Monday, January 16, 2017

An Adventure in cooking

I used to cook.

A long time ago, in a lifetime far away from here, I used to cook.

At that time, I took pleasure in providing healthy, yummy, super tasty, fun to eat, can't wait to have more food...kinda meals.  One of my favorite memories is of the joy I had when cooking beans.

Yes, beans, but not just any beans, heirloom beans.  Beans that have a history, have been tracked, favored, carefully cultivated because they were needed to keep the family alive.  Beans that were staples as well as a family heirloom, passed down from one generation to the next. These beans were part of the family. And I loved my family, and I wanted to share and enjoy these precious ancestors with my growing family, so I could pass down memories to my children.
              (I know, I know, its a bit much right?)

I'm not sure how I found them, perhaps some crunchy NPR show, I don't recall really.  But I fell in love with Rancho Gordo beans.  Every species has a colorful name and an equally colorful history. Each bean has its own distinct flavor, aroma, and hue of the rainbow.  Some are so beautiful to the eye, you almost don't want to blemish them with scalding water, as to do so would banish a rare jewel the Earth has provided.  From Rio Zape to Yellow Indian Woman (which I have yet to try, but covet so!), each beautiful bound bundle of beans inspires me to cook.

And so I will cook, for I love my family so.

On this night, I learned to listen to your food, that it should never speak loudly to you.  A whisper is a simmer and a boil is rather loud.  I never knew cooking had sounds associated with it, now I must learn the language of food.

The purple beans against the bright, green, celery, with orange, carrots were beautiful to watch
as they danced in the cast iron pot.

A couple of hours later, and the "hint of chocolate and coffee" are obviously within the bean
and it is hard to stop "trying" the beans.
These tasted like time, 30 minutes to be exact.  It turns out they were really "60 minute" beans, but then,
 I didn't know food tasted like time either.

Finished.  A beautiful bouquet fills my kitchen, and the broth looks hearty.  These Rio Zape beans are fantastic, and there have already been promises of eggs and beans in the morning.

Cook well all!

"Just because your mother tells you it's true, doesn't mean it's true!"
  ...quote from my mother.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Winter Solstice 2014

My children fill me with Love and Joy each and every day.

Opening stockings on Solstice Eve.

I see her posing and modeling in the mirror often.  I don't know where she gets it.

This is the only pic of the gift opening I'm sharing, and its only to point to the window.  It's just about 5:30 in the morning, and that was with my son waiting.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Grandkids with Grandma Barb.


Josh and I

That's me cooking a 5 star dinner for my family.  They loved it. Bazinga!

This is my favorite.  I can still hear their giggling.

Big Sister and Little Brother.  Neither so little.

Here's your adorable pic to say, see you next year!

With much love from all of us, to all of you, near and far.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Marbles Museum and a Preschool Graduation

Marbles Kids Museum, June 21st

A Pre-school Graduation June 26th

Monday, June 9, 2014

Museum of Life and Science

The NC Museum of Life and Science is a huge indoor/outdoor YAY place to learn.  On rainy or super cold days, you can spend hours inside running playing, building and learning.  On beautiful cool and true southern humid and hot days, you can be outside, run, explore and observe life, all while having fun.

When first going outside of the museum, you pass by the 'castle', the drums, chimes, sand pit and train caboose.  Both kids climbed the rope ladder into the castle by themselves and when Cool Dude climbed to the top of the castle all by himself, he screamed "I'm King of the Castle!"

1, 2, 3, GO!

Of course, they have a train.  Cool Dude loves trains.  We have come to this Museum for years, and every time we do, we take "Selfies".  I was thinking yesterday, that I wish I could find all the train selfies and make a post just of those.  Now that my babies are not so much babies, they love to make faces.  So here are our obligatory train selfies.  All of them.  ;)

  They have two separate places outside where the kids can get wet and learn at the same time.  One section requires both kids and adults to move pumps to move water which splashes out in surprising areas.  I knew this, so the kids came in bathing suits and had a blast!

I didn't really get an good pictures of the pumps, because, well, I was pumping! 
As you can see from the above picture, there is a center spring that bubbles up pretty fast, and leads into a little 'steam'.  They both loves jumping, slapping and sitting in this spring.


Look at that.  
She lied down in the 'steam'.  The sound that erupted from her was amazing.  
She giggled and giggled and giggled.  Then she stopped.  
She just lied there with a smile on her face and her eyes closed.  
I named this picture "Free"

A second 'wet area' in further back of the Museum, past the bear, the red wolf and lemers, back, back "Into the Mist".

This area has rolling hills the so the kids can run through the mist.  A side area has a flat area and when there is no wind, you can get 'lost' in the cloud.


I been coming to this Museum for years now, and yesterday I found a new area just past the mist.  It had little hobbit tunnels, bamboo archways and a mud hut.  YEARS and I'm still finding areas!

Below, is a 'green tree' that drips water like its raining when someone presses buttons around the structure. (Note: all water in is reclaimed and re-used for irrigation purposes)

 We enter the land of the 'fake turtles'.
Sorry, personal joke.
When Great Aunt Laurie came to visit, we came to the Museum.  When down by the pond area, a row of turtles were sunning themselves on a log, and an adjacent family was close to us.  The children were pointing to the turtles and their mother said "Oh those are fake".
I was stunned.

"Um, excuse me Ma'am, they are real, they are alive" I said, because my kids ethre there, and I didn't want them to think these animals were fake....
"She gave me an annoyed look and said "Then why haven't they moved?"
"They are cold blooded, they are sunning themselves to warm up."
(Even more annoyed look from the mother)
Well, they haven't moved since I've been here."
You know what happened next right?
They moved.
So......while in the Museum of LIFE and SCIENCE, they have a POND filled with FAKE TURTLES.  Right... uh huh....

Obligatory Dinosaur hugs.  Because, who doesn't want to hug a dinosaur?

The sun was getting hot by the end of the day.  It was decide that Cool dude wanted a bigger hat. So cool dude took Grandma's hat.