have an entry, but you'll love the journey through all the other tasty dishes being hosted over at The Kitchen Gadget Girls site.  They come from all over the world and it's wonderful to see the delicious diversity.  I think Andrea Meyers had a great idea when she started this three years ago. You might even want to take some time to look through previous entries.  I hope so. Have fun.

Monday, August 2

No Impure Thoughts Keep My Prize Fairy Working Overtime!

Gift Number One
I don't know what I did, but I'm sure it must've been the result of my not having any impure thoughts, because I won, not one but two (count them), TWO blogger giveaway drawings this weekend. It's really very exciting to discover that your name has been randomly picked and that, very soon, your prize will soon be in hand.

From jaz at, I won a book called 'Garden Witchery, Magic From the ground Up' by ellen Dugan. She bought the book in Salem (yes, that Salem, MA) and it is filled with wonderful poetry, drawings, and vignettes from writers we would have never thought to be interested in garden magic. I'm especially delighted to be able to read what the author has to say about gardening by the moon because I have often done it with excellent results, so far as root plants are concerned.
If you haven't visited her blog, you are missing out on some fantastic recipes, folklore, and garden design elements that will take your breath away. There is not a nook or cranny in her home that is not beautifully decorated, with a special Halloween theme during the fall. It's eye-candy all over the place and a site I am sure you will bookmark.  Her giveaways are ongoing and, if you would like a chance to win some exquisite treasure, simply leave a comment on the particular giveaway post. If you are not already a follower, sign up to follow. But, the most important reason of all for following jaz is Teddy, her teddy bear of a dog. You'll just fall madly in love.

Sunday, August 1

Sunday Toast - A New Month and National Solar Cooking Day

Sunday Toast and Today is National Solar Cooking Day!
All over America, solar chefs are getting together to cook and share their knowledge of using a solar oven. I'm hoping to start an annual solar cooking festival here in North Carolina by next year.  Little by little, I've been speaking before small groups and community clubs about the benefits of solar cooking and it appears as though things are starting to take off.  Why don't you check your paper, today, and see if there's an event taking place in your area that you can visit and get to know the folks who have already discovered this fantastic way of preparing meals and saving money.

My Sunday toast to you:
May our friendship, like wine,
Improve as time advances.
And may we always have old wine,
Old friends, and young cares.
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