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

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Musings

I promised myself that I would go straight to my office this morning
and do some long awaited desk and computer work...

...no getting lost in my gardens for what seems like 15 minutes and
ends up being 2 hours...


I couldn't do it! The morning sun was out after a lovely early rain shower
I had to check the cucumbers, and then of course go on slug patrol in the winter squash
and then there were beans to pick...

What a beautiful summer it has been, not a day over 80
the perfect amount of water for the gardens
long full days
so much bounty
I am so grateful for all the moments


I miss the "Peas" (Ally is missing in the picture)
Such good people. 
 I gave them my time and my reputation
and they honored both
Never missing a day and putting out some delicious food
Stay tuned for info on their soon to come Cookbook


The wine bar on Thursday nights has been a blast
So much so that I will continue into fall and 
 see who wants to keep coming as the days darken into winter


Eddie gave me a lovely rock wall, dividing the parking lots
and Renee is promising a garden shed on the old barn foundation sometime


After coveting the sweet peas at the farmer's market mine finally started dancing

 

Boating has been less this season so far, but we had a lovely island picnic
last weekend and hope to make up time in September


I've been preserving bounty like crazy
jams, blueberries in syrup, pickles of all sorts, hoping I get some tomatoes to roast


Breakfast on the porch on Sunday was buckwheat crepes stuffed with 
Spruce Hill Farm's goat cheese and my blueberries in syrup


Lunch gatherings with summer friends at Lily's has been a highlight

Last week Becky and I cooked straight from the garden
with cipollini onions in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, stuffed squash blossoms,
purslane and avocado with lemon juice and sea salt
and a cabbage and kholrabi slaw with fresh dill and dried cherries

Just as we were ready to dig in, Karolyn from Pine State showed up
with new red wines to try!  I couldn't have planned it better if I tried.


I keep rejoicing in the bounty, knowing August is winding down


But there is always so much to look forward to...

I so hope you are enjoying these last days of summer.

Be well,
Kyra



Monday, July 21, 2014

A Day To Remember

A country fair in my gardens 
A dream come true.


 Phenomenal artisans, chefs, growers and musicians







 


A little wine, a lot of sunshine, but not too hot,
 ( muddy and wet from all the rain, but you know I don't enjoy focusing on the negative)



And to end a perfect day, Tim spotted
chanterelle mushrooms under my trees!
I sautéed them in butter and sage
and tossed them over some gf egg fettucine with this devine cheese
from Cowgirl Creamery a friend and fellow chef left behind.
Delicious.


Someone asked me yesterday if I drink a lot of coffee.
I said I don't drink any!
I've been sipping on fresh red clover blossom tea with a little mint lately.
Seems to do the trick. :0)


So, so gratefully,
Kyra

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fancy


I just made strawberry jam with my last quarts of berries
from Long Cove Farm

Honey for sweetener with
 Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean and Pinot Noir
Really delicious, and special


I mentioned this book at the end of last year's season 
and wanted to share it again as the season of saving begins

His methods and ideas are awesome
(for jams - high heat and quick reduction, no pectin)
and I've had wonderful results so far -
even with my tweaking

This jam is a version of what he calls a "fancy" jam
and was inspired by the open bottle of Pinot Noir 
left from Thursday night's wine bar

STRAWBERRY JAM
WITH VANILLA BEAN AND PINOT NOIR

6 quarts strawberries,
washed, hulled and quartered
2 cups honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup pinot noir

12 jelly jars (8 oz.) 

Place the berries, honey, cinnamon and vanilla bean in a bowl
and allow to macerate for 30 minutes

Turn the fruit-honey mixture into a large pot
Bring to boil over high heat.

Stir vigorously and often over the coarse of cooking to break berries into a paste
After 10-15 minutes add the Pinot Noir.

Continue reducing to the gel point, another 6-8 minutes, stirring all the while

Discard the spices  and stir for another minute or so or until as smooth as you want it

Ladle it into prepared jars , leaving 1/4 inch headspace 
Seal jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes

Enjoy!
Kyra



Monday, June 30, 2014

Giddy

Maybe it's the dandelion root tincture I take everyday that I made in the spring,
but I feel simply giddy with joy this summer


Saturday was the Ready by 21 Mentoring party

We held it in the gardens at Edgewood Farm and greeted
everyone with rhubarb cocktails as they arrived
It was a wonderful summer affair


The roses are in bloom


The laundry is on the line


There are fresh flowers from the flower garden in the entrance way


We are eating from the vegetable garden every night



I am in love with Kohlrabi this summer.

Being hypothyroid, eating raw brassicas isn't suggested
So , I've been slicing it and sautéing, with the greens from the bulb too
and it is wonderful!! 


 I'm barefoot in the grass as much as possible
and I've managed to make the days last a bit longer.
You know how?  

I don't take my computer home with me from work.
You would be amazed at how much time you fiddle away on it without even realizing it.

I hope your summer pleasures are many,
 that your days last long and your nights are sweet

Kyra


RHUBARB JUICE COCKTAILS

This was inspired by Claudette who was making rhubarb juice the day
I went to the farm to scope out how I wanted to lay out the party,

Juice fresh rhubarb 
Claudette cooks hers down and strains it, I put it through my juicer
(Tip: cut it into very small pieces before putting it in your juicer to keep
the fibers from jamming it up - I learned this the hard way)

I warmed the juice and added enough honey to
counter that sour punch and jarred it up.



We served it on ice with a shot of vodka, some seltzer water
and fresh mint.  Delicious



Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Crazies

And the season begins...

Two weeks ago Renee and I spent the weekend
in Greenville on Moosehead Lake at the most
wonderful Blair Hill Inn

It rained for two days, which was fine, as I sat perched in this
window seat in our room overlooking this view


Cocktails at 5:30 in the lounge, an extraordinary dinner at 6:30 each night,
the nicest innkeepers ever

The sun came out on our last day and we hiked to a waterfall on 
the Appalachian Trail and ended with BBQ Pork and cole slaw in Munson

All this only three hours away!! 



Then, on the last day of school some of my 
Real World 101 kids came with lobsters
and laughter


and we celebrated the end of a great year


Then, this past weekend was the debut of my
summer entrepreneurial program, Peas in a Pod
The new business owners, pictured above, prepped all day on Friday 


and rocked it on Saturday at the Bridge Celebration on Deer Isle.

They will be selling delicious food three days a week
on the Island this summer for 6 weeks. Tuesdays at the Congregational
Church in Deer Isle, Wednesdays at the DI Farmer's Market across the street
and Thursdays in the PERC parking lot in Stonington.
Rumor has it that I will be teaching them how to make
delicious pies, and they will be taking orders :0)

As I drove over the causeway today returning from Blue Hill,
there were groups of folks splashing it up at that beach,
cars were lined up at Sand Beach, downtown Stonington was
a one lane road, my eggplants have flowers on them


and the Brays brought me the first of this year's strawberries from their garden.

Game on.

Enjoy!
Kyra