Terri's Airy Fairie World

Musings on Music, Tea, Gardening, Food & Life…


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Hello Spring!

My garden is waking up, and I want to spend every waking moment out there! Here are a few pics I took on Wednesday!

While I was out there I started the process of digging up leeks, separating the clumps, and replanting them so they can get fat & juicy!  I grow 3 different varieties of Leeks. These are King Richard, and I still need to deal with the Giant Musselburgh and Bleu de Solaise. Then it will be on to the Shallots & other oniony things.IMG_2929

One of my favorite breakfasts in the Springtime is Eggdrop soup. It’s not pretty to look at, but it is delicious and nutritious, and super easy to make. For each serving you’ll need:

1 C of broth (chicken, pork, beef, or whatever kind you have on hand)

grated ginger & garlic to taste (or you can go with other seasonings)

Fish sauce or coconut aminos or salt to taste

Oniony things – Leeks, shallots, onion, chives, spring onions… today I used leeks. If you want to deepen the flavor, sauté the onions first.

A Handful of Greens – today I went with Dandelion, yesterday it was Kale. Any edible greens will work!

1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt or a few drops of fish sauce

Get everything ready…

Heat your broth with all of the ingredients except the greens and the eggs. Let it simmer briefly, until it is infused with the ginger & garlic.

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Sample it and when you like the way it tastes, drop the greens in there, stir, and then slowly add the eggs, gently swirling just a little as you go. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Optional additions: tiny pieces of leftover meats, spiralized veggies, Shallots that have been sautéed until crispy, crumpled bacon…

Before additions, here are the estimated Macros, according to myfitnesspal.com

 Carbs 9% (2G), Fat 58% (7G), Protein 33% (10G)

And of course it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, collagen, and other good things!

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“You’re Standing in my Cumquat!”

This post contains several links. I didn’t plan it that way, but all of a sudden, there they all are. I suggest reading the article first, and then if any of the links appeal to you, please check them out!

The title of this post is a quote from the off broadway musical, The Fantasticks! For those who have never seen it, The Fantasticks! was written in 1960 by Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, and is the world’s longest running musical. It’s been performed in at least 67 countries, and has been translated into many, many languages. It’s story is universal.

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. The narrator, El Gallo, originally played by Jerry Orbach, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo’s words that “without a hurt, the heart is hollow”. (quote from the Greenville College Factory Theatre page).

Anyways, I love this show! It’s hilarious, and the music is awesome, including some classic songs: Try To Remember, They Were You and Soon It’s Gonna Rain. The only accompaniment is a piano & a harp. I’ve loved it since the first time I ever played it. I fall in love with it again every time I get the opportunity to play it (this is my 5th), which is what I’ve been doing for the last week or so with The Factory Theatre in Greenville, IL. It’s an hour drive each way, and last week I drove it every day, from Wednesday – Sunday. We’ve got 3 more performances this weekend, and then it’s on to other projects.

I utilize the drive time get caught up on a few podcasts that I enjoy, such as:

Bee the Wellness This is an Ancestral Health/Paleo podcast that touches on all things nourishing. Adam and Vanessa Lambert, coaches from my beloved Unveil Your Wellness group on Vimify , talk about all aspects of health & human potential: looking at, sifting through, and explaining the latest health related sciences;  interviewing a variety of interesting & knowledgable people; sharing their own journeys; and they also laugh a lot in the process. Vanessa, aka Nesta, is also an amazing singer/songwriter, and the opening and closing soundtracks feature her music. Here’s one of her songs

TAP to Music Podcast featuring Nick Johnson. In each episode, Nick interviews a different musician, sharing a few of their songs and talking about the things that inspire them, their creative process, and music as a part of their life. His guests come from all musical backgrounds, cultures, and styles. I love this show! Every episode inspires me!

So, I’ve gotten way off track here. The real point of this post was What’s a Kumquat?

A kumquat is basically a miniature orange, more or less, roughly the size of a large olive. They are first found in 12th century Chinese literature and have been cultivated for centuries in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and southeast Asia.  Here is a picture of my Kumquat tree, which lives in my Sunroom during the winter months, and then enjoys being outside in the summer.

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The fruits usually begin to ripen around the HoliDaze, and then over the next couple of months I get to eat a few Kumquats a week, to add a little vitamin C & Joy into my life. You can put them in things, like a salad (veggie or fruit), or make marmalade, but most of the time I just pop one into my mouth and savor the contrast between the sweet peel & the tangy sour juices. There are also seeds, which I add to my compost bucket, because they’re rather bitter.

You can also make  Salt Preserved Kumquats, similar to preserved lemon.  This is a popular way to use Kumquats in China, resulting in a traditional home remedy for colds & sore throat. I haven’t tried doing this yet, but my kumquats are at their peak of ripeness, and I’ve had an abundant crop this year (I’ve already been eating/thinning them out since early January) so I think I’m going to give it a try!

I also have a Meyer Lemon tree & a Key Lime.  The Meyer Lemon usually produce an average of a dozen fruits per year, although this year the squirrels stole some. I enjoy using them in a variety of ways, especially salad dressings. The Key Lime is a crazy lime making machine, and although the limes are small, they are abundant, and I never seem to need much lime juice at a time anyway, so I haven’t purchased limes at the store for a long time now. All 3 trees are compact, easy to care for, and easy to move, except for the lime, which is loaded with evil thorns!

I love having my own source of citrus, and if my sunroom was bigger, I’d add a few more!

 

 


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January 2016 – Week One

Dear Friends & Family,

Two Years have gone by since my last post here. Excuses 1 – 17, 33 – 39, 79 – 85, and various other random reasons, mostly not enough time in each day, trying to do way too many things, and I think you catch my drift. (Note to self – create a post with a list of excuses 🙂

How long does it take to compose a blog post?

I’ll time myself and see.

I think the hardest thing about blogging is taking the time to sit down and do it. I get all these great ideas while I’m cooking, gardening, gigging, even knitting, but then I never get around to actually sitting down and typing something.

Add to that a simple fact. If I don’t use a technology or program regularly, I forget how to use it. This also applies to driving places & various other parts of my life…basically everything except music! So, knowing that I’ll probably have to remember how to navigate Word Press doesn’t help my level of motivation, but I’m setting an intention (notice that I did NOT say New Year’s Resolution) to post more regularly this year, maybe even weekly!

2015 started and ended very busily, all good, of course! So now on to 2016, because I have a feeling this is going to be the Amazing Year of Awesomeness!!

There’s something wonderful about January (other than my birthday). I love the beginning of the year. The hub bub of December generally exhausts me (this year I played 21 xmas gigs in 24 days).  In January I look forward to Winter weather, introspection, and relative quiet. Time to sleep in, restring my harps, drink lots of tea, make big pots of soup, start planning my garden, and recuperate from the busy-ness of late Fall.

As it turns out, I’ve played 2 Gigs this week, and booked 6 more! So January may not be quite as laid back as usual. I suddenly have a music stand full of things to work on, in addition to all the projects I’ve lined up for myself this year, including:

  1. Complete the Permaculture course I signed up for last spring…the clocks a ticking! https://www.openpermaculture.com
  2. Improve my skills with Logic Pro and iMovie, and get good at recording/videoing myself
  3. Plan my best garden yet!
  4. Keep up with my Bee the Wellness Group! I’m in better shape than I was a year ago, and I want to keep it that way! If you’re interested in improving your health on all levels & exploring the Paleo way of life, the Annual Free 21 Day Transformational Challenge begins on Monday, Jan 11th. Also beginning that same day are the 21 day Unveil Your Wellness Challenge & the 21 Day Meditation Challenge. I’ll be there!! https://www.vimify.com/app/discover
  5. Continue to get better at playing Jazz.

All of these things fall under the umbrella of my main intention for this year, which is to live a fully Artistic life, feeling  Creativity flowing through me all day, every day, in all of my endeavors.

Got any intentions for 2016 that you’d like to share?

I’ll close this first post of the year with a photo of my garden in winter. It’s kind of wreck! I got super busy in the fall, and barely could find time to go out there to collect produce once a week, but in spite of my neglect, it’s been an amazingly productive garden this year, with loads of sweet potatoes, and wonderful varieties of oniony things (garlic, onions, shallots, etc), root veggies galore, greens, herbs, berries, and lots of self-seeded things. We haven’t really had any actual Winter weather in St. Louis yet, so I’m still going out there Leeks, Greens, and the occasional Root!

Happy New Year!

BTW, this took 45 minutes to write, including the uploading part, which turned out  not to be as stressful as I imagined it would be. 🙂IMG_2738

A Tour of My Garden

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I love gardening! I love crawling around in the dirt with my clippers,  conquering weeds.  I love squatting next to a Tomato or Pepper plant & peeking into green bean & cucumber vines, like I’m on an easter egg hunt. I love clipping greens & herbs, making weird little hammocks for my big fat tomatoes, & pulling beets, turnips, & other roots from the earth. I love witnessing the emergence of freshly sprouted seedlings & recognizing volunteers that grew from last year’s plants that were allowed to flower & go to seed. I love being followed around the garden by robins who know me because they grew up in my yard. I love the sounds of all the birds that like to hang around, especially the Gold Finches, with their crazy canary calls & even crazier flying style. I love it when the sky is almost dark & the bats fly overhead.

The Earth is amazing! Every experiment in planting is like a miracle. Sometimes seeds don’t sprout. Sometimes cucumber beetles & squash bugs ruin everything. Sometimes we have a horrible hot droughty summer, like last year. Other times the weather is ideal & my garden is abundant, like this year. It’s awesome to walk out back with a couple of empty baskets & a pair of clippers, wander up & down the rows, visiting each bed to see what looks good today. I love bringing in baskets full of produce, & turning it into meals. I would be perfectly content to spend every day out there, breathing in the moment, witnessing the birds, insects, & other creatures, clipping weeds, talking to turtles, building trellises, & eating sugar snap peas off the vine. Here are some pictures that I took in my Garden this week. I hope you enjoy them!

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