Speaking for the Aimless Cluster

kale growing like wildflowers

It’s time to “put the garden to rest” as they say. They say it and I try to comprehend it, but the garden, like a lot of other things in my life, doesn’t really get “put away”. Just as I don’t always put all the dishes away, (maybe partly because I am about to start preparing the next meal?) I also don’t completely clean up the garden. This slackerly permissiveness allows kale that has sprouted up all over the place to flourish now into the winter. I pull the biggest bunches out of the ground to both eat them and thin out the “patch”. Similarly, the parsnips have regenerated themselves and are growing will nilly, here, there, and everywhere. Parsnips are delicious no matter whether they come out of a straight row or an aimless cluster….

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Baptized by Fire

“Obamney” meets his fate
The old ladder nothing more
 than fuel for the fire….

 Guy Fawkes 2012. I had only voted several days earlier because my friend was working the polling place and noticed that I hadn’t come to vote yet. So at 8:30, only because she called and she is a very good friend, I reluctantly got in the car and tried to figure out who to vote for as I drove to the local firehouse. I knew it wouldn’t be Romney, but the question was, was Obama qualitatively much different from Romney? Wouldn’t  it be a more positive step to help give a third party candidate 5% of the vote (which Gary Johnson was supposedly close to receiving) so that in 4 years, we might have real debates and real issues instead of the two party waltz about photo opportunities?  I had spent the last few days considering not voting at all, but I realized that it reminded me of being a college student who wasn’t attending a party just to spite someone else only to realize that no one had even noticed she wasn’t there.

And then, several days later, we decided last minute to have a small Guy Fawkes event. We had almost not held the annual event but then just phoned up local friends and threw it together, with “the guy” getting made out of old clothes and dead sunflower stalks at the last minute. You have to throw somebody on the fire. There is nothing more gratifying than watching an enemy burn. So, we decided that the enemy this time, was “Obamney”, the two-faced Republicrat wearing special underpants beneath his suit.

Old and young enjoy the catharsis

Real Cough Drops

the “fresh”cough drops going into the oven to dry at low temperature

Last native plant class; we made cough drops.

I was born to do things like this. I love to make things that I have never thought of making. Who ever saw a recipe for cough drops?

So. we ground up: fennel, marshmallow, irish moss, fenugeek, liquorish, astragelas*. Then we repeatedly sifted it. (all under the watchful eye of our fabulous instructor, Dina Falconi.) Then we added honey and just enough water to make a paste. And then, we rolled little balls of the mixture similar to when you make truffles. (except a little smaller as you want these delicacies to be able to ease down the throat and to dissolve, etc)

Then, you figure out a way to dry them; I used my oven on some sort of setting below its bottom temperature and I even left the door open. Dry for a few hours. This was a very intuitive part of the process. They can be stored in an airtight jar, or if you are worried that you may not have quite properly dried them, store them in the refrigerator.

No flu shots for me thank-you. I have hand-rolled cough drops.

*pardon spelling please