Recipe: Strawberry Lime Syrup (with some writing kicked in!)

Yesterday, I spent the day cooking and enjoying some time in the kitchen. I am a foodie. I make no bones about enjoying food. But by enjoying food, I’ve learned that my life with food is also linked to my writing. Sometimes, when you’re chopping veggies or fruits, focusing only on dicing them properly– you hear your characters whispering. Sometimes, a difficult plot point gets resolved while I’m dealing with a complicated dish because focusing on the steps of the dish force my subconscious to go point by point on my story, showing me where it went wrong. Afterwards, it opens up my mind to what’s to come later on in my writing.  Continue reading

Lammas Celebration

Pagan Wheel of the Year

Tomorrow is Lammas or to some, Lughnasadh. This sacred time of the grain harvest is a time of sharing. For my family, it’s a time to gear up for the fall and the upcoming holidays. It’s also a time of reflection to see what we’ve accomplished the first half of the year– both good and bad. For our meal, I’m making homemade bread as well as fixing some grain dishes– most will be gluten free, since I have to be. The family has become used to the fact that though we do separate out for the most part– I make two kinds of spaghetti and such– whenever possible, I do try to make GF for the whole family. (Ask them about the Chocolate Chip Cookie incident from this Sunday. Yes, ask them about that.)  Continue reading

Holidays, Happiness, and a Promise

The holiday season has started. I’m actually trying to be in the holiday spirit as well. It’s not easy with everything I’m going through. But I’ve made myself a promise– 2011 is the year of little joys. This means honoring and enjoying the little things in life that make us happy and provide us smiles while hitting our emotions. I urge everyone to make this new year as the year of Little Joys. Why? Because it’s important to remember the little things in life that bring pleasure and to remember the first times in life. You know, the first time your child walked, the first time you realized you were in love, your first snow storm you can remember. Those first are things to celebrate. So the coming year is going to be the Little Joys Year– where you enjoy the little things that bring joy and emotion to your heart.

I prepare this holiday season with a heavy heart because things haven’t gone as I wanted them. But I’ve realized the past couple of days that it doesn’t mean I can’t make things better as I go. I can. I just have to believe in myself and those who love me to do so. I’ve been making some jewelry for those I love and I’ve been working hard on getting some other things finished as well. It’s not been easy trying to get things done with all the extra medication and tiredness I’ve been experiencing the past month. I’ve not said anything to those who know me, but I agree with my specialist– my lupus is active again. I should be getting my test results shortly– okay, right now, and yeah, we’re right. It means some prednisone time on top of other stuff, but I’m hoping I’ll be feeling better over the next month or so.

Right now, I’ve got my slow cooker pork veggie soup cooking. It’s fun, easy and colourful. It’s also good for you and really healthy as well. I’m debating on thickening it up once it’s done, but maybe I will. :mrgreen: So how do you make this delicious treat?

Pork Loin and Veggie Slow Cooker Soup

1 pork loin, about 2lbs. diced if not frozen, or cut into chunks if frozen

1 box chicken stock

5 stalks of celery, deleaved, cleaned and diced into bite size pieces

10 baby carrots, diced

3 small white potatoes, diced and parboiled in boiling water for 10 minutes

1 small onion, peeled and diced

1 can diced tomatoes

2 ancient red peppers, deribbed, deseeded, and diced

1 tbsp chicken soup base

2 cups water

2 tbsp blueberry promengranate red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, diced finely

Mrs. Dash, Garlic powder, basil, Italian seasoning mix, and salt (amounts to taste)

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In slow cooker, layer all the veggies in first. Then mix thoroughly with the stock, soup base, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Add in the pork and cook on high for 4 hours. An hour before serving, add in the 2 cups of water and shred pork to bite size pieces if you’ve not done it in the beginning. Add more seasonings like salt and pepper to taste at the table.

Happy Beltane!

Today is Beltane, the day where pagans celebrate not just spring, but also the blossoming of things all throughout nature. It’s also the day of the bonfires to honour Brigid, the Celtic fire goddess. For my family, it means that we’ll have a meal that reminds us of this time- the pasturing of the lambs, the moving of the flocks to better regions to graze and also when we put out all of the fires and wait for the sacred fire on Tara to be relit and that flame to be brought to light all of the hearths. Most people don’t realize that the sacred trees of the druids are used to light that fire upon Tara hill, but they are. More importantly in my mind, is the thought that goes into our world today- what do we do that reminds us of the sacred divine to keep  it alive in our daily actions and thoughts. Continue reading

Pagan: Yule is Approaching

Today I’m listening to an old favourite- “Jingle Bones” from the Disney Christmas album and giggling madly. Why? Because this album is from my childhood and I realized how much this album played in my psyche as I grew up. I’m a witch/druid/eclectic pagan who loves holidays and enjoys her family and friends in varying doses. (Too much and I so need solitude!) But more than that– Yule is approaching as is Mithra’s birthday and Christmas and my family will be here for the first year ever. This is the first year we’ll have been together since we were kids for the holidays. I’m excited, nervous and want everything to go according to plan– which amuses my male and my psychiatrist both. It’s even funnier to them both to know I’ve even programmed in the chaos and last minute changes that are bound to happen as well. Continue reading