Grackle & Sun

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

Thanks and More Thanks

Synchronicitous (it has precedent) with Thanksgiving, Knitty Nerdy and Natural nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award. Very kind, and I am very grateful. Thank you!

So, here is how the game is played:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Include seven delightful facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know about the award.
  5. Follow the blogger who nominated you.

Numbers 1, 2, and 5 are complete. Now for number 3…

Seven Completely Random Facts About Me:

  1. I am the seventh of eight children.
  2. I am a very good swimmer.  I am terrible at jumping, though. Really. I’m talking a couple inches off the ground, max. I’m convinced that maybe I have extra gravity or something.
  3. After reading a lot of serious non-fiction, I like to take a brain-break by binging on romance novels.
  4. In addition to reading everything I can get my hands on about herbal medicines and making tinctures and tonics and such, am researching how to make my own digestive bitters.  More on that later.
  5. Lately I’ve been dreaming about South Africa. Literally dreaming about South Africa. Why?
  6. I hate getting wet in the rain.  Actually, to be more specific, I hate being in wet clothes. For any reason.
  7. My 3 favorite food textures are chewy, creamy, and gritty. I can handle slimy, like okra or oysters, but am completely undone by soggy.  Soggy is terrible.

And finally, for the best part, number 4–nominating other blogs that I find wonderful and lovely. I do hope that you will go check them out. They are each unique and interesting for many reasons and very deserving of a visit or a follow.

  1. The Procrastinator Dyer’s Diary  Elena does marvelous work with natural dyeing and eco-printing. I always learn something new when I read her posts.
  2. Amaryllis Log Cathe is a brilliant photographer and crafter and has a keen eye for detail and design.  Her posts are always thoughtful and a delight for the eye.
  3. Astitchmatism is a riot wrapped in knitting, dyeing, sewing, and home renovation. Just go read about veggie weenies. And the weird shit found behind radiators. :D
  4. The Course of Our Seasons Kathleen is a fellow Missouri Ozark dweller, and while her photos show familiar landscapes, her poetry reminds me to slow down and look at the world around me with an open heart.
  5. Hotel Vast Horizon Aidan is awesome. I love the artistry and skill of his metalwork and very much love reading his thoughts on dirt, sorcery, and being.
  6. Plantfolk Apothecary Kate Clearlight has her toes planted firmly in the ground and her heart open to the magic of plants. Inspiring infusions, elixirs, and tonics abound here.
  7. Shamana Flora Darcey Blue is a plant poet. I love her heartfelt honesty and desert plant wisdom. Her Pinyon Pine Resin Salve is on my plant medicine wishlist.
  8. Textileshed Swantje makes beautiful patchwork pieces, has mad knitting skillz (check out her Celtica!) and makes screenprinting look like a total blast.
  9. Shroomworks Ann creates dyepot magic with things like hydnellum aurantiacum and sarcodon fuscoindicus. In other words, fungi. Unbelievable colours. This is something I would love to learn, and this blog is inspiring.
  10. Threadborne Wendy is an accomplished fiber artist and teacher, and I greatly admire her work. I am fascinated by her eco-printed books. And her kale garden.
  11. Woollenflower Julia takes absolutely gorgeous photos of all good things–plants, crafts, dyework, and journeys in interesting places. Truly beautiful posts.
  12. Old Ways Herbal Juliette writes about making and using plant medicines. Her posts are very grounded and fantastically informative, and they instill enthusiasm and confidence in walking the herbalist path.
  13. Trembling Inside the Cocoon Julie is badass. She weaves, knits, sews, spins & dyes with tremendous skill. I am always in awe of her projects.
  14. Woolwinding Kate of the Welsh hills has the one and only blog where, depending on the day, you can read about coloured sheep, archeology, nanny tea (don’t ask), 80’s knit fashions, or the evils of toecovers. Enjoy.
  15. Big House, Little Prairie My friend, Laura, has an uncanny knack for uncovering the heart of things.  She writes with great thoughtfulness and eloquence about homesteading, crafting, family, and life.

Big thanks to all of my blog-friends and followers.  I  love the wonderful conversations that take place in our little corner of this digital world. And though we are spread out all around the world (which is pretty cool, I think), I appreciate the community that is created when we get together and share our stories. Thank you.

 

Advertisements

Favorite Fall Forest Fruit & other words that begin with F

When the frost nips and the trees are bare, a peek into the woods reveals a marvelous treat. Step a little closer…

Closer still…

Persimmons can be found all around the world, from Asia and India to Europe, Mexico, and North America. While similar, they all have their own unique qualities botanically, culinarily, medicinally, and even in folklore.  I will now refer you to a surprisingly comprehensive and thoroughly interesting Wikipedia page on persimmons. I’ll wait here while you read… Go on. It’ll only take a minute.

Fascinating, yes? Diospyros virginiana are the variety that grow here in Missouri and much of the Eastern United States. They differ in several key ways from the Asian persimmons often seen in grocery stores or fancy markets–mainly in signs of ripeness and number of seeds. Unlike Asian persimmons, this humble woodland variety is pretty seedy and not so pretty when ripe.

They look delicious, don’t they? But don’t be fooled by the gorgeousness. When they look like this–all lovely and plump and orange–they are total pucker-suckers. Seriously. I’m surprised dentists don’t use unripe persimmons to dry up saliva while they do dental work. They could retire “Mr. Thirsty” the spit vacuum entirely. The tannins in unripe persimmons are impressively effective.  It is really, really fun to give someone an unripe persimmon. But only if they deserve it.

So when are persimmons ready? I’ll show you.

1. Not even close. Feast your eyes and nothing else.

2. Now they are starting to soften up. Just a little. Just enough to encourage patience.

3. So close.

4. Perfect.

The cold frost has worked its magic, and now this wrinkly, darkening fruit is ready to eat. A quick shake of the tree will send ripe fruits plummeting to the earth where they can be gathered and taken back to the kitchen for making jams, wines, and breads. Or you can do like I do and stand under the tree and gorge your face with all the persimmons your belleh can hold. You know, either way.

I love the softness of the flavour, the way it is fruity without being overly sweet. I love that it is a source of wild fruit hanging ready and waiting when everything else is dying or going dormant for winter. I love that these trees grow wild wherever they please in our woods. As a child, when we first moved to the farm, I was always giddy and not a little bit in awe that this wonderful fruit was just there, in the woods, for the eating. No driving to the supermarket, no toiling in a garden or orchard. Just part of the woods. An invitation to also be part of the woods.  The most wonderful gift of the persimmon.

Post Navigation