On September 8th, Kira the Wonder Dog left this planet for her greatest adventure ever leaving a large hole in my heart. I trust that with time (and apparently a lot of cooking) my heart will mend. Kira brought a smile to so many over the years with her ridiculous antics, sweet smile and her loving loyalty. Her pal Poohger continues to look around the house and yard for her. and when we take our familiar walks through the neighborhood Poohgar stops at all the Kira spots looking around as if she expects her to jump out from the bushes. I must admit I haven’t quite adjusted to the routine of our lives without her. And so this blog post is in honor of our dear friend Kira who brought us all great joy and who is running those grand figure 8s in puppy heaven now.
As the crisp fall air, perfectly blue sky and shorter days become the daily experience I have been gathering the foods I planted this summer to store so the fresh tastes of summer are available during the winter months. This week I have made pesto and pickles…guess it has been a “P” week. There is nothing quite as nice as making a pesto dish in January to remind us that spring will come again before long. In fact I’m not waiting until January to eat some pesto. I found these delightful recipes in Eating Well Magazine and I’ll be making the arugula pesto tonight. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_pesto_recipes
I also put up about 16 pints of dill pickles, some the refrigerator variety and some the old fashioned canned variety. I like the uncooked version because the healthy bacteria don’t get cooked out of the pickles when you refrigerate them. This weekend I will be putting up several pints of red and green cabbage sauerkraut also without cooking out the healthful bacteria. This is an easy to follow recipe for homemade sauerkraut that I found to be very good: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes/homemade-sauerkraut. There are many health benefits to eating traditional fermented foods which I have shared in previous blog posts. If you would like more information check out Dr. David Williams http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/traditional-fermented-foods-benefits/ and Dr Oz http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/fermented-foods-for-powerful-immunity. Starting with sauerkraut is easy but there are many wonderful quick pickle recipes out there as well. I’m adding a broccoli stem quick pickle I make and eat weekly:
Broccoli Stem Pickles
2 cups broccoli stems
2 tsps rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced
½ tsp fresh grated ginger
½ tsp coriander seeds crushed
½ tsp cumin seeds crushed
½ tsp sea salt
Using a sharp knife peel away the fibrous skin of the broccoli and then cut the pale inside trunk into matchsticks.
Blanch broccoli matchsticks for 1 minute in boiling water, rinse immediately with cold water. Then place in glass bowl.
Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over broccoli matchsticks in glass bowl.
Refrigerate for 2 hours, serve.
Benefits of Broccoli from The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood
Broccoli supports the liver, spleen, stomach and bladder and helps to regulate circulation. It treats the eyes and helps to reduce eye inflammation. Broccoli is slightly diuretic. It’s anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties are due in part to its immune boosting glusinolates (specifically indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane). Broccoli contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange and is a superior source of vitamin A and K. It has almost as much calcium as whole milk and its calcium is better absorbed. Broccoli contains selenium, is a modest source of alpha tocopherol vitamin E and has value as an antioxidant.
So here’s to you Kira girl…we love you and hold you close in our hearts forever.
Take a moment this weekend to tell the people and pets in your life how much they matter to you. Share a meal together without the distraction of phones, TV or computers. Relish these simple times together sharing attention and love and you will be spreading the ripple of that love and appreciation into a world that can at times seem unkind.
I send prayers of gratitude to all that has given of itself on this day.
The strong beans, and the hardy grains, the beautiful leafy green plants and the sweet juicy fruits.
I thank the sun that warmed and vitalized them, just as it does me,
And the Earth that held and nourished them, as it does me,
And the waters that bathed and refreshed them, as they do for me.
I thank the fire that transformed them, just as I wish to be transformed by the fire of Spirit.
I thank the hands that grew and prepared this food,
Just as I thank all those that have touched me in so many ways.