Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crab and Corn Chowder


The young adults in Real World today did such a good job
of making a revamped version of an old Lily's Cafe standby
that I thought I'd share the recipe.

It is amazing to me how Lily's lives on in
everyone's heart and I am so grateful

While I was doing up the last of the dishes today
Sandra shared with me that her Mom had been sick
for many weeks, unable to eat much
and the other night they were watching a cooking show on 
T.V. and her mom said, "Oh, that makes me think of Lily's veggie sandwich,
I could go for that right now."

The kids today were fighting over the chocolate chip cookies
and many of them didn't want to try to the chowder
and then ended up having two bowls full

It astounds me to be in the heart of many
and I am so, so grateful.


The original recipe for this crab and corn chowder in the Lily's Cafe Cookbook
 calls for canned creamed corn.

Since our goal is to show the students how to cook with
fresher ingredients I swapped this out with frozen corn
and had them make a quick version of creamed corn as the base

It really was delicious, and cooks up quick.

Let me know what you think

CRAB AND CORN CHOWDER

(2) 1 pound bags of frozen corn
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
2 cups half and half
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 pound of crabmeat
Salt and pepper to taste
tabasco

Heat the stock until just boiling
Place one bag of frozen corn in the bowl of a food processor
or the jar of a blender
Add 1 cup of hot stock and the 1/2 cup cream with a pinch of salt
Puree

Place this puree in a small soup pot
along with the celery, remaining stock,
the other bag of corn and chopped onion

Add a bit of salt and pepper if your stock is not seasoned
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until onion and celery are tender
Stir occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking

Meanwhile make your roux:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, once melted
whisk in the flour until smooth and let it bubble for a few minutes
remove from heat
(The roux may be omitted for a lighter soup)

Once your celery and onion are tender
Add the half and half  and bring back to a boil
Stir in the roux 

Stir in crabmeat, season with tabasco and adjust the salt and pepper

Serve hot - a little chopped fresh parsley or chervil would be wonderful!

Enjoy.





Monday, March 23, 2015

Quality Time


The last 10 days have been wonderful
but a little crazy

Upon the return from the DC trip my feet
never really hit the ground running

Even though I was getting enough sleep each night
I couldn't shake this hyper overtired thing going on inside

So, knowing I had the house to myself until this morning
with Renee away for the weekend
I wrote at the top of my to-do list

"Take Sunday OFF"

I turned off my phone,
played with the cats
read some of my recent book
watched movies
Put fresh sheets and blankets on the bed
and when it got dark
I made a cocoon out of the bedroom and 
snuggled in, listening to the ferocious wind outside

I just laid there
feeling grateful for the safe space
staying present in the coziness
and let my body and mind unwind

It felt like I had given myself a giant hug
and I wanted to remind us all 
to eek out some quality time with yourself

You are worth it.

Kyra






Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"What's past is prologue"


I've just returned from my first trip ever as the tour guide of four teenagers
 and I have to tell you my time with them was a true gift.

I am so grateful for the personal commitment each one of them
seemed to have made to be the best "them" that they can be

 Which allowed me to offer them the best I can be

I was able to put my ego down, mentor them in how to maneuver an unfamiliar city 
and feel it all with no pre-conceived expectations


On Friday we passed Shakespeare's quote while attempting to find the entrance
to the National Building of Archives and I was silently moved by it.

"What's past is prologue,"

All day I had been feeling a little giddy by how much I was enjoying
 everyone's company while also quietly processing 
who I had become since my own past trip to DC
as a youth with my family

The quote said it all
What has already happened in our lives merely sets the scene for the great 
stuff to come and it doesn't matter if you are 17 or 65, you get to keep writing the script.

That is powerful stuff.

And we all have a chance to mentor each other in how to be the best we can be
so that we use our power to write deep meaningful stories -

whatever that entails -

and if we refrain from judging each other
truly listen
and offer ourselves open for discussion

this life is amazing and so full of laughter and unexpected joys
 and the strength to survive the dark stuff.

This trip was priceless
a different reason for each of us
but so valuable
 and I am so grateful to everyone that made it possible.

Thank you,
Kyra












Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Heart Wide Open


I don't think I can adequately describe the rush of life force
that has shot through me today as the earth relaxes its grip


the sun shines, the snow melts, the birds sing 

I drove to all my favorite farms picking up
chicken hearts, eggs, grass fed beef and luscious thick cream

As I drove on roads I've driven on hundreds of times
I felt that I was seeing everything for the first time

I thought of maple syrup and my garden


and came home to see my cold frames peeking out of the melting snow!

I leave tomorrow for Washington DC with four excited mentees from 
our Ready By 21 Mentoring program

and remembered what it was like when I was 16 and would
drive into Manhattan with my family

Seeing that sky line, feeling that electricity shoot through me
much like how I felt today

Isn't it wonderful how excited about life we can get?

Just by letting go of our minds and seeing
with our hearts wide open.

What a gift.
Something we can open over and over and over.

I came inside for a meeting with my graphic designer extraordinaire

We have just finished the wonderful project of designing a website
for Ready By 21 Mentoring

www.readyby21mentoring.com
Check it out!

It is amazing for me to see in print
the comprehensive program that has been created.
I am so grateful.

We also worked on some new looks for Lily's House
to go along with new handmade qualities I'll be selling
Stay tuned!

Turn that mind off a little
Allow your hearts desire

Kyra

Friday, March 6, 2015

Maple Sugar Shortbread


This has been a winter for rearranging furniture hasn't it?


  I am continually amazed how I can go from wanting a new house
 to loving the one I'm in just by turning a table.

That's exactly what happened last week after I had to mop up a bit of ceiling collapse
 from an ice dam on the roof.

I turned the keeping table in the kitchen and wondered out loud for an hour 
why I had it the other way in the first place

I'm still tickled with it!


With the wine bar on hiatus until late April 
I am hoping to catch up on some other projects

( I must admit, I miss the wonderful warmth and energy of those wine bars
and look forward to them resuming)

But, I finished the baby quilt I started for my bartender extraordinaire
and had the lovely pleasure of presenting it to her today


It is made of many special bits and pieces of my quilting journeys
and feels like it echoes love and growth from the center of a loving home,
much like the space I feel this baby will be born into. 
Exciting.


The recent Pop Up Fabric Shop with Alewives Fabric 
and Rhea's Lucy Boston workshop were a wonderful success and filled Lily's
with vibrant color and creativity

 Born from the this lovely weekend
 was my development of 
a maple sugar shortbread cookie
 that I served for dessert on that Saturday


It is so good I just have to share the recipe.
It's gluten free, no refined sugar and delicious with frozen strawberry yogurt, 
but I think I'll dip the next batch into melted chocolate
Yum!

Turn that oven on and warm that kitchen up
Spring is coming, I promise!

Enjoy,
Kyra

MAPLE SUGAR SHORTBREAD

3 ounces best quality unsalted butter
Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
1/4 cup pure maple sugar
1 cup rice flour
(I use Anson Mills, its phenomenal)
3 ounces ground almonds
 (if you have time to roast them first, even better!)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
~
Place the flour, ground nuts, salt, maple sugar and vanilla bean
in the bowl of a food processor, process to combine

Cut butter into small chunks and add to processor

Process until butter is cut into the flour mixture
and a "short" dough appears.
This will be very crumbly, especially if your butter is cold.
That's fine.

Press the mixture into a parchment lined or buttered 
8x8 baking pan

Score lightly into 9 squares and poke each square with the tines of a fork

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes
or until golden brown.
~
Allow to cool, cut apart and enjoy!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Follies and Fabric


Helloooo! 
 I have missed you all so much and it feels so right to be sitting here
 in this place and sharing again.

 I hope you have been happy and healthy while I have been away and
 thank you so much for encouraging me to take the time I needed
 to catch up on other creations.

When I began blogging
 I wrote very emphatically
 that February was my most favorite month of the year
 here on this sweet little island.


And I am happy to report I still feel the same way even in the
midst of this very cold and snowy winter.

In fact, as I was shoveling this morning in the warmth of the sunshine,
amidst dozens of chickadees and a woodpecker at the feeder 
I noticed these buds on the lilac bush by the back door.  


 They must have swelled in the odd warmth of late fall
 and have been hanging on, waiting to bust open
 in God knows when -
 and I remembered I just love February!

So much to be grateful for 

Like my 2003 rusted out Chevy Silverado that has let me drive
through everything that has come at us this winter,

-My partner (even though she wanted me to sell the truck)
 who knows how to defrost pipes and fix leaky ceilings from ice dams,

The Mansard roof on Lily's that hasn't had any ice dams,

-The incredible myriad of teenagers 
that I have the pleasure of sharing company with each week
(several of whom convinced me not to sell my truck)


-Thursday night wine bars which have been as few as 4 of us to
as many as 40 of us throughout these winter months


-The beautiful creations and enthusiasm from
 my students in the textile classes I have been teaching
 and the joyous news that
I will be teaching my first one day class at Haystack 
in May during the HIP Community Day Workshops!


I am so grateful that
 I was who Aaron called to say he was coming to clear my back woods 
in literally the only 4 day window we have had
 with frozen ground and no snow this entire season


Not to mention the incredible joy and optimism
 my onion seedlings germinating gives me


and for this wonderful garden shed Renee got the roof onto
before the winter of 2015 hit.

Scrap wood and windows from the dump,
way too pretty for the lawn mower and planting paraphernalia
 I will be storing inside.


As I take stock this February
 in all this winter has had to offer,

 I would say the best has been the real chance to
 slow down,
 burrow,
focus inward, 
and
 get some crazy things off my to do list!


Like taking two days this last storm to sort through
and remove the excess yardage of quilting fabric from 
my very large stash

There is everything.  Whites for background, large lengths for backing,
great florals, civil war reproduction, blending prints....
and I am selling it all on the back table at Lily's this Friday, February 20th
during a combo Pop up Shop/Wine Bar with Alewives Fabric

Rhea will have the newest, most beautiful fat quarters etc. in the dining room
I'll be pouring wine at the bar and Renee will be cutting fabric in the back!
$2.00 a yard, all you want!!

Plus Rhea is teaching a Lucy Boston hand sewing workshop on Saturday and there are 
just a few spots left if you are interested.

Phew, that's enough of me for now!

Much love and excited to continue,
Kyra 










Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Diversity

This is a picture from the Storm King Sculpture Garden
in New Windsor New York - only one hour from New York City.


That blows my mind.
Millions of people living on a 12 mile island choosing to be all smashed together
While I strolled this amazing land in breathtaking afternoon light
So be it.  And thank you.

The reason for the journey was a 50th birthday wish of mine

Which was an extraordinary experience on so many levels that I will never forget it.
Before I went, a dear friend turned me on to Dan Barber's book
"The Third Plate"

This book was a spiritual read for me and I have been urging
all my farmer and sustainable foodie friends to read it.
Well written, deeply researched, human and no pretense


The incredible thing is, the sound idea of our soil, land and water health
counting on diversity, segued into my mentor work

As I continue to revel in the individualities of the youth
I am so fortunate to work with I  had this epiphany
that our society calls for a monoculture not just in its fields
but in its members as well

I am continually reminding folks that not everyone has to 
follow the same path that we seem to dictate in order to be happy and fulfilled

And then a wonderful paragraph from another book I'm reading
that really pulled it all together;

"So the reason that you took the job in the temporary agency that placed you in the office may be to teach you a skill that you will use years later when you are doing something quite different.  You have no idea how these things unfold until you realize how wonderfully informed you have been by your past experiences.  You can be a garbage man of great dignity and actually have a life of the mind that has nothing to do with trash cans.  But that is a wonderful way to work out the anger at the end of the day by throwing the bags into the back of the the truck.  You are helping people." 


So, I continue to celebrate in the bounty of this season and feel so thankful
for all the wonders that make up the moments of my days.

Here's to a happy, healthy, diverse life.

Kyra